Edward O’Hara Sun 2/23/2020 12:33 PM…
Have you ever noticed that when Jesus was with the disciples they never really “got” what was happening? Oh, they followed Him because they were sure He was the Messiah. But, they understood that to mean something very different from what Jesus came to do. Because they believed what all Israelites believed about Messiah. That when He came He would conquer their enemies and set up His kingdom right then. But, Jesus did not come for that purpose. At least not when He came the first time. And we who have believed know that He is coming again. This is why His Jewish followers were so despondent after Jesus died.
They were so clueless about what Jesus was doing that while living among them and teaching them every day Jesus found Himself asking them things like, “Are ye so without understanding also?”Mark 7:18. And “O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you?”Mark 9:19. And to Peter, He said, “Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.”Mt.26:34. Even rebuking Peter saying “Get thee behind me Satan: thou art an offense unto me: for thou savourest, not the things that be of God, but those that be of men” when Peter rebuked Jesus for saying He would go to Jerusalem and be put to death there.
Here Peter was “regarding the things of men and not the things of God” because he misunderstood the Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah. This is why Jesus rebuked him. Because the things of God included all nations and not just Israel. Affirmed by God’s promise to Abraham that said: “for a father of many nations have I made thee.”Gen.17:5. What was going on here? Why were the disciples who were following Jesus all this time still not able to understand what was happening and what Jesus was teaching them? Why was Peter, or for that matter any of the rest of the disciples, unable to stand up for the truth when asked if he was with Jesus? Why was it that at once Peter was denying he even knew Jesus, but after Jesus’ death and resurrection when they beat and threatened him that could not stop him from sharing the message Jesus gave them? What changed to change these men from being such weaklings to become such powerhouses for Jesus?
The difference was BJD and AJD. Before Jesus’ Death and After Jesus’ Death. Because until Jesus died they were only natural men under the law. The very impersonal ministration of death. A ministration of cursing for disobedience and blessing for obedience. The penalty the law enforced against those who did not meet its demands. And blessing for those who did. And it was a constant reminder of sins for all Israel through their year by year sacrifices. These were all physical reminders that purified the flesh through the forgiveness of their sins in the flesh. While administering penalties that sometimes brought physical death. And sometimes blessings that brought physical wealth and health. But, these could do nothing in regard to the spiritual.
The difference was in what the new birth made possible. Because for them to have the courage to stand for the truth they would need the new spiritual birth that we know delivers us from the power of death that Jesus spoke of in John3:1-8. And the power that would come from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to face their oppressors and preach God’s loving message of the cross. This power is what Jesus spoke of saying “The spirit gives life the flesh profits nothing”(John6:63). Because even though they were strengthened in their flesh by keeping the law they could never have spiritual life from it. Paul says it like this- “if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.”Gal.3:21. This is a power that we see only inklings of in the Old Testament when the Holy Spirit came upon the prophets and judges of old like Samson and Joshua and Moses.
But, because He did not indwell them as He does God’s people in the New Testament, and they had no spirit in them because the new birth was not possible until Jesus came, this courage was only an inkling of what we can have now. So once again we see that it is because men are natural and not spiritual until they are born again that there is this great divide between who these people were before the cross. And who they were after the cross. This is what Jesus was telling them when He said, “Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”John14:7. This is the difference between Old Testament and New Testament believers. The indwelling Holy Spirit, and the new spirit that is birthed in us that is only made possible because Jesus gave power to a New Testament by His death. The difference we see in people like Peter from before and then after Jesus rose from the grave.
OT believers were only natural not spiritual, just as Paul says Adam was when God made him in 1Cor.15:46. While New Testament believers are both born of the Spirit and indwelt by the Holy Spirit. This is why even when Jesus plainly told the disciples what the parables meant they still did not understand. This is why Jesus told them “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” With the indwelling Holy Spirit as their guide to teach their newborn spirit what God wanted them to know, they would no longer need the natural guidance from laws written on stone Paul says the law provided for the Old Testament believer. Gal.3:24-26. This is why Paul said, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God”.Rom.8:16. And this is why “the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
Have you ever wondered why it is that when you witness to someone about the things of God at first they look at you like your speaking a foreign language? This happens because they have no spirit with which to understand spiritual things. Because they are only natural, flesh, and blood, a living soul just as Adam was when he was made. Sadly, I have experienced this same thing when talking to some who say they are believers. This calls into question whether they are just very immature. Or whether they have ever really been saved at all. Because as a believer we have the Spirit of God who always communes with our spirit about the truth. So when we hear the truth, even though it may be something we have not heard before, it should resonate with our spirit because it is truth. Spirit of God
Have you ever wondered why it is that when you witness to someone about the things of God at first they look at you like your speaking a foreign language? This happens because they have no spirit with which to understand spiritual things. Because they are only natural, flesh, and blood, a living soul just as Adam was when he was made. Sadly, I have experienced this same thing when talking to some who say they are believers. This calls into question whether they are just very immature. Or whether they have ever really been saved at all. Because as a believer we have the Spirit of God who always communes with our spirit about the truth. So when we hear the truth, even though it may be something we have not heard before, it should resonate with our spirit because it is truth.
Since Jesus died and rose again we can know the truth when we hear it. And we have this power Jesus promised to the disciples and to all who would believe through their message. The power Jesus spoke of when He told them “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost has come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”Acts1:8. The natural man that believed in Jesus in the Old Testament could never have such power. Because even for the prophets of old the Holy Spirit came and went. He did not indwell them and commune with their spirit continually. He couldn’t because they were not spiritual but only natural.
And it is still true today for those who reject the gospel. The man who does this remains only natural and can’t even begin to see what God has done for them. Because “the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” But Paul says of those who are spiritual. Those who have been born again, “he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord? But we have the mind of Christ”.
Only when we are born again are we the “he that is spiritual” that has access continually to the power of the Holy Spirit that dwells within us to be strong and faithful in the preaching of the gospel to all the ends of the earth. A power that was never available to those who lived before Jesus. Or those who live now that reject His gospel. Because even those who believed in God before Jesus died were not spiritual but natural. And they did not have the indwelling Holy Spirit as we who have believed in Jesus do now. This is why even when Peter believed Jesus was the Messiah he was still so timid before Jesus died. And suddenly became such a powerhouse of faith afterward. Because he was only natural in an Old Covenant that could not give spiritual life as Paul affirms in Gal.3:21. So he had to wait till Jesus rose from the grave to be made spiritual in the New Covenant. A “better covenant, which was established upon better promises”(Heb.8:6).
This is why the answer to the question of who wins, the natural weakling, or the spiritual powerhouse, is rhetorical. Because of course, the spiritual powerhouse wins. We see this all the way back to Adam and Eve when it was said concerning the serpent that “you will bruise his head”(Gen.3:15). The “you” here is the “living spirit” (the spiritual powerhouse) that Paul said that Jesus was in 1Cor.15:45. And we also see this when God told Cain that sin lies at the door and that “You shall rule over it”(Gen.4:7). The “you” here in Gen.4:7 is Cain, and also represents all who will be made a “living spirit” by believing in Jesus as Paul said in 1Cor.15:47-49. Because we who have been made spiritual are spiritual powerhouses that have joined with Jesus to conquer death and sin.
Have you believed in Jesus? Do you want to stop being a natural weakling? Would you like to become a spiritual powerhouse? Then you need to been born of the Spirit so you too can inherit eternal life. If you are reading this God is calling you. He loves you and wants you to know Him. Because knowing Him is eternal life.John17:3. Knowing Him is righteousness. So if you do not know Him please take the time right now to pray and confess Jesus as Lord of your life. And believe that He has raised from the dead. If you do believe in Him then pray something like this and you will be saved: Dear Jesus, I believe you. Thank you for joining with me in death so that by conquering death by your resurrection I could join with you in life. Thank you that you raised from the dead so that I could raise from the dead too by trusting in, clinging to, and relying solely on you. Please give me a new spirit now Lord so that I can live with you in heaven forever. In Jesus’ name, amen.
By praying a prayer similar to this one and really meaning it from your heart you will be saved from death to life. From sin to righteousness. And from the wrath to peace with God as you now begin reading the Bible and believing what it plainly says. Because when you trust in Jesus you leave the old life behind where you were only able to relate to and trust in what has been made because you were only natural and not spiritual. But, now you will be equipped for heaven because you are no longer only natural flesh and blood, but are made a spiritual and ready to inherit God’s spiritual kingdom called heaven. It is Jesus’ resurrection that has made Him be the only WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE. And because He is the only way we must believe in Him to get to heaven. This is why we read in Acts4:12 “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
This message can also be heard at https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=UCzpxn7JdRs
God Bless! Edward
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