Philippians 4:7—“And the peace of God, which surpasses every man’s understanding, will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.”
Note 1 on peace of God: “The result of practicing fellowship with God in prayer is that we enjoy the peace of God. The peace of God is actually God as peace (v. 9) infused into us through our fellowship with Him by prayer, as the counterpoise to troubles and the antidote to anxiety (John 16:33).”
Cross-reference “a” on peace of God directs us to one related verse:
The terms “born again” or “regenerated,” are fairly familiar to many people and are associated with a person’s experience of becoming a Christian.
But what do these terms really mean? Why does the Bible speak of being born again?
In this post, we’ll look at the significance and importance of being “born again.” Does it simply mean to have a new beginning? A fresh start? Is it a promise to do better? To live morally from now on? To do right instead of wrong? And what if someone is a good, upright, ethical person? Does such a person even need to be born again?
Nicodemus and the Lord Jesus
The Gospel of John tells us of Nicodemus, a moral man who held a high position in religion and society.
“We all must personally ask ourselves this question: ‘How much time do I spend daily with the Lord?’ The most prevailing need among Christians today is to spend a certain amount of time every day reading and praying in the presence of the Lord.
In the physical realm we need to spend time daily to obtain physical nourishment by eating physical food. How much more time we need to spend to obtain spiritual nourishment by eating the spiritual food. According to the present situation nearly all Christians know how to study, memorize, meditate, and search the Scriptures for knowledge, but very few know how to come to the Word of God to enjoy the Lord and to receive spiritual nourishment.
As people who have God living within us, we need to set aside some time each day to come to the Word of God to enjoy Him, to feed upon Him, and to receive spiritual nourishment.”
From Basic Elements of the Christian Life, vol. 2 by Witness Lee and Watchman Nee (mass-distribution ed., p. 7). Bibles for America gives this book away for free. You can order your free copy on our order page. You can also download a free PDF version here.
In a previous post we discussed the meaning of consecration and four compelling reasons for us to give ourselves to God. We hope you read that post to understand the tremendous difference it makes in our Christian life when we give ourselves to the Lord.
But knowing the reasons for handing ourselves over to the Lord may not be enough for us to take the action of consecrating ourselves. We have to see something more concerning the underlying basis for our giving ourselves to the Lord. We also have to see what can motivate us to consecrate ourselves willingly to the Lord. If we see these two things, our consecration will not be a dry or forced act based merely on knowing it’s good for us. It will be a sweet exercise of our hearts towards the Lord Jesus.
Matthew 26:64—“Jesus said to him, You have said rightly. Nevertheless I say to you, From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
Note 1 on Son of Man: “The high priest asked the Lord if He was the Son of God, but He answered with ‘the Son of Man.’ In His temptation He had answered the devil in the same way (4:4 and note 2). The Lord was the Son of Man on the earth before His crucifixion, has been the Son of Man in the heavens at the right hand of God since His resurrection (Acts 7:56), and will be the Son of Man even at His coming back on the clouds. To accomplish God’s purpose and to establish the kingdom of the heavens, the Lord had to be a man. Without man, God’s purpose could not be carried out on earth, nor could the kingdom of the heavens be constituted on earth.”
Cross-reference “b” on Son of Man directs us to one related verse:
The birth of a child is an exciting and happy event, and we all recognize it’s the beginning of a new life. We’d never say it’s an end or conclusion.
It’s the same with us believers. Our being saved and born again with the life of God is truly wondrous and joyful. But it’s not a conclusion. Our regeneration is only the beginning of our spiritual journey. And just as babies need to grow and develop, we Christians need to move forward step by step.
After we’re regenerated, the next step in our spiritual, life-long journey is to present, or give, ourselves to the Lord. This is to consecrate ourselves to Him.
What does “consecration” mean?
The word consecration isn’t a commonly used word, but even so, we might have an existing concept about what it means.
“Since God desired to save us and since we could not pay the debt of sin ourselves, He in His mercy decided to do so Himself. Two thousand years ago, Jesus Christ, the incarnate God, came to die on the cross to pay the debt for our sin. Having no sin Himself, He alone was qualified to die this substitutionary death. His death, being reckoned by God as ours, was acceptable to God, and He raised Him from the dead. Now when we believe in Christ, His death is counted in God’s sight as our own. Thus, our debt of sin is righteously paid, and we are saved.”
From Basic Elements of the Christian Life, vol. 1 by Witness Lee and Watchman Nee (mass-distribution ed., pp. 14-15). Bibles for America gives this book away for free. You can order your free copy on our order page. You can also download a free PDF version here.
Have you ever felt like something is hampering your progress as a Christian? Do you feel as if you’re being held back? Could something from your old life be keeping you from going forward?
Before we were saved, every one of us had a past life. We committed many sins, and our life as unbelievers included things that weren’t pleasing to God. But praise the Lord, when we’re born again, the blood of Christ washes away our sins. All of our sins are forgiven and forgotten by God.
Before God, we are justified, saved from condemnation, and freed from our sins. But in our practical daily life, are we free from our past? Or do things from our past life still cling to us and hinder our walk with the Lord? For us to be free to go on in our Christian life, these hindering things from our former life need to be cleared away.
Why do we need to clear up our past life?
Romans 12:2—“And do not be fashioned according to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of the mind that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and well pleasing and perfect.”
Note 4 on renewing of the mind: “After presenting our body, we need to have our mind renewed. The renewing of the mind, which results from setting the mind on the spirit (8:6), is the base for the transformation of our soul. Our mind is the leading part of our soul, and as it is renewed, our will and emotion automatically follow to be renewed also. To be renewed means that a new element is wrought into our being. This produces an inward metabolic transformation, making us suitable for the building up of the Body of Christ, which is the practice of the church life. All the virtues and the overcoming in chs. 12—16 also are the results of this transformation.”
Cross-reference “d” on renewing of the mind directs us to two related verses:
As believers, we love the Lord Jesus Christ, and we want to do something for our Savior who gave Himself for us.
It’s normal for us to want to serve Him. So we ask God questions like, “What do You want me to do for You?” “Lord, what should I do to serve You?” and “How can You use me?”
How God created us
The trouble with these kinds of questions is they suggest God created us primarily for the purpose of our doing something for Him.