We often sing hymns, in our worship services, about the Holy Spirit. We sing songs about loving God spirit, understanding God spirit, being filled with God spirit, and watching God spirit move among His people. The Bible has a lot to say about recognizing what the Holy Spirit is doing for His people. I think one important thing, that must not be overlooked, is how we are brought into union with Christ through the Holy Spirit. Paul says, “If we have been united with Him like this in His death, we will certainly also be united with him in His resurrection” (Romans 6:5).
The phrases "in Christ," "with Christ, "in Him," "in Whom," "in Jesus," and so on appear in the New Testament hundreds times. These phrases appear twelve times in the first chapter of Ephesians alone. Union with Christ is very closely associated with the doctrines of regeneration and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. As we have previously noted in this series, the Holy Spirit communes with us, starting at baptism (Acts 2:38-39, Romans 8).
After our baptism, we are added to the Lord’s church and made members of the church which is Christ's body (I Corinthians 12:12-13). Water baptism places us into the same death, burial, and resurrection as Jesus (Romans 8:5). This union also gives us an inseparable union through adoption. Romans 8:15 speaks of "the Spirit of adoption" which we placing believers in the church as sons and daughters of God. We are given more than just a new body, and a clean slate, we are given a new identity with a new inheritance for eternal life.
Previously we already noted II Corinthians 5:17 and Galatians 6:15 which refer to the new life we have in Christ Jesus. Hopefully this new birth will motivate us toward Christian living. The figures of the vine and the branches (John 15:1-8), marriage (Romans 7:4, Ephesians 5:32), and the Head and the body (Colossians 1:18, 2:6-7), indicate that believers cultivate Christlikeness (II Corinthians 3:18, II Peter 3:18, I John 3:1-3) after this new birth. Jesus spent a great deal of time talking to Nicodemus about this in John 3.
This unity of the Holy Spirit causes us to regenerate. The Holy Spirit is the one responsible for our regeneration and conversion. We are born of God (John 1:12-13) who is the Father and Author of regeneration (I John 4:7, 5:1-18, 3:9). We join with the Son (John 5:21, II Corinthians 5:17). However, according to II Corinthians 3:6 (and Romans 8) that "the Spirit gives life." We are born anew, again, or from above according to John 3:3-5 into water and the Spirit (Acts 2, Titus 3:5). The Holy Spirit is the personal agent of our regeneration and keeps us in full unity with the Father and the Son. This would make sense why David did not want God to take His Holy Spirit from (Psalm 51).
Remember that I Peter 1:23 tells us that in Christ we are not of corruptible seed. What is involved in regeneration? The Holy Spirit imparts a new nature which involves eternal life (II Peter 1:4). It is not just a quickening of the old nature (Ephesians 2:3, 4:24, Philippians 1:6, Colossians 2:13, II Corinthians 5:17). Therefore, as we noted three things are involved in this regeneration: 1) New birth (John 3:3-8), Resurrection (Romans 6:13, Ephesians 2:5, John 5:21, II Corinthians 5:17), and 3) Re-Creation (Ephesians 2:10, 4:24, II Corinthians 5:17) AND all three parts of the Godhead are involved. Will you stay united with Him?
You are loved.
Dr. Ray Reynolds
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