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Tree Mail

Sometimes we receive messages that indicate we are like a tree.

Psalm 1:3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.

Ezekiel 36:11 And I will multiply on you man and beast, and they shall multiply and be fruitful. And I will cause you to be inhabited as in your former times, and will do more good to you than ever before. Then you will know that I am the Lord.

Matthew 12:33 “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit.

Does a tree have any choice in what kind of fruit it produces? Here we are as born again believers, what kind of fruit do we produce? What kind of fruit do we produce now for it will be seen by others and we will be judged by others that way. Warning Young Skywalker warning.

Galatians 5:22-23 English Standard Version

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Now comes the tricky part. Fruits of the Spirit are produced by the Spirit indicating that we are children of God. Which of these attributes cannot be duplicated by willful knowledge?

That is a trick question. The answer is taste.

Psalm 34:8 a. Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! 

The deceiver has no idea what the Lord tastes like. The born again believer will know by the taste that the fruit is produced by the Spirit and not self-will.

So it is with other aspects of this new life in Christ, growth and maturity comes to us by the Spirit who has been charged with preparing us for our betrothed.

Ecclesiastes 1:14 I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.

Self-will is vexing to the Holy Spirit, it frustrates His efforts in preparing us. 

Regeneration

Titus 3:5

he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,

Returning once again to Vines for the definition of Regeneration:

“new birth” (palin, “again,” genesis, “birth”), is used of “spiritual regeneration,” Tts 3:5, involving the communication of a new life, the two operating powers to produce which are “the word of truth,” Jam 1:18; 1Pe 1:23, and the Holy Spirit, Jhn 3:5, 6; the loutron, “the laver, the washing,” is explained in Eph 5:26, “having cleansed it by the washing (loutron) of water with the word.”

This is easy enough to confuse regeneration and renewal because both operating powers are connected, one does not work without the other. The concept of being born again is difficult for many because they do not necessarily feel any different than they did a moment before.

That is a difficult distinction for some. Allow me to try and explain it from a testimony given by a man who was a pastor leading lost souls to Christ for nearly twenty years before he himself was born again. He described it in this way, “I came to a saving grace knowledge of Jesus Christ.”

My way of understanding his testimony came as the differences between convinced and convicted. People are influences in our lives. We develop genuine love and respect for people and we can accept what they say, we become convinced. What is missing in that method is repenting of a life wasted and a desire for real change.

Psalm 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

Matthew 10:38 And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.

A saving grace knowledge of Jesus Christ might be seen by some as a conscious understanding of sacrificing the old life for a new one. For others it might just be just an emotional concept void of directed thought. What brings those sinners into a born again life is God’s view of the intentions of the heart, not the head.

In regeneration the born again believer is no more responsible for spiritual birth than a baby is responsible for water birth. Perhaps that is why I met a man who has been baptized five times. He just never felt like it took the last time. It is not what we do, it is about what God has done.

The bible compares new birth with natural birth for our understanding. In this we might be able to compare the two. A baby’s eyes cannot focus at first and it takes time to learn how to bring things into focus. Spiritual eyes are the same way. Babies can hear but it is all noise until over time language starts making sense. Hearing by faith is the same way.

To quote Game of Thrones; “You know nothing Jon Snow.”

We know nothing about this new life at first but we do learn, we do grow, we do mature.