Renewal

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,

There are two operative words here and let us deal with one at a time. Yesterday I spoke of renewal, so let us begin there.

Vines definition of renewal in this passage reads this way;  the adjustment of the moral and spiritual vision and thinking to the mind of God, which is designed to have a transforming effect upon the life; in Tts 3:5, where “the renewing of the Holy Spirit” is not a fresh bestowment of the Spirit, but a revival of His power, developing the Christian life.

What most of us learn later in this walk with Christ is that it is the power of the Holy Spirit that is responsible for the changes in us. At first we do not even know what God wants of us. There is a real desire to be right and do right but unfortunately we begin seeing it as our responsibility to do the changing. Cooperation yes, but real change comes from God and not anything we do as noted above; ‘not because of works done by us”.

Just to emphasize how difficult that is, let me remind you of Eve’s desire.

Genesis 3:5

For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Being in God’s presence every day made Eve want to be like God and Satan tempted her with her own desire with a lie. Now here we are with God in us and the very presence of the power of the Holy Spirit generates a desire to be more than sinners saved by grace. While that is a sincere sentiment, it is not within our power to become God or wield the power which works in us during the renewal process.

Romans 16:25-26 English Standard Version

Doxology

25 Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages 26 but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith—

The Word has been given to us, to reside in our hearts for the purpose of obedience of faith. How does the power of the Holy Spirit remind us of His Word if we have not read it? To have the mysteries revealed in us, we need to read the mystery novel, the bible.

That is just the beginning. Our regeneration is the other operative word above.

Cooperation

Psalm 51:10-12 English Standard Version

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.

This is a prayer of cooperation. It indicates a desire to be right and do right in order to maintain a good and healthy relationship with God. That is noted in verse 11 with a plea to remain in His presence.

As those of us who have joined the family of God and accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior it is now a matter of understanding the role and responsibilities of the Holy Spirit in us. Since it is His responsibility to prepare us for our betrothed, Jesus Christ.Llet us understand He only acts on our behalf to lead us to that end.

What if we were to rewrite cooperation as co-operation? The operation of our bodies, our lives happens on two levels, the spiritual and the physical. When our physical operations based on self-interest are at odds with the goals of the Holy Spirit in preparing us for Jesus, the Holy Spirit does not support our activities. This is a matter of free will since Jesus does not force Himself on anyone. Love is a choice and always will be a choice.

When our physical operations are in line with the goals of the Holy Spirit He helps us to achieve those ends, walking the right paths and making the right choices. We become better helpmates for Christ when our goals align.

What that looks like in us is based on the love concept. The more we love someone the more willing we are to listen, agree, and work at achieving the same goals. We differ in many aspects as we have noted before, but all of us are moving in one direction and the same goal, to be with our Lord in the eternal realm.

Because we have different gifts, talents and callings there is a tendency on our part to look at the activities of others and compare ourselves to them. That is no measure of God’s love for us or our love for Him. That is a physical perspective and not a spiritual one.

2 Corinthians 10:12

Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.

Understanding can be both physical and spiritual. A physical impairment can alter one’s ability to hold a rational thought but does not render the heart incapable of knowing what is right.

Listen to the opening prayer and allow the renewal that God controls and not we ourselves.

Daily Christian Devotionals