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A Complete Birth

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A Complete Birth

Sermon Transcript by Rev. Ernest O’Neill

During the past few weeks we’ve been talking about what a real Christian is, what it means to be a child of God, what it means to be born of the Spirit and we’ve tried to distinguish between that kind of a person and a normally moral person who abides by Benjamin Franklin’s list of moral principles. And we said that a Christian is more than that and a Christian is more than just a virtuous person who has the four classic cardinal virtues in his life. And we’ve said that a Christian is just more than a church attender, even a church attender who believes God’s word. We’ve pointed out even the demons believe God’s word and that it is possible to accept the Christian world view of life and yet still not be a Christian. And then you remember, we said that it doesn’t mean that if you perform miracles you’re a Christian, and it doesn’t mean if you have many gifts spiritually that you’re a Christian.

We’ve said that a Christian is something different from all those things. And you remember, we tied it down with that Verse in John 1:12, that a Christian was not one who believed but one who received, and it says, you know, “To as many as received him to them gave he the right to become children of God.” And the Christian is not one who believes, who feels sorry and believes, but a Christian is one who repents and receives the Spirit of Jesus into him.

Then you remember, we talked a little bit about how you distinguish a real Christian from those other people. How you distinguish a real Christian from a moral person. How you distinguish a real Christian from a virtuous person. How you distinguish a real Christian from somebody that just has an experience of many spiritual revelations and gifts. And you remember, we went back to that hard verse that determined who were Christians in the first century and maybe you should look at it, it’s just a short verse. And maybe you should make sure that it’s in your Bible as well as mine and it’s 1 John 3:9 and in the first century they had no question who the Christians were.

The plagues hit them you remember, in the time of Maximinus Daza and the Christians were the ones who stayed behind to lift up their dead despite the danger to their own lives. The whole heathen world saw that the Christians were the people who lived like Christians and it’s 1 John 3:9, “No one born of God commits sin.” And that’s how you know a Christian, a Christian doesn’t sin. That’s it. You know a Christian because a Christian doesn’t sin and you know that we tried to distinguish between this and sinless perfection.

A lot of people say, “Oh, that sinless perfection. That means that a Christian never makes a mistake.” No, a mistake is not sin. Sin is what you remember, James 4:17 says sin is, sin is knowing what is right to do and failing to do it. For that person that is sin. And so sin is not just making mistakes. Many people say, “Ah yes, a Christian is one who never makes mistakes, never unintentionally deviates from absolute light, never does anything wrong whether he knows it or not, never has excessive emotion at times, never falls back through weariness of the body.”

Now loved ones, do you see that we cannot be perfect in those ways. We have imperfect minds, we have unbalanced emotions, we have weakened bodies, we are bound to make mistakes. We are bound to offend people without really intending to offend them. We are bound, at times, to do things that God in his infinite wisdom would not do if he were in our place. But do you see that that is not sin, that is a sense of our own creaturliness, that there is a great deal of God’s perfection to enter into that he has not revealed to us yet.

So a sin is not a matter of absolute perfection. A Christian is perfectly obedient, he is not perfect. He is not free from mistakes or ignorance. He is not free from bodily weakness or emotional excesses, but he is perfectly obedient and that’s that great difference you see. There’s no such thing as sinless perfection taught in the Bible, but there is perfect obedience taught.

Now, what do we mean? Well, James 4:17 if you’d like to look at it because it is an important verse for clear understanding about our position as children of God. James 4:17, “Whoever knows what is right to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” And sin is knowing that God wants you to do something and not doing it. It’s refusing to obey the light that God has given you.

Now do you see brothers and sisters, that many of us here do things that the other would not do and there’s no harm in that if God has not given you light on that subject yet. Some of us have already learned that even to talk too loud at times pushes ourselves forward instead of Jesus. Some of us have not realized that yet. God only asks you to act up to what he has revealed to you. In other words, if you say, “Ah but brother, then is sin relative?” No it’s not. Sin is disobedience to God’s will revealed to you by the Holy Spirit. But sin is what the Holy Spirit reveals to you as sin in light of the 10 Commandments, the moral law of the Sophists, the Sermon on the Mount, Christ’s own life, the Beatitudes, and the Epistles of Paul. In the light of those commandments that are given to us by God, in the light of the Holy Spirit’s revelation of those commandments to us, we are expected to be obedient you see.

Now, you can see that that is not a fearful walk. All you have to do be responsible to is to what God shows you at that time and so it’s a conscience deliberate disobedience to God’s will. That is what sin is. Now, some of us say, “Oh well then a Christian never sins, is that it? In that sense, in that limited sense, a Christian never sins?” Loved ones, Jesus I think would answer, “Hardly ever.” Hardly ever. A Christian hardly ever sins. It seems that is the spirit of the Bible you know.

If you look at 1 John 2:1, that spirit I believe is shown in beautiful balance to us. It’s 1 John 2:1, “My little children, I am writing this to you so that you may not sin.” Now, that is the position of a Christian, his normal everyday life is one of not sinning. He ought to walk free of sin. He ought to walk in such a way that sin is alien to him and unnatural to him. Now, do you see the second half of the verse, “But if any one does sin, we have an advocate with the Father.”

Now loved ones, do you see that many of us live on the second half of that verse? We live on the basis, “Yeah, I’ve sinned today again but I have an advocate with the Father.” Well loved ones, do you see that isn’t the spirit of the statement of scripture? The spirit of the statement of scripture is, “My little children, I am writing this to you so that you may not sin.” That’s the normal everyday life of a Christian, he doesn’t sin. If in an emergency situation you fall into sin, it is an emergency and you need to cleave to Jesus, and get back to God, and make a total surrender again of your life to him. In other words, it’ an emergency situation.

No, you don’t lose your salvation by one sin. You don’t walk in fear. You don’t walk fearful, “Ah, a Christian doesn’t sin. I’m not going to sin.” No, you walk in joyful love. You say, “Father, I thank you that you have given me the spirit of your Son and I am able to walk in open obedience to you. I thank you for that and I thank you Father, that if I ever do sin Jesus is my advocate and I cleave to him in love. But I thank you that you will enable me to walk above sin.” Now dear ones, do you see that’s the spirit of scripture? The spirit of scripture is not that a Christian sins

habitually you see, or even that a Christian sins once a month. The spirit of scripture is a Christina doesn’t sin, if he does sin the advocate is there but the normal state is that he doesn’t sin.

Now, can you see the importance of getting to that point? Bertrand Russell could walk in a fair degree of obedience, you see? Socrates, you read the life of Socrates, read the story of his death, you know, what a glorious death that was and he knew nothing of Christ. Do you see brothers and sisters, that many dear ones can live fairly virtuous moral lives, and many dear ones can live to a great degree under the commandments of God, but the only person who can live obedient to God perfectly, above sin, is one who has received the Spirit of Jesus into himself.

Now that’s the importance of seeing the level on which God wants us to walk, because any Tom, Dick, or Harry with a fair degree of will power can walk in a certain degree of obedience. But do you see that God’s word to us is, “If Christ is not Lord of all he is not Lord at all.” I teach English literature during the week, no not for my sins, but I teach during the week and if I said to the class, “Okay now, I want you to obey me,” and one little fella said, “Well sir, I’ll obey you most times but when I want to do what I want to do I won’t obey you.” Well, I am not master of that class, not in any sense. If he says to me, “I’ll obey you when it suits me but the times I don’t want to obey you, there will just be odd times, there’ll just be few and far between, then I won’t obey you I’ll do what I want then.” Then do you see dear ones, I’m in no sense master of the class?

Now, do you see that it’s the same way with Jesus? If we say to him, “Lord, I’ll obey you on most occasions. On most occasions I’ll walk in obedience to you, but when it comes up against my own preferences I will not obey you.” Do you see it’s a mockery to call Jesus Lord? You can call him counselor, or servant, or helper, or even Savior, but he is not Lord of your life unless it is absolute obedience to him.

Now, it’s at this point that many Christians have problems because many dear brothers and sisters have really received the Spirit of Jesus into their own lives, and they are walking in victory over sin. But there are certain times in their lives when they find another spirit manifesting itself within them. For instance, some of them come into their room some night, and they had all the books set out on the desk, and the roommate has just swept them all to one side and she’s at her work. Or, you left everything organized in the room, you come back and the roommate has a whole lot of people in the room and it’s chaos. And you know that well, the Bible itself says – you might like to look at it just to make sure, Ephesians 4:25.

Ephesians 4:25, and this person is aware that this is necessary. Ephesians 4:26, “Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger.” And the Christian is very aware that that kind of anger in the sense of being angry is a controlled unselfish reaction against wrong for God’s sake such as Jesus manifested in the temple. But that other anger, “Do not let the sun go down on your anger,” is an uncontrolled selfish anger and that Christian knows, “Yes, I haven’t to be angry.” So she is about to bite caustically at her roommate and she controls herself and says, “Ah, thank goodness I didn’t say it.”

But inside there was that strong desire to cut that person apart and criticize her for throwing your books aside. And inside in other words, there’s that feeling of discontent, and a wee bit of feeling of guilt. You feel, “Well, I avoided outward anger but boy I felt the thing rising up inside.” Or, you come to a place you know, where you’ve missed an assignment at school, or you’ve missed a commitment to meet someone and you meet them the next day and you know – well, you look at

Ephesians 4:25 there, “Therefore, putting away falsehood, let every one speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.” And you come to the professor and you say, “Well listen, I didn’t do it. It’s my fault. I’m sorry.” Or, you make the apology to the person and you suffer the damage to your reputation. But underneath you find this almost irresistible desire to lie your way out of the difficulty. There’s this tremendous desire inside to rationalize your way into believing, “Well, it’s right for me to tell a little white lie in this situation.”

Now dear ones, many brothers and sisters who have received the Spirit of Jesus into themselves have become aware that at the moment of obedience there has been another spirit within them that has made it at times almost impossible to obey and they have obeyed only at the payment, and the cost of an immense struggle inside. And many brothers and sisters walk continually in that struggle. Many of them believe that’s the fight of faith, that every time you come to a time when you have to obey God you find that it seems natural for a bit but then it seems unnatural to obey it and there seems something natural inside that wants to rebel and put yourself first and have your own way.

Now dear ones, do you see that that’s the thing that was referred to by Paul in Romans 7:21. You might like to look at it, and really it shouldn’t be but many children of God experience that in these days. Romans 7:21, “So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.” And you want to do what’s right but evil lies right there. Brothers, you know it in the other sphere that is bound to cause us trouble in this day when were so unbalanced about the subject, Leviticus 20:10 there. Leviticus 20:10, “If a man commits adultery with the wife of his neighbor, both the adulterer and the adulteress shall be put to death.” And brothers, you know how often we’ve come up to that point and we know that is sin and we hold back from it because we know our salvation goes immediately.

But yet underneath there is that strong tendency to want to commit adultery in your heart. And you remember, that Jesus tied it down to that? He said, “Listen, of old time in Leviticus he said, ‘If you commit adultery you are guilty of the judgment,’ but I say unto you if you look unto a woman to lust after her in your heart you have already committed adultery.’” Now brothers and sisters, many of us who have honestly received the Spirit of Jesus find that within us there is a strong inward desire to disobey God. It seems to be based in our attitudes, in our motives, in our reactions. It seems to be based in our desires. Outwardly we manage to keep up an appearance of children of God and we manage not to commit outward sin, but inwardly there seems to be a desire tending and falling it seems into sin as far as Jesus’ definition is concerned.

Now loved ones, do you see that that’s what’s referred to in Galatians 5:17? So obviously, the Father knew that many would enter into such a partial surrender that they would experience this kind of thing. Galatians 5:17, “For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you would.” And many of us you see, would testify to that. We would say, “That’s right pastor, we agree with you about obedience but boy it is really hard at times. There is such a strong desire in us to disobey God.”

Now brothers and sisters, do you see the tragedy is that this takes a further step in many of our lives? You remember, Hebrews 12:1 where the writer is asking us you remember, to give everything to God and there’s a phrase there that means a lot to many of us because of our personal experiences. Hebrews 12:1, “Therefore , since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us.” Now the phrase or the clause, “Sin which clings so closely,” is I think in the

King James’ Version, “The sin that so easily besets us.”

Now brothers and sisters, the tragedy is that this desire inside us often fixes on some besetting sin and many of us walk in that situation. We walk in obedience in every area but in this particular area and this seems we call it our besetting sin. And every time we come into this situation we fall again, and again, and again. Now do you see that that in itself is not the cause of loss of salvation because Jesus will forgive you until 70 times seven? The blood of Jesus will cleanse you from all sin in so far as you walk in the light. Walking in the light is coming up to a sin, seeing that you’re falling into it, saying to the Father, “Father, I hate sin, I detest it, it is alien to me I am going to fight against it until you give me victory. I’m opposing it, I’m resisting it and I treat this as a major emergency in my life and I come before you now and ask you to forgive me.”

Every time brothers and sisters you can do that the Father can forgive you. Do you see the real danger is that you come into a position of hardening of heart in that area? That’s the tragedy, that you come into a place where you cease to fall down in repentance at his feet and you become as detached from the pain you’re causing Jesus as a surgeon is detached from the pain he appears to be causing the person he’s operating on. Now that’s where the real danger comes in. That is where you’re beginning to verge into hardness of heart, into resistance against God’s will.

In other words, as long as you can walk with a soft penitent heart, the Father will continually forgive you. He will never refuse to forgive a person who truly repents. But do you see that with these besetting sins the tragedy is we come to a place where we get so beaten down, and so demoralized, and so fed up that we begin to rationalize it and we say, “That is just a personality trait with us. We are particularly artistic people and so we do happen to have difficulty with our emotions.” Now that’s where we cease to be in fellowship with the Father.

Now dear ones, do you see that many of us walk in that kind of life? We walk in outward victory but inwardly there’s the strong desire to disobey God and at times this bursts out in repeating besetting sins. I think it’s important to see that the personal experience of a Christian does not finish on that defeatist verse in Romans 7. Now, would you look at that defeatist verse first? You can probably quote it off by heart.

Romans 7:14-19, “We know that the law is spiritual; but I am carnal, sold under sin. I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. So then it is no longer I that do it, but sin which dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin which dwells within me. So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inmost self, but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin which dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?”

Brothers and sisters, the chapter does not end there. Now, please see that the chapter doesn’t end there and the Christian life is not that life of defeat. The chapter ends in 25, “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I of myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.” But thanks be to God that there is deliverance and, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,” and then further down Verse 5,

“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.” Dear ones, there is deliverance from that. There’s victory over that situation.

Now why does the situation exist at all? Well, do you see that in the book of Romans there’s a distinction between sin and sins? There’s a clear distinction. If you read the first four and a half chapters of the book of Romans you find the emphasis is continually on sins. Now, there’s a verse I could point you to, I think it’s Romans 3:25. Romans 3:25, those first four and a half chapters deal with sins, that’s the plural word sins. Romans 3:25, “Whom,” Christ Jesus, “Whom God put forward as an expiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.” Now sins are acts, and thoughts, and words. That’s what the Bible means by sins, acts, and thoughts, and words that are deliberately disobedient to God’s will for you. Now do you see the second three and a half chapters of the book of Romans talks not about sins, it talks about sin in the singular. It talks about sin.

Now, you look in Romans 7:20 for instance and you’ll see the change. Romans 7:20, “Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin,” in the singular, “Which dwells within me.” Now sin is the attitude that produces sins. Sin is the inward attitude that makes you want to disobey, that makes it hard for you to obey. It’s the attitude of your whole self inside that wants to remain God in your life. You want to keep having your own way. Yes, you want a ticket into heaven, and you want the sins forgiven, and you want the blood of Jesus shed for your sins, but inward sin so many of us want to hold onto and we retain that inward nature.

Now brothers and sisters, that’s what the New Testament means by sin. It is that desire that Eve had, you remember, Satan said, “Surely, when you eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil you shall be as God.” Now it’s that desire inside us to be God over our own life. Loved ones, I say this is sympathy for the ACT test and the SAT test, but it’s that attitude that dominates our attitude to our futures so often. We see, “Yes, I’m capable of this. I’m mechanically minded, I should be an engineer.” Or, “I like poetry, I like literature I should be an artist.” And we decide what we’re going to do with our future. That is sin.

An attitude whereby you decide what you’re going to do with your life, and that is inward sin. It expresses itself you know, in wanting your own way. You have an argument at home, it’s not really because your way is the best way at all. No, her way is as good a way, your mum’s way is as good a way, your dad’s way is as good a way, but you want your way and they want their way, and that’s sin. You see? It’s just a aspiration, it’s just a desire to do what you want to do, whatever God wants you to do. Now loved ones, if that remains unchanged there can be no victory in your life.

Now that’s the thing that’s described in Romans 8:7 and put very plainly, you know, by Paul. Romans 8:7, “For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, indeed it cannot.” And you see again, and again many of us have found this. We’ve wanted to do what was right but there’s something inside us that seems to want to do what is wrong. Now loved ones, unless God can do something for that you are destined to walk in continual defeat, and strain, and misery all your Christian life. And therefore, every profession of joy, and peace, and continual love is just hypocritical. And you know that many of us have come to that place, we know that we’re just blatant hypocrites. Inside we’re different from what we are on the outside.

Now what has God done? Well, let’s see what he’s done for our sins, Romans 3:25. Romans 3:25,

“Whom God put forward as an expiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he has passed over former sins; it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies him who has faith in Jesus.” God said, “Anyone who sins I will destroy.” In order to avoid destroying us and remain a just God, someone had to be destroyed in our place. Jesus was that someone. Jesus shed his blood and died for us so that God could retain his justice and yet show mercy to us. Allow us to live and yet retain his own sense of Justice. In a real sense, Jesus died for God. Can you see that? In a real sense, Jesus shed his blood for the sake of his Father so that his Father would be free to forgive us for our sins.

Now, do you see that the reason we say, “Jesus died for us,” is not really because his blood enabled his Father to forgive us, but for another reason? Look at it in Romans 6:3-4, “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” God knew that he had not only to forgive us our sins, he knew that he had to deal radically with that attitude within us of rebellion that produces the sins. And what did he do? He put us all into Jesus and crucified us. That’s right dear ones, and it’s in that sense that Jesus really died for us.

It doesn’t say, “Jesus died instead of us.” It doesn’t say, “Jesus died so that we wouldn’t have to die.” It says, “Jesus died for us so that we could die with him by faith and allow God to destroy and render inoperative that desire to be our own God, that desire to have our own way, that great self that rises up and wants to do what it wants to do.” Now dear ones, do you see that God has done something with that? And if you say, “Well, brother if he has done something with it, why is it so alive inside me?”

Well brothers and sisters, God had borne your sins in Jesus on Calvary but you had no freedom from the guilt of those sins until you were willing to do two things: let go of the sin; and have faith that those sins had been born. Now it’s the same with that old self inside you. That old self was destroyed 1900 years ago, your funeral took place in Jesus 1900 years ago, but you can experience no freedom from that until you are willing to die to self in your own life and until you’re willing to believe that all that has been crucified with Christ. And that’s it loved ones, and that’s what we call the sanctification side of becoming a Christian.

The justification side is where God is justified in forgiving us our sins because Jesus has paid the death penalty for us and where we are justified in coming before God because our sins have been paid for. The sanctification side is where we realize that we have been crucified with Christ, that we have no rights to our own lives, we have no rights to do what we want with this life, we are dead and buried with him and now only the Holy Spirit has the right to rule our lives and we are willing to be crucified with him, and we believe that the Holy Spirit is in our lives and telling us what to do.

Now loved ones, unless you experience a complete birth and a complete death, you cannot be in the position of a normal Christian whosoever is born off God does not commit sin. And wouldn’t it be true to say that as we sense the Holy Spirit speaking to us this morning, most of us probably here this morning are in that second position? You’re dear brothers and sisters and you have received Jesus as your Savior, but do you see that God has crucified you with Christ and what you are doing is refusing to be crucified. There are many things inside you that you want to hold onto. The big thing is yourself, you love yourself more than you love Jesus because you’ve never really accepted

that you were crucified with him.

Now brothers and sisters, if you say, “Well, brother it witnesses with my spirit and it seems to be true, but how do I enter in? Do I crucify myself?” No. Dear ones, you have been crucified. God states clearly, “Listen, all of you who belong to Christ Jesus have been crucified with him. Do not go back and question my word, I know what happened 2000 years ago. I was there in Christ reconciling the world until I fell. I know I destroyed that miserable thing inside you that wants its own way. I know I destroyed that attitude in Jesus. When he bent his great will over to me he bent your will over to me. I know that has been done, you don’t need to crucify yourselves. Will you believe you’ve been crucified with my son? Will you begin to accept that you have no rights to your own life? You don’t have the right to tell the wife what to do. You don’t have the right to decide what your own future is going to be. You don’t have the right to get irritable with people or have people do the things you want to do. You have been crucified with Christ, you don’t exist any longer, you’ve given your body, and mind over to the Holy Spirit and now you’re going to experience the resurrection that Christ experienced when the Holy Spirit comes into you and fills your life completely and begins to live in you freely the life of obedience.”

Now that’s it dear ones. It’s just those two things, you see. Faith, that you have been crucified with Christ. Romans 6:6, “Our old self was crucified.” Satan comes down and says, “You’re irritable this morning, you weren’t crucified.” You say Satan, “I’m not believing my feelings, I’m believing God’s word. I was crucified I’m not arguing with that.” And then you look to the Holy Spirit and you say, “Holy Spirit, will you reveal to me where I’m not really willing to enter into all the benefits of my death with Christ? Where I’m wanting to live this old death life instead of resurrection life? Will you reveal to me where my self is still ruling in my life, where I have not allowed the victory that God wrought in Christ to extend to me?” And the Holy Spirit will begin to give you light, you see and then all it is, is instance obedience. So it’s faith that you were crucified with Christ and it’s faith in the Holy Spirit to rule your life today.

Brothers and sisters, it changed my life. Seven years ago it changed my life and I had been a Methodist minister for eight or nine miserable years with hypocrisy, and outward appearance of obedience and inward rebellion. Loved ones, this is the full experience that God wants us to enter into. Now, if you sit there and say, “Ah now brother, are you talking about a second work of grace?” No, we’re not talking about a second work of grace or a 54th work of grace, we’re talking about what a full experience of becoming a child of God is and it means that you’re born of the Spirit and you allow that old attitude to die with Jesus. And the victory is not in repressing or suppressing that attitude by will power, but in allowing God to deal with it in Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.

That’s why there’s no strain in the Christian life. There is no strain dear ones, and there is no defeat. There is constant victory and constant peace and love, and you can see it’s only when we’re living above sin in that way that the Holy Spirit is able to use us at all. Up till then we’re so preoccupied with our own defeats that we have no time to be used by him. So dear ones, as God guides I’ll share further about this. I think if you want help yourselves I’ve tried to write a little book Free to Live, a little booklet. There are lots of books out in the bookcase and the bookshop is full of books on how to enter into this victory. Not only a complete birth but a complete death and then resurrection life.

Dear ones, I think we should just close in prayer without the hymn, it’s close to time. Let us pray. Holy Spirit, we ask you to vindicate your truth to us through your word. As we read Romans

6, Holy Spirit, will you reveal to us that this is an experience into which we ourselves can enter? That we can leave self at last behind nailed on that cross and be freed from ourselves, and become lost in Jesus and filled with the Holy Spirit. We thank you that such an experience is possible and we trust you to lead us into it that there may grow up a new generation of Christians who will walk as they talk, and who love as they say they love, and who obey as they say they ought to obey. And, we trust you Father, to being that about among us here in this place.

Now the grace of our Lord Jesus, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with each one of us now and ever more. Amen.