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Description: What does it mean to be born of God?
Spiritual Life #37
Communion with God No. 2 – New Birth
Sermon Transcript by Rev. Ernest O’Neill
We’ve been sharing, loved ones, about communion. And what we said last Sunday was you can only have
communion with God if you’re born of God. And it’s very easy to illustrate that. I have you know,
this silly little dog that is about that size and five pounds. And at times I’ll say to him, “Do
you want to go for a walk?” And you know his eyes are so full of intelligence that I’m utterly
convinced that he understands what I say. And then I try him with “To be or not to be: that is the
question. Whether it is nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows” [quote from
Shakespeare] and he’s just dead, absolutely.
And it just suddenly comes home to you, you know if you have a little pet you project your own
thoughts into their eyes and if their eyes happen to look alive when you’ve a thought you think they
have the same thought and they haven’t at all. And so it comes as a shock when you say something to
them and their eyes are dead. Now, that’s what it’s like when C. S. Lewis says, “An animal lacks
intellect.” There’s just a vast gap between you and the dog, just a vast gap. And at times it
looks as if that gap is narrowing because the dog or the animal appears to understand but it doesn’t
The gap is vast between an intellectual being and a physical being. That’s the same if you’re not
born of God you see. If you’re not born in your spirit then communion with God is actually
impossible. And all you experience at times is the fox hole prayer that you cast up to God in times
of great danger or despair and that he graciously answers. The rest of the time you spend your days
pretending that you have communion with God and learning how your eyes should express feeling, or
how your heart should express love for God.
In other words, you’re like the little dog; you imitate others who have that life. So loved ones,
it is vital to see that unless you’re born of God in your spirit you will not experience communion
with God at all. That is, prayer, real prayer to God. And you’ll spend your days trying to imitate
others who experience that communion. And I’d just like to point out to you that that is the
situation when you’re dead in your spirit, you see. It really means that that whole part of you is
dead. That spirit part of you is dead. And you’re alive in your soul and your body.
Now, our little dog is alive there, in his body — so he can experience nothing in the soul. But a
person who is dead in their spirit is dead there and so their interaction is between the world and
their body and their body and their soul. And they can’t have any communion with God until they’re
born of the spirit.
Now, you can imagine what a miracle it would take, in fact, it’s beyond me who could do it, to
implant in that little dog an intellect. But it would certainly take a miracle to implant
intellectual life into him. Now, do you see the vast miracle that is required to plant spirit life
in a person who is dead in their spirit? So it is important for you to see that unless you’re born
of the spirit you can’t know real communion with God. And you can pretend but you’ll never
Now, why are we dead in our spirits? Well, you know we’ve talked about it so often. We’re dead in
our spirits because we live off the world. I won’t elaborate too much about it, but instead of
getting our love from God we get it from the world. We’re born of the flesh and from the moment our
mum pats us on the head right through until we receive our gold watch at retirement we live off pats
on the head. We live off the love that the world can give us. We live off the security that the
world can give us. We scrounge and scrabble for our salaries and our insurance policies. We live
off the sense of significance the world can give us. We strive to be good at sports. Then as we
grow older we strive to be good at our job. Then we strive to please our wives, or our husbands, or
our children. And then we live off the world for our happiness.
We feel if we can get more thrills, or more excitement, or better boats, or better motorbikes, we’ll
have more happiness. So we live off the world; that’s why we’re dead in our spirits. And so our
personality is hopelessly perverted that way so even when we pray a fox hole prayer and we sense
some life coming from beyond to us, yet we still can’t live that way, our personalities are so
[Pastor O’Neill is pointing to a diagram of the Body, Soul and Spirit.] Now of course, the miracle
of Calvary is that God in Jesus destroyed that perverted personality and has given us a new one that
we can have by a miraculous gift from him. But loved ones, we have to receive it from him. Now do
you see the massive task that is required? You have a personality that was meant to operate that
way (from the inside out), but now it operates that way (from the outside in) and God has to restore
it to that. Now, that is a massive miracle. That’s a massive transplant operation.
Now, what happens is the Holy Spirit with most of us begins to show us not this whole situation that
we’ve just described but he begins to convict us in the one part of our spirit that is still a
little alive; he begins to convict us in our conscience. So we depend on the world for security,
and of course eventually you end up coveting if you depend on the world for security. You end up
wishing you had what somebody else has. And the word of God comes down to you and says, “Thou shalt
not covet.” And the Holy Spirit convicts your conscience of that.
It’s not your mind; your mind has often read the commandment “Thou shalt not covet” and you’ve said,
“Oh yeah, I shouldn’t do that.” But now the Holy Spirit convicts your conscience and you sense, “I
cannot do that and live. I am dead in my sins and I am going to remain dead forever in outer
darkness of hell unless I do something about this.” And suddenly, the Holy Spirit stabs your
For years you’ve been aware that you have borne false witness against your neighbor because you
depend on the world for your significance. And when someone else is praised instead of you, you’re
unhappy, you’re jealous, you’re proud, and therefore you end up telling little lies about your
neighbor, or about other people to make yourself feel better. And so for years you’ve done that.
Your mind has known it for years. Your emotions have felt the swell of self pity when you’ve done
But now the Holy Spirit convicts your conscience and says, “Thou shalt not bear false witness
against thy neighbor because you will die forever in your sins if you continue to live that way.”
Do you see the difference loved ones? It’s very different to perceive a thing in your mind and to
have the Holy Spirit in graciousness begin to cut into your conscience. That’s the first step
towards bringing you alive in your spirit and it’s a completely different experience from the purely
mental one of knowing, “Yeah, I do seem to get a bit jealous at times. Yeah, I’ve noticed I am a
bit proud.” But now the Holy Spirit convicts you in your conscience that you’re going to lose
forever any chance of fellowship with your God who made you if you continue to be this way.
It’s the same with your happiness. For years you’ve depended on the world, on other people, on
relationships, on circumstances for happiness — so adultery means nothing to you. Adultery in your
mind, adultery in reality, anything that will give a thrill and so for years your mind and your
emotions have known the sense of thrill from unclean thoughts and from having your own way with
people. But now the Holy Spirit convicts you and says, “Thou shalt not commit adultery because if
you do you are guilty of the judgment. And even if you have unclean thoughts you’re guilty of the
judgment.” And suddenly the Holy Spirit stabs you in a deeper place than anyone else could stab you
because only he can touch your spirit.
Now loved ones, that’s a very different experience, do you see? That conviction of sin is a very
different experience from sharing things in your mind, or feeling things in your emotions, or even
willing yourself to do certain things to improve your own life, or to better yourself. At this
point you are the privileged receiver of the Holy Spirit’s work in your spirit and that’s a totally
Now, once a man or a woman begins to experience that, you are facing your God. You have to decide
whether to suffocate that conscience, whether to grieve the Holy Spirit there and then, and whether
to reject your God — or whether to follow on through and plead that he will do further work in you.
But loved ones, with anyone who is to be born of God it has to start with that stabbing alive of
Now, there’s no other way. You can’t be talked into it. You can’t look at this stuff tonight and
say, “Well, it makes sense. I would like to experience those things.” Because do you see it’s not
your liking at all. You can’t create spiritual life inside yourself no more than can my little dog
create intellectual life. Only God can create spiritual life in you and you have to depend on him
to do it, and you have to depend on his gracious working to do it, and you have to plead that the
Holy Spirit will stab your conscience alive. And then if he ever does, then you have to run towards
Now loved ones, I would plead with you again to see that; that you have to want it with all your
heart. All the great ones, you know, Pascal, everyone that has ever come to God has pleaded, and
hungered, and yearned for God to bring them alive. So never sit there and say, “Oh, I’ve tried, and
I’ve tried, and I’ve tried.” Loved ones, that’s your place, that’s our place; we have to hunger for
our God to stab us into spiritual life. And so be glad when the Holy Spirit begins to deal with
And if I could share with those of you who are alive spiritually, be glad when God continues to deal
with your conscience, be glad. Don’t show yourself to be followers of false prophets by hating it
when God stabs your conscience and shows you more light to walk into. Be glad loved ones, rejoice
in that. The child of God rejoices when the Father corrects him. The child of God rejoices when
the Father shows him how he can be more like him. So it’s vital before you’re born of God to come
into real conviction.
Now, do you see that that goes against the normal shallow, superficial, healthy minded teaching? Do
you see that? That goes against that. The normal healthy minded teaching is that we have
everything we need to be like God and we can be like him by just exercising ourselves fully as human
beings and living as well as we possibly can. Now, that’s exactly what Satan said in the Garden of
Eden, “You shall not surely die. You’ll be like God knowing the difference between good and evil.”
Now, this is entirely contradictory to that. This is a might transformation. This is a convicting
in your conscience that leaves you laid out flat on the ground crying for mercy. Loved ones, it’s
nothing less than that, honestly. It’s nothing less than grasping at the Savior’s feet and saying,
“Lord Jesus help me, help me, help me. I can do nothing without you. I am lost. I have no
communion with God at all. Lord, I want to have communion. Show me what I have to be willing to
change in my life for you to make me alive spiritually.” It’s that kind of yearning, you see.
And every time, loved ones, you take the attitude in your own heart, or with some of the rest of us
and say, “Listen, I’ve really been trying. I’ve really been trying and God isn’t coming through.”
Loved ones, you’re not nearly in the right spot. Old Pascal says, “Someone comes and they say to a
priest, ‘Oh, I’ve read a book for an hour, and I meditated there for another hour, but I can’t still
find God.’” And Pascal says, “God is a hidden God and he will only reveal himself to those who seek
him with all their hearts. You must seek him night and day, night and day, week after week. Only
when you want God with all your heart will he come and reveal himself to you.”
So loved ones, being converted, or being born of God is a mighty work that begins with the Holy
Spirit touching your conscience. And that’s why I shared this past week about the view, “Well, you
need your emotions healed to receive the love of God.” No, you may need your emotions healed after
you have received forgiveness in order to minister that forgiveness to other people. But what you
need most of all is to see that God loves you so much that he crucified you in his Son and wants you
to be willing to experience that and to allow him to change your life.
And you need to see that you have to deal with your conscience. So the start of it all is dealing
with your conscience. And I don’t know how many of you have made a point of getting down on your
knees in your own bedroom somewhere and confessing your sins, really confessing them. And I don’t
know how easy you think it is but I would like to testify that I wanted God so badly that I would
have stood on my head and said the Lord’s Prayer backwards for a thousand weeks. I would have done
anything to get God.
And I remember looking at a little Billy Graham tract. I was a minister, I was supposed to know it
all, but I looked at a little Billy Graham tract to find out how you found your way to God. And I
did it, I did it; I did the confess, and the repent, and the committing your life to Jesus. I would
have done anything to get peace in my conscience and forgiveness of my sins, and a sense of
communion with God. Now, I just push you a little, isn’t it very easy for us all to meet together
here Sunday after Sunday and talk about these things so well that you understand them perfectly and
you misunderstand the understanding for conversion. And you think, “I understand it. I agree with
it. I do the things you say but somehow I can’t have real communion with God.”
Loved ones, could it be because you have never, never, ever, ever, committed yourself to Jesus?
Maybe I could give my wife’s testimony because it was maybe more what many of us need to experience.
As I was seeking the fullness of the Holy Spirit so the blessed Spirit came down in to our home in
north Minneapolis and gave a real sense of his presence. And she noticed a change in my life. And
at the same time the Holy Spirit began to deal with her own heart and her conscience.
I thought she was a Christian as much as I thought I was an obedient Christian. I was a Christian
but not an obedient Christian. And the Holy Spirit began to deal with her and she began to see that
hell was real. My wife is a dentist and we think of ourselves as kind of intellectuals. We’re not,
but you think of yourself that way, and so hell was a very unsophisticated concept for us to
But the Holy Spirit began to show her that she was going to hell — that that’s exactly where she
was going. She was dead in her sins, she was not like God, she had never received Jesus as her
savior, she had never committed herself to him, though she had heard about it and knew all the
teaching about it but she had never committed herself. So the Holy Spirit convicted her and gave
her a sense she was going straight to hell for the kind of person she was. She’s a very nice
person, she didn’t do any terrible things, she really didn’t. But, the Holy Spirit showed her that
the things she did and the self that she loved were in God’s sight as bad as adultery, as bad as the
worst sin you could think of. And so the Holy Spirit convicted her of sin and she would awaken at
nights feeling as if she was going to hell.
Now, that’s how real it was. And if you knew her you’d know, “Boy, that kind of stuff is okay for
somebody who is uneducated, or somebody who can’t read, or somebody who can’t intellectualize but
let’s face it — college people shouldn’t experience that kind of thing.” Yes, they have to
experience that. If they’re going to be born of God they have to see that they’re staring straight
into loneliness forever unless they change and unless they convert and are born of the Spirit.
So I remember one night when I was fellowshipping with a dear man who shared with me about the
fullness of the Holy Spirit. She had gone up to bed and she came down again, she could not sleep.
And she came down into our living room and it’s very unlike her to do that especially when there was
this other mad evangelist in the parsonage with me. But, she came down the stairs and she was fully
dressed and we talked, and talked, and eventually of course, obviously it came round and the
conversation came round to whether she had ever committed her life to Jesus.
And of course, that’s what she was down for, that’s what she wanted to talk about. And so the three
of us got down at the davenport and we began to pray together. And the other fella Bob and I
prayed, and then she was to pray but she wouldn’t touch it because she didn’t like public prayer and
she didn’t like talking out loud. And I remember my friend saying, “You want to be a child of your
Father but you don’t want to talk to him.” And so eventually at long last she did begin to pray and
she began to confess her sins, some of them aloud and some of them were between her and God. But
she did it, she confessed her sins.
I remember Charles Finney saying, “You committed them one-by-one, confess them one-by-one. Don’t
confess them all in a heap, confess them one-by-one. Face each one of them because each one of them
indicate ways in which you’re not willing to submit your life to God. And as you confess them the
Holy Spirit brings more and deeper understanding of your rebellion against him into your own
conscience.” And that’s what happened to her.
You’ll find that the actual confessing of the sin out loud or at least moving your lips to God will
enable the Holy Spirit to bring greater revelation to you and you’ll begin to remember things you
had never thought of for years before. And that’s what she did, she remembered things she had
forgotten long ago. Now loved ones, it’s that deep cleansing that has to begin before you can move
Now, do you see that that’s an actual work of the Holy Spirit. That’s important for you to see.
That it’s not enough here tonight to say, “Well, I do confess all my sins.” No, the Holy Spirit is
your counselor, you work with him. You confess openly to him and he then more deeply touches your
conscience and brings up stuff you never knew was there. You see, there is stuff in your life that
is preventing God’s Spirit regenerating you and you don’t know what it is.
That’s why it’s so shallow to say tonight, “Oh I know, I know. I’m born of God because I know
what’s wrong.” No, there is stuff down there that only the Holy Spirit knows. Now, I’m speaking to
those of you who may have trouble with your communion with God, I’m not speaking to those of you who
were born of God. But for those of us who are in doubt about our spiritual life, confessing our
sins is an interaction with the Holy Spirit, it’s a dialog with the Holy Spirit.
And so she confessed, and it took half an hour to three quarters of an hour to get through that kind
of stuff and some of it aloud, some of it privately between herself and God. And then it comes to
really, in many ways, the most difficult part: repentance. And we knew, both of us, that
repentance is not just being sorry. We knew that. We had seen people crying at alters and they
were crying as much out of self pity as anything else and some of them were crying because they
didn’t want to let go of their sins. So it wasn’t tears of repentance it was just, “I don’t want to
let go. You’re a nasty God wanting me to give up these things.”
And so we both knew that repentance is stopping doing the things. It’s what Jesus said to the dear
woman caught in adultery, “Do they condemn you? Neither do I but go and sin no more.” Sin no more.
And it was very tempting for her to think, as I had thought, “Well, I’ll repent but I can’t
possibly stop these things. I mean, I’ll stop them for today and ask you, ‘Will you forgive me for
the sins I’m going to commit?’” Well no, not in your life. That’s you saying to the Lord Jesus,
“Lord, I will stop sticking my spear into you today but will you forgive me if I stick my spear into
Well, no one will be your friend in that situation so we both knew repentance was cutting all
connection with your sins. And that’s the most difficult loved ones, and she struggled with that
for half an hour or an hour. Was she willing to turn her life right round and to go towards God?
Not to live for herself, not to do the things any longer whatever it cost, to make whatever
apologies she had to make, to make whatever restitution to people she had to make, whatever was
needed to put things right as far as she was able, was she willing to do it?
Now, that’s often where many of us stumble. Many of us see the Holy Spirit saying, “Will you make
apology to that person?” And we say, “Oh well, yeah, yeah, all right, okay.” But we don’t really
mean it and we never do it and so we don’t enter into anything real. Or, the Holy Spirit says,
“Will you stop that sin?” And we say, “Well, yes.” But we know in our hearts, “I can’t stop that.
I wouldn’t face the consequences of stopping that.”
Now loved ones, repentance is doing whatever is needed to have done with those sins. Repentance is
not assuring God of how things will go tomorrow, repentance is saying, “Lord, I am determined that
moment-by-moment I will live the way you want me to. I will stop doing these things.” Loved ones,
believe me, repentance is stopping sinning. Repentance is stopping sinning. It isn’t being sorry,
or filled with remorse or regret, it’s stopping sinning.
And the last step is asking Jesus to send his Spirit into your heart so that you can be born of God.
And it came to that point where she had to invite Jesus to come in and take over her life and do
what he wanted with her life. And she asked him to come in and then I remember my friend saying,
“Has He come in?” And that was so strange to us, because we were brought up Methodist and we
thought, “We got this far, don’t push it!” And she said, “Well, no, no, I don’t feel anything.”
And then I remember him saying, “Well, it’s not feeling that counts — but do you know that He has
heard you? Do you know that He is in your heart and in your life?” And she said, “Well,” and
prayed a little more and said, “No, no I don’t.” And then it was so good, it was so good to see
that that was because either the confession was not complete or the repentance was not complete.
That was so good because we had seen other people at alters, you know, putting their arms around
each other and trying to reassure each other, “Now God loves you, you know he loves you. You know
Jesus died for you.” And that didn’t seem right to us. It seemed oh you were trying to suffocate
the sin almost, or you were trying to assure them against what they knew better. And we saw that,
“Yeah, this is good. You mean Jesus’ Spirit will come in if I honestly confess and I honestly
repent? And you mean that the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit of truth knows whether I’ve done that or
not?” And oh, that was so good.
It was so good to see that there was solid rock, there was ground under our feet. We weren’t
involved in a kind of pretending, or a kind of psychological reinforcement game with the three of us
in that living room. We were involved in dealing with our God. We were carrying out a transaction
with the Spirit of Jesus. And it was so good to know that if we dealt fully with our confession and
repentance, then we’d have an assurance that the Spirit of Jesus had come in.
And I remember about midnight that night, she at last came to a place after settling the confession
and the repentance completely, after settling things she had forgotten about or she wasn’t willing
really to come under God’s will on, at last welcoming Jesus into her heart. And of course her life
changed from that day on and of course our marriage just changed completely.
Now, I wonder loved ones, is that light to anybody here this evening? Because sometimes I think
that because we don’t have alter calls and you know we don’t, and I sense on campus that would be
the wisest thing, especially in morning service, but because we don’t have alter calls I wonder is
it possible that there are some loved ones here that have kind of fought their way into conversion,
or into the New Birth? Or, they think that New Birth is just a change of opinion, or a change of
your way of thinking?
Do you see that it is an actual mighty transaction with the Spirit of Jesus? That that’s why so
many of us stand on Romans 8:16, “The spirit himself bears witness with my spirit that I’m a child
of God.” The spirit within of Jesus witnesses that he’s there. Not feeling, not great feelings,
there were no great feelings that night, no great feelings — but the spirit himself lets you know
all is at peace.
At one time I did evangelistic services or meetings at different churches, after I withdrew from the
Methodist church and before we started Campus Church. And I remember being with a brother in his
car, at a golf course, after a meeting that we had had at church. And he had been in that church
for years and had had no reality in his relationship with God though he was regarded as a leader and
as we say a born again Christian. But he knew he wasn’t and I could smell why he wasn’t and so
would you if you had smelt the old nicotine filling the car, because he knew fine well that God had
been at that for a long time.
And we began to talk and began to talk the way we’ve talked tonight. And he began to pray and began
to confess his sins and began to repent and then came to the place of receiving Jesus’ Spirit into
his life so that Jesus could rule his life completely and do what he wanted with it. And I said,
“Has Jesus come in?” And he said, “Well.” And I said, “You’ll know; you’ll know if Jesus is
there.” And he said, “Well, no I don’t know.” And we talked round, round, and round, and then of
course he revealed a big secret that was not such a secret to anybody sitting beside him, “Well you
know, I do have one sin that the Holy Spirit has been convicting me of.” And he surprised me by
saying, “You know I smoke 40 cigarettes a day.” And I said, “Yeah, I could tell that you smoked.”
And loved ones, it’s important to emphasize to all of us here that smoking for many of us may not be
a sin. Now, I think probably for most it is a sin against the temple of the Holy Spirit but I don’t
think you should point your finger at somebody because the Holy Spirit may not be dealing with them
about that and so it’s important for you to not come along and say, “Anybody that smokes is a sinner
but you can be proud as anything and you don’t sin.” So you have to watch what the Holy Spirit is
You see, it’s what the Holy Spirit is dealing with in a person’s conscience that matters — not what
you bring to their mind. So he said, “Well, I just can’t give that up, I can’t. I mean, I’ve been
at it for years.” So we were there half an hour or an hour and at long, long last after totting up
the costs and seeing that he was only going one direction in his life if he did not deal with this
and have done with it, that he would have no assurance of pardon, no assurance of forgiveness, no
assurance of Jesus’ presence in his life unless he dealt with this thing, at long last you could
feel the peace in that car.
Now, I really mean that. You could sense the peace. I just knew he had at last given that up.
Now, do you see that a person can know — that the Holy Spirit can tell when you’re serious. See,
he knows when your repentance is real. He knows when it’s real and in response to that he comes in
and he regenerates you and you suddenly feel Jesus is your closest friend and God your Father is
your next door neighbor and the saints are all around you. It’s a birth into a new world. It’s a
new awareness of all kinds of life around you that you’ve never seen before and it’s filled with a
perfect peace and a great sense of pardon.
And when some mad Irishman gets up on a stage like this and plows right down the middle with the law
of God and the Holy Spirit convicts your conscience of something else, you just walk into the light.
You walk into it joyfully. You don’t get mad at the guy, you don’t get mad at God’s word, you just
walk into the light. The Holy Spirit is bringing light to you and your spirit rises to it. Because
the truth is, God will shake what can be shaken. God will shake what can be shaken. And what
cannot be shaken God cannot shake.
So every time God’s word comes upon you, if there’s something shaking inside deal with it, deal with
it. Get it out before God, don’t argue with him. Don’t say, “Oh, you’re wrong to bring that up.
No, we aren’t meant to live like that.” Don’t fight it, don’t be found fighting and opposing God.
Respond and say, “Holy Spirit whatever is needed I want to get rid of that and whatever else is
underneath that I want to get too.”
But loved ones, God will shake what can be shaken and when you’re born of the Spirit nothing can be
shaken. And I would attest to that even in regard to the fullness of the Spirit or to conviction
that precedes death to self with Jesus. Even what was to me a second experience of coming into a
death to self on the cross, even that was a blessed experience. There was no loss of a sense of my
salvation, no loss of a sense of God’s peace, but it was a new convicting that there were other
things to be dealt with.
So loved ones when you’ve settled things truly with Jesus and he’s in your heart, no man, no woman
can shake your sense of peace and your assurance. Any questions loved ones? I meant to do more
than talk about the New Birth but I think it’s good, I think it’s right that that’s what we talked
Well, could I ask you then, if you are not settled in your assurance, if this old mad Irishman can
come down the middle with God’s law and can shake you, will you go to God tonight and will you say,
“Lord, I know that you only shake what can be shaken so if there’s something inside me here that
isn’t as solid as it should be, Lord I want to settle it. And I want to get whatever conviction of
sin is needed on my conscience and I want to plow right through real confession, real repentance
until Lord I know that you’ve stood at the door and knocked and that I have heard your voice, and
I’ve opened the door, and I’ve invited you to come in to sup with me and you come in. Lord, I want
to know that.”
Now loved ones, you can. You can know that. The New Birth is a mighty transaction with Jesus’
Spirit that is real and actual. It is not a mental gymnastics, it isn’t. It’s a real transaction
with Jesus. So if I could suggest to you, if you’re born of God, just thank him for that and just
rejoice. And next Sunday I’ll talk about communion and the further steps in the Christian life.
But if tonight you sense, “Well, that’s kind of foreign to me. I haven’t done that. I’ve certainly
prayed to receive Christ. I’ve certainly given over my life to him but I don’t have that reality
that you’re talking about there.”
Well then loved ones, it’s not complex. Confess, repent and receive Jesus and you can know you’ve
received him. And if you say to me, “Well brother could we pray with some of you?” Yes, there’ll
be people up here that you can pray with, or you can go to the prayer room if you want to be alone,
or everywhere in this building there are plenty of rooms where you can settle through with God, and
there are some of us that can help you. But frankly, at the end of the day it’s up to you and up to
me. Jesus is there beside you. The Holy Spirit is your counselor, he will lead you into all truth.
And I remember one time spending all night with a loved one, a brother who was a Methodist minister
in a summer camp. And we spent the whole night him and his wife praying through to receive Jesus.
So don’t be ashamed or don’t be surprised if it takes time. It does take time and it may be for you
just the beginning. Tonight may be just the beginning and you’re going into a series of days when
the blessed Spirit will bring that dear conviction of sin that precedes deliverance to you. And oh,
yearn for it.
And to those who are born of God and who feel, “Well, I have nothing to deal with.” Well, I yearn
for the conviction of the Holy Spirit. I ask him, “Holy Spirit, show me, show me where I can be
more like Jesus. Show me where Jesus wants to be more himself in me.” That’s the safe thing for
anyone who has dealt with Jesus themselves. So will you do that loved ones? Will you do what you
think is right?
But I’d love you to see that pardon and assurance of forgiveness and peace does not depend on the
baptism of the Holy Spirit. The baptism with the Holy Spirit is for ministry and for sharing with
others primarily. Really, a person is to experience pardon, and forgiveness, and peace through the
New Birth. They can know God as their dear Father, Jesus as their loving Savior just on the New
Birth experience. Because it is really everything and if we continue to walk in that they need
nothing more because they walk into everything that God has for them.
Well, shall we pray then? Dear Lord, we know you are here tonight and we know you only come to
bless, and we know you don’t come to condemn but you’ve come to save. But Lord we do see that the
dear Holy Spirit never condemns either, he convicts. He lovingly shows us the things that you bore
on Calvary, the things that you bore away from our lives. The things that you want us to let you
bear away here and now so that you will not have died in vain.
Lord Jesus, we thank you for your counselor the Holy Spirit who convicts us of sin. And oh Holy
Spirit we would ask you, as Jesus’ other self among us, to convict us deeply where we need
convicted. Show us the things that we are doing wrong or saying wrong, the things that we’re
thinking wrong, the things that are crucifying you again in our hearts every time you try to rise.
Holy Spirit convict us of those things. Will you convict us especially of the things that we do not
want to agree with you are wrong? Those things that we’re arguing about and trying to rationalize,
and trying to protest that they’re just human weaknesses, or they’re just personality traits that
are special to us.
Holy Spirit, strip away all our pretenses, and all our protestations and enable us to see these
things are stark rebellion. They’re plain and blunt rejection of our Savior. These things are
spilling your blood again in our lives. Holy Spirit, we would plead with you for a conviction of
sin that is deep and real so that we may deal with these things. We do not want to be lightly
healed, Holy Spirit. We don’t want someone to assure us we’re forgiven, we want to be deeply
healed. Deeply cut and then deeply healed.
Blessed Spirit, we ask for that holy cutting that you can do, that faithful wound of a friend. Holy
Spirit, we ask you for that. We ask you to wound us as our faithful friend so that we may deal
honestly with anything in our lives that our Father is condemning at this moment. Holy Spirit we
ask you now to show us those things and we would confess them. Confess them one-by-one as you bring
them up to our minds. Thank you for dredging deep in our subconscious. Thank you for bringing them
up to our conscious minds.
We would confess them now. We would agree one-by-one Holy Spirit as you show them to us, “Yes, that
is wrong. Yes, it isn’t just a human weakness. It isn’t just a personality trait. It isn’t just
something that my personality or my life ought to have in it to be healthy. This is wrong. This is
sin against God, against thee and thee only have I sinned and done this wrong.” Holy Spirit enable
us to see it is our God that we’ve sinned against, it’s not our human beings, it’s not ourselves,
it’s our God. We have cut deeply into his heart with these things. We have declared ourselves
rebels against him.
Dear Lord, dear Lord, dear Lord, dear Lord. We would look especially dear Spirit for the point of
controversy that we have with you at the moment. We would look especially for the point of
disagreement where we’re protesting and we’re saying, “No, no, no keep away from that, keep away
from that.” Holy Spirit we know that that’s the growing edge of our relationship with you. That’s
what we should deal with, that thing that we don’t want you to touch. That dear and darling sin
that we don’t want to admit. Dear Lord.
Thank you Lord for showing us that you can only be Lord if you have control of everything. And now
Lord this repentance, Lord to stop some of these things seems impossible to us. And yet Lord, we
see that is true that on our own, of ourselves, there is no good thing that we can do and we cannot
stop these things on our own. But Lord, we believe you are dealing with us now because you can give
us grace to stop these things. And so Lord what you’re asking for is a determination on our part
that we will commit our wills wholly to obeying you in these concerns.
So Holy Spirit, will you show us if our repentance needs a change in our way of life even. Maybe a
change in our friends, our relationships, maybe a change even in our jobs, but assuredly a change in
our own attitudes. Show us if it needs apology to some loved one. Holy Spirit we know that here is
where you’re testing us. Are we really willing to forsake all for Jesus? Are we really willing to
face anything for him? Are we really so anxious to be God’s child that we’re willing to forgo all
pride, all opinion of men, all approval of ourselves?
Holy Spirit will you reveal to us what is involved in truly repenting of these sins and truly
stopping doing them, and making whatever things right that need to be made right? Holy Spirit help
us to see tonight that unless we have a full and a ready heart to forsake these things there will be
no New Birth for us. Help us to see that repentance is a complete turning around of our minds, a
complete changing of our attitudes.
Dear Spirit of Jesus, if you see any unwillingness in us will you convict us of it now? Enable us
to see if there’s any sin that we’re not willing to stop, whatever the cost. Dear Lord. Dear Lord.
Dear Lord. Then Lord Jesus we look to you. You are our only hope Lord. Unless you come into our
hearts and take over our lives, we are lost. Lord Jesus we know that we cannot ask you to come in
and dwell in the midst of the very sins that killed you. Lord we can only ask you to come in if
we’re willing to sweep this house clean and let you dwell alone, Lord of all. Lord Jesus, we invite
you dear Savior and dear friend, will you come in and will you take over our lives? And Lord,
whatever you want to do.
Lord Jesus, no longer my future and no longer my job but whatever you want me to do, that’s what I’m
willing to do Lord. Lord, whether at home or abroad, whatever you decide. Lord Jesus we want to be
real about that, if you gave your life unconditionally for us without asking, then Lord we see that
you’re asking us to give our life unconditionally to you without asking that it be lived in some
place or in some way. Lord Jesus, will you come in and be our friend and our Lord? And Lord Jesus
from this day forward we will make our first concern each morning our communion with you. Lord
Jesus you will be the first one we speak to. It is your dear word that we will soak ourselves in
each morning so that you may grow within us and make our lives a blessing and a delight to your
Lord Jesus, dear Lord I pray that any loved one who has welcomed you in will thank you for coming.
That they will never turn from you Lord again and will never ignore you again, and never put anybody
before you. And dear Lord I pray for any loved one here tonight who still needs to deal more deeply
with you that they will take these steps towards you in honesty, taking as much time as is needed to
settle things with you who have graciously begun to deal with them.
Lord, thank you that tonight if someone even has just begun to experience conviction of sin, thank
you for such a holy moment that they can be assured then that the God of the universe is beginning
to deal with them. Thank you, Lord. Thank you for that. Thank you for that first step. Thank you
for the last step.
Now dear Lord we commit ourselves into your hands for the things that you may want different ones of
us to do, some to go home and some to deal with you in our rooms tonight, some to deal in the prayer
room here or in the auditorium but Lord we would give ourselves to you and thank you for being here,
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.