A very warm welcome to the first teaching on this platform.
Milk and Meat is set to teach Believers who they are and also help them to establish their rights in Christ.
I hereby encourage that you follow this series with an open heart and I promise that it would not only be a good tool to disciple yourself and others to maturity with, but also a life changing experience in the way you see God’s word.
Let your testimonies be voiced all around the world, in Jesus name, amen.
Let us begin with this
Heb 6:1-2 (KJV)
1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God
2 of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
The afore mentioned things are what Paul called the PRINCIPLES of Christ’s doctrine, the Amplified version calls it “the ELEMENTARY stage in the teachings and doctrine of Christ” so I would not be in error to affirm that every believer should be well acquainted with these haven believed for some time.
However I have come to realize personally that very few amongst us can teach properly these basic principles and another handful have actually come to believe it themselves, so with that in mind I have decided to begin with the basics so that we can learn them, grow past them and move on to perfection.
I want to introduce and define some terms that I would be using in the course of this study and further studies at that, so no one gets lost along the way.
- CONTEXTUAL READING: this would probably appear as ‘IN CONTEXT’ most of the times. It is as the name implies, reading a thing in the context it appears. This would need a knowledge of the (PRE-TEXTS) texts before the verse in question and the (POST TEXTS) texts that appear after the verse in question to know what was being said in the present verse under study. This is done to eliminate error in interpreting the word of God because a lot of people have lifted off verses from the word to make it say things that it didn’t not say, even those with a clean heart. So most of the teachings we would be doing would have to be done looking at verses IN-CONTEXT
- INTERNAL EVIDENCE: this is when we use another chapter in the same book to explain the verse or chapter under study. It helps to connect both the writer’s way of understanding and also his tone and expertise in communicating. This helps us to curb error also as we would see.
- EXTERNAL EVIDENCE: as the name implies this comes to play when a totally different book from the one in study is used to explain for proper understanding. For example taking something from the book of Jude to explain what is being studied in the book of John. This is where the biblical “in the mouth of two or three witnesses” comes alive. However, this is also the point where the error of lifting verses out of context have readily occurred. So we would hereby get into the external evidences with our brains ready and our spirit alert and also make sure that the external evidence we are looking at is in context to begin with.
These three terms would help us as we study and if there be need to introduce another, it would be well defined too. Let’s move into the first study which would be;
#1. SALVATION (THE NEW BIRTH)
Our Key Scripture to study this would be the book of John chapter 3 we would run through verses 1 to 18 and I believe by the time we get to 18, somebody would have been transformed in mind.
JOHN 3 (KJV)
1.there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nichodemus, a ruler of the Jews.
2.the same came by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles thou doest, except God be with him…….
This Nichodemus came to Christ thinking He was one of the prophets, all he knew was that Christ was a teacher that came from God, but he was about to learn something crucial that night, look at Jesus’s next statement
…………3. Jesus answered and said unto him, verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
- Nichodemus saith unto him, how can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?…….
Let me first bring our attention to something. This man came seeking miracles and Jesus quickly turns his eyes to the new birth. Notice that Nichodemus was not a novice in the OLD BIRTH, he said exactly how it is achieved “you are born the first time from the womb” and Nichodemus was well aware of that, but he had no clue whatsoever on how the second birth was to occur, so from this point in the conversation all that Christ was trying to do is to teach a teacher of the law how the NEW BIRTH was to take place.
Let’s learn from Christ
………5. Jesus answered, verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God…..
Let us pause a little because this verse here has been exported to teach a lot of things one of which is water baptism. So let’s study it a bit. Quickly if this place was talking about being “born of water” to mean water baptism, it would defeat the teaching that Christ was doing.
Why did I say this? He was trying to explain how someone can be BORN OF THE SPIRIT, so if you take off your eyes from the lesson being taught, you are likely to slide into error.
I will hereby attempt to explain it in context and with external evidence to show what Christ meant by WATER in that verse.
To look in context Let us see the next verse
…..6. That which is born of the FLESH is flesh; and that which is born of the SPIRIT is spirit
- Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again
(Imagine the expression on Nichodemus’s face)
- The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit…….
And suddenly you do not see WATER mentioned again. Let us go back a bit, to where Christ was coming from (teaching a new type of BIRTH to someone who only knew how to be born of the FLESH) and where He was headed (to explain the birth by the SPIRIT) and those are the contrasts we see in verse 6.
So I would say here that water and the Spirit mentioned above is the same exact thing. It is like saying my Father, the President is coming tomorrow. If your father is the president it would be one person that would arrive and not two. But that doesn’t explain the words “and of” in the verse. We would come to that
How did I get that idea you ask? Well contextual reading explains it, but let us also take a look at an internal evidence
John 7:37-38 (KJV)
- in the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, if any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink
- He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water……
If you read this place and run off, be sure to run amiss, because all you are going to teach would be about water, but what did Jesus mean? See the very next verse
…….39. (But this spoke he of the Spirit, which they that BELIEVE on him should, receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given: because that Jesus was not yet glorified)
If I was to interpret verse 37 to be that Jesus said “come and receive the Holy Spirit” I would be correct now wouldn’t I? And, take note of the way the Sweet Holy Spirit is gotten, by BELIEVING ON HIM. That standard has not changed as yet, we would get to that. For now let us reconcile verse 5 with the teaching Christ was doing, this time we would need another witness, let us see what Paul has to say about the Sweet Spirit and drinking.
- for by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and hath been ALL made to DRINK into one SPIRIT
Look at Paul explain what Jesus was teaching, let us merge them together
There is a way you were BORN AGAIN, by the SPIRIT and everyone who is born again came to be so only BY THE SPIRIT. So it is the Spirit that birthed us into becoming the same BODY with Christ. Now that I have used both contextual readings and evidences to prove that WATER in JOHN 3:5 spoke of the Sweet Holy Spirit, let me now do what I should have done since.
If you get a Greek concordance and look up that verse the word translated “AND OF” in the verse is the word “KAI” and it is better translated as “WHICH IS”. Now put that back in the verse and it reads
…..5. Jesus answered, verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water which is the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God
And that verse has a whole new meaning to it, and need I say the accurate meaning also. I didn’t use this concordance because reading in context would have done good justice to it if we kept our minds out of the river and focused on the teaching at hand.
From this place, you will notice that Nichodemus now knows how the Spirit birth differs from the Flesh birth, but one question remained unanswered, HOW THEN DOES THE SPIRIT BIRTH TAKE PLACE? And he was a wise man, he asked questions. See what he said next
….9. Nichodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?….
How can one then come to have this Spirit birth? Jesus answered well. Please I need us to concentrate on this answer because it is the doctrine of SALVATION: that is how those that had been and would ever be born of the Spirit would get to be born.
….10. Jesus answered and said unto him, art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?
- Verily, Verily, I say unto thee, we speak what we do know and testify that we have seen: and ye receive not our witness.
- If I told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?
- And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the son of man which is in heaven…
These statements made here by Christ suggests the doubt rising from within Nichodemus, it is either the Spirit’s gift of the word of wisdom or a facial response that triggered this. Christ then had to take Nichodemus to what he was familiar with: THE LAW
….14. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:….
Christ went back to the scriptures to interpret a prophesy, this is what He affirmed in John 5:39 (KJV)
“39. Search the scriptures: for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”
This is a study we would do in time, because if you do not see the revelation of Christ in the scriptures (Genesis to Malachi) then you did not get something right, because Christ said they lack eternal life, they just testified of Him. Eternal life can only be found in Jesus. See John 17:3.
Also see the next verse
………15. That whosoever BELIEVETH IN HIM should not perish, but have eternal life.
Now this is how someone is BORN OF THE SPIRIT, BY BELIEVING IN JESUS, NOTHING MORE, NOTHING LESS.
You do not see a clause added to or removed from it, you have the Spirit once you believe that Christ came in the flesh to pay for your sins and give you His righteousness, and this birth is irrevocable, NO ONE CAN STEAL THE SPIRIT FROM YOU, NOT EVEN YOU YOURSELF. This would raise a lot of questions which I am well willing to answer, you would see links and contacts at the end of this study and you can also freely ask here as a comment.
Let us finish the study like this, I would use two different translations to end this study by putting up arguably the most widely read verse in the bible, accompanied by 2 other verses
JOHN 3:16-18 (KJV)
- For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever BELIEVETH in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
- For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
- He that BELIEVETH ON HIM IS NOT CONDEMNED: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
That was pretty clear and straight forward, believing, not good works, not bad works, not giving, not even evangelism… is the only thing that can get one saved or get one condemned. Let us look at another translation:
JOHN 3:16-18 (THE MESSAGE BIBLE)
16-18 “This is how much God loved the world: he gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust in him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-king Son of God when introduced to him.
EXACTLY!!!! That is how one can get saved and anyone who has believed has been birthed by the Spirit. Let us move on from this basics of salvation, and move on to maturity. And my prayer is that for everyone who will follow and practice these teachings, the eye of your understanding would be enlightened and if you endeavour to study, the word of God would dwell richly in your heart and in no time, you would be a work man who need not be ashamed for you would rightly divide the word of God with skills that would cause many to marvel.
Let us grow together,
YOUR SALVATION IS SURE.
Your brother in Christ, ucTRUTH. Grace is with you.
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God bless you.