A Person Cannot Change Until They Are Regenerated
By David J. Stewart | August 2017
Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
We learn from our text passage of Scripture, that we live the Christian life the same way we are saved... BY FAITH! That means an unsaved person cannot live by what they don't posses yet. Right? How can an unsaved person, who has no faith in the Lord, live by faith? They cannot! Thus, it is not reasonable nor Biblical to require a person to turn away from sins to be saved. No one can turn away from sins until they have the indwelling Holy Spirit to empower them to do so.
Every Christian has the Holy Spirit of God living inside (indwelling) them. 1st Corinthians 3:16-17, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” When you attend church, you are going inside a mere building. The true temple of the Holy Spirit is the body of every believer. Romans 8:9, “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” No unsaved person has the Holy Spirit living inside them, not for one second.
Thus, only a born-again believer can reasonable be expected to overcome sin in their life. An unsaved person may exercise personal discipline and live a moral life, but it won't be motivated by the Holy Spirit. As believers we try to live righteously because we are saved, and we have the Lord's Spirit living through us, as our text verse teaches. Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” 2nd Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
This wonderful truth evidences the fallacy of wrong repentance for salvation. To expect a lost sinner to commit to reforming their life, as a prerequisite to salvation, is utterly impossible. There can be no reformation until their has first been regeneration!!! It is the indwelling Holy Spirit that changes a person's life once they are saved, and not manmade repentance from sins (which is a false Gospel message that is becoming increasingly popular in the churches today). We are saved by faith alone in the Good News of Jesus Christ crucified, buried and risen. Anyone who admits they are a guilty sinner in the sight of our holy God, and BY FAITH (TRUST) receives Christ's sacrifice on the cross as full-payment for their sins, believing that He was buried and physically raised up the third day, is immediately, irrevocably and forever saved! It is that simple to be saved.
But dear reader, please do not make the error of thinking that your life must change to prove that you're really saved. One of the biggest Satanic lies being told in churches today, is that if you're behavior hasn't changed, you didn't repent and so they say you're not saved. That is a lie of the Devil. When you get saved, the ONLY thing that you automatically get is the indwelling Holy Spirit. I've heard some foolish preachers, like Pastor R.A. Torrey, say that where there is fire there is smoke. Torrey says that a Christian cannot keep it a secret from the world. But dear friend, the Bible says you CAN keep it a secret. John 19:38, “And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus.” You can be a redeemed child of God and keep it a secret. John 12:42-43 says that many of the chief rulers believed on Jesus (i.e., they were born-again), but they did not confess Him for fear of the Pharisees. The wicked Pharisees threatened to kick anybody out of the synagogue who confessed the name of Jesus. Spiritually speaking, where there is fire there is not always smoke!
And only then, can God's indwelling Holy Spirit begin to change that person, empowering them to overcome lustful temptations and sin. Galatians 5:22-25, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
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