Spiritual Renewal Pt 4 — Titus 3:3-8

J.C. Riley
Inspiration By New Creation Ministry — By J.C. Riley

ABOUT a year ago I visited an optometrist to have my eyes examined. I started with the usual tests where I had to cover one eye and name the letters I was looking at on each line. As the letters began to get smaller, I found it more difficult to accurately identify G from a C; E from F and D from B. Having had near perfect vision my entire life this was an uncomfortable realization. After I completed the tests, the doctor confirmed the obvious, I was slowly losing my eyesight. The good news was that she was able to provide me with a prescription for my first pair of eyeglasses that would help me manage the change I was experiencing. Although I thought my vision was in great shape the tests given by the optometrist revealed the true condition of my eyesight. This helped me to understand that apart from the Holy Spirit we see through a blurred lens but through the Holy Spirit our spiritual eyesight is restored.

The Holy Spirit is Present

In Genesis 3:1-3 we are told: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, let there be light: and there was light.” Notice that the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters before the word of God was spoken and before the hands of God formed. This is significant in that it highlights the valuable role of the Spirit in creation as well as in the operation of the Godhead. At the baptism of Jesus, Luke testified that the Holy Spirit “…descended on Him in bodily form like a dove and a voice came from heaven saying…” Luke 3:22. Here we see the Spirit at work before the word was spoken. Also, in Acts 1:4 Jesus told the disciples to “…wait for the promise of the Father which He said you have heard from Me.” The promise was fulfilled in Acts 2:4 when “They were all filled with the Holy Ghost and spoke with different languages.”

The Holy Spirit is Necessary for Re-Creation

The Spirit moved upon the face of the waters during the genesis (beginning, origin) of the earth. The Spirit moved upon Jesus during the genesis (beginning, origin) of His ministry. The Spirit moved upon the hearts of the disciples during the genesis (beginning, origin) of the church and the Spirit moves upon us in order to carry forward the work of recreating the image of God within us. In order to be born again we need the Spirit. In order to bear fruit of righteousness we need the Spirit. In order to walk by faith and not by sight we need the Spirit. Jim Feeney stated it well: “It is not by might nor by power or abilities of our own but by the spirit of God that we will live fruitful lives in the Lords service on this earth.” In Titus 3:5-7 it says: “He saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we have done, but because of His own compassion and mercy, by the cleansing of the new birth (spiritual transformation, regeneration) and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out richly upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that we would be justified [made free of the guilt of sin] by His [compassionate, undeserved] grace, and that we would be [acknowledged as acceptable to Him and] made heirs of eternal life [actually experiencing it] according to our hope (His guarantee).”

The Holy Spirit Regenerates Us

“Regeneration is the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit of granting spiritual life to dead sinners.” Matthew Barret

“Regeneration is that miracle of Divine grace wrought in the soul which enlists the affections Godward, which brings the human will into subjection to the Divine, and which produces a real and radical change in the life…from worldliness to godliness, from disobedience to obedience.” (1 John 2:3, 3:9, 4:7, 5:18)

A.W. Pink

As shared in the beginning, we are born in need of spiritual glasses because seeing the world through a carnal lens causes us to live out of harmony with the will of God. When Satan tempted Eve in Genesis 3 it was as though he told her: “Here, take these tinted shades and look at the world from my perspective.” The work of the Holy Spirit is similar to that of an optometrist who assesses our eyesight (beliefs, philosophies, etc.) through a series of tests and prescribes us the required prescription in order to re-create our vision.

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