Not only does God make our identity, desires, thoughts, feelings, and relationships new, but He also gives us a new supernatural power to live a new life by His enablement. This new power is the indwelling power of God the Holy Spirit in the born again Christian.
This is why Jesus called the Holy Spirit “the Helper”72 and our teacher.73 Through His teaching and by His power, God the Holy Spirit empowers us so that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 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…. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him…. So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.74
This new power of God the Holy Spirit means that a regenerated person continually repents of sin in order to be filled with the Holy Spirit.75 To be filled with the Holy Spirit is a word picture in the New Testament taken from the world of sailing. Just as a ship opens its sail so that it might be filled with the wind and powerfully driven toward a destination, Spirit-filled, regenerated Christians have their mind, heart, and will open to the things of God and welcome God’s powerful direction of their life toward His purposes.
Lastly, this new power of the Holy Spirit, which accompanies regeneration, means that God helps us to live holy lives and, in fact, desires to enable us to obey Him. In this way, regeneration is the opposite of religion. Tragically, religion teaches that if we obey God, He will love us. However, regeneration reveals that because God loves us, we can obey Him by the power He gives us to do so.
In what ways have you experienced God’s power at work in your life?
- John 14:26; 16:7.
- John 16:13.
- Rom. 8:4–13.
- Eph. 5:18.