Chapter II


The New Birth

As soon as the Holy Spirit sees that the soul is willing to believe the truth about God, He enables it to do so by begetting it a new spirit. Spiritual things are only discerned by spirit, and therefore the Lord told Nicodemus that what he needed was not teaching, but a living spirit. The body and spirit might be compared to a couple of radio sets for receiving and transmitting, the one tuned into the seen world, the other to the unseen: the soul being entirely dependent upon them for contact with either world. A room may be filled with all kinds of music, plays, talks from all over the world: yet its occupants are in complete ignorance of the fact, since they have never possessed or even heard of a wireless set! So it is with both spiritual and natural things. The world is full of sounds, but this one is ignorant of them as he was born deaf: in a similar way, heaven is shut to the man whose spirit is dead, since he has lost that part which alone can receive impressions from the spiritual world; and his one overwhelming need is that this part should be restored, i.e., born again, so that once more he may be in contact. (Jn. 3:5, I Cor. 2:14.)

The more the radio is used the wider the knowledge of the outside world. There are those who might be said to live at their radio: we are expected likewise to live in the spirit! Some radios have a wider range and more perfect reception than others: so the spirit of Christ is more sensitive than the spirit of a servant and opens to us a much wider range of understanding of spiritual realities. (Rom. 8:15.)

N.B. 1. It is the spirit which is born again, not the soul; the soul, which has already lived in the human family, is adopted into the Royal Family of God, and has to learn how to live in its new surroundings. (John 3:1-8, Eph. 1:5, 4:11-16, Rom. 6:15-23, Gal. 4:6, II Peter 1:4, I Tim. 3:15, II Cor. 3:18.)

N.B.2. That which a Son of God receives at his new birth is not the Holy Spirit Himself, but that which is born of Him, holy spirit. The Holy Spirit Himself is normally given through the