The Born Again Experience
Lesson 4

Early on the morning of October 19, 1864, a Confederate force under General Jubal A. Early, made a surprise attack on contingents of the Army of the Shenandoah, under the command of General Philip H. Sheridan. Under cover of the predawn darkness, and taking advantage of a fog that veiled their movement, Confederate forces quickly advanced as far as Middletown, Virginia. Meanwhile, Sheridan, who had been absent from the front on official business, upon learning what was taking place, made a rapid ride that was to later become famous. Rejoining his retreating troops, he rode rapidly to the front, where he rallied his men, and in an amazing turnaround, succeeded in breaking the Confederate lines, driving them back and winning a decisive victory.

Sheridan brought no reinforcements with him. How, we might ask, could the presence of one soldier, more or less, make such a profound difference in the outcome of the contest? The answer is found in the strength and leadership of that soldier. By his presence, Sheridan was able to transform a quaking mob into an efficient fighting machine, and thereby change the entire course of the battle. They were inspired by his spirit; made strong in his strength.

1. What is Christ’s assurance to us?

John 16:33 (last part)
John 16:33 (last part)

2. What does the apostle tell us is the significance of Christ’s victory?

1 Peter 2:21-22
1 Peter 2:21-22

Note: If Christ is to be our example, not only is it of importance to us that He overcame Satan’s temptations on every point, but the manner in which He met these temptations becomes of special significance when we consider that His experience is to be that of the every true believer. As we saw in our last lesson, in meeting each temptation, Christ met the tempter by quoting Scripture.

3. What must we do if we are to share in eternal life?

John 3:3
John 3:3

4. How is this accomplished in our lives?

1 Peter 1:23
1 Peter 1:23

Note: Many speak of a born again experience who have but a superficial understanding of the Word, but the true born again experience comes through an understanding and acceptance of God’s Word, not a flight of feeling or a mere ascent to historical facts. Believing on Christ is more than a mental assent to the facts surrounding His life and the work He accomplished on our behalf. These facts even the devils recognize, but it has no saving power for them as it works no change. See James 2:19–20.

5. What does the Psalmist tell us is the secret to overcoming sin?

Psalm 119:11
Psalm 119:11

6. What was his protection against falling into the path of the destroyer?

Psalm 17:4
Psalm 17:4

7. Who do we find revealed in the Scriptures?

John 5:39
John 5:39

8. How does seeing Jesus work a change in us?

2 Corinthians 3:18
2 Corinthians 3:18

9. In Christ, what do we become?

2 Corinthians 5:17
2 Corinthians 5:17

10. Into whose image is the new man conformed?

Colossians 3:10
Colossians 3:10

Note: It is a law of our nature that we become like that on which we continually feed our mind. If earthly attractions are our great interest, our characters become conformed to the world. If, however, we continually feed on the Word, beholding there the character of Jesus, our character is changed into the same image; and when this is accomplished, we reflect, as in a mirror, the glory of the Lord. That is, the character of the one who thus beholds Christ is so like His, that one looking at him sees Christ’s own character shining out as from a mirror. Imperceptibly to ourselves, we are changed day by day from our own ways and will into the ways and will of Christ, into the loveliness of His character. Thus we grow up into Christ, and unconsciously reflect His image. See 2 Corinthians 3:18.

11. What did Christ tell His followers that each must do?

Matthew 16:24
Matthew 16:24

12. When we have been crucified with Christ, who then lives in us?

Galatians 2:20
Galatians 2:20

Note: Here is the secret of our strength. It is Christ, the One to whom all power in Heaven and earth is given, living in us who does the work. The soldiers of Alexander were reckoned invincible. Why? Was it because they were naturally stronger and more courageous than all their enemies? No; but because they were led by Alexander. Their strength was in his leadership.

13. What does John tell us overcomes the world?

1 John 5:4 (first part)
1 John 5:4 (first part)

Note: Faith lays hold on the arm God, and His mighty power does the work. How the power of God can work in a man, accomplishing that which he could not possibly do for himself, no one can tell. It would be as easy to tell how God can give life to the dead.

14. To what did Jesus liken the working of the Spirit in the born again person?

John 3:8
John 3:8

Note: How the spirit works in a man to subdue his passions, and to make him victorious over pride, envy, and selfishness, can be as easily explained as the working of the wind; it is sufficient for us to know that it is done, and will be done in everyone who wants that above all else, and who trusts God for the accomplishment of it.

15. What is the gospel able to do for even our thoughts?

2 Corinthians 10:3–5
2 Corinthians 10:3–5

16. What is God’s promise concerning His Word?

Isaiah 55:10-11
Isaiah 55:10-11

17. What assurance has God given to those who seek to do His will?

2 Peter 2:9
2 Peter 2:9

18. What is His promise concerning the angels?

Psalm 34:7
Psalm 34:7

Note: As we exercise living faith in Jesus, seeking to bring our lives into conformity with His revealed will, we need have no fear of being overcome in the conflict, for heavenly angels encamp round about us.

19. How are all things upheld?

Hebrews 1:1–3
Hebrews 1:1–3

Note: It is not only the worlds, but all things that are held in place by the Lord. No more certainly does the word of the Lord hold everything in the vast universe in its place than it is true that the Christian is upheld and kept on a right course by the word of the Lord.

20. How do we reveal in this world that we are in Christ?

1 John 4:17
1 John 4:17

It is our responsibility to place ourselves in close connection with Christ, by fervent, believing prayer, and a study of His Word. For our part of the contract we are responsible. For the rest we are to trust the One who knows and understands what will best help us in our endeavors to do His will. If we are determined not to be separated from the source of our strength, Jesus will be just as determined to be at our right hand to help us.

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