It begins with : Biblical regeneration is a birth by which the innermost part of man’s being, the deeply hidden spirit, is renewed and indwelt by the Spirit of God.
- It requires time for the power of this new life to reach the outside: that is, to be extended from the center to the circumference. Hence we cannot expect to find the strength of “the young men” nor the experience of “the fathers” manifested in the life of a child in Christ.
- Although a newly born believer may proceed faithfully, loving the Lord best and distinguishing himself in zeal, he still needs time for opportunities to know more of the wickedness of sin and self and occasions to know more of the will of God and the way of the spirit.
- However much he may love the Lord or love the truth, this new believer still walks in the realm of feelings and thoughts, not yet having been tested and refined by fire. A newly born Christian cannot help being fleshly. Though filled with the Holy Spirit, he nevertheless does not know/understand the flesh.
- The Bible does not expect new Christians to be spiritual instantaneously; if they should remain as babes after many years, however, then their situation is indeed most pitiful. Paul himself points out to the Corinthians that he had treated them as men of the flesh earlier because they were new born babes in Christ, and, that by now-at the moment of his writing them-they certainly should be growing into manhood They had instead frittered away their lives, remained as babes, and were thus still fleshly.
- The purpose of Christ’s redemption is to remove all hindrances to the Holy Spirit’s control over the whole person so that he can be made spiritual.
What then are the reasons for not growing? Perhaps there are two.
- On the one hand, it may be due to the negligence of -those that, watching over the souls of the younger believers, may only speak to them of the grace of God and of their position in Christ but neglect to encourage them to seek spiritual experience. (Nay, those who watch over others may themselves be ignorant of life in the Spirit. How then could such ones ever lead others into more abundant life?)
- On the other hand, it may be because the believers themselves are not keen on spiritual affairs. Either they assume that it is sufficient enough merely to be saved or they have no spiritual appetite or they simply are unwilling to pay the price for advancement. As a deplorable consequence the church is overstuffed with big babes.