Cause & Effect

The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

John 3:8

We have already seen that the new birth is not something we accomplish by an act of will or decision. The new birth is something that happens to us. The Holy Spirit works by His own sovereign power without man’s help or means and raises us to spiritual life from our condition of death in trespasses and sins.

I should also note here that the new birth occurs the same way for every child of God. Some are not born with the means of prayer or preaching and others not. All are born again the exact same way. The believer is born again the same way as the infant who dies pre-born or the person who never had the ability to understand any form of human communication.

Belief does not cause the new birth nor is our faith instrumental in bringing it about. Our faith is given to us when we are born again. Therefore, it cannot be a cause or an instrument in it. Further, we are not born again when we believe the gospel. The new birth makes it possible for us to be a believer!

Before we are born again, we are only natural creatures operating with natural understanding. We cannot understand spiritual things.

Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

1st Corinthians 2:13-14

We don’t understand spiritual things just because we study better than other people. That was the very problem with the doctrine of Nicodemus and the Pharisees. We can only understand spiritual things after the Holy Spirit begins dwelling in us in the new birth.

Just like you can only see the effects of wind, you can only see the effects of the new birth. Our belief is an effect, not a cause.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

John 5:24

Belief is an evidence that person already has (hath) everlasting life. Their belief is proof that they have already passed from a state of spiritual death to being spiritually alive by the new birth.

Belief in the gospel of Jesus Christ is not the cause of eternal salvation or of the new birth. However, it is probably one of the clearest evidences that a person has been saved by the sovereign grace of God. But the scriptures do point to other evidences as well.

Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: but in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

Acts 10:34-35

We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren.

1st John 3:14a

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