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Humble Hero

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    The Mystery of the New Birth Explained

    Jesus continued, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” By nature the heart is evil. See Job 14:4. No human invention can find a remedy for the sinning soul. “The carnal mind is enmity against God.” “Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.” Romans 8:7; Matthew 15:19. The fountain of the heart must be purified before the stream can become pure. Those who try to reach heaven by their own works in keeping the law are attempting the impossible. The Christian’s life is not a modification of the old but a transformation of nature, a death to self and sin, and a new life altogether. This change can come about only by the Holy Spirit.HH 71.7

    Nicodemus was still perplexed, and Jesus used the wind to illustrate His meaning. “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”HH 72.1

    We hear the wind rustling the leaves and flowers, yet it is invisible. So with the work of the Holy Spirit on the heart. A person may not be able to tell the exact time or place or trace the process of conversion, but this does not prove that he is unconverted. By an agency as unseen as the wind, Christ is constantly working on the heart. Little by little, the Spirit makes impressions that tend to draw the heart to Christ. These may come through reading the Scriptures or hearing the Word from the living preacher. Suddenly, as the Spirit comes with more direct appeal, the heart gladly surrenders to Jesus. Many call this “sudden conversion,” but it is the result of long wooing by the Spirit of God—a patient, protracted process.HH 72.2

    Wind produces effects that we can see and feel. So the work of the Spirit on the heart will reveal itself in every act of the person who has felt its saving power. The Spirit of God transforms the life. We put away sinful thoughts and renounce evil deeds. Love, humility, and peace take the place of anger, envy, and strife. Joy takes the place of sadness. When by faith we surrender to God, the power that no human eye can see creates a new being in the image of God. We may know the beginning of redemption here, through personal experience. Its results reach through eternal ages.HH 72.3

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