≡ Menu

Transformed by Grace Session 1: The New Birth

This post includes the notes from the first workshop in a series titled “Transformed by Grace.” This workshop was first presented at Madison Park Church of God January 9, 2013 by Rev. Dr. R. Benton Ruth

Questions (to ask yourself) from this session:

  1. What is your PERSONAL definition of grace?
  2. What are the major HINDRANCES to your Spiritual growth?

Interpretation of Scripture

Interpreting God’s word as it was intended requires you, the reader, to consider these vital elements:

  • Context
  • Author
  • Content
  • Culture Time & Place in History
  • Covenant References
  • Audience Purpose
  • Meaning (language)
  • Biblical Interpretation (Hermeneutics)

Consider this information when reading this verse:

Luke 17:20-21 (NIV)

Additional Important Scriptures for this session:

Steps to Wholeness

Our series will help you gain Spiritual growth and wholeness. The main steps are outlined here:

  1. Called (Readiness)
  2. Surrender (Conviction)
  3. Freedom ( Salvation)
  4. Healing (Transformation)
  5. Maturing (Growth in Grace)
  6. Wholeness (Sanctified)

Covenantal Relationship with God

The greatest example I have ever read about mutual interaction with God comes from the writings of John Wesley in his sermon “The New Birth.” This is where our covenant with God starts. Wesley penned these words of majestic, Spiritual truth:

“It is then only when a person is born that we say that person begins to live… While a man is in a mere natural (carnal) state—before he is born of  God—he has eyes, in a Spiritual sense, and sees not… He has ears, but hears not; that person is utterly deaf to Spiritual truth. This other Spiritual senses are all locked up. Therefore, he has no knowledge of God, no intercourse (i.e. intimate exchange) with God; he is not at all acquainted with God. The person has no true knowledge of the things of God (or how God works within the human heart). Therefore, though he is a living man, he is a dead Christian. But, as soon as he is born of God, there is a total change. The eyes of his understanding are opened.

(This new creation in God) feels ‘the love of God shed abroad in his heart by the Holy Ghost which is given unto him.’ And all his Spiritual senses are then “exercised to discern” Spiritual ‘good and evil.’ By the use of these he is daily increasing in the knowledge of God, of Jesus Christ… And now he may properly be said to live: God having quickened him by his Spirit, he is alive to God through Jesus Christ. He lives a life which the world knows not of, a ‘life’ which ‘is hid with Christ in God.’ God is continually breathing , as it were upon his soul, and his soul is breathing unto God. Grace is descending into his heart, and prayer and praise are ascending to heaven. And by this intercourse between God and man, this fellowship with the Father and the Son, as by a kind of Spiritual respiration, the life of God in the soul is sustained; and the child of God grows up, till he comes to ‘the full measure of stature of Christ.’” (Eph. 4:13)

“To be fully human by Grace

as God designed,

Means to become fully Spiritual

as God desires.”

-Rev. Dr. R. Benton Ruth