A. T. Jones on the New Birth - Part 1

Posted Jun 30, 2013 by Allen Powell in Everlasting Gospel Hits: 3,002

I have been immensely blessed to see the connection of the Father and His Son to the message of Righteousness by Faith. As I learned that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ (along with being the Spirit of God), it naturally flows that His Spirit is the means that Christ lives in our hearts. The conversation that Christ had with Nicodemus where Christ states that Nicodemus (and all of us) must be born of the Spirit takes on a new significance. The new birth that we are encouraged to receive is no less than Christ making his home in our hearts, by His Spirit. I have also been intrigued to find that the pioneers included the new birth as #5 in the 1872 Statement of Beliefs. Why has the understanding of the new birth been lost to present day Adventism? Has the new birth been so trivialized by other faiths that we think it not necessary? The following is an editorial by A. T. Jones while he was editor of the Review and Herald. I was amazed at how powerfully the new birth was spoken of. I had never heard this perspective until recently. May the following bless you as it did me. Allen Powell, Sr.

"Editorial Note" The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald 76, 12 , p. 184.

IT is a glorious promise, and the divine truth, that when we "walk in the Spirit," we "shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh." Gal. 5:16.

But, you see, our not fulfilling the lust of the flesh depends altogether upon our walking in the Spirit. Do you walk in the Spirit?

Our walking in the Spirit also depends upon something yet back of this: "If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit." Gal. 5:25.

How can we walk in the Spirit unless we live in the Spirit? How can we walk at all unless we live?

There is suggested and emphasized the great truth that the first of all things is the life.

And in that is also suggested and emphasized the great truth that we must first be before we can do; we must first be something before we can do anything.

And what we are,—this itself decides what we will do.

When Jesus said, "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do," it was not a taunt. It was simply the statement of the truth. So long as any are such, they will do so: and it is impossible to do otherwise.

"Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit." "A good tree can not bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit." Matt. 12:44; 7:18.

So long, and just as certainly, as a person is a child of the wicked one, the lusts of his father will he do. And just as certainly as a person is a child of God, the virtues of his father will he show.

It all depends upon what you are. And what you are depends upon whose child you are. Look to your parentage: whose child are you?

Do you do evil things? Do you fulfil the lusts of the flesh?—It is all because of your parentage and birth. But do not be discouraged: get a new parentage; get a new birth. Then, being of a new parentage, being born again, being a new creature, being a child of God, you will "show forth the virtues of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light."

Nor is it enough to have been born again. We must be born again. It is well to have been born again, if we are born again. But for a person to have been born again, and yet he be not now born again,—this counts nothing.

No; "Ye must be born again." Ye must be that all the time. The new birth must be continued in all its newness and power. We must be born into newness of life,—larger experiences, new experiences, and greater grace, every day, and every hour of the day.

This is what it is to be born, in truth. "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature." 2 Cor. 5:17. Are you in Christ? If so, then you are a new creature. Not you were a new creature; but you are. And being a new creature, it is easy to do new things; indeed, new things are only what are done; for "old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."

Born of the Spirit, living in the Spirit, led of the Spirit, and walking in the Spirit, ye shall not fulfil the lusts of the flesh. This is Christian experience

"Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?" "Ask, and it shall be given you." "Every one that asketh receiveth." "Receive ye the Holy Ghost." "Be filled with the Spirit," "whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." . {March 21, 1899 ATJ, ARSH 184.17}

A.T. Jones, Editor, Advent Review and Sabbath Herald

A.T. Jones On the New Birth Part 2