Scripture reveals that becoming a follower of Christ is not just a matter of tradition. It is not about being born in a family, a particular country or ethnicity and therefore becoming one by virtue of association. On the contrary, Scripture shows that this is a conscious decision that one must personally make and in so doing, certain things must happen.
Yeshua (Jesus Christ) preached the message of repentance because the kingdom of God had arrived, Mark 1:15. He told Nicodemus that “unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God”, John 3:3.This means that to belong into or to enter the kingdom of God entails the spirit of a human being rejuvenated to conform to the will of God. It is personal and its entrance requirement is repentance and a spiritual rebirth.
Addressing the woman at the well Yeshua tells her, “—the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth. For the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit and those who worship Him must worship in Spirit and truth” John 4:123-24. This scripture reveals that there is a particular kind of worship that is acceptable to God. It is not about religious rituals and keeping rules and regulations but understanding the will of God.
This kind of worship can only happen if we are born again in spirit, in order to understand God, who is Spirit. Our connection comes through the Holy Spirit. Yeshua taught that if we loved Him and kept His commandments He would “pray the Father and He will give you another helper, that He may abider with you forever-the spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him, but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you” John 15:15-17.
The Holy Spirit is the very presence of God within us—helping us live as God wants us to. He guides us into all truths, John 16:13. Paul asks the believer to be transformed by the renewing of the mind, “that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” Romans 12:2. Only the Holy Spirit can renew, reeducate and redirect our minds to be truly transformed. He also shows us how to worship God “in spirit and truth”.
We receive Christ in our lives from a mindset of the world and we must be transformed in our thinking to be aligned to the mindset of the kingdom of God. The new person must think differently and act differently because of the presence of the Holy Spirit-who teaches, counsels, convicts and comforts.
Paul teaching about spiritual wisdom writes “—the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. —no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God” 1 Corinthians 2:10-12. The person without the Spirit of God cannot receive the things of God because “they are foolishness to him, nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” 1 Corinthians 2:14.
Such a person operates from his flesh or carnal nature and exhibits fruit that is contrary to the will of God, like adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, — murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like” Galatians 5:19-21.
The fruit of the person with the Spirit of God on the other hand is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control, Galatians 5:22-23. The person walking in the spirit is focused on God and manifests the attributes Christ promised His disciples like joy and peace.