Spiritual birth does not take place in this realm. It is a spiritual event tied to the Spirit Realm. You cannot pin it to a time-space location; it simply is or isn’t. It is a miracle entirely on God’s initiative. There is nothing in our human nature to allow us to so much as desire it, since we know instinctively it demands self-death. The issue for us is becoming aware of it as an eternal truth. Once we become aware of it, it becomes a life-long struggle to fight the fleshly nature that militates against facing that Flaming Sword of revelation.
Conversion is not spiritual birth. Conversion is a psychological event that takes place with a distinct historical association in this Fallen Realm. It is a human choice.
While these two may be tied together in your human awareness, do not mistake conversion for spiritual birth. This is the mistake with evangelical theology. It is a false definition of the term “born-again.” We have churches filled with converted people who are not spiritually alive. This is where the false definition arises. This is why churches struggle with worldliness; it’s why they cling to a cerebral religion of human effort.
The church should always have a certain portion of membership that is converted but not spiritually alive. Some are on the way to it, but most are simply religious without being genuinely spiritual. Making church too easy for the flesh aggravates this problem. The character of a church will tend to reflect that, especially when the organizing principle rests on the will of the body. Prayer doesn’t change things much, since prayer is for many people a cerebral exercise and trusts too much in sentiment.
This is why we have the Western mythology of the heart as a repository of sentiment and emotion, versus the truth that the heart is the repository of convictions, the one part of us that connects to the Spirit Realm. If there is no resurrected spirit on the other side of the heart, then all that’s left is sentiment in the heart. It feels and acts rather like conviction, but there is no connection to eternity.
And there will always be a large number of people out there who belong in church but haven’t yet become aware of it. These are people marked in Heaven for redemption, but God alone knows why that awareness hasn’t hit them.
Our part in this is to live the Word. We recognize that “the Word of God” is synonymous with His divine will, His revelation, His Son Jesus Christ, and with Biblical Law. It’s not Law as legislation, but Law as an expression of His divine moral character. It’s a living body of spiritual truth that resides in Heaven as an aspect of God, and is reflected in the fabric of Creation, and takes shape in our souls because we can read and understand Scripture. We are designed for an interplay between mind and heart, with the latter standing as proxy for God as owner, and the former as the executive who executes the mission.
The Great Commission no longer means sending missionaries to spiritually darkened corners of the world. It meant that during the first few centuries after Christ’s time on this earth, but the news of Jesus Christ is no longer news to any part of the human race. What’s news is the much better understanding of Jesus in the context of His own culture and intellectual traditions. The problem is a Westernized gospel message is false. So it’s not a matter of getting out and telling them; they’ve been told. It’s a matter of showing them because they don’t understand that what they’ve been told isn’t quite the truth. Instead of insisting on arguing with what missionaries have said, we simply demonstrate the truth and let it speak for itself.
In the Covenant of Radix Fidem, we agree together that the emphasis isn’t “getting saved.” The emphasis is living the Biblical Law so that folks can be awakened; it’s part of the larger task of claiming our divine heritage. Walking in Biblical Law (AKA, walking in Christ) awakens a spiritual awareness in those who are eternally marked for redemption. The timing is in God’s hands, but the method is eternal. It’s always been like this, starting in the Garden of Eden, and it’s the more critical now that we are outside Eden. We obey revelation; we breathe life into it and God uses that as the vehicle for His divine touch. When people become aware of our witness, it speaks to something inside of them whether their intellect notes it or not.
A fully conscious awareness results in a conversion experience, but that may take place very slowly over a long period of time. Awareness is an artifact of time and space, but the truth of being chosen by God is eternal. There is no way we’ll ever understand how folks are chosen or not chosen, so we don’t bother trying to explain. What we do understand is that the Elect can be awakened to their status with God if we simply walk in Biblical Law.
So claim the fullness of your divine heritage. Live fully heart-connected to Creation and obey your convictions. Harvest the Spiritual Fruit of obedience, all the blessings of shalom just waiting there for you to claim. Catching the attention of folks who also belong to that shalom is part of that.