2:1 And you [hath he quickened], who were dead in trespasses and sins: 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 2:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. Ephesians 2:1-3 (Emphasis supplied).
The moment we surrender to the Holy Spirit’s conviction of sin and righteousness we are quickened or made alive by the power of the Holy Spirit. Before then we were spiritually dead (v.1), spiritual things were foolish to us because our mind was controlled by the desires of our flesh (v.3) which is controlled by the prince of this world (v.2). It takes the power of the Holy Spirit to convict us sin (that life in the flesh is slavery and death because we are by nature the children of wrath) and righteousness (that our only hope of deliverance is by faith in Jesus’ righteousness). Those who surrender to the Holy Spirit’s conviction of sin and righteousness are quickened because the Holy Spirit has our permission to perform the miracle He performed on Mary, the mother of Jesus. Notice what we are told in Luke 1:34&35:
1:34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 1:35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. (Emphasis supplied).
This is how we are born again and it is also why we are told in II Corinthians 5:17 &18:
5:17 Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 5:18 And all things [are] of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; (Emphasis supplied).
The born again experience makes all things new because now all things are about God and God alone. We do not try to split our service between God and mammon our single purpose is to serve God by doing the ministry of reconciliation 24/7. Verses 19-21 tell us what that ministry entails and how it is accomplished:
5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech [you] by us: we pray [you] in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. 5:21 For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (Emphasis supplied).
The ministry of reconciliation is the preaching of the gospel which in essence is witnessing to the fact that Jesus died for our sins so we could be reconciled to God through His righteousness working in us (v. 21). This is why Colossians 1:27-29 says:
1:27 To whom God would make known what [is] the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: 1:28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: 1:29 Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily. (Emphasis supplied).
Both II Corinthians 5:17-21 and Colossians 1:27-29 tell us that in order to do the ministry of reconciliation and preach the gospel with power Jesus must be living in us and working out His perfection in us (v.29). Therefore, the more we do the ministry of reconciliation the more Jesus will do His perfecting work in us: The more Jesus does His perfecting work in us the more He will change our character from sinful (#6) to righteous (#7): The more Jesus changes our character from sinful (#6) to righteous (#7) the more we receive God’s seal (#7) in our forehead.
This process of receiving God’s seal (#7) in our forehead is the result of the Holy Spirit’s convicting work of judgment and it is guaranteed as long as we abide in Jesus. This is why we are told in I John 1:5-7
1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. (Emphasis supplied).
The way to abide in Jesus is to walk in the light of the Holy Spirit’s convicting work of judgment which continues to reveal to us how much our flesh is controlled by the prince of this world (see John 16:11). In I John 1:8-10 we are told what we must do in order to walk in the light the Holy Spirit sheds through judgment:
1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (Emphasis supplied).
So in summary, the work of judgment is the process that God uses to cleanse us from all sin: It is how He changes the number of our characters from #6 (sinful flesh) to #7 (Christ’s righteousness in us).
Next week we are going to look at what commandment is kept as a result of our daily surrender to the Holy Spirit’s convicting work of judgment. Until then I leave you with this portion of scripture to ponder and pray over:
20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 20:9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 20:10 But the seventh day [is] the sabbath of the LORD thy God: [in it] thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that [is] within thy gates: 20:11 For [in] six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them [is], and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. Exodus 20:8-11 (Emphasis supplied).