The first and invariable result of the new birth, according to Christ, is ‘sight’ (John 3:4). By this rebirth an individual comes to belong to the number of whom it is written: ‘They shall all be taught by God’ (John 6:45). He possesses an enlightenment which sets apart the teaching of God from all the teaching of men; for this person the promise ‘You shall know the truth’ is a reality (John 8:32).

This is not to say that becoming a Christian is primarily a change of opinion: it is far more profound. The Christian has received a new nature. Included in that nature is a capacity for truth, an affinity with truth, and a love for truth. He has been given ‘the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive’ (John 14:17), with the result that his understanding of salvation no longer depends upon himself or upon the thinking of other men: ‘But the anointing which you have received of Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you’ (1 John 2:27). ‘He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself’ (1 John 5:10). What Jesus said to Peter is therefore true of every Christian, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven’ (Matt. 16:17). Or, as Paul wrote to believers at Ephesus, ‘You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord’ (Eph. 5:8).

On the basis of these facts, the New Testament shows that one sure test of a Christian profession is how that person reacts to the Scriptures. Unregenerate men not only do not receive God’s Word but they have no moral ability to do so. By nature they are at enmity both against God and against his truth. ‘The natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him’ (1 Cor. 2:14). (What Is The Gospel?)

Iain Murray