Summary: Suppose I’ve bee born again as a Christian. This means I have believed that part of the gospel (God’s words) that told me that the sinless Jesus died in my place for my past sins and then rose again a victor over that death.
Every Christian must learn to be led by the Spirit; what does it mean?
First; why is being filled with and led by the Holy Spirit so crucial to every Christian?
Rom 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
Suppose I’ve bee born again as a Christian. This means I have believed that part of the gospel (God’s words) that told me that the sinless Jesus died in my place for my past sins and then rose again a victor over that death. Only because of what Jesus did, God offered me forgiveness for those past sins and I have believed, with my heart, that I am forgiven. The instant I believed God’s words, my spirit, or as the Bible often refers to it my heart, was made clean from sin. And so it was that part of me, my spirit or my heart, which was born again. The other two parts of me, my sinful flesh or human nature, and my soul, consisting mainly of my will, were not born again, only my spirit or heart was made new.
Ezek 36:26 I will give you a new heart and (hence) put a new spirit within you…
Jesus is now my Savior from the penalty for my sins; but now He wants to become, and it is imperative for me to let Him become, my Lord. Simply put, this means for Him to have complete and total rule over my life. This requires an irrevocable decision of my will or soul. Before being born again my will was dominated by my human nature which is full of sin and was under the influence of the god of this world, Satan. Spiritually, I was his child. In order for Jesus to become my Lord and for me to live as a son of God I must make an absolute surrender of my will to God, meaning I intend to always obey Him in all things.
The moment I do this I am asking God to become my Lord, and God’s Spirit, the Holy Spirit, enters into and fills my spirit. To be filled with the Spirit of God simply means to be under the direct influence and control of the Holy Spirit. Prior to this my spirit only contains those of God’s words that I have truly believed including those by which I was born again:
1 Pet1:23 Being born again…by the word of God… KJV
Luke 11:13 (Jesus)…How much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him (and we only ask sincerely if we are fully surrendered).
If we choose not to totally submit our wills to God, who purchased us back from the Devil, so that our spirits can become filled with (under the influence of) the Holy Spirit, then we remain what the Bible calls “carnal Christians”. These are born again Christians whose wills – their choices and decisions – continue to be dominated by their own sinful human nature and subject therefore increasingly to the influence of the Devil. They are without the Holy Spirit, and if their condition does not change the Bible makes it clear that their new born spirits will eventually die and consequently they will spend eternity with the damned.
Rom 8:6-7 (To Christians) To be controlled by human nature results in death; to be
TEV controlled by the (Holy) Spirit results in life and peace. And so a person becomes an enemy of God when he is controlled by his human nature…
Rom 8:9-13 But you do not live as your human nature tells you to; instead, you live
TEV as the Spirit tells you to — if, in fact, God's Spirit lives in you. Whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to Him (though born
again)…For if you live according to your human nature, you are going to die; but if by the Spirit you put to death your sinful actions, you will live.
Secondly; given now I’ve surrendered to God, how do I learn to be led by the Holy Spirit?
To this point in my life virtually all of my decisions have been taken on the basis of information I received through my five physical senses (sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell) and the reasoning ability of my natural (or carnal) mind to process that information. That’s what living according to my human nature means. By submitting my will to God I am about to learn an entirely new and heavenly way of living, in which what my natural eyes see, my natural ears hear and the reasoning of my brain no longer dictate my decisions:
Rom 8:16 For His Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts (or spirits)… TLB