By Elizabeth Prata
Before the Spirit came to them:
The Pharisees loved the chief seats (Matthew 23:6)
Diotrephes loved to put himself first. (3 John 1:9)
James and John wanted to sit at Jesus’ right and left hand. Mark 10:37.
Peter denied knowing Christ. (Mark 14:72).
After the Spirit came:
Pharisee Nicodemus donated in today’s dollars $150,000 in spices to bury Christ, publicly.
James and John labored well for Christ all their lives, boldly, courageously, doctrinally.
Peter boldly preached to the Gentiles, Jews, and faced down the Pharisees, accusing them of killing the Messiah. (Acts 5:30).
We never do find out what happened to Diotrephes. Without the Spirit, all his work for Jesus is in vain and will be rejected. The Spirit makes all the difference.
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. (2 Corinthians 5:17).
We see that new-ness in the above mentioned Bible people (except for Diotrephes). We should see that newness in anyone who converts, repents, and claims Christ. Their life pattern should be ever-upward-conforming to Christ. Conversion is a Triune activity, God set the plan into motion before the foundation of the world, Jesus effected it, and the Spirit applies it.