“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” Romans 8:14
Among New Testament teachers Jesus was the first to declare our need for a rebirth. We tend to have the idea or attitude that babies are somehow in better spiritual condition than anyone else. But this is, according to scripture, simply not the case. The most we could assert is that they’re inexperienced. That they don’t have a track record that could be pointed to. Other than that, infants, like all people, have a sinful, rebellious nature and they need to be born again.
But even after you’re born again, and you have a different nature living inside you, the transformation isn’t complete. In Romans 7 the Apostle Paul points out that we have two natures at work inside us one leading us to want to do righteousness and the other sin. The result is that even after we’ve been born again we still must choose to, day by day, minute by minute, step by step, be led by the Holy Spirit.
You see God wants US to be different. It’s not enough that, at some point of desperation, we choose to let God come in and take complete control and then ever after become puppets or automatons directed by God. All that would amount to is God showing us what righteousness would look like if it was done by someone with our faces. Jesus would still be the only righteous person and we already know that he’s righteous. Part of the goal of salvation is to truly restore us and make us righteous and that means that after we’re born of the Spirit we need to be led by the Spirit.
Theologians have named the new birth and the process of being led by the Spirit; justification and sanctification respectively, and both are essential parts of the work of salvation. Justification gives us a nature capable of hearing and following the Spirit’s leading. But capacity isn’t enough we must actually do what we’re capable of for any benefit to be received. That’s why Paul qualifies the pronouncement that we’re children of God with the words, “as many as are led by the Spirit of God.”
So whose leading? You or the Spirit? If your desire is be a child of God you have to surrender the lead and follow the Spirit