Tag: born again

Thankful for new birth!

Scripture reading for June 22nd:  Psalms 84-87

Key Scriptures:  Psalm 87:5-7 “Indeed, of Zion it will be said, “This one and that one were born in her, and the Most High Himself will establish her.”  The Lord will write in the register of the peoples: “This one was born in Zion.”  As they make music they will sing, “All my fountains are in you.””

God’s people had great joy at being registered as a citizen of Zion, God’s holy city! They believed that God kept a register of those born in Zion.  They sang and worshiped God because of their names written in God’s holy Book!  All who believe on Jesus Christ and are “born again” can rejoice that their names are written in that holy Book!

Rejoicing in God’s Holy Register:  “He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white.  I will never blot his name from the book of Life, but will acknowledge his name before My Father and His angels.  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”  (Revelation 3:5-6)

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Out with the old, in with the new!

Scripture reading for November 27th: 2nd Corinthians 1-5

Many Christians don’t realize who they really are in Christ.  They struggle with low self-esteem and feelings of inferiority. They try to be different and keep the rules or commandments but always fail or fall short. “Try harder!” some well-meaning saints encourage!   But the harder they try, the more frustrated they become. The secret is in knowing who we are in Christ.

When we are truly ‘born again’, we are transformed inside by the Holy Spirit into ‘new creations’. (John 3:3-8) (2nd Corinthians 5:17)   As God blew breath into Adam and he became a living being, so God’s breath comes into us by the Holy Spirit!  We haven’t  added a new set of rules to live by.  Our life is brand new at it’s core, in our heart and spirit! We now have an eternal relationship with Father, Son (Jesus Christ) and Holy Spirit.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!  All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.  And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation.  We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us.  We implore you on Christ’s behalf:  Be reconciled to God.  God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2nd Corinthians 5:17-21

We have a new identity!  The new creation that is formed in us by the Holy Spirit is reconciled to God.  We are no longer cut off from Him by sin.  God did this work of reconciliation at the cross.  He put our sins on His Son and He paid the penalty. We are adopted into God’s family and given the task of appealing to others on Christ’s behalf.   Our position is “ambassador” of Christ.  We are to implore men and women to be reconciled to God.  We have a divine purpose and our identity is found in Christ.

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Deception: Words and deeds don’t match!

Scripture reading for December 3rd: 1st John 3:7-24

There is good and evil in the world we live in.  John, writing to the churches under his oversight, warned the believers about being deceived by the false teachers who would try to get them to twist the concepts of what was good and what was evil.  This practice is going on in the church, even today!

“Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray.  He who does what is right is righteous, just as He  is righteous.  He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning.  The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.  No one who has been born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning because he has been born of God.” (1st John 3:7-9)   When a person has been truly ‘born again’, the desire to sin is replaced by a desire to live for God.  The seed of God’s word has brought a ‘new creation’ into being.  This is why Jesus came.  He destroyed the devil’s work of sinning at it’s source: man’s heart.

When a person is truly ‘born again’, actions and attitudes change.  Instead of doing evil and choosing to live in sin, that person now begins to choose what is righteous and pleasing to God.   This change will not be loved or accepted by those still in the world and doing evil.  John cites Cain and Abel as an example.  Cain killed his brother because his brother’s actions were righteous while his own were evil.  (1st John 3:11-15)  We know Cain was of the Evil One because he murdered his brother.  No murderer has eternal life in them.  Actions must change when we are born of God by faith in Christ!.

“Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” (1st John 3:18)  John’s exhortation to these believers is good for us today.  We must not just give lip service to the truth.  If we are really God’s children, we must show it by living a righteous life.  We must take the truth of God’s word that we know and apply it in our daily living.  If we are not doing this, we are under deception.  Faith and deeds must match!

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Born of the Spirit!

Scripture reading for May 3rd: John 3:1-22

To a Pharisee named Nicodemus, Jesus said,  “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”  “How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked.  “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!”  Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.  Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.  You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’  The wind blows wherever it pleases.  You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going.  So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” (John 3:3-8)

This famous passage in John’s Gospel has been helpful for many people in coming into the kingdom of God.  Jesus had an exchange with Nicodemus, a Pharisee and a member of the Sanhedrin.  Nicodemus had heard Jesus speak and saw some of His miracles and knew that Jesus was a man who had God with Him.  Jesus told Nicodemus that in order for anyone to see the kingdom of heaven, he must be born again.

Nicodemus tried to reason how he might be born again.  It was absurd to think that a grown man could again enter his mother’s womb and go through the birth experience again.  Jesus helped this man by telling him about being born of the Spirit as well as by water.  Natural birth comes when the water breaks and the child comes forth.  Natural birth brings out the flesh and a human beings are born with a sin nature that is in rebellion against God.   In Psalm 51: 5-6 , David stated that he was sinful from conception and born with sin.  Jesus was implying that Nicodemus should have known this from his study of the Scriptures!

The Spirit gives new life to a human being.  When we repent and believe on Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit enters our inner man and dwells there, marking us as belonging to God.  (Ephesians 1:13-14)  The Holy Spirit brings the “God nature” into our spirit.  Jesus said we must be born again.  It is not an option!  Have you been born of the Spirit?

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The living stones!

Scripture reading for November 23rd: 1st Peter 1:13-2:12

Peter’s name meant ‘rock’ or ‘stone’.  Peter was told by Jesus after he confessed Him as the Christ, Son of the Living God, that on “this rock I will build My Church.”  (Matthew 16:18)  Jesus as the Son of the Living God was the “Living Stone” that was the cornerstone of the new temple of the new covenant.  In today’s reading from Peter’s epistle, we have further insight on this new temple.

“Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.  As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.  But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”” (1st Peter 1:13-15)  Peter reminded these believers that they had been born again into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  (1st Peter 1:3)  This new birth was a gift of grace from God but would bring about changes in thinking and actions.   God called His children to obedience and conformity to His will and purposes.  Foremost is the requirement of holiness.  Holiness is the perfect character of God worked out in our thinking and lives.

“Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.  For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.” (1st Peter 1:22-23)  This new birth comes through the Living God’s living Word.  The word for ‘seed’ is the Greek word for ‘sperm’!  His word in us bring His life and character into us!

“As you come to Him, the Living Stone–rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to Him–you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (1st Peter 2:4-5)  The ‘Living Stone, ‘ Jesus Christ is also the ‘Living Word’.  When we are born again, we become ‘living stones’ that God is using to build His new temple.  Like Peter, the ‘stone’, we confess that Jesus is the Christ, Son of the Living God!  On that confession, God builds His church!

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Born of the Spirit

Scripture reading for May 3rd: John 3:1-22

To a Pharisee named Nicodemus, Jesus said,  “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”  “How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked.  “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!”  Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.  Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.  You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’  The wind blows wherever it pleases.  You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going.  So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” (John 3:3-8)

This famous passage in John’s Gospel has been helpful for many people in coming into the kingdom of God.  Jesus had an exchange with Nicodemus, a Pharisee and a member of the Sanhedrin.  Nicodemus had heard Jesus speak and saw some of His miracles and knew that Jesus was a man who had God with Him.  Jesus told Nicodemus that in order for anyone to see the kingdom of heaven, he must be born again.

Nicodemus tried to reason how he might be born again.  It was absurd to think that a grown man could again enter his mother’s womb and go through the birth experience again.  Jesus helped this man by telling him about being born of the Spirit as well as by water.  Natural birth comes when the water breaks and the child comes forth.  Natural birth brings out the flesh and a human being is born with a sin nature and are in rebellion against God.   In Psalm 51: 5-6 , David states that he was sinful from conception and born with sin.  Jesus was implying that Nicodemus should have known this from his study of the Scriptures!

The Spirit gives new life to a human being.  When we repent and believe on Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit enters our inner man and dwells there, marking us as belonging to God.  (Ephesians 1:13-14)  The Holy Spirit brings the “God Nature” into our spirit.  Jesus said we must be born again.  It is not an option!  Have you been born of the Spirit?

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