Sin and it’s consequence in the lives of believer.
Now, many have gone about preaching that the new birth is a new nature we should posses as a result of a christian leaving his old nature and therefore renewing himself. May I suggest my beloved readers that we strictly do not find such thoughts in the scripture.
The scripture condemns flesh (1 Cor 2:14, John 3:6,) and therefore renders it incapable of discerning the things of God. If flesh cannot hear, listen, understand, please or discern the things of God, then how is a poor sinner that God so loved ever going to be saved? A question weighty and worthy of considerations and the subject of today’s meditation.
The New Birth is God’s answer. What is the new Birth? The new Birth is the new life not changed life that God imparts in us in order to enable us to listen to the Gospel of salvation. The new Birth is often called the Quickening of the soul in Pauline epistles (Eph 2:1, 5). When a poor sinner is in his lost state, God imparts a new life in him that enables him to listen to the Gospel of salvation, and question his state and find himself a wanting sinner. The new Birth is not a result of a person turning to God rather it is what enables us to turn to God. Therefore instead of saying that a person is born again by believing, we have to say that the person will believe the Lord by being born again. New birth is the sovereign unsought for action of God (John 1:13). People often say that the work of salvation begins when a sinner turns to God, this is wrong. Rather we should say that the work of salvation begins when God imparts a new life or quickens the soul of a sinner. The new birth is the beginning of God’s work in saving a soul and salvation is the end of that work.
Ephesians 2: 1 and 5 gives a clear picture of what our conditions were if God did not quicken our soul (or impart us new life) and enabled us to listen the Gospel. We were dead in sins and trespasses. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Eph 2: 8-9). Let every believer mark this gravely that God even gives us the faith to believe, this my dear reader is the quickening power of God.
Allow me to use an illustration to further clarify Eph 2:1: Suppose there was a dead man lying on the ground, and you go and try to wake him up with many encouraging words whatsoever, can he hear you? No. Can he know that he is a dead man? No.
But then, lets suppose again that he was given life, will he hear you now? Yes, definitely. What will be his first realization? That he was a dead man.
Same were we. Dead and incapable of listening or understanding the word of God. But we were quickened i.e given new life (New Birth). Now we know we were dead and we seek salvation. This is new birth.
Now do not get me wrong, being born again does not mean that the person is saved. The truth is when a person is Born again, he understands his necessities and conditions and the soul looks for salvation. A person is truly saved when he believes in the finished work of Christ on the cross and rests in his work with a full assurance, after which he receives the seal of the Holy spirit. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise. (Eph 2: 13)
I don’t think a soul is truly saved if he is still in doubts about his deliverance. How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Heb 9:14)
A saved soul’s conscience will be purged i.e he will never again be in the doubt about his salvation. He will find the inner peace, he is in no doubt, he has the joy.
Let me take a liberty to question my dear readers, are you truly saved? Do you believe that our Lord died on the cross for our sin? Do you have the assurance through faith that your soul will never be lost again? If the answer is yes, I have no doubt in saying that you are truly saved. If the answer is no, no wonder you truly have the new Birth but you have to believe and rest in the blood of Christ to be saved.
Further exposition on this truth is beyond the scope of this post. I pray that the Lord will guide my dear readers in further searching on the profound and long lost truth of New Birth. May he bless his flocks abundantly.
Perhaps the incident recorded in 2 Samuel 23:15-17 might be of a peculiar nature to an unbelieving soul. Why the waste? Why would David not drink it?
But, what a great service we see, it is not fighting eight hundred Philistines, nor guarding the ground or fighting for the nation when all else left, which in itself was a great service but nothing of that sort is mentioned in this verse. It was simply catering to the will of David, it says ”And David longed, and said, Oh that one would give me to drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem…” No word of order, just a simple wish, not doing which would have not affected their loyalty in any ways whatsoever. But no, they knew who David was, for they deemed their lives less precious.
Alas after such a great sacrifice, the last scene one would expect to see is David not drinking it. What a waste of energy, it might occur to a natural mind. Yeah, as the scripture says, But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him; and he cannot know them because they are spiritually discerned; 1 Corinthians 2:14. Why would David not drink it? Oh, it was because David saw a great sacrifice (that of one’s life) in their action the worthy of which Lord alone could be. Hence he pours it before the lord. What a beautiful picture of devotion. Could he be more worthy then the Jehovah? Certainly not.
Perhaps we can see similar devotion in the action of Mary in the gospel of John 12. A wonderful picture of a true worshiper. For she gave to the Lord all she could, the most expensive gift she had and the glory of her head -her hair. And what was the result of her devotion? It says “…and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.” Mary knew who lord was, she knew his person, his deity for she was always at the feet of the Lord in listening to his word (Luke 10:39), in distress (John 11:32) and while in worship (John 12:3)
Perhaps a glance at the Calvary might give us a reminder of what Lord is to us and prepare our hearts to do his will.
Being an evangelist is the greatest thing one can ever do. How wonderful to be chosen of Lord to feed his flocks. One might desire to move men and mountains for the Lord yet how simple a call -feed my lambs. “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” -Rom 10:15. Yes indeed how beautiful, for by what we preach we will save both ourselves and those that hearken.
Alas, how in contrast to the scripture we see people preach personal experiences and testimonies in the crowds and from the pulpits. What a sad deviation from the scriptural truth. Oh well we might see a thousand people converting; aha how refreshing. But are we really pleasing the Lord? Certainly not, could our effort in disobedience please the Lord? Wouldn’t he save souls despite us? Are our testimonies and hardships greater than the sufferings of the cross? Bible records how Saul wanted to please Jehovah by sacrificing bullocks and rams, but the striking answer from the prophet Samuel was “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.”
Dear preachers and Evangelists it is very important for us to strictly preach as the oracle of God. Preach Christ crucified, buried and resurrected; not our personal testimonies or its effect in our life. There is no salvation in knowing Christ as healer or the helper, if it were so, all those crowd that followed Jesus for food or healing would have been saved. The object of God is to glorify his Son. For a bad preaching will lead to wrong doctrine, wrong doctrine leads to wrong idea about the salvation which might lead one to not be saved despite being a Christian.
Oh, that’s because Cain wanted to bring to God something from the ground God had cursed (Gen 3:17-18). Well, it might seem right in a human eye for someone to bring something to God, but Cain’s ways were a pure human religion (one’s effort to praise God through his work). But God had already pointed out in clothing Adam and Eve with the skin of an animal that death or Blood was God’s ways of atoning for the sin which Abel’s offering gives full testimony to; Death or blood of animals speaks the atoning death of Christ. Approaching God without Blood (like Cain did) was nothing but simple denial of the death of the Christ on the cross. Even the priest entered the ‘Holy of the holies’ place once in a year not without blood, which means it is impossible to approach God without blood both in old testament times (Blood of animal) Heb 9:7 or today without the blood of Christ Heb 9:12)
The point is that there are many human religion that tends to teach the attainment of salvation through religious work and denies Christ. “Woe to them” says the Word of God. Salvation could be achieved only through the Blood of Christ. Believe & get saved.
It sure wasn’t without a divine revelation that John proclaimed “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” -John 1:29. This was the will of God that the son must suffer death in order to redeem the world of the wages of sin. It was no doubt that Christ was our Passover lamb (1 Cor 5:7), yet the order in which every steps of his life was taken leaves us astonished.
We, see in Exodus 12 the instructions given regarding the Passover feast. The lamb to be slaughtered on the Passover was to be set aside for four days – from tenth day to fourteenth day (Exodus 12:6). This was primarily done so that during the four days they might be quite assured that it had no blemish, for during that time it was subject to constant inspection, in order that they might be certain that it had no hurt or injury that would render it unacceptable to the Lord.
How surprising to realize that Christ was the fulfillment of every prophesy spoken through the Old Testament prophets. For every aspects of God’s plan in the wilderness was Christ: the tabernacle, the ark, the priest, everything spoke about either divinity, person or priesthood of Christ. For the Law was shadows of good things to come (Hebrews 10:1). You see, every word of God is linked to each other as if with strings and if one string is broken, the entire subject of the prophesy could get misinterpreted. This was the very reason why Israelite were to be very strict in execution of the divine order. Coming back to our subject, just like the Passover lamb, Jesus arrived four days before the crucifixion to Jerusalem. For four days the Jews tried to find defects, blame or sin in Christ. He indeed was blameless, no one could Charge him of any sin (Matthew 26:59-66). And there he was: blameless, sinless, without any blemish or defect -a Lamb perfect and acceptable for the slaughter.
When we look at the Christendom today, we see lots of divisions and denominations. There are christian groups claiming independence to other; is Christ divided? Is church referred to the churches and the cathedrals or the body of Christ? Is church formed on place of gathering or ground of gathering? God knows how many sects and denominations are there on earth today. While Bible speaks of Christianity as one flock one Body one union, we have Christians claiming independence.