Monday, October 20, 2008

Born Of God

Joh 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except one be born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
So are we born of God?  The scriptures clearly state that unless we are born again, we will not even see the kingdom of God. And this saying is trustworthy, "The kingdom of God is coming. And Jesus is the King who will establish the Kingdom of God." Jesus reassured that he is the only way to God and his kingdom. He alone can save, and no one else, and the only condition he has given us is to be born again, that is, to be born of God.

Hence the question - are we born of God? What does this "Born Again" really mean? The bible says that whoever is born of God, doesnt sin, because his (The Almighty's) seed (i.e. Christ) abides in him and he cannot sin because he is born of God. 1 Jn 3:9. Jesus gave some humanly impossible laws during the sermon on the mount. Mt 5-7. Moses' law required that a murderer be damned. But Jesus said that if anyone who is so little as angry without a cause or even hasty with his words is in danger of damnation. So if someone is born of God, he is required to live a perfectly godly life and going by the laws that Jesus laid out, it surely looks like a hopelessly desperate situation.

Right?

The answer is Wrong.

Jesus came to save sinners like us and not to condemn us. He wouldnt ask us to do something that were impossible. Rather he said that if we believed, even the impossible would be possible. The Mosaic law was given to Israel by a man called Moses. Israel were expected to fall. But Jesus is the Mighty God that Isaiah prophesied about. Is 9:6. What Moses said was difficult to keep but what Jesus requires of us, though humanly impossible, is possible if we lean on the power of God. It is possible because he gives us the Spirit of the Living God to help us. He dwells in us. The spirit that lives in us is the same spirit that raised Jesus from the dead. Rom 8:11. Which means we have the resurrection power of Christ dwelling in us. Dwell on that word. Just like God raised Jesus from the dead by defeating death, we can defeat any dead work in our life and be victorious overcomers in Jesus name.

It is the spirit of God which bears witness with our spirit that we belong to God, that we are his children, and it is his Holy Spirit, who guides us in all truth. Can the Holy Spirit then cause us to sin? NEVER!!!

That is what apostle John is talking about. So if we are in sin, it is a sign that we dont know Christ or havent seen him. 1 Jn 3:6. We can be assured of the fact that we are not born of God if we are living in blatant disobedience to the word of God, because Jesus came to save us from our sins (not merely forgive them). Mt 1:21. He didnt come primarily to forgive our sins alone but to save us from the power of Sin. It is possible to forgive someone and not save someone.

To illustrate, lets assume someone who has wronged you has received the just reward for his evil deeds 'cause now he is in a gutter for what he did. When you pass by that gutter, that person apologises for the wrong he did to you. You can say,"Alright I forgive you." and walk away. Then you would have forgiven him but he would still be in the gutter wondering why he is still there if he has been forgiven. The other way would be to say,"I forgive you", and then get into the gutter to help him get out. Then you would have forgiven him and saved him. Jesus came not just to forgive our sins but to save us from them. Just like a man saved from the gutter doesnt live in the gutter anymore, a man saved from SIN will not live in SIN anymore. So if we are still sinning; we can be assured of the fact that we are not SAVED and are still in the gutter of SIN.

The bible has a wonderful promise for every child of God in 1 Jn 1:9 which says that if we confess our sins to God, we have a wonderful advocate in Jesus Christ who will never let us go unforgiven. Jesus is the epitome of Gods love. If it is difficult for someone to understand Gods love, he doesn’t need to go beyond Jesus, and things which seem hazy will make sense. But John gives the reason why God has given us this promise. He goes on to say in 1 Jn 2:1 that “I am writing this epistle so that you do not sin.” The emphasis John is placing is not so much on forgiveness, which in itself is an amazing truth, but on perfection which results from the knowledge of 1 Jn 1:9, which is an even greater truth. In essence what John is trying to say is that if anyone has the revelation that God will forgive him/her if he comes before him with a repentant heart, then instead of falling he will actually lead a Godly life. I therefore encourage my brothers and sisters to not only claim the promise in 1 Jn 1:9 when they have stumbled but rather stand on that promise to press on to an even better life, a Godly life which brings glory to the name of God and to Jesus, The Christ, The Savior. That, my brothers and sisters, is the will of God. And if however, we do stumble, don’t hesistate to run to the father in Jesus name, to receive correction and forgiveness from him. He will NEVER turn away a repentant heart.

John isnt indicating that we make new year resolutions that we will lead a good life, or control our anger our emotions or control our lusts. It is futile to try these things and I am pretty confident, "if you try that route; YOU WILL FALL."

Resolutions, controlling emotions and lusts etc are a good form of self discipline. But more than that Jesus came to show us the way to the Fathers heart. If we look upto him then his Spirit will guide us in all truth and show us what to do and how to react in any given situation. In that case we would not have to depend on useless humane self disciplinary methods to lead a better life.

So then, this is the way out. John 15:5 says."Without me you can do nothing." That is what God is interested in. The scriptures say that our righteousness are like filthy rags before Gods eyes. He is not interested in our external good lives or in efforts that originate from "men". He is interested in deeds and desires which originate from HIM because all good things are from God. He is interested in a life that is dependent on Christ. When one looks to him for his every need, then the goodness that thus comes out of his life is a goodness that would have originated from God because of what Christ did for us and that goodness will be pleasing to HIM. Jesus said that He will send the Holy Spirit in order to strengthen us, help us. John 14:16. The Holy Spirit was given  to us to lead us in situations where human logic will only cause us to fall because he brings to our remembrance all that Jesus taught. Jn 14:26. Our loving God has done everything in order for us to lead holy, perfect, exemplary lives. He put his Son Jesus on the cross to be punished in stead of our sins. He was raised from the dead by the spirit so that by believing in him we could live with him eternally. Jn 14:19. He has given us his holy spirit so that we can experience that resurrection power right here on earth and not go back to our old defeated lives.

It is hence very important to fellowship with Godly brothers and sisters from your church. Church, The body of christ is the safest place to be on earth because Jesus said that whenever the Church (even a church of 2 or 3) gathers in his name, he will be there. Thats a promise, and Jesus is faithful to keep it. The church enables us to receive and to provide encouragement, rebuke, love, correction to each other. The Church is a representation of the body of Christ and the command given to it is to press on unto perfection. Heb 6:1. May be we are not perfect, but we will be one day, if we continue to run the race looking unto Jesus. He is the author and perfector of our faith. Heb 12:2. If we depend on him, WE WILL NEVER FALL.

When Mary gave birth to Jesus, he was a baby swaddled in peices of cloth. Tiny and lowly. Imagine the King of the Universe living in a manger. Then he grew in humble obedience to sinful yet humble parents. The bible says that Jesus grew in stature before God and men. He grew out to be a man for whom to do the will of God the father was his food, his meat. He didnt seek the honour of men but all he sought was God and his will. He was King himself. He was God himself and equal to him in every way. But he humbled himself and submitted to the will of the Father. He lived such a perfect life because he depended on the Father. That was the body of Christ then. We, the Church, the body of Christ today, can also grow to be perfect like our saviour. We can draw this parallel from Jesus' life. Just like his body lived a perfectly holy life then; because of his dependence on God the father, today also his body, the church, can live a perfectly holy life, depending on the spirit of God. It is possible if we believe. "If you believe, all things are possible." Mk 9:23. If this is not true in our lives, then lets humble ourselves and be PERFECTLY honest with God and tell him that we have disobeyed him and that we need him and him alone; believing that when we ask him with a humble, submissive, repentant heart, in Jesus name, we will receive anything we ask for.

Amen.