The Miracle of the New Birth: Am I Born Again?

Friends;

I pray to God in the name of the Lord Jesus, that the grace of His Son may be upon me to write unto you these few words on the miracle of the new birth. The miracle of being born again.

Many of us certainly believe that we are born again (or, born from above, or, born of the Spirit), for without this new birth one cannot be identified with Christ and has no hope of a future with God. But are you?

John 3:3,5,7Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”…5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”…7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’

IT STARTS WITH “OUR” VIOLENT DEATH

The new birth is a miraculous act performed by God, whereby He first kills us, and buries us, and then bring us back to life.

Romans 6:3,4Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death…

The death by crucifixion that Jesus-Christ experienced is the best image given to show us how our new birth starts. It is an extremely violent act, whereby our whole being, our identity, who we are, is killed by crucifixion, with the same violence that Jesus experienced when He was crucified.

Romans 6:6…our old man is crucified with him…

The necessity of such a death results from the fact that we are utterly corrupted by sin, and therefore impossible to repair. Everything about us is corrupted, the most important of which being our minds, where everything about us originates.

Romans 6:6 – …Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

We are utterly corrupted by sin, having completely forgotten the reason we were created in the first place: To have a perpetual, vibrant and loving relationship with God, being in communion with Him, partaking into His activities, and enjoying everything He created for us. Therefore, we should be killed, so that a completely new “us” will be created: A man with a new mind, uncorrupted, untainted by sin. A man, who once again understands why he exists, why he was created.

THEN THE RESURRECTION COMES…

The miracle of the instantaneous yet violent death we are subjected to when God begins the process of our new birth, is only matched and surpassed by the miracle of our resurrection, where a new identity, which shares absolutely nothing with our former self is created.

2 Corinthians 5:17 …if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.

Yet, in Romans 6, instead of equating the resurrection of Jesus to the fact that when He returns, in the future, we too will be resurrected, God instead ties Jesus’s resurrection to a much closer, present and very practical reality.

Romans 6:4We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, JUST AS CHRIST WAS RAISED from the dead by the glory of the Father, WE TOO MIGHT WALK in newness of life.

To be born again is not a future, but a very present reality. And we are born again now so that now we can walk now completely differently than we did in the past.

The Christian walk, which only those who have experienced the death of Christ in their own selves can experience, is nothing short of a miracle, equivalent to nothing less than the fact that Christ was resurrected by the Spirit of God.

If you think Christ coming back to life was a miracle, then so is the Christian walk. It is nothing short of a miracle. The same Spirit that raised Jesus is the same Spirit that enables us to walk like Christ. It is a miracle than one can walk like Christ, and THIS IS PRECISELY what God is after when He creates you at the new birth.

My friend, when you confess that you are born again, I pray that you will understand what was done in you. You have been killed, re-created, and been given a new identity, and a new ability: To live by faith, freed from sin, fully able to live a miraculous life, one that testifies in the most solemn way, not only to your family, friends and coworkers, but also to all the spiritual powers, both angelic and demonic, that BEHOLD, A SON OF GOD IS BORN.

May the peace and grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.

AMEN

The Joy of Living Sanctified

To my brethren in the Lord;

May the grace and peace from our Father in heaven and from our Lord, Jesus-Christ, be with you. If my Lord Jesus will permit, it is my prayer that through these few words, you will be convicted to earnestly pursue holiness, for in it we find the pure joy that comes from living sanctified, freed from the power of sin.

The joy that we experience from living sanctified comes in great measure each time we get to see the extent to which sin has truly been rendered powerless in our personal lives. Here are two examples from the scriptures which illustrate this point.

2 Corinthians 8:1-3 –  We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, 2 for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part.

How could the Macedonians be so joyful while being severely tested and extremely poor? Where did that joy comes from? It came from living sanctified. Normally, you would not expect joy in the midst of a severe test, let alone while also living in extreme poverty. In those circumstances, sin typically rages in our lives: envy, jealousy, greed, bitterness, hatred for those who have much, etc. all typically erupt and consume us in such circumstances. But look at the Macedonians! They were joyful! They were abundantly joyful! Sin truly had no power over them, to consume them. And the Macedonians were not unique, for we see for instance Peter speaking in similar ways of those he was writing to in 1 Peter 1:8.

In 2 Corinthians 7:4, Paul stated “In all our affliction, I am overflowing with joy”. What was the source of that joy? It came from sin having lost its power in their lives, so that even in all their afflictions, sin, with all its temptations, could not overcome them. No, their minds were clear and focused on the big reward…the lives of the Corinthians. Sin could not convince them that the reward was not all that great after all, and that they should simply save themselves from all this unnecessary pain.

You, my friend, can experience the same joy today

The joy that comes from living sanctified is a tangible one. The things that you used to aspire to slowly lose their importance. The bitterness that you have been harboring, for whatever reasons and perhaps for years, starts fading. Those things that you could not resist in the past (extreme drinking, indecent behavior, fornication, pride, etc.), you find yourself conquering them time and time again. Ohhh the unspeakable joy that emanates from deep within when your very eyes see sin defeated in your life, lying flat on the floor rather than ruling your heart, mind and body as in the days of old. A new man you are becoming, a new woman, a new creature entirely indeed (2 Corinthians 5:17).

What we are talking about here is not to be confused with the old adage of becoming wiser as we grow older. Sin is age-agnostic. Nooooo my friend, what we are talking about is the tangible power of the Holy Spirit in your life. We are talking about Romans 6:22 becoming a vivid reality that you can see, touch, smell, taste and hear everyday.

Romans 6:22But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.

That joy my friend is the fragrance of freedom, the aroma of the true freedom that Jesus gave you, for He declared Himself… I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin…if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed (John 8:34, 36).

No wonder even the gates of hell cannot prevail against those who continually pursue holiness. And no wonder their joy is an unshakable joy, for it is the joy of the victory of sin, the sweet aroma of pure freedom, permeating every aspect of their own lives, even in the deepest of afflictions.

Dear brethren, I pray that you will be provoked to grab hold of the true freedom that has been purchased for you, and experience the unparalleled joy of living sanctified.

Grace to you, from my Father in heaven and yours, in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Your daily fight…and Your way out!

To my brothers and sisters in Christ;

Allow me to utter some words of encouragement inspired by these two verses:

Romans 6:13,14Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

Daily, you are experiencing the rage of sin in your life. Sin wages a merciless fight, which manifests itself in countless ways. Sin does not sleep. It causes you to do the wrong things, it discourages you to focus on the right things. It gives you energy to waste on what is not of God, and sucks all the energy you thought you had when it comes to serving God. That is sin, my friend, waging a merciless fight on you. You have the desire to do what’s right. You have the desire to respond wisely when you coworkers stab you in the back, you have the desire to be more like Jesus…but time and again…life, like a torrent, unleashes all its furry on you. It is sin waging a merciless fight on you.

BUT…do not believe the lie that you cannot do anything against it. Sin is not the most powerful entity inside your body…the Holy Spirit is. And while sin is a bully who acts out of fear that its true colors will be discovered (it has no power), the Holy Spirit is that TRUE power that counsels your mind in the most confident but also most gentle of ways. It is the ultimate power…the kind of power that can raise dead people…literally!

Remember this promise…For sin will have NO dominion over you.

So stand up my friend, and do not believe the lie. No, you do not like a life of sin…you actually hate it! Yes, you can overcome a sinful life. Yes, you have what it takes to serve God admirably. Do not believe what sin tells you. Sin is a lie, and it has been rendered completely powerless.

You have the Holy Spirit…and this is the truth…

2 Timothy 1:7…God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

May you live victoriously by His Grace.

In His name. Amen.