Well today I found myself
That I’ve never felt before
By Third Day: Christian Rock Band:
Brad Avery, David Carr, Mac Powell, Mark Lee, Tai Anderson
Do you really know what it means to be
Being born again doesn’t mean you re-enter your mother’s womb as Nicodemus asked Jesus in John 3:4, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”
But Jesus answered and said in John 3:5, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”
Now we say, what does that even mean?
First we have “When”… When are we born again?
When we Believe. 1 John 5:1, “Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him.” Who are the begotten…those who know Christ who have an overcoming spirit despite the temptations and troubles of this world.
When we Believe. John 3:16-17, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son (Jesus), that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (emphasis added)
When we Believe. John 3:36, “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
When we Confess. Romans 10:9, “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in you heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
When we Confess. 1 John 1:8-9, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Asking forgiveness from God for our past transgressions.
Ok, you say you’ve asked God into your heart
and forgiveness of your sins,
but nothing has happened to you.
Where is the Change?
The Change. It comes little by little. It’s an inside job. Yes, you may have heard about miraculous things happening in an instant, and yes these do happen. But on the whole it’s the Holy Spirit that now dwells in us that make change happen. We start to do little things. Things that we were doing that we thought were just natural. We party and drink too much. We curse too much. We think everything revolves around us and when someone needs help we just walk on by. But when the Holy Spirit takes over we drink and party less, because we don’t find it fun anymore. We catch ourselves swearing and say, these kinds of words don’t have to be said in order to get a thought across. We pay more attention of what’s going on around us and when we see someone in trouble or needs help, as little as getting something down from high shelf in the grocery store for someone who can’t reach it. These are changes made from the inside out. When you look in the mirror you see the same person, but behind the eyes you see a glimmer of a happier person and the old habits fall away. 1 John 2:29, “If you know that He [Jesus] is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him.” You want to be more like Him day by day. When a person is born of God, you can’t help but reflect His character.
The Change. The Holy spirit’s mission is to make us holy, too. 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” Old thoughts dissolve, and although struggles still rage on, we can cope better with the Holy Spirit’s help, and with practice, the way we do things will align more with Christ day by day.
Now you’re starting to Change
and you see the Change what else do you see?
Compassion. The love Jesus has for us becomes transferable. In John 14:15, Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep my commandments.” John 13:34-35, Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another as I have loved you , that you also love one another. By this all will know that you My disciples, if you have love for one another.” God is wanting you to start loving other Christians. Once you love other Christians you can pick them out of a crowd. That’s comforting. Then the more you love other Christians, you will find your love for others flourish.
Compassion. Hate cannot characterize a true Christian. Love is the new nature of a believer because it is God’s nature. It’s a holy love, a passionate love in response to God’s love for us…we then can love others. 1 John 4:12, “No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.” Paul showed us what love is in 1 Corinthians 13:4; 13 “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed-up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”…”And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
Now what! I Believe, I have Changed, I have more Compassion…BUT…still there is so much Conflict round about me. Should there be so much Conflict?
Conflict. Know this, 1 John 5:19, “We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.” Yes, it seems that conflict makes the world go around not love. Well that’s where you need to trust in God. He’s got this. 1 John 5:4, “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith.” Those who know Christ have an overcoming spirit and actual victory despite the temptations and troubles of this world. The world can do nothing to reclaim believers. God has defeated the evil world system. Jesus himself said, John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” Unfortunately, people sometimes grow enamored by sin, becoming blind to the escape route that the Spirit provides. 1 Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape that you may be able to bear it.”
Conflict. Paul teaches us that the more good we do for Christ, the more we overcome the evil of the world. His lesson starts in Romans 12:17, “Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men.” He says in v. 19, “Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay.” says the Lord.” v. 20, “Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” It means, allow God to deal with the situation in His way and time. In the meantime you’ve done a kindness to someone who just despises your kindness, because it’s unethical and foreign to the world’s way of thinking. Instead of looking at it like an “eye for an eye”, Jesus’ alternative is “to turn the other cheek”.
Yes, the way is narrow, but Jesus said, Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Believe me…it’s worth it!!
Which overall leads to your Conduct.
Conduct. When we are born again, our conduct becomes our conscience. We make a practice of not sinning. 1 John 3:9, “Whoever has been born or God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.” God does not sin. We can’t be in constant rebellion with God. You can’t do just whatever you want…because you now have a special sensitivity to know when you are doing something wrong. This is the assurance of salvation.
Conduct. When we walk in fellowship with Jesus, we are brighter, happier, show more compassion, enjoy life, show joy amid the strife of life. When we pray, we keep in constant touch with Him, and we come away with a new attitude.
Because of Jesus’ death for our sins, He has given us a new place for eternity through Him, but only through Him, HE IS THE WAY, THE TRUTH, THE LIFE.
When you repeat this prayer to ask Jesus into your heart, and go and sin no more, you are born again. Read God’s Word daily, for in His word are His guiding instructions. Pray, talk to Him…He’s always listening.
Welcome to the Family