To claim to be born again while one is not, is to put a burden on oneself that one will never be able to bear. To be lured into this mistake, is to be set up to join a special kind of sinners labeled hypocrites (religious bad men). As put by C.S. Lewis, “of all the bad men religious bad men are the worst”. To them are reserved the gloom of utter darkness 2 Pet 2:17, Jude 1:13NLT, 1-23.
Eph 2:8-9, tells a deep story in a simple way. The gift is not to be claimed, it is to be received! If a gift is being distributed and you have not received yours, go to the giver and ask to receive—but, if you shout out you have received when you have not, you’re setting up yourself to be by-passed.
Every gift has responsibility that goes with it. The responsibility is to love the giver and be prepared to be a giver too. Those that receive gifts are empowered to give. The gift of salvation requires the receiver to give his or herself soul to the giver (God). This is the burden of the Lord. No sinner can bear the burden of taking the yoke of the Lord Matt 11:29. Let’s understand this mystery. The Lord’s yoke is His desire for the soul of man. He gave us Christ because He wants our souls. Every spiritual matter that must be manifest on earth passes through the human soul Rom 12:1-2.
Born again—that is, regeneration of the human heart or spirit is a gift. A powerful gift! This gift is not an event—it is a Person, it is Christ making His own self present in the heart. It is Him making the heart godly. The human heart that is stony becomes fleshy Ezekiel 11:19. It is a miracle—an unequalled miracle into the redemption journey. A journeying into the full status of the image of the redeemer (Christ Jesus)!
This gift of redemption when accepted, places the arsenal of God at ones disposal whether the receiver recognizes it or not. It is given because the redemption journey is fraught with unimaginable battles—battles that mere men can’t bear nor win Rev 3:5, 12, Zech 4:6. Battles which even the most decorated army general that have ever lived or will ever live can’t stand.
The weapons needed for these battles can’t be made with human hands and is a daily battle Matt 6:34. The weapons that win this battles are those tried seven times in the furnace of fire (a kind unknown to man) Ps 12:6, Eph 6:11, 13. Good intentions are no weapons for this pilgrim journey. Peter’s good intention of not wanting to hear that Jesus will die Matt 16:21-23 and, cutting off a guard’s ears was declared a carnal weapon with no eternal benefit Matt 26:51-52. Over-comers are those who yield to the Spirit of Christ that works within them Col 1:29. It is the hope of glory!
The Canaan the redeemed are journeying to is not earthly but heavenly Heb 11:10. For the prize of this heavenly home, those called are empowered, given a single vision and a fountain full of Immanuel’s blood and angelic protection. If you’re born again, you’re given these privileges even if you’re not yet aware Matt 6:22.
The apostolic, prophetic and teaching dimensions of Christ are laid upon some parts of His body to expose these privileges to His Church (Those who have received the gift of salvation or redemption).
It is preposterous to claim you’re in the military while you’re not. The Cross that enrolls civilians (sinners) is standing in front of you right now where you are. Receive Him! Titus 2:11, John 3:16, Rom 10:10.
Dear friend, this is the love of God—that is, the gift of redemption (Christ Jesus). All who receive Him become soldiers—when they are not in battle front, they are in training not engaging in civilian affairs 2 Tim 2:4. When they are no more present on earth, they are on vacation that last for eternity. Indeed, RIP. They Rest In Peace—in the bosom of the Prince of Peace. Peace (God’s kind) which they had only a measure of while on earth 1 John 3:2, 1 Cor 13:12, 1 John 3:3.
May the Godof hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. May the Godofpeace be with you all. Amen. Rom 15:13, 33.
Jude 1:24-25, Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
Salvation or regeneration is predicated on one thing and one thing alone—that is, believe in Jesus Christ. This means a person in an aircraft that is about to crash can repent or turn the heart to believe in Jesus for his or her soul to be saved and God will hear their heart’s prayer and save the soul from eternal condemnation and punishment in hell, though they may die in the crash.
The fact the person is not baptized in water will not nullify the person’s regeneration (baptism into Christ Gal 3:27, Eph 4:5, 1 Pet 3:18-22). However, it does not cancel the truth that baptism in water is a commandment from God. The truth that this command is not a prerequisite for salvation does not diminish its importance. Jesus obeyed it Matt 3:13-16 and so must every believer whom God gives the opportunity (to remain on the earth after being regenerated).
The thought here is this, baptism in water is an important outward symbolism of the unseen death and resurrection (regeneration) of a believer. What it symbolizes or represents detail how it should be done (by immersion). Given it is a command from God and its importance, refusing to obey it will pass as lawlessness (or sheer disobedience). Being adamant to obey this God’s command could possibly be pointing to an absence of regeneration (the replacing of the heart of stone with the heart of flesh) and a conscience sprinkled by the Blood of redemption (Christ).
One of the responsibilities given to the body of Christ by Christ is, “baptizing them (those that come to believe the gospel) in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit” (signifying the three that wroth the work of salvation in the person) Matt 28:19. However, because salvation is given in the name of Jesus Christ alone Acts 4:12, if baptism is done in His name alone is done in the stead of the trinity. So, there is no difference Acts 2:38. The Father is perfectly pleased in the Son and the Holy Spirit perfectly works in accord with the Son even resurrecting Him to be the author and finisher of salvation.
The only basis for baptizing a believer is upon their own confession or profession of faith. Subtle or overt investigation is not required. In Acts 10:24 and 44, Cornelius gathered his kinsmen and friends who were not necessarily believers but when they believed, they were immediately baptized in the Holy Spirit in one stretch. Then, Peter, knowing that some of the brothers who came with him where yet to grow up and out from institutional mentality said this, “Can anyone object to their being baptized now that they have received the Holy Spirit just as we did?” Acts 10:45 and 47.
Religious institutions have long been a stumbling block to the simple but profound ways of God. Unfortunately, the same problem is still with us today. Based on human experience of people who pretend to believe while they don’t, investigation (queries of a proof of salvation have) long been instituted in church organizations. Well, given that organizational ethos or dogmas maintain human pride, help push our objective to make Christianity attractive and bring in people into our enclaves; repentance “to God’s ancient ways” may come hard. God help us!
The all wise, loving and faithful Creator of the world and mankind has predicated salvation on what is at the reach of all—which is, faith and the grace of the sacrifice of Christ Jesus. Faith, which all mankind have enables us to believe though many pitiably put theirs elsewhere.
In Romans 10:10KJV, we are told, “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Rom 4:3KJV makes the same announcement, “For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
Then, Mark 16:16KJV says, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
We note that believing is done not with the mouth but the heart and it gives righteousness or imputed righteousness (Christ’s life- salvation) and the mouth is used to declare it. Also, in verse 16 of Mark 16, “but” is introduced to indicate that baptism is consequential rather than a basis for salvation.
Therefore, believing in Christ Jesus is entirely sufficient for the saving of the soul to the utmost. The scriptures repeatedly and vehemently warn believers to continueto believe or abide in Christ. All good deeds must proceed from the imputed deed of Christ within the believer else, it’s a filthy rag. So then, baptism in water must be an act of faith based on the circumcision of the heart Rom 2:29KJV. Hebrews 11:6 says “And it is impossible to please God without faith”… Romans 14:23NLT affirms it by saying, “…For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin”.
In conclusion, looking at James 2: 14-19, we know that faith here speaks of having Christ—our imputed righteous. Who Himself, authenticates His presence both to God and man with evidence of His fruit. In other words, He continues to do with any temple (body) He lives in, the same things He did while He was physically on the earth. He is the gift or the fleshy heart which believing has given His people.
Those with fleshy heart (believers) possess the most expensive gift on earth and in the heavens apportioned to humans. Therefore, they love to submit to God. It is their default spiritual disposition though they may occasionally stumble Rev 2:5. But, because it is not their new heart’s nature to rebel against God; they fall back quickly to His propitiation as the Spirit corrects, disciplines, revives and restores graciously 1 John 2:1, 1:9, Heb 12:7-8.
We gladly proclaim as in Rom 6:4, and Col 2:12, “we’re dead, buried and risen with Him” praise God. Let us also gladly show it in joyful obedience through being baptized in water to the praise and glory of His Holy Name! Amen.
Every person that is born into this world has a bad tree (heart) because sin lies at its root. For this reason, no one person is better than any other Rom 3:23, Matt 12:33.
Also, everyone has got faith which can be placed in one’s self, a guru, some god or in Jesus Christ. Where we place our faith affects our hearts tremendously and it determines our immortal life!
Mankind is Trapped in Sin- What is the Way of Escape?
Free things (gifts) are usually despised but, the free gift of regeneration (salvation from sin) is actually paid for by Jesus. No one should carry-on in this life or depart from this world without tasting and enjoying the beauty of regeneration. It creates a beautiful landscape in one’s life!
But, the only remedy from this helpless predicament mankind finds itself in, is to place one’s faith in the sacrificial atonement of Christ on the cross and His resurrection. Accepting this, though deemed rhetoric by many, it changes the heart from bad to good. This change is commonly referred to as born again (regeneration) John 3:7, 1 Pet 1:3. While, regeneration is not visible to the human eyes, its action within the human spirit (heart) is more violent than any tsunami, earthquake or volcano ever known to man. Yet, like the burning bush in Exodus 3:2, it does not destroy man. It makes man to become God’s temple–God’s dwelling. Man becomes a place God is worshiped, a holy, safe and peaceful place that house His kingdom 1 Cor 6:19, 3:17, Luke 17:21 NKJV, Rom 14:17. This is the glory the presence of God creates in a regenerated person.
In all of human history, Jesus Christ is the only Man who has claimed, that He came into the world as a gift to die for the sin of man. Through faith, you can believe and be converted into Christ’ life (Christianity) and become a new creation with a completely new personality able to do amazing things because of the Spirit of God that comes to DWELL inside you 1 John 4:14.
Take a look at the following scriptures to see examples of what possibilities the Spirit can create in those converted to Christ:
1 Kings 18:24 Elijah could only have been filled with the Spirit of God, as one man, to face so many evil priests- boldness! Luke 10:19
Acts 3:6 Peter must have been filled with the Spirit of God to talk about having a name (Jesus) when alms was requested of him- power! Mark 16:17-18
Acts 7:59-60 Stephen was filled with the Spirit of God to ask for forgiveness for those who were sending him to an “early” grave- love, forgiving heart and no fear of death! 1 John 4:18.
Acts 16:24-25 Paul and Silas were filled with the Spirit of God to sing in prison instead of fearing for their lives and future- confidence! Heb 10:35
Acts 19:18-19 These new converts were filled with the Spirit of God to abandon their god of many years for a God they were just knowing –faith! Heb 11:6
Phil 3:8 Paul abandons all he had gained in his life for “just” the knowledge of Christ – knowing proper evaluation (what is necessary from what is expedient) 1 Cor 6:12
It is clear that the insanity of being filled in the spirit according to Rom 8:6, which results to (life and peace) is much more sane compared to the sanity in the flesh Gal 5:19-21, that leads to (death- eternal damnation ).
God’s gift of regeneration (change of man’s heart from bad to good) is never meant for us to compete with Him (God) in holiness, righteousness and goodness. Also, this rescue of a people from the kingdom of darkness into His kingdom of light (Christ Jesus) referenced as regeneration is for God’s glory, praise and purpose Col 1:13.
God’s purpose in rescuing a helpless, sin riddled and hell bound people to Himself does not include for them to compete among themselves about who is more holy, righteous and good 2 Cor 10:12.
On the backdrop of the above assertions, in becoming a believer (Christian), you will find it a pleasure to be eternally grateful for the penal and substutitionary atonement of Christ– which is to say, Christ satisfied the penalty of the law as required by God’s righteousness and justice and He underwent this penalty in the place of mankind INCLUDING YOU and I. This truth propels a believer or believers to; diligently seek the Saviour’s purpose in other to show forth His praise and glory while ceaselessly celebrating His gracious mercy and love. This is what those converted to Christ and engrafted into the royal priesthood are ordained to do all the days of their mortal lives and throughout eternity 1 Peter 2:9.
On these grounds, the invitation in 1 Peter 1:15-16 is not a call to compete with God in holiness.
1 Peter 1:14 explains verse 15 and 16, as it points to the type of invitation God is extending to His Children. It is important to note, this invitation is to those who are already His children and so, it is not an invitation to the catalogue of things that needs to be done to become God’s child Eph 2:8.
To become God’s child (a Christian), repentance from rejecting Christ Jesus to accepting Him and confessing Him as the Son of God and Messiah is all that is compulsorily required– including His atoning death and resurrection. Faith reposed IN JESUS CHRIST and CONFESSED, brings regeneration to a sinner. Those who receive salvation in Christ are commanded to be baptised by immersion in water as a shadow of the reality of being identified with His death and resurrection Rom 6:4.
Yes! Being a Christian has a yoke to it but it is an easy yoke which is momentary Matt 11:29 NLT, “Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls”, 2 Cor 4:17.
My personal testimony regarding Christianity can be summed up like this; “… while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come” (1 Tim 4:8).
The foolishness of God is wiser than the wisdom of men 1 Cor 1:25. True great minds humble themselves before Jesus Christ!
May God bless you as you consider and believe in Jesus Christ like Sergius Paulus the proconsul of Paphos, the Samaritan woman and Nicodemus Acts 13:12, John 4:15-26, John 3:1-16.
Everyone that is born into this world is born with the sin nature. We are all born with the capacity to indulge in any sin be it homosexuality, lying, stealing, cursing, pride, unbelief, promiscuity, slander etc. This is the magnitude of man’s depravity in God’s sight.
The fact that a particular person goes ahead to become a homosexual, pathological liar or serial killer is determined by the devil who controls the sin nature and determines who he wants to manifest any of the ramifications of his (Satan) stature or characteristics (John 8:44). He does this by manipulating the person’s mind and environment.
The environment is not the sole cause of the behavioral pattern we humans manifest. If the sin nature was not there, the environment could not determine the behavior. This is why people who have been given the highest moral training in one environment can go to another environment and live out the evil hidden nature inside them. No one can shock God by their indulgence in any sin. We were guilty of all sins already.
The argument that someone is born gay is not a fallacy given the above understanding. It synchronizes with the statement of the scriptures Rom 5:12, 1 Cor 15: 22. That is why everyone born into this world naturally must be born-again spiritually (John 3:6-7).
In regeneration or born-again, it is the spirit that experience rebirth. The Spirit that now lives in the regenerated person immediately begins to war against – give instruction (2 Tim 3:16-17 APB, Rom 6:22) to the mind (land Heb 6:7) in other to gain lordship and to live out His personality (stature) through that being.
The voice of the Spirit in the heart of the regenerate is different from the conscience that speaks to all humans. The conscience is the voice of the human spirit which, seeks to point us in the right direction just like the law but it does not engrace you to submit sufficiently to obey God. It is subject to the devil for as long as it is without the overshadowing of the Spirit of Christ Jesus 1 John 3:20-21.
We must note that a born-again person has first been engrace or empowered by the Spirit of Christ inside his or her spirit to submit the mind to the mind, law or instruction of the Spirit. And, this has to be done willingly just as he or she willingly received the grace (Jesus) when He appeared to him or her via the gospel.
Galatians 5:1 makes it clear that failing to take obedient instruction from the Spirit that has set you free, leads to slavery to the law that fails to empower to you to be free from sins. The scriptures paints these pictures for us , so that, we may be engrossed with Jesus and follow Him sheepishly where ever He may lead us 1 Peter 2:25, John 10:14, 4.
Ephesians 2:1-3 NLT, emphases the point that “the sin nature” that cause the sins being lived out now and those tucked away in the spirit and mind, reigns in everyone not regenerated. Paul contrasts this situation with those who get regenerated in their spirit and getting renewed in their minds and living out the newness of life given by the second Adam (life giving Spirit-Christ Jesus) in their flesh.
This possibility and reality of living contrary to the sin nature is made possible because of the Spirit of Christ that has enveloped the spirit of the born-again person who’s mind is being renewed and as a result, his or her body is being presented as a living sacrifice not for salvation but as appreciation and fulfillment to that, which God had ordained that those who worship Him should WALK IN (Rom 12:1-2, Eph 2:10). This is how humanity gets to see the glory and beauty of God that serves as light to the world.
The abomination that cause desolation (idol in the mind that causes ruin) is to receive the Spirit of Christ in our hearts (spirit) as savior, but refuse to submit our minds for washing-that He may reign as our Lord making us be like Him. It is Christ living through us that makes us the light of the world (Matt 5:14).
God does not have a problem with people who have not received regeneration in their spirits and He requires no righteousness from them because they cannot give it Rom 8:7-8. However, He loves them dearly (John 3:17, Luke 5:32). He is constantly inviting them to embrace His GRACE (Jesus) through the preaching of the gospel by the saved and also, by the gospel (Jesus Christ) because He personally confronts people even today Acts 22:7-11.
Truly, He is drawing John 6:44 unbelieving sinners to enter into eternal life through His only Son and only name (Acts 4:12). Those who accept Him, their sin nature (Adamic) that expresses itself in the behavioral patterns listed in Gal 5:19-21 and 1 Cor 6:9 is exchanged for the heavenly nature and life that must dominate this earth Titus 2:11-15, Matt 6:10.
Those who go to hell, go there because the nature of the first Adam (sin nature- image of the beast) enveloped their spirit, mind and body. For all who receive Jesus Christ, His Spirit envelopes their spirit, works in their minds and expresses itself in their body. But, the devil surely fights against these workings of God in the minds of His people. Satan does this by attacking your fleshly insect (mind) to get you to use your members (your eye, leg, hands, sexuality and chief of them all your mouth) to sin against God. This understanding propels saints of God to willingly submit to God and resist the devil James 4:7, 2 Cor 10:3-5.
True saints of God guard their hearts and mind with Revelation 14:13, “And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!”
Refusing to submit (set the mind) on the Spirit (Christ) is the worst harm any Christian can do to themselves. It shows clear deliberate rebellion and an attempt to exploit God. To receive of the Spirit of Christ (God’s gift) and refuse to treasure it is treachery and ungratefulness. The consequence is hellish (Rom 1:28 NIV, 2 Titus 1:16 KJV, 2 Cor 13:5 KJV).
God is appealing to the regenerates through the true ministries He has gifted to some in the body to help the entire body understand the riches in Christ enabling the body to become mature and obedient sons of God Eph 4:11-16.
He has also gifted every member of the body of Christ with spiritual gifts for edifying the whole body. And the warning is, that every part (person) must keep functioning -submitting to the voice of the Holy Spirit for the renewal of their mind and living as one admitted into the Holy of Holies in service to God and humanity Heb 10:20 NLT, 12:22-24, 2 Tim 2:21.
The preaching of the gospel is done in order to save all that are lost. The appealing and warning is done relentlessly by the ministries and spiritual gifted persons in the body because of passages like Heb 3:13, 2 Peter 2:20-22, Heb 6:4-8.
In Heb 6:9-20, Paul the Apostle sparks confidence in those who are faithful in abstaining from filthiness, serving in reverence and love by reminding them that God who instructs righteousness will not fail them by becoming unrighteous to them. He continued – telling them to hold tightly to the hope of God’s faithfulness He shows to those who remain faithful to the end. And this, he tells them will be gained by faith and patience.
Paul further authenticates his words by citing God’s faithfulness to Abraham who walked in holiness, repentance and obedience through faith and patience. He concluded his admonition and exhortation by recounting that God even put forth an oath that is unbreakable and reliable in order to persuade those who worship Him to do so with their spirit, mind and body in perseverance knowing it’s not in vain Heb 11:6.
James the Apostle received the same revelation like Paul concerning Abraham. Abraham’s faith which, counted for righteous without works, did produce good works (James 2:21-22)
The Apostle’s teaching never deviated from the circumference of Matt 22: 37-40. It is the test for every true teaching. That man is to worship God with his spirit, soul and mind. And must from that backdrop, relate to fellow men including enemies; and especially to the people of the house hold of faith- brothers and sisters in Christ poor and rich, educated and uneducated, white or black. This is what true ministers of God set before the people of God. It has nothing to do with working for salvation that is a free gift received by faith but it has everything to do with James 2:14-26, 3:13.
Beloved brothers, there is no sin a believer in Christ cannot overcome if he or she wants to overcome it. Go to God again in prayers and don’t say “I have tried severally”. Reconsider your doctrine closely because belief in wrong teaching cripples determination to give yourself wholly to God and retrogresses one to being under the law where sin and death reigns supreme.
The doctrine of Christ is not some set of dogmas rather it is a gaining of instruction into the riches of Christ that gives you a better understanding of Him, which leads to more submission to Christ.
The riches of Christ are not houses, cars, qualifications and acclamations. You can get all those things without being a Christian. The rain (distribution of material things) of God falls on the ungodly and the godly.
Let no one fool you any longer! Eph 4:14. The power of Christ resurrection IN you is not just for material things but to help you Steward God’s gift- THE BLESSING (life of Jesus Christ in you) faithfully by living Christ-like and blessing the world Proverbs 10:22.
The falling away in 2 Thess 2:3 is fast happening as we see many changing their previous convictions and rejecting clear instructions in Eph 5:4-8 like Jannes and Jambres, and Hymenaeus and Alexander.
In Eph 5:1-2, 9-33, Paul gives us “Jesus’ commandments” that we should follow and the Holy Spirit is again speaking the same things to the hearts of those who have ears to listen John 14:15 & 21.
The Lord Jesus has multiplied His grace to the church that great numbers of the royal priesthood may be obedient to the faith Heb 4:16. Revelation tells us that a sea of heads were seen who worshiped God faithfully Rev 7:9.
You and I are counted in that number. Let us show appreciation to our God by not joining those who crucify Christ Jesus the second time and are making public ridicule of Him Heb 6:6.
Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what He is saying to the churches (Rev 3:6, 13 & 22 NLT).
May the mercy, grace and peace of God be with you. Amen