“I assure you: Unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” – Jesus–John 3:3 HOL
Jesus explained to Nicodemus what it means to be “born again”. Nicodemus had come to the place where Jesus was staying to ask a few questions. Jesus, knowing what was really in Nicodemus’ heart : Jesus answered, “I assure you: Unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. Whatever is born of the flesh is flesh, and whatever is born of the Spirit is spirit.
When we are born from our mothers, we are born in the flesh. We come into this world, already separated from God, because of Adam and Eve. We are born with a soul that is already fallen. Nicodemus had realized, from watching Jesus and His works, that it was obvious that religion was not going to do anything outside of reminding us just how fallen we are. He knew that Christ had the answer. Jesus didn’t waste time explaining it to him. The term “born again” was new. But once Nicodemus figured out that, although he was a high priest, he was as dead to heaven as any prostitute that happened to be walking by.
You are born again when you understand and accept what Jesus said:
“For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.
For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.
Anyone who believes in Him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the One and Only Son of God.
“This, then, is the judgment: The light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil.
For everyone who practices wicked things hates the light and avoids it, so that his deeds may not be exposed.
But anyone who lives by the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be shown to be accomplished by God.” John 3:16 -21 HOL
To accept this unconditional gift of God’s love for you, means you accept that Jesus came here, as God in the flesh. You accept that Jesus died in your place, for your sin, so that, if you accept this free gift, you are now Born in the spirit. Jesus redeemed your soul by selling his in your place. You were bought and paid for by Jesus. You now belong to God. You are free from your sin.
“for you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body.” I Cor 6:20
Jesus promised that, if you are in Him, He will be in you. Since Jesus had to return to Heaven, He promised that He will send His spirit, the Holy Spirit of God, to live IN you. Your real body became the dwelling place of God’s Holy Spirit. You are now grafted into the vine, also known as Christ.
The Spirit of God will do works in your life, so that you will be able to grow to be like Christ. The Spirit of God will guide you, as long as you will listen, to be like Christ, who bought your salvation with His open blood.
“we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ” Eph 4:15b
When you follow the Spirit of God, you will develop certain character traits. These traits will be those of Christ. Christ heard the Father, God. Christ Followed the will of God. Christ received God. We have knowledge of this at Jesus’ baptism: “After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”- Matt. 3:16-17
We are led to have the same character of Christ, if we are willing.
Believers in Christ are known for their dedication to Christ.
Believers Hear Christ: “and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.” John 10:3-4
When the Spirit of God fills you, you will, for the second time in your life, be able to hear and be sensitive to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. You will know the authentic voice of Christ, who is leading you by the Spirit to become more like Him. Before you were saved, you were hearing the many voices of the world. The world was urging you to fear, to want unnecessary things, to seek temporary pleasures. To have all you can get. To disregard your neighbor, and love yourself supremely as your own god.
The Spirit of God will make it clear what the difference is between the voice of the world, and the voice of Christ. And it will be your yearning to follow.
Chances are, if you are saved, but you do not experience this “hearing” then you have returned to the voice of the world, and the cares of the day, and have placed many stumbling blocks between you and God (That is what unrepentant sin is, stumbling blocks).
When a believer hears Christ, he will long to do what he hears. You are no longer a slave to the world. Your freedom has been bought and paid for by the blood of Christ. And it becomes your joy and desire to hear and obey.
Believers Follow Christ: “When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.” John 10:4-5
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.” John 10:27-28
“For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” Romans 8:14
Believers follow Christ because they know His voice. They follow Christ because they know that through Him, they have the assurance of eternal life. They know they have the assurance of eternal life because they know that this was given to them freely, simply by believing Christ is the Son of God, and confessing with their mouth.
The desire to follow the ways of the world diminish rapidly, as the desire to follow Christ increase. Temptation will always plague a believer. You will fall into sin, occasionally. But Christ will never let anything or anyone take you out of His hand, if you truly have accepted the free gift of salvation.
False believers exist, and \are oftentimes hard to tell apart from Christs real followers. The best way to see who really believes is to watch them when the world insists that following Christ will be detrimental to their job, their comfort, their well being, and/or their personal goals. When it becomes too hard to stand in your religious point of view, and Christ is not your center, it becomes too easy to fall from Christ. The reason people fall from Christ is because they never belonged to Him in the first place. They were just hanging around believers for their own personal advantages.
Jesus promised that when you are His, NOTHING can take you away from Him, even if you trip up. He will pursue you like a lover pursues a woman.
Believers Receive Christ:“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12 NASB
How do you know you are saved? You have received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. You recognize your sin, and that it separates you from a relationship with God. You recognize that the worlds offerings are nothing but false promises from a system that only exists to chew you up and spit you out when all the good in you is used up.
Believers have the assurance of eternal life. Believers hear His voice, and follow Him, because they have received His free gift of salvation.
DOES ACCEPTING CHRIST MEAN I CAN STAND BEFORE GOD?
One of the hallmarks of disbelief is knowing that I am not really clean inside. People who insist that God does not exist demonstrate a huge amount of hate and anger at the mere mention of God, or Jesus Christ. The world rebels at the exclusivity of the Gospel Message. If the world even wants to acknowledge that there MIGHT be a god, they want God on their terms, believing any and all roads eventually lead to God. The world reacts violently because they do not want to let go of their little kingdoms, and do not want to believe that any God exists apart from themselves being their own god.
The believer, however, has understood what Jesus death and resurrection meant to the lost of this planet. The believer understands that, without the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross, for their sin, there would be no God in their future, other than the last judgment.
SO HOW DOES GOD SEE THE SAVED?
When you stand before God, Here is what God will see:
You are BLAMELESS: “for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world” Phill 2:13-15 NASB
Because you have accepted Christ, and heard His voice, and followed Him, you are blameless before God.
BUT WHAT IF I DIE 3 SECONDS AFTER I AM SAVED???
You are still blameless in God’s eyes. Read John 3:16-18 –
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
When you accepted Christ, you were born into the Kingdom of God. You are His innocent child. Nothing can take that away from you.
God Sees You as FAITHFUL: “These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful.”Rev 17:14 NASB
Because you heard the voice of Christ, and you received Him, and followed him, God sees you as faithful. Again, simply because you have accepted Jesus as Christ, the Lord, you are seen as faithful. It takes faith to accept Christ, but when yu do, you will know the reassurance in your soul that you can stand before God, and be seen as God’s own faithful child. When God sees that you are covered in the blood of His own Son, he will see you as faithful.
God Sees His Image in You. Because you are covered with the blood of Christ, God sees you as complete, blameless, and whole.
“For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” Romans 8:14 NASB
Remember, believer, when you accepted Jesus Christ as the Son of God, who gave His own life for you, you inherited a free gift of eternal life. God will lead you to become like Christ. You will be the image of Christ, and are worthy of being called God’s own child.
When God looks at the redeemed in Christ, He sees His own beloved Children.
God Sees You As Holy: “So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” Col 3:12-17
You are Holy because Christ is Holy. Your love for Christ will lead you to do what is described in the verses above. When you walk after the things of God, led by the Spirit of God, because you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord, you will not want to commit unholy acts. But even when you do, you know you can goto God and repent, and He will be faithful to forgive you. When God looks at you, He sees his own Holiness, simply because you have accepted Jesus Christ’s sacrifice.
The world will bring you problems. But don’t let that stress you. God will be there with you, to guide you through it, because you HEAR, RECEIVE, and FOLLOW.
The choice is simple, yours, and eternal.
I love you in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
David G. Perkins