January 25, 2019
After Born Again: Steady or Stunted Growth?
Several little babies have come into our lives this past year. Even though the proud parents gush about how pretty, perfect, innocent, and sweet these newborns are, I really don’t get all the fuss about their “goodness.” You see, Scripture repeatedly tells us that we are born with a sinful nature, inherently unholy, and totally lost. Plus, to me, newborns look like cone-heads or little rodents with their chubby, squinty faces. Amazingly, my 3 girls were the most beautiful babies of all to me, amazingly overcoming and outshining their coneheads and rodent-like faces!
To experience deep, lasting love and life, we must face the truth about our standing before God. Our sin problem keeps us from the life God intends for us. Unresolved sin will block even our most focused efforts to live. This is because the undeniable outcomes of sin is losing the guidance, influence, and power of the Holy Spirit, and then being enslaved to our very worst impulses that come from our core sin nature.
Thankfully, God provided a wonderful solution. We can reach out in faith today to begin living fully. Today you can receive your free gift of new life. After Jesus spoke with Nicodemus about his natural state not being good enough, He told him “that everyone who believes may have eternal life in Him.” Then John writes: “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16)
If you have taken this step already, then Hallelujah! You have eternal victory over the sin nature that resides in all of us. But after that point, it gets a little complicated because there are two types of victory. The first is the eternal victory over the separation from God, death, and eternal damnation. We will be with God forever. We call this being saved or Born Again.
The second step is the victory over the daily impulses, fleshly desires, worldly temptations, and sinful ways of this earthly life. This is where you, I, and all other Christians have trouble. We continue to sin even though we are “a new creation.” The reason is that we didn’t get a brain transplant when we were born again. We have residue in our brain chemistry and psychological sphere: memories, distortions, emotions, personality, area of weakness and temptation, etc. This baggage weighs on us and interferes with our daily walk with God.
Also, we know Satan does not go down without a fight. He will deceive us into thinking we are enslaved to our sinful ways. He will try to tempt, trap, and attack us … even lead us doubt our eternal security. Regardless of Satan’s attempts, we have the power and weapons to be victorious in this life. But we have to trust God and use the spiritual resources that He has given us (often called the Armor of God) to defend against Satan’s counterattack.
Today, if you do not already know Jesus Christ in this intimate way, say the prayer below. For every human who invites Jesus into her or his heart … it is the moment when real life begins, it’s this spiritual birthday that counts. If you have already accepted that His death has paid the penalty for your sin, and you’ve committed your life to Christ, ask yourself what you trust more than God and His promises when you are faced with temptation or adversity. This misplaced trust is what keeps you from truly being victorious in this life on earth. WITHIN REACH will help you apply Jesus’ victory to your daily walk. Whether you use God’s armor and weapons to fight for your life or you rely on your own efforts and lose many battles is your decision, so choose well.
Dear Father God, I admit that I am a sinner and that I need You. Please forgive my sins. There is no way I can live right or have any hope for eternal life on my own merits. I have been trying to do it all alone and I am tired. I believe that Jesus is Your only Son and that You sent Him to die in my place and set me free from sin. Let my spiritual life begin at this very moment. Thank You, Father, for accepting Jesus’ death to pay for my sins. I pray in the name of my personal savior, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God Romans 3:23
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:17
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1,2