Our human, finite minds cannot fully grasp the height, depth and width of the kind of love that would cause God to send His only Son to die on a cross for our sins. But, when we accept Jesus as our Savior, we are allowed a glimpse into the depth of that love. If we are truly convinced of that love, it should be more than enough to compel us to share His love and His story with others. He died for all of us and was raised again for our salvation. If we truly believe this, then we no longer see others through our eyes but through the eyes of Christ. Once, before we accepted Jesus as our Lord, we saw Him as the world sees Him, just a good man and teacher, but when we received the Holy Spirit, we began to see Jesus in a whole new way. Everything and everyone around us looks different because we are or should be looking at those around us just as Jesus sees them. As C S Lewis said: “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it, I see everything else.” Thus everything has become “new” to us. But, in reality, what has become truly new is us. We are a new creation!
23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. — 1 Peter 1:23 NIV
So, let us turn from our old, wicked ways and walk in the newness of life led by the Holy Spirit!
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Jesus responds to their request by saying that it was now time for Him to be glorified. They did not understand that He was referring to His death and resurrection. The grain of wheat that had to die was Jesus. Once a seed has sufficient moisture and temperature, it will split and a new plant starts to grow. The new plant takes everything from the seed to accomplish its growth. In other words, the seed gives itself up (dies) for the new plant. With proper care, the new plant will produce much fruit of its own kind. Jesus knew from before the foundation of the world, that His mission would be to give Himself up for us. When Jesus freely gives Himself up and is buried, the germination process has begun. Now all who accept Him are new creatures. Formed completely out of His body from His own nature. Now that the process of growth has started, we must continue that process by caring for the new creature. We do that by studying Scripture, meditating on His Word and communicating with God through the Holy Spirit. If we follow the example of Jesus, we become bond slaves to Him and servants to our fellow man. We keep this up until our physical body is used up or until Jesus returns, whichever comes first. 17 If anyone belongs to Christ, there is a new creation. The old things have gone; everything is made new! –2 Cor. 15:17 (NCV)
Then when Jesus returns, the transformation will be complete! We will have new bodies because our fleshly bodies cannot stand in the glory of God.
We are born of the flesh and thus we follow after the lusts of the flesh just like the crowds in the day of Jesus. We follow the advice of our fleshly father, satan. Yes, we may have earthly parents who have accepted Jesus, but unless we have made that decision for ourselves, we are still children of the flesh, just as the people were then. If we were truly children of the living God, we would not live a lifestyle of sin. We would follow the example Jesus set for us. We should know and understand that when we accept Jesus, our lifestyles will change. When we have been born of the Spirit, we walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh. Yes, we will occasionally sin, but it will not be our lifestyle. Christianity is not a religion, it is a relationship with a living Lord. It is not a negative lifestyle, but it should be the most positive of all lifestyles since we, and we alone, have the hope of eternal life with Jesus. Jesus came to us from the Father to redeem us from sin and show us the way to the Father. If God is truly our Father, we will tell others about our hope in Jesus because we will be overflowing with hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
13 I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.—Romans 15:13 (NLT)
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
No matter how many times Jesus was rejected, He continued to try to get the people to believe Him. Jesus kept on saying what His Father had taught Him to say and some who heard believed Him. To those who believed, Jesus said “You are truly my disciples if you obey my teachings and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” The people replied that they had never been slaves, so how could they be set free? Jesus assured them that everyone who has a lifestyle of sin is a slave of sin. So it was with us, we were slaves to sin before we accepted Jesus as our Savior. He has set us free by making us a new creation in Christ Jesus. As soon as we accept Jesus, we become citizens of heaven and new creations. But living a holy lifestyle is a continuous process that we must work at everyday. 2 Do not be shaped by this world; instead be changed within by a new way of thinking. Then you will be able to decide what God wants for you; you will know what is good and pleasing to him and what is perfect.–Romans 12:2 (NCV)
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Nicodemus was a leader and a Pharisee. He came to Jesus at night because he probably did not want the other Jewish leaders to know about the visit. Nicodemus readily admits that he believes that Jesus has been sent from God. He wants to know more about this man that is proclaiming that the kingdom of God is near. Jesus immediately tells Nicodemus that unless you are born again, you will never see the kingdom of God. What an amazing concept! How can a human be born again? Jesus explains that He is not talking about physical rebirth, but spiritual. It is not a physical change, but a change of the desires of the heart. How does this happen? From a human standpoint, we are unable to explain what happens inside. But just as the wind comes and goes without our understanding, so the Holy Spirit works inside us to renew us and rebirth us as children of God. We may not know how, but the work that He does in our hearts leaves no doubt in our minds that we are being made into new creatures. At the very moment that we accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord, the new creation is born with all the rights that come with being a citizen of heaven. God will spend a lifetime completing the work that He has started in us, but finish it, He will.
1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith,—Hebrews 12:1-2a (NKJV)
The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” — Revelation 21:5 NIV
In the beginning, God created everything exactly as it should be.
31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day. — Genesis 1:31 NIV
Then sin came into the world and the pefect creation and creatures begin to grow old and decay. It wasn’t what God wanted, but there is a price to be paid when we sin. Since then, humans have been born in sin into a sinful world . The evil and the decay continue and get worse every day. God had a plan in place to redeem the world, so He sent His son to die on a cross. But, sin was and still is, in the world. So things continue to grow old and will continue to do so until Jesus comes back again. Even nature groans to be renewed while we wait for His return. One day that will happen and we will see a new heaven and a new earth. Our salvation will be complete and we will have new, glorified bodies that will last forever. No matter what the day or the date is, one day, it will happen and we will have had our last Happy New Year. That day when everything is made new could be called “Glorious, Joyful Eternity” and that is my hope and my prayer. My new year’s resolution is to practice spending more time with Jesus now because I believe it is possible to have a little bit of heaven here on earth.
I believe that is what Jesus meant when He taught us to pray “thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. 5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry– Colossians 3:1-5 NIV
When we accept Christ as our Savior it should change the way we assess the things we see and hear. There should be external evidence of what has taken place inside of us. Our thoughts and our hearts’ desires should be focused on things above and not on earthly things. If we find that we are still worried about the things happening around us, particularly those that we can’t control, we need to get into the Scriptures and allow the presence of the Holy Spirit to assure us of God’s omnipotence and omnipresence. If we find that most of our thoughts are still on the same things that we thought about before, we need to be sure that we have repented. True repentance will cause a change of some of our habits and our thought patterns. It will cause us to reprioritize the things in our lives. Before, we evaluated things according to worldly standards, now we should be evaluating them according to God’s standards. We have died and are now hidden in Christ. The flesh does not like this new us. It is a constant battle to put to death all those fleshly desires and satan will surely be coming around to remind you of how much “fun” you were having when you were serving Him. We have to put these fleshly things to death in our minds, while they are still in the idea or thought stage. If we allow them to take root in our mind, we have lost the battle. We cannot do this alone, we have to allow God to accomplish it through and for us.
3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.