Citizens Now, Glorious Citizens Later

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

21 Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. 23 His son by the slave woman was born according to the flesh, but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a divine promise. 24 These things are being taken figuratively: The women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar. 25 Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother.—Gal. 4:21-26 (NIV)
​As we have seen in the earlier verses, the Jewish leaders have been trying to convince the new converts to return to the old Jewish traditions. Paul is making the point here that they need to consider the hardships and severity of the law before they turn back to it. He is using the birth of Issac and Ishmael to demonstrate the difference in natural and spiritual things. Those that return to worldly things (the natural Jerusalem) are still in slavery to those things. But since Issac was born to fulfill a divine promise, there is now a choice that we can make. We can follow the fleshly lineage and remain slaves or we can follow the divine lineage, accept Jesus and become citizens of the Jerusalem which is above.
20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ​, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.–Phil. 3:20 (NIV)
But one day, the New Jerusalem will come down to earth and all those that have chosen the divine lineage (Jesus) will be citizens of the New Jerusalem.
I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband—Rev.21:2 (NIV)
Post 04-08-2015

Each of Us Must Be Born Again

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

1 ​There was a man named Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was a Pharisee.​ ​2 After dark one evening, he came to speak with Jesus. “Rabbi,” he said, “we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you.”​ 3 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”​ 4 “What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?”​ 5 Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. 6 Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. 7 So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’8 The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.”—John 3:1-8 (NLT)
​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)
Post 11-01-14