Posts Tagged ‘born again’

Christ In Our Hearts

February 16, 2016

I grew up in the Lutheran church.  I asked Jesus into my heart as a young child.  As a young adult, I questioned the biblical grounds for the practice of asking Jesus into our hearts.  I want to share some of those thoughts with you today.

I.  Born Again:  John 3:1-8

There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”

Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”

Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

I believe that the reference to being born of water is referring to the natural birth.  The reference to being born of the Spirit is a reference to what happens when we are saved.  The first birth is physical, the second birth is spiritual.

II.  A New Creation:  II Corinthians 5:17*

 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

This verse reemphasizes the idea of newness.  When we are in Christ, the old passes away and we are made new.

A new birth.

A new creation.

New.

III.  Knock, Knock:  Revelations 3:20

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.

Who’s there?

Jesus.

Will you let Him in?

Into where?

Into your heart.

It doesn’t say that in this verse.  That is one interpretation.

IV.  Christ in Your Hearts:  Ephesians 3:14-21

For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

First I want to point out that we are strengthened by His Spirit.  God is the source of our strength.

Christ dwells in our hearts through faith.  Faith is the key.  We are saved by our faith in Jesus.  (Ephesians 2:8-10)  Our new life is available only because of what Christ did for us on the cross.

Our new lives are rooted in love.  God loves us.  We love God.  God loves everyone.  We should love everyone.

We can be filled with the fullness of God.  Not that we will become gods.  Our capacity for God is not that great, but our vessel can be filled with the Spirit of God.  God is infinite.  We are finite.  We can, however,  continue to grow in that relationship with God  throughout our lives.  It is sort of like a balloon that expands as air is breathed into it.

We will not ask Jesus into our hearts if we do not have faith in Him.  In doing this, our sins our forgiven, we are born again, made a new creation in Christ.

I believe that it is a good practice to ask Jesus into our hearts, even if that exact phrase is not found in Scripture.

This are the sermon notes from 1/3/16.  Any advertisements are placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them. 

*This is the memory verse for this week. 

 

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A New Life

September 29, 2014

I enjoy riding motorcycles.  The motorcycle that I now ride is over thirty years old.  If I had a new motorcycle I would only be able to ride one at a time.  If I were going on a trip, I could either ride the old bike or the new bike.  You cannot ride two motorcycles at the same time.

I.  Born Again:  John 3:3-8

 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”

Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

The concept of being born again comes from this passage of scripture.  Nicodemus was obviously puzzled since it is obvious that a rebirth in the flesh is absurd.  The new birth is not a physical event, but a spiritual event.  We are born in the flesh, we must be born again in the spirit.  This happens when a person responds with repentance and faith to the message of Jesus Christ.  The message of the incarnate Christ who died for our sins and rose again from the dead.

People who have been born again should be guided by the Spirit.  It is a new life in Christ.  The guidance of the Spirit will make a difference in our lives that can be seen, but may not be understood.

II.  God Loved:  John 3:14-19

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

God loves the world.  By this is meant that God loves the people of this world.  All of us.  God loves,  and so He gave.  He gave Jesus to be the sacrifice for our sins.  We are called to believe.  In believing we enter into a new relationship with God.  We respond to the gospel message with repentance and faith and He sends His Holy Spirit into our hearts.  It is when the Spirit enters our hearts that we are born again.  Born of the Spirit. It is a new life in Christ.

Some do not believe.  Some will reject the message of the love of God in Jesus.  They will be condemned, not just because they have sinned, but because they have rejected the only remedy for their sin.  If there was another way, then Jesus would not have had to give His life.  If Jesus did not have to give His life, then why would He?  Jesus is the only way of salvation, but some reject that offer of the love of God.  They will not give up their old life of sin for a new life in Christ.

III.  Serve Christ:  John 12:23-26

But Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. 24 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. 25 He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.

Jesus gave His life so that we might have new life.  We cannot have a new life in Christ without first letting go of the old life.  We must let go of our old life so that we can take hold of our new life in Christ.  God has a plan for us.  It is a good plan.  We can trust Him.  We should give our lives to Him and let Him make of us what He wants us to be.

We can either live our old life, or the new life that we have in Christ.  We cannot do both.

These are the sermon notes from 9/21/14.  Any advertisements that might appear are placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them.

 

The Light of Christ

January 30, 2012

Here are the sermon notes from Sunday.  Be sure to get your Bible and read the scripture references.

I.  Luke 23:39-43:  The Thief on the Cross

The thief on the cross was not able to change his life.  He could not do anything except profess a faith in Jesus. (Ephesians 2:8-10)  He was forgiven, and told that he would be with Jesus in paradise, that very day.  From this story we are encouraged to  never give up on people, that they may reject the gospel for years and still be saved before they die.  We also are reminded that believers who have died have gone to be with the Lord.  We should not, however, think that we should wait for our own final hour to commit ourselves to Christ.  Death can come suddenly, without warning, and today is the day of salvation.

II.  John 3:3-6:  The New Birth

When we turn to Christ in repentance and faith we are born again.  The Holy Spirit comes into our hearts as we turn to Him in prayer and we are a “new creation”  the old has passed away.

III.  I Peter 2:1-3  The Milk of the Word

We grow as Christians as God works in our lives by the Word and the Spirit.  We have many opportunities to learn what God has for us in the Bible.  Sermons, Sunday School, Bible study,  books, radio, television and our own private devotions, all give us exposure to the Word of God.  The Spirit of God uses the  Word of God to effect change in our lives as we mature in Christ.

IV.  Ephesians 5:8-11:  Walk as Children of Light

As we mature we find out what is acceptable to the Lord.  We gradually learn to distinguish between right and wrong in the eyes of God.  We learn what it means to “be holy”.  God helps us to do what is right, to bear the fruit of righteousness, for His name’s sake.

V.  Matthew 5:16:  Let Your Light Shine

Are we a candle or a spotlight?  How well is the light of Christ shining through our lives?  Let us draw close to God and allow His light to shine through our lives.  May people observe in our actions, attitudes and words,  the difference that Christ makes in us.