THE REDEMPTION THAT IS IN CHRIST
Let me take this time to answer a question you may have been asking for a long time.
‘Born again – what does it really mean?’
You see, life is basically lived as a reward, i.e. what you are experiencing as a middle aged or older man are basically products of choices you made or did not make when you were young.
Are you a young man? Then read this:
“Rejoice young man, during your childhood, and let your heart be pleasant during the days of your young manhood. And follow the impulse of your heart and the desires of your eyes, yet know that God will bring you to judgment for all these things.” Eccl 11: 9.
All the things you are doing today or have done in your past have awaiting you consequences. It does not matter whether they are good or evil, hidden or open. The Bible says that “God will bring EVERY act to judgement, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.”
Many of those things you thought you got away with because nobody saw you have affected your life seriously, it is just that you will not discover the consequences for the next 10-15 years. Unfortunately, you probably would have forgotten the cause of your troubles then.
You see, a lot of times people blame God for the troubles around them, not realizing that every single trouble of man is caused by man.
At other times, people ask why God is not doing anything. The issue is this: why should He? You have forgotten that the world is man’s business. If you want God’s help you have to ask for it. Why should you talk as if He is the cause of your problems? He is not your problem. He is your solution.
The next problem is that men often think God should follow their own ideas of a solution. They forget that they know next to nothing. God knows all. He has provided the needed solution but men are ignoring it.
Men are ignoring the solution to their problems! Funny? Yes, funny but true. Let me tell you a small story to illustrate this point. General Naaman of Syria had what the doctors call Hansen’s disease, commonly called leprosy. He was referred to the consultant miracle worker, Rev. Elisha. As he approached, he was met by the prophet’s P. A who told him that the prescription was ‘go jump into the Jordan river seven times.’ What did Naaman do? He did just what I am complaining about. He felt the Reverend should have followed his own idea, he Naaman.
‘Behold, I thought “He will surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place and cure me.” ’
You see, the prescription was simple but it did not agree with his opinion. Thank God that in this case his servants could persuade him to obey the Reverend gentleman’s orders. The result is that he was perfectly made whole. (The story is in 2nd kings).
What is God’s prescription to solve man’s problems?
Relax. I’ll tell you in a moment. Let’s go back to this issue of consequences.
Whether you like it or not, it is true that what controls life does not respect your opinion and is more than easily meets the eye. It is quite unfortunate that it appears that more evil consequences are awaiting people than good ones. Life seems to tend to follow that negative line. There are many reasons for this. Here are a few:
‘The heart of man is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick.’
‘Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child.’
Another reason is that evil tends to weigh a lot more than good. Jesus said ‘A little leaven leavens the whole lump.’
James said ‘A small spark sets a great forest on fire.’
Solomon said ‘One sinner destroys much good.’
You are quite aware that it is much easier to wreck a car than to build one. A city takes decades to build but can be destroyed in a day. Yes, it doesn’t sound nice but this is the fact of life.
Another fact of life is that the consequence of one man’s sin often does affect the generations after him. You know, one man does something, he dies and is buried, yet his sons suffer the consequences. Very much like the saying that the fathers ate sour grapes and the children’s teeth are set on edge.
‘Ah! This is totally unfair! Why is it so?’
Well, don’t worry about that. It is so, it is so. Don’t let’s spend our mental energy on what will not profit, let us invest it in looking for the solution. And by the way, don’t blame God (most people seem to love doing that whenever there in something they have no control over), if you must blame anybody, blame the fathers who ate the grapes.
Let me state this fact: There are spiritual laws and there is a spiritual realm. These spiritual things absolutely control every event on this earth. Space will not allow me show that to you, but please let no ignoramus who thinks he is wise tell you otherwise. There is more to life than meets the eye. In this life there are no accidents, happenstances or mere coincidences; every significant event had a spiritual antecedent. You better believe it.
I, writing this, have studied science to a level far beyond average. I understand in depth the scientific explanations of the causes of disease. Yet, I make bold to tell you that only a foolish scientist makes you think there are no spiritual things. Listen to me, the theory of evolution as opposed to creation was the idea of a thinker, not a researcher and he never really believed it. The science world only propagated it because it wanted to reject the only alternative –creation!
Do you have any idea what is waiting for you around the next corner?
Well, I’m not trying to judge you nor am I even trying to scare you. I have brought you good news!
Enter, the God of the universe!
He does not want any to perish or suffer but that they may enjoy good life. Jesus said I have come that you may have life and have it in an abundant measure.
God is saying ‘I can engineer things so that those negative things will never come to you. Oh yes, with your cooperation. I can wipe away all the things that are written against you. I can make your life new.’
‘Oh yes, you were a prostitute, but I can make life become for you like that of a virgin.’
‘Yes, you have been a thief; I can make an honest successful businessman out of you.’
‘I know your father sold you into bondage to one god which has made you an outcast, yet I can be a new father to you, bring you into liberty in my house and make your community look up to you.’
‘I am well aware that your reproductive organs were irreparably damaged because of that abortion in your sixteenth year of age, but please let me introduce myself to you: I am the God who makes barren women dwell in the house as joyful mothers of children.’
‘I am the Lord God of all flesh, there is nothing too difficult for me.’
This is God’s prescription: ‘If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord over your life and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead you will be saved!’
This is God’s solution: The redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
Oh, friends. That is God. Do you see what salvation is now?
‘So what happened to all my evil deeds?’ You may ask. ‘I thought you said that God will surely bring it all to judgement.’
You see, my friend, Jesus paid it all.
‘He was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was laid upon him. Because of His wounds, we are healed.
‘The Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.’
That is the redemption that is in Christ Jesus!
That is the meaning of the blood of Jesus!
That is God’s solution!
Do you now see what it means to be born again? It does not mean I now go to church. It means my old life has been forgiven, washed clean. I have started an entirely new life, this new life I do not live for or by myself but by faith in Jesus i.e. I follow His words and believe everything He says. It means I am now a child of God, related to Him through Jesus.
Do you see it?
If so, then it is time to make your commitment to Him. Pray with me:
‘Heavenly Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus. Forgive me my sins, wash away my past.
‘I accept Jesus as my Lord, I believe He is alive.
‘I make a commitment today to follow your ways. Let old things be gone from my life, I will always love and obey Jesus.
‘Thank you for your love and sacrifice. Amen.
Now you now one of them, BORN AGAIN.