In John Chapter 15, Jesus gives a parable about a vineyard.
He says that he is the true vine, the Father is the Farmer and his disciples are the branches.
Just as a branch cannot produce fruit without the vine neither can we produce fruit without Jesus Christ.
Every branch in Jesus Christ is pruned so that it will produce fruit. No fruit can be produced without pruning.
Pruning is a part of growing in the Lord. Pruning requires taking away the old so that the new will grow.
This process can be painful. We are set in our ways and don’t like change. But in order to produce Holy Spirit fruit in our lives we must yield to the pruning process. Out with the old man filled with dry old ways of doing things and yielding to the sharp pruning tools of the Father.
Jesus tells us to abide in him. Continue in his word which is able to make us into what the Lord wants us to be. Filled with Holy Spirit fruit!
Just as a vine cannot produce fruit by itself neither can we produce fruit without Jesus Christ.
If we continue in the Lord we will produce much fruit.
Pruning the vine every spring just before growth begins allows the branches to have enough air movement around them to reduce disease.
Heavy pruning of the vine provides the best fruit.
While pruning may be needed throughout the year, pruning is best done when the vine is dormant, just before growth begins in spring.
Dormancy is when the plant slows down. Its metabolism, energy consumption, and growth are at a slow pace.
Sometimes when we seem to be inactive, placed on the shelf, that is when the pruning happens. Our lives in a winter stage while seeming to be going no where are in reality being pruned.
Reflection. Repentance. Seeking the Lord. Searching for answers. Giving up of sin. Intense prayer. Dying to self.
The winter stage many times can be rough going but harsh winters with much pruning produce a great harvest of fruit.
In order for a grape vine to flourish it must have plenty of sun shine. In the same way we must have plenty of Holy Spirit saturation.
If a vine has little light it will eventually dry up and die.
In his presence is fullness of joy. We get inspired in God’s presence, strengthened and empowered.
Being in the sun reduces pest problems too. That old devil and his varmints hate the light. The more light the less devil problems.
The vine also needs plenty of water for the roots to grow and expand deep into the ground. The branches can’t produce a healthy life flow without plenty of the water.
Being watered with the word makes us grow in the Lord.
Without the water of the word our roots will shrivel and die or at the very least be stunted in growth.
Roots need to be soaked in water before planting. This is significant because a vine produces healthy branches only after a deep saturation.
The more of the word we are saturated in, the more we become grounded in the truth. It is hard to dig up deep rooted plants.
It is interesting to note that a grapevine needs some type of support system or the branches will trail along the ground. In the same way we need support to grow properly. Without proper support the Lord’s disciples will become bogged down, carrying a lot of burden.
Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2
Another important factor in a healthy vineyard is to weed constantly. If weeds grow under the grape vine the soil temperature will stay cooler. This will delay growth.
The cares of this life if not dealt with will choke the branches from receiving life from the vine. We need to hoe out all those worldly cares and troubles. Being diligent to guard our hearts against anything that will clog up our spiritual life.
Jesus tells us that if we continue in him then we will be fruitful but if not then we will wither and possibly die.
A healthy branch abides in the vine and produces much fruit!
If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. John 15:7-9
First of all let me tell you what it does not mean. It does not mean a natural physical descent in the same way as a natural birth.
To be born of God or gennaō ek theos in the Greek is to be born again or regenerated by God. (palingenesia in the Greek)
To regenerate is to regrow or replace something that was missing. To be formed again. To produce anew.
To be born again from a spiritual perspective is to be recreated.
The term palingenesia is actually a Greek Hellenistic word used to describe a process or recreating. To be born again. Restore to the original.
Jesus uses this same word to describe the regeneration of his Kingdom that is to come. The new earth which will be recreated. Restored to it’s original.
And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Matthew 19:28
Keeping this context in mind we can see what is meant by being born again or born of God.
It is actually a recreation process of the Holy Spirit.
In fact the word used for the conception and birth of Jesus Christ. To be born of God. gennaō ek theos.
Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature. Colossians 1:15
Jesus was born of God. His human form was created by the Holy Spirit.
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Matthew 1:18
Those born of God are recreated or restored to the original. palingenesia
Regenerated from the old man whose spirit was separated from God and dead in sin to the new man made alive in Christ. The new man created in righteous and holiness.
For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. 1 Corinthians 15:21-23
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost. Titus 3:5
And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Ephesians 4:24
To be born of God is to be recreated by the Holy Spirit. A spiritual re birth. Restored to the original. United with God’s Holy Spirit.
That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. John 3:6
Jesus said you must be born again to enter the kingdom of God.
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 3:3
It is this requirement that makes one a child of God.
All the intellectual ideology about God or all the theological principles of the Bible does not make one a child of God.
Nor does going to church, participating in catechism, saying hail Mary’s, or Bible reading. You MUST be born again.
You MUST be regenerated. You must be restored to the original spiritual creation.
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 3:3
That being said what then can one do to acquire this regeneration process?
The Bible makes it clear that we must first of all believe that Jesus Christ is both Savior and Lord.
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. Romans 10:9
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6
Then we must receive him as both Savior and Lord.
And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:11
That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9
That means we receive his salvation gift and his Lordship.
for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11
For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:9-11
It is not enough to simply believe in God. Even Satan believes in God.
Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. James 2:19
Many believe in Jesus Christ as Saviour but they do not receive him as Lord.
If you confess Jesus as Lord you shall be saved.
Why is this an important factor in the regeneration process?
Because to acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord means to confess him as one’s head, having authority over, one’s master and ruler.
Lord kurios in the Greek. “Master,” or “Owner.”
You are not your own but are bought with a price the Bible clearly tells us.
know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. 1 Corinthians 6:19–20
In other words you are redeemed. That is you are the possession of another who has purchased you with a price.
Redeem is to gain or regain possession of (something) in exchange for payment.
Jesus Christ purchased you with his blood. He gave his life up for you in exchange for your life belonging to him.
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace. Ephesians 1:7
For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 1 Peter 1: 18,19
This means one repents of living a self serving life and surrenders to live a life determined by God in his word.
Repent Metanoeo To change ones mind. To have a a transformative change of heart.
God requires repentance as a part of salvation. Repentance is turning away from what is wrong to what is right.
I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Luke 5:32
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Acts 2:38
Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord. Acts 3″19
For the Lord your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if ye return unto him. 2 Chronicles 30:9
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9
Repentance is the fruit which proves one has being born again.
Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance. Matthew 3:8
While confession of sin is important it does not save in and of itself. Many confess their sin but keep going back to it.
True repentance stops the sin. In other words one must turn to God in surrender rather than continuing to live a life of sin. Repentance is accompanied with godly sorrow.
For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. 2 Corinthians 7:10–11
Repentance requires sorrow for sin. Not a sorry I got caught but a sorrow to the point of laying down the sin at the cross and not picking it up again.
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Revelations 3:9
When one reaches a complete surrender of self to God through faith in Jesus Christ and repentance toward him the Holy Spirit will bring regeneration.
Without repentance there is no true salvation.
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Romans 6:1-4
Jesus said you shall know who belong to him by their fruit.
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 1John 4:7
Those born of God do not continue in sin.
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 1 Corinthians 6:9
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Matthew 7:21-23
Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 1 John3:9
Those born of God overcome the world. Their faith in Jesus Christ is the victory that overcomes the world.
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name. John 1:12
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 1 John 5:4
Now that does not mean there is not a battle and a real devil who tempts but what it does mean is that a true born of God person will not continue to live a lifestyle of sin.
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7
To be born of God is to be born of the Spirit and born of the word. These two agree in one. The word of God is the seed. The logos which is made alive by the Spirit.
Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. 1 Peter 1:23
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 1 John 5:4-12
If you are born of God or become born of God scriptures tell us to grow up in the Lord by feeding on his word the Bible. Then you will mature and become the person God has created you to be!
As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby. 1 Peter 2:2
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16,17
So as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. Colossians 1:10
In Matthew chapter 10 Jesus is instructing his disciples on how they would minister in his name after he was not with them anymore in physical form .
Jesus told them that they would have power over devils and be able to heal the sick but they would face great persecution for it.
Jesus tells his disciples not to be afraid because God will provide for them.
“You are more valuable than sparrows.” Jesus tells them.
This is a significant metaphor because not only are sparrows very tiny but they are the most common bird in the world. Their value on a monetary scale is less than a penny. You can buy two for one.
This metaphor reminds us that even though we may not consider ourselves to be very important in the grand scheme of things, Jesus puts great value on us. He says that if God cares about even a sparrow that falls to the ground, and makes sure that their needs are supplied then why wouldn’t he care for us? Our value to him is so much more!
Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. Matthew 10:29-31
Not only are sparrows common birds but they live in any small area they can find. Sparrows particularly like to live near human populations.
The sparrow metaphor is used by the Lord because the sparrow signifies humanity. There are masses of people on the earth just like the common sparrow.
One has only to look at the parallel of the sparrow to realize that humanity is in a decline situation. The environment for sparrows is being effected by sin in the same way as it is for humans.
As humanity turns away from the living God they decline in every way in the natural realm. This in turn affects the sparrow who lives along side of humans.
The decline in sparrow populations today is significant. It is reflective of the human population turning away from God. This is a prophetic sign that we are indeed in the end times.
Sparrows feed predominantly on seeds. They do eat insects when they can find them but their mainstay is seed. Without seed sparrows perish. This is another reason for the metaphor.
Jesus said that the word of God is like seed that a sower sows. The receptivity of the heart determines the outcome of the seed. Whether the seed goes on to produce a good crop or whether it does not. All is dependent on the soil of one’s heart.
God’s word is like seed. Planted in good soil the seed will grow into the abundant life promised by Jesus Christ. Planted in not so good soil the seed will die. Matthew 13
Just like sparrows need seed to survive so does humanity need the seed of God’s word to survive. Without God’s word humanity will die both physically and spiritually.
When the enemy is ruling in the land or promise that the Lord had given to us then we must go out to battle for it. ( the enemy will oppose)
The Lord tells us in his word to not be afraid of the giants or strongholds.
Do not be afraid of the challenges! Remember the past victories that the Lord has given you! Deuteronomy 20:1
“Let not your hearts faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be ye terrified because of them.” Deuteronomy 20:3
When the Lord had given you a promise (his promises are yes and amen) then the Lord will fight for you to attain that promise. He goes before you into battle! The Lord is our Savior! He is our deliverer!
For the Lord your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you. Deuteronomy 20:4
Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Deuteronomy 31:6
Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you! Joshua 1:3
Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Luke 10:19
Remember that our high priest and mediator Jesus Christ is praying to the Father for us! We need not fear!
For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:15
The Lord told Joshua to go and take the land. God said that he would be with him in spite of all the obstacles he was facing. The voice of our high priest tells us in his word to go forth into battle against our enemies without fear. He will go before us to defeat the giants and we shall be victorious!
Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. Joshua 1:9
Joshua and his army obeyed God. They went fearlessly to battle.
They won the victory because they refused to listen to negative reports but rather they chose to believe God’s word.
They refused to consider how big the giants were because they knew how big their God was.
With bold faith, dedication and perseverance Joshua and his army fearlessly went to battle against tremendous odds.
The enemy is a thief and a squatter. He must be booted out of our territory!
It is only by trusting in the Lord’s ability to fight for us that we are guaranteed to have a successful outcome.
When we keep our eyes on Jesus and not the bigness of the problem, our promise is sure to come! Our enemy is forced to submit to God’s rule whether they like it or not.
Since our fight is not with flesh and blood but with spiritual wickedness opposed to us we must use God’s weapons to fight.
Our weapons are not human weapons. We cannot fight a supernatural phenomenon with our own devices. We cannot defeat the giants of infirmity, debt, lack, or affliction by our own ingenuity or intellectual prowess .
We take up spiritual weapons that are mighty through God to pull down the enemy’s strongholds. 2 Corinthians 10:4
We take up the sword of the Spirit to cut down the lies of the enemy. We take up the sheild of faith by trusting in God’s word.
We preserve in prayer and do not faint until the Lord brings the stronghold down. Ephesians 6:10-18
We will achieve the victory because we are more than conquerors through Christ who loved us and gave himself for us. Romans 8:37-39
Rise up and put the sword of the Spirit to the devil’s throat. Make him bow down in submission to God’s word.
Our enemy has no choice but to back off when God is on our side. If God is for us then who can be against us? Romans 8:31.
Is the enemy reigning in your land? Then rise up in faith and pray.
Stand on the promises of God our Savior.
God has given his people the weapons of our warfare to fight the good fight of faith.
Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies. Psalms 108:13
With the Lord fighting for us in the spiritual realm the enemy strong holds are sure to come down.
Rise up and take the land! The promises of God are yes and amen! For the Lord your God is with you!
In John Chapter 4 is the story of the Samaritan women who encountered Jesus at Jacob’s well.
Now there are many symbolisms in this story but I am going to zone in on something in particular.
Notice how it was Jesus who approached the Samaritan woman first. It was he who sought her out.
Jesus got the attention of the Samaritan woman by asking her to give to him a drink of water.
The woman was flabbergasted. Why would this man be asking me for anything?
Jesus in effect did more than just approach a woman he did not know (which was not a common occurrence in Israel) but he also offered that woman to partake of his living water.
Notice how Jesus calls this woman going about her daily life. This woman probably had a whole bunch of things on her mind and was not exactly expecting to see the Messiah that day. She was however seeking him out and was just about to get her answer.
According to the gospel of John it was important for Jesus to go to Samaria.
“And he must needs go through Samaria.”
Jesus had an appointment.
The very first thing that Jesus does is go to Jacob’s well. There he meets the Samaritan women.
After the Samaritan women asked Jesus why he would ask her for anything Jesus replied, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that I am then you would have asked me for living water.”
Jesus was pointing out to the Samaritan women that he was the gift being sent to her. Coming along at a time in her life when she was not expecting it.
Jesus had a divine appointment with this Samaritan women. An encounter that was about to change her life.
Jesus watching the Samaritan women draw water asks her for a drink and then he offers to the Samaritan women his living water. He tells the Samaritan woman that if she drinks of his living water then she will never thirst again. Jesus also tells the Samaritan women that his living water would spring up for her into everlasting life.
Right away the Samaritan women replied. “Give to me this water so I don’t have to come here and draw water any more.“
Women had to walk a long ways sometimes to get water. Then they had to walk back home again carrying the heavy vessel filled with that water. In effect what the Samaritan women was asking is for Jesus to take her burden. She was worn out. Life for her had not been easy.
Knowing this Jesus asked her. “Give me to drink.”
Even in her own struggles this Samaritan women took the time to minister to the need of another.
Jesus then let the Samaritan women know that he understood her problems. He revealed her life story. This then caused the Samaritan woman to realize that Jesus had supernatural ability to help her.
When Jesus revealed to the Samaritan women that he knew her heart issue he also revealed to her the solution.
Jesus pointed out that all the husbands that the Samaritan woman had in her lifetime were a poor substitute for the need she really had which was to be loved and cared for.
One can only imagine the harsh life the Samaritan woman must have had. No body could have had that many husbands without some sort of hardship going on.
Jesus in effect was pointing out that if the Samaritan woman drank his living water then her heart’s need would be met.
The Samaritan women was looking for Messiah. She knew that Messiah was to come. She even acknowledged that Messiah had the answer to her problems.
“When Messiah comes he will tell us all these things.“
Jesus answered. “I am the one you are looking for.”
Jesus told the Samaritan women the answer to her life’s longing. What she needed was to worship God in the Spirit. She needed to come to him to have living water. Only his living water could satisfy the longing of her heart.
When the Samaritan women recognized that Jesus was indeed the Messiah she could not help but share the good news. She ran to tell everyone about Jesus and his ability to help them with their problems too. He was the Messiah they had been waiting for!
There is something important I would like to point out about this encounter at Jacob’s well.
The Samaritan women was a seeker. She was thirsty for Messiah to come. She wanted to have his living water to ease the burdens in her life.
Jesus was sent to the Samaritan women. He sought her out because she was looking for him. She was thirsty for Messiah to tell her the things she needed to know. The Samaritan woman knew Messiah had all the answers!
Encumbered by her heavy load and searching for answers the Samaritan Women had the right heart condition to be open to the gospel message.
Jesus did this same thing with the people who were seeking him when they were hungry. He saw their need and wanted to meet their need. He asked the disciples. Do you have any bread? Mark 8:16
When a blind man sought out Jesus he asked him, “What is it you want me to do? “ Mark 10:51
Again when a crippled man wanted to be healed Jesus said. “Take up your bed and walk.” John 5:8
Notice the pattern?
Seek. Ask. Do. Miracle.
Are you seeking God for something? Are you thirsty? Heavy burdened? Sick? Hungry? In need of a miracle?
Then Jesus has an appointment with you today! He says I am the one you are seeking for. I am the Messiah. I am the one able to meet your need.
Give to me your heart. I am knocking. I am here to help you. I know your problems, struggles, life issues.
Come to me in faith. Believe that I am and that I am able to help you. Turn to me with all your heart. I will give you living water to drink that will spring forth into eternal life.
“For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” Matthew 7:8
Christians are justified freely by grace or undeserved mercy. That means our right standing with God is made legitimate by God’s gift which is given not by our own merit but by his mercy.
This occurs because of the redemption (being saved from evil due to sin) that is IN Christ Jesus.
Notice that it is by being IN Christ Jesus that we are saved. IN means being enclose by or surrounded by something else.
IN is the key word to focus on to really understand our position as a child of God.
IN Christ we are new creatures. Our redemption comes not outside but IN Christ.
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17
The Christian identity is IN CHRIST. Positioned in a place of enclosure.
Romans 6:3 says we were baptized into Jesus Christ and were baptized into his death.
In other words, IN CHRIST the Christian is emerged. IN CHRIST, the Christian is emerged into his death.
It is the death of Jesus Christ on the cross that brings our emersion INTO him.
Colossians 3:3 says that Christians are dead IN Christ and as the Chapter continues it tells us that our life is not our own. We are IN CHRIST. Therefore, we belong to him because he has purchased us with his own blood.
Once we are saved then we are risen with Christ.
Christ’s resurrection raises us up with him IN heavenly places. We are seated positionally with him in his victory.
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
In putting this all together; Christians are Justified In Christ because of his redemption. Christians are dead In Christ because of his death so we are not our own anymore. Christians are seated with Christ IN heavenly places or from a kingdom of God position.
From this position Christians operate in this world. In Christ as his ambassadors. In Christ as his children.
We are commissioned now to preach reconciliation to those who do not yet know him.
“Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.”
Romans Chapter 8 says that those who are in Jesus Christ, (that is those born again and, in his salvation,) are not condemned by God if they are not walking after the carnal nature but are walking in the Holy Spirit.
What does it mean to be condemned? In English it means to have disproval. To criticize something or someone strongly.
The Greek word is katakrima which means to come under penalty. To pass judgement against.
Romans Chapter 8 goes on to tell us that if we are minding carnal things rather than spiritual things then we are in enmity with God. In other words, if we are living for the flesh (the body, which is living for the passions and sensual appetites) temporal, worldly, or secular things then we are in a hostile opposing position with God. This makes us under condemnation. God disproves of us and our life styles!
Living in the flesh or carnal nature has grave consequences for the Christian. Romans 8 tells us that it produces death in us.
Jesus died to set us free from sin, but we must cooperate with that spiritual position that he has provided. Living by the carnal nature brings only death. What is death? Failure, sickness, poverty, demonic oppression, depression. Any thing contrary to the abundant life which Jesus died to purchase for us.
Romans Chapter 8 tells us that if we live under the law in order to gain God’s approval then we will fail miserably in our lives. Also, we will still be in enmity with God anyway because the law has no power to conquer sin. All the law does is expose our sin. “You lied. Bad you!”
Jesus came to give a better way. He said to his disciples that when he went away, he would send the Holy Spirit to help us in our weakness. The flesh is weak and cannot keep the law. Only God can keep the law.
Did you know that if you are born again that God lives in you? Yes, he does but many Christians who are ignorant of this reality are living still under the law. They don’t understand that the same power that lived in Jesus Christ, that performed miracles and raised Jesus from the dead, actually lives in them!
Romans 8 tells us to walk in the Spirit and we will not fulfill the desires of the sinful body. Which is going to be thrown into the trash heap one day and we will get a new one that is not subject to sin!
What does it mean to walk in the Spirit? Well to walk is to take a journey. Our life in this world is a journey towards eternity! We are called to walk with God! Not walking in our own ways but walking in God’s way.
He hath showed thee, O man, what is good, and what doth Jehovah require of thee, but to do judgment and the love of mercy, and to humble thyself by walking with thy God? (Micah 6:8)
Holy Spirit who lives in us is our helper and teacher. We need to acknowledge Holy Spirit and depend on him for everything. Did you know that the Holy Spirit wants to help you? Yes, he does but you have got to ask him. He won’t impose on you.
And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Luke 11:9
Romans Chapter 8 tells us that the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. Don’t know how to pray effectively? Ask Holy Spirit. He will show you. Need comfort? Need revelation? Need wisdom? Need strength? Need provision? Just ask Holy Spirit and he will help you!
Jesus Christ provided for us a new covenant with a new and better way of living. The law can never conquer the sinful nature. The way to have victory over sin and the devil is life in the Holy Spirit!
If we walk with God on our journey to eternity we will not be under condemnation because we will not be fulfilling the lusts of the flesh. Rather we will be living our life under the control of the Holy Spirit!
Walking with God by the Holy Spirit is the abundant life promised to us by Jesus Christ.
Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. John 16:24
In Matthew Chapter 25 Jesus is talking to his disciples about the kingdom of God which was to come.
The disciples were so exited that they thought this was going to happen right away. Jesus, however, tells them a parable about a man who sets his servants in charge of his estate while he goes away for a while on a journey.
In the story the Lord gives each of his servants some talents to put to use on his behalf while he goes away. Before he leaves, he gives his servants this one instruction. “Occupy till I come”.
Occupy in the Greek is pragmateuomai which means to keep busy.
During Jesus’ time Roman servants or slaves were the property of their owners. Many slaves were educated, and some were even doctors and others were businessmen.
Roman culture had influence even in Israel and that is why some of Jesus’ parables drew from Roman analogies.
Jesus talked about giving servants talents to use to further the estate of their Lord. This was a common practice of the Romans. A Roman slave could hold property and actually use it as his own. However, the property belonged to the Lord or Roman Citizen. All credit from the business of the estate while run by a slave or servant was credited to the Owner. The servant was responsible to gain interest for his Lord.
A servant could be trained in various business ventures like real estate, husbandry, or farming.
The servant was expected to get increase or profit from the business. A servant who failed to do this could be beaten or even killed.
Jesus likened his kingdom in the same way. He gives his servants each a certain amount of talents. A talent can be a natural aptitude or a skill. Not just monetary. In fact, the word talent is from the Latin. Jesus used a Latin term to explain a spiritual principal. A talent was a unit of weight. Today we use the word to convey a natural skill or gifting but in effect it is the same thing. With out a skill you will not be able to get monetary increase.
Notice how Jesus gives each person a different amount of talents. In other words, one is responsible for what they have and not for what they do not have.
What Jesus said in Matthew 25, is this. (my paraphrase) “I have given you a gift or gifts as my servant. Keep busy while I am away. Give to me when I return increase on the talent (s), I have given you.”
Are you being faithful with your gifts? Remember that the Lord rewards those who gain or add to those gifts that he has given. To the one who fails to use their gift(s) they are not rewarded when Jesus returns according to this parable.
For unto everyone that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. Matthew 25:29
Let us use all that the Lord had given us for his glory! Occupy or keep busy till he comes back!
THE Latin word for sword is Gladius. This sword was used by Roman foot soldiers when in close proximity to the enemy. It was used to thrust at unprotected parts of the body while the shield was held up moving forward in battle.
Enemy exposed areas such as the throat, armpit, groin and main arteries were able to be thrust at with short stabs.
The Gladius was also used for blocking an opponent. A Roman soldier could block the enemy’s sword thereby leaving another Roman soldier adjacent to him to thrust the final blow.
The Gladius was also two edged. This gave it multi purpose. Not only could the Gladius be used for thrusting and blocking but the Gladius could also be used for slashing, or cutting. A Roman soldier was able to take opportune moments to slash at an exposed knee below the opponent’s shield or slash at an arm or neck which could end the fight in a moment’s time.
The Bible likens God’s word to a Gladius. This is because in the same way that the Gladius was used in direct confrontation with the enemy so is God’s word a weapon to be used against the onslaughts of the devil.
In battle the Christian moves forward by faith to engage in spiritual warfare. The shield is held in place. Not only to protect the soldier but to thwart off any opposition attacks. Then the Gladius or sword of the Spirit is to be thrust at the enemy.
With a trained Roman soldier the sword could enter the abdomen and kill the opposition. The abdomen was a prime area to attack. The Bible relays many incidents where a sword was used through the belly in war. The belly symbolizes life flow. Jesus said out of your belly or spirit will flow rivers of living water.
The sword thrust through the stomach could cause death within minutes or cause a prolonged death. Depending on the precise area of the wound. This is the same in spiritual warfare. Death to the enemy plan may take a short time or a prolonged time. This is why continued prayer and ministry of the word of God is important until the victory is won.
GOD’S word is two edged like the Gladius because it not only thrusts to kill but it divides. In other words it can rightly divide truth from error. When used by a trained soldier in Jesus Christ the sword of the Spirit is a powerful weapon. It destroys strongholds, casts down high things exalting themselves against God’s truth, rightly divides the word of God, cuts up deception, chops corruption into spam and is able to be thrust right into the flow of the enemy. Death will most certainly occur. The enemy will be defeated! It’s just a matter of time.
Hebrews 4:12 , For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Take up your Gladius today and go forth into battle in the power of our Lord’s might and strength! Wage war against the powers of darkness and fight the good fight of faith in Jesus name!
2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.