IF YOU ARE BORN AGAIN
SATURDAY 29 APRIL 2023
If you repent and give your life to Christ, that's wonderful. Congratulations! You are now a child of God because according to the Scriptures, "God has rescued you from the kingdom of darkness and transferred you into the Kingdom of His dear Son, who purchased your freedom and forgave your sins" (Colossians 1:13-14 NLT).
Now you need to understand that you no longer belong to the devil's domain, and this implies that you have been saved and your salvation denotes a starting point for your new life in Christ and the development of your human spirit according to your divine nature, which defines the scope for walking in the light and flourishing in Christ. Today, I want to bring the idea of living as a born again Christian down to earth, so you can understand what it truly means and how to function accordingly in your day-to-day life.
Reference: Matthew 3:8 New International Version (NIV) "Produce fruit in keeping with repentance."
In my own words, what the Scripture says here is this: Maintain the purpose for which you have been saved and demonstrate it beyond doubt, by the way you live. The NLT relates it to validating or backing it up with evidence and it reads, "Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God."
Actually, in the context of our referenced Scripture, John the Baptist was preaching in the wilderness of Judea. And as people went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan, he baptised them. Then he saw the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, and he said them, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not think you can say to yourselves, "We have Abraham as our father." I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire" (see Matthew 3:7-10 NIV). In other words, having Abraham as a father will not save you because he is not a saviour or the author of salvation.
Beloved, if you belong to Christ, 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT) says, "You have become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!" Now you have to produce fruit in keeping with the new life in Christ. That's exactly what John the Baptist was communicating. There should be a transforming process that produces good fruit in you and through you. And this is what it involves:
Romans 12:2 (AMP): "Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies [dedicating all of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship. And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you]."
The above set of instructions in the book of Romans are for born again Christians and they are considered the procedure or effective measure one must observe in order to prove by the way they live that they are born again and now live for God. You must be determined to dedicate all of yourself to God, bearing in mind that you've been set apart to serve Him in spirit and in truth. In fact, that's right way to cooperate with the excellent work the Spirit of God has begun in you. You are responsible for the renewing of your mind and focusing on godly values - by practising and establishing the truth of God's Word in your life. In doing so, you become transformed and progressively changed, which results in spiritual maturity. Then you'll begin to produce good fruit.
John 15:4-6 (NIV) "Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned."
How do we remain in Christ and produce much fruit? By paying attention to the Word and doing it (see also John 8:31 (NKJV). That's the way to prove that you have repented and you serve the Lord. Shalom!
Scripture Reading - Matthew 12:33; John 15:16; 1 John 2:6; 2 John 1:9.
Guided Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, I'm grateful that you chose me in Christ Jesus as a result of the excessive, extravagant and bigly uncurbed love you shower on me and the gigantic kindness you've directed toward me. In keeping with my repentance and salvation, I produce good and superabundant fruit by heeding your Word and obeying the dictates, thereby living as Jesus did on earth. To acknowledge your love, I take my gratitude to the next level by partnering with you to ensure that your eternal purpose for my salvation comes to fruition in Jesus' Name, Amen!