To know Jesus Christ personally through repentance of sin and acceptance of Him as your Lord and Savior is the greatest gift given to any individual on the earth at any time. This is the choice and step that leads to our sins being washed away and our reconciliation with God. Man was separated from God by sin. Man is reunited to God through the acknowledgement of the sacrifice that Jesus paid upon the cross, and receiving the gift of salvation as an individual and personal choice.
When most people think about life, they think about the life they live here in this earth. But real life – the God kind of life, never really comes to any individual until they come to know Jesus Christ and receive Him as Savior. This truth is what Jesus was opening the eyes of the religious ruler Nicodemous to.
John 3:1-10 “Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.” In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” “How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!” Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked. “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things?”
When a person comes to believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and comes to the understanding that Jesus came to bear every individual’s sins, personally, as they would make the choice to sincerely pray and asks Jesus to forgive them, then the miracle of their real birth happens. Their sins are washed away, the Holy Spirit comes to reside within their heart, and their new life in Christ begins. They have a spiritual birth – what Jesus called being “born again.” From the moment of that experience, the Holy Spirit comes to reside within a person’s heart, and begins to open their eyes to see the world through God’s eyes.
The Apostle Paul wrote more about this in 2 Cor. 5:17-18. “What this means is that those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun! All this newness of life is from God, who brought us back to Himself through what Christ did.”
From the second we become a new Christian, we are given a life-long assignment. It’s described in 2 Cor. 5:19 like this: “And God has given us the task of reconciling people to Him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them.”
This is the wonderful message He has given us to tell others. God’s Word also teaches us that we should all use our God-given gifts and abilities – not only to help people come to know Jesus, but to also serve others with them in His behalf. The Apostle Paul in speaking to people who had financial affluence wrote: “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.” (1 Tim 6:17-19)
Paul teaches the affluent that when they are using the resources that God has given them to help promote the gospel and as a means to build the church, they are serving God and others. They are also building a reward – “Laying up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”
Don’t think for one second that this exhortation is just to financially affluent people. This truth and exhortation is for all Christians at all times. We are all to use whatever God has given us in gifts, talents, and abilities to serve others from a pure heart and motivation of love. In doing so, we will be building our future – “a firm foundation in the coming age.” We do have another life to live in the world to come. It sincerely will be the life God intended for us to have – without the sin, curse, and defilement that sin has brought to this world. When we help others know Jesus and when we serve them in and through the church, we lay up rewards for the next life. Matthew 10:42 (NIV) “And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward.”
Pray that God will help you in some way help others to really know what life on earth here is about – the love of Jesus to redeem mankind – “ that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt