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What makes the law so attractive?

We’ve been choosing law over grace from the very beginning. Adam and Eve chose the knowledge of good and evil over life. (Genesis 3) Israel chose being given instructions over a relationship with God. (Exodus 20:19)

Even after God demonstrated the inability of the law to save us (Romans 8:3) we go back to choosing the law.

We have tasted and seen the amazing blessings of grace—forgiveness of sins, new nature, life in the light.

We have been given a new heart, been washed clean of the guilt and stain of our sins. Even our old nature has been sent packing, and we have received the very Spirit of the Living God dwelling in us.

And still we choose law.

How, you ask?

In so many ways.

We do to earn the favor of God.

We give to receive a blessing.

We hold the law up to demand our rights as citizens of this new kingdom.

I’ve done it a thousand times. I’ve demanded that God keep His promise based on my performance.

I’ve spent money I didn’t have because God owed me a blessing based on my giving.

I’ve demanded that He heal because He already paid the price.

I believe the problem is not that God is slack concerning His promises, but that I’m living in a law based paradigm. I slip back into law too easily. I begin to demand to receive what I’m owed, not realizing it’s already been given. I lose sight of God the giver and see Him the One withholding the things I am owed. I must plead my case with Him as my opponent rather than my Advocate.

My mistake may be that I’m using a law based reasoning for healing, or prosperity, or promotion, instead of establishing grace as the foundation of my life.

What earns me healing? Do I, by my tithing, pry open the windows of heaven?

Or are these things simply gifts from the Most High, given freely?

Are all the gifts of God like salvation? There is nothing I did to deserve salvation. In fact, I came to the Lord doubly dead—dead by my sin nature—deserving of death by my own sins and transgressions. There’s not much a dead man can do to save himself.

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. - Romans 5:8-10 NASB (Emphasis mine

I didn’t stand before God and demand absolution from my old nature. I, with confession on my lips bowed my head and asked His forgiveness and accepted His great grace toward me.

And you know what He did? He sprinkled me with clean water—washed me clean from my old nature and my sinful deeds. He forgave each and every sin I had ever committed. He took the stoney heart out of my soul—the heart that could not keep His law and kept me from obeying His command to love Him and love my neighbor. Then He replaced that old stone heart of mine with a new heart—one that love’s Him—one that has the capacity to keep His Word. (Ezekiel 36:25-27)

Then, best of all, He came and took up residence in that new heart.

We’re not adversaries any longer. I was the enemy of God, but today, I’m His dwelling place, and He’s mine. He is my Home. I am His home. I am my Beloved’s and He is mine. (Song of Songs 6:3)

I don’t have to argue my case in order to get what I think should be mine. I don’t have to drag Him into court and show the judge my marriage license and say, He owes me healing, He owes me prosperity, He owes me a good life.

God Forbid!

Our access to all God has for us comes through intimacy not litigation. [Tweet this]

My beloved Father blessed me with all spiritual blessings the day I surrendered my life to Him. (Ephesians 1:3)

My dear Abba God seated me in Christ in heavenly places years and decades ago when I laid down the weapons of my warfare against Him. (Ephesians 2:6)

The Lover of my soul gave to me all things that pertain to life and godliness through the increasing revelation of who He is, day by day as we dwell together. (2 Peter 1:3)

This great God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has made me a partaker of His own divine nature through His great and precious promises. (2 Peter 1:4)

I’m going to start pressing into His grace, and giving Him space to multiply that grace into my situations and circumstances. I’m done demanding from God, and contending with Him. He is more than enough for me.

Thanks for listening as I slog through some thoughts chasing around in my heart.

Ben NelsonSee you again soon.

In Jesus,

Ben

5

John starts his gospel with “In the Beginning,” because God is erasing the first Genesis and writing a new beginning.

Don’t get me wrong. Genesis is important and true, and will never go away, but we have a new start.

Jesus

Genesis starts with a perfect creation that goes bad in short order.

John (and the New Testament) starts us of a fallen creation that is put right.

Genesis (and the Old Testament) gives us an Adam who fell from grace.

John (and the New Testament) tells us of a Second Adam—a Last Adam—who was full of grace and lavished it freely on all who come to Him.

Genesis (and the Old Testament) tell us how Adam broke the plate-glass window of the law.

John (and the New Testament) tell us of how the Last Adam fulfilled the law.

Jesus sweeps up the broken shards of the law, places the whole mess of it in His blood and pulls it out squeaky clean and unbroken. [Tweet This]

I love this new Genesis. Don’t you?

Ben NelsonThanks for stopping by.

See you again soon.

Ben

I was given the opportunity to preach at my home church at the end of October.

In this brief sermon I unpack one way to bring Glory to the Lord in your daily life.

Give it a listen and let me know how it impacts you.

Here's the link:

http://pascackbible.org/cpt_sermons/going-for-the-glory/

Ben NelsonThanks a bunch!

Ben

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Through Ezekiel God promised

"Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. "Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. "I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. - Ezekiel 36:25-27

Christianity is no ‘religion of the mind.’ It’s not made up of ideas and dogmas. It is God coming and living – dwelling – in flesh.

It’s not man cleaning himself up and trying to be good enough to get back into God’s good graces.

It’s not making sure your good deeds out weigh your bad deeds on some celestial scale.

It’s an act of God

It’s God who cleans you

God who breaks the hold idols have in your life

God who takes out the heart of stone

God who put in a heart of flesh

God who put’s His own Spirit in you.

8 from the mouth of 4 prophets God repeated that we would be His people and He would be our God.

And check out this one:

"My dwelling place also will be with them; and I will be their God, and they will be My people. - Ezekiel 37:27

Jesus links all this directly to us when He tells the disciples in John 14:

Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.” - John 14:23

That “abode” is dwelling place – it is the noun form of the verb to dwell. This statement Jesus makes in John 14 is a direct reference to Ezekiel 37

Do you see it?

This is the crux of the Christian life. This is what sets Christianity apart from all other religions. INCARNATION – Christ in you.

In this last conversation Jesus has with the disciples before He goes to the cross He told them that He, Jesus Himself, and the Father – God the Father – the almighty King of the Angel Armies, and the Holy Spirit would all be moving into you as you surrender your life to Him.

You are a dwelling place – a home – for the God who created all things.

Paul said it this way – Christ in you, the hope of Glory – Colossians 1:27

Nora and Papa BenThanks for stopping by.

Have a blessed week.

Ben

 

5

Old Historical Church With Large Bell Tower In Europe In The Evening At Sunset

The Creator of all things came to earth as a man. Lived a sinless life. Took the penalty for our sin – not just physical death on the cross – He drinks the cup of the Father’s wrath. He died, was buried, and rose from the dead. The sin He bore for us He left in the grave. He appeared to Mary, the disciples, and over 500 at one time. Then He was taken up into heaven on a cloud.

Before He ascended He did something that changed everything. Check this out:

So Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit.” - John 20:21-22

A few days earlier He had promised them:

Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him."- John 14:23

And in His high priestly prayer in John 17 he prayed this prayer:

I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. - John 17:20-21

You see, when Jesus breathed on them saying “Receive the Holy Spirit” it was like the moving van of heaven pulled up in front of each of them, and Almighty God moved in. They became a dwelling place for the Most High God. For the first time since the Garden of Eden, the breach between God and man was mended.

That’s a place to shout!

Ben NelsonThanks for coming by,

I'm in a shoutin' mood today.

Ben

 

photo credit - Graphic Stock

10

Born Again is not a Brand of Christianity. It’s not the trademark for a sect of ultra conservative or fundamental believers.

As I look again at these words in John 3, I am struck by the fact that Jesus is not trying to create a new denomination, He is explaining to a man of the word a fact about the Spiritual world.

You see, He is telling Nicodemus that the kingdom of God is not a physical place.

Until that time, if you asked anyone, well at least if you asked a Jew “What is the kingdom of God?” they would simply answer “Israel.” It was that simple and pretty obvious.

Then Jesus comes on the scene and starts taking about the ‘kingdom of God’ and sometimes interchanging it with the ‘kingdom of heaven.’

[Fun Fact: Jesus used the phrase ‘kingdom of God’ forty-three times plus twenty-nine times He spoke of the ‘kingdom of heaven,’ these later  are all in Matthew’s gospel. Of course with four tellings of many of the events in Jesus’ life, I can see where some of these might be repeats, and some of the ‘heaven’ ones may be repetitions of the ‘God’ ones.]

Check out Jesus’ language here:

Jesus answered and said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." ... Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into 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 be amazed that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' - John 3:3, 5-7 NASB

The idea Jesus is trying to set up for Nic is that it is not physically possible for a man without the Spirit of God on the inside to even see – let alone enter the kingdom of God.

It’s not about the obtaining of a golden ticket, or getting your name on a church membership card. It is about becoming the right species of being.

You wouldn’t wonder even for a minute if I told you that you couldn’t live at the bottom of the sea unless you were born again as a mackerel. [Hey if you were born again again then you could be a holy mackerel – sorry – I couldn’t resist] You need gills – you need fins – you need an appetite for seaweed or krill. You would need to be a new creature.

And so it is with this idea of ‘born again.’

You need to be changed in order to survive in – or even see the kingdom of God, because it is not a physical kingdom. Only one who is born of the spirit can see it.

That’s why Paul says:

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. - 2 Corinthians 5:17 NASB

The good news is that it’s not complicated:

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. - John 1:12-13 NASB

Do you believe in – put your trust in – follow – obey – Jesus?

for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. - Romans 14:17 NASB

So – there you go – you have to be born again as spiritual being with spiritual breathing apparatus to follow this king.

Does any of that make sense?

BN Writers Page 150Thanks for reading today.

I appreciate you.

Ben

 

 

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Many Waters - SoS header

We have come to the exact midpoint of the Song, and today I am struggling with words, because the few lines in this Song of all Songs that I want to share with you to day are a BIG DEAL.

From the beginning, I have taken the approach with this Song of Songs, that the Shepherd King represents Jesus, and the maiden is an individual believer.

The Song chronicles the progression of a life given to the following of the Shepherd and the pursuit of the King.

I don't care what label you wear.
I don't care what label you wear.

I don’t care too much how you refer to your relationship with Jesus, Christian, Follower, Servant, they all point to the same thing. If you are in Christ, you are in a relationship.

Let me be clear. A relationship is not a point in time. It is not a historical event. If, when pressed, your think of your Christianity as a that day as a child you repeated a prayer in Sunday School class, or the day you went forward at a Billy Graham crusade, well frankly, that’s like saying that your marriage is all about an “I do” and a big party.

Christianity, like marriage, is about a life together.

It started before you were even married, didn’t it?

We have seen in this Song of Songs, the maiden go from a distant admirer, to a dinner guest, to friend and confidant. We have seen a wedding. Assurances have been made, compliments paid. The groom has been doing some wooing. The Bride has been overwhelmed by the goodness and greatness of this Wonderful Man who wants to be hers.

But today our girl takes a huge step.

Right here – the exact center of the song – Center by chapter count – even center by verse count.

This is the day when everything changes.

In verse 12 through 15 her new Husband calls her a garden, and uses this language of a paradise prepared for Him – a wonderful place with all that water – fragrance in the air – fruit on the trees – berries in the bushes – savory spices and sweet perfumes – even healing balms.

Today however we see a turning point:

Awake, O north wind,
And come, wind of the south;
Make my garden breathe out fragrance,
Let its spices be wafted abroad.
May my Beloved come into His garden
And eat its choice fruits!

Song of Songs 4:16 NASB

We find a striking change of ownership here.

“Make my garden” … “May my Beloved come into His garden”

She has come to a day when she gives her garden, her inner life, over to Him lock stock and barrel.

It’s not that she was not committed before this. It’s not that she didn’t trust Him before this. It’s not that they were not married before this.

She has simply come to a place in her relationship with Her Lover where she can say – I am Your’s completely, I hold nothing back.

The make up of the garden spans the fullness of inner life.

Wells and springs, fountains and streams, fruit and flowers, fragrances and flavors, even the dark places of the heart, her thoughts of death (myrrh), her innermost concerns (frankincense).

She turns over the ownership of her life completely to Him.

Any of you who are married know that this is not the same thing as standing up and reciting your vows. Your vows may cover this ‘giving of yourself’ in language, but even in a western marriage where there has been courting and friendship before that day, and far more so in an eastern or arranged marriage where the children were promised without their consent, this change of ownership does not happen in any real way until there is some life together, and trust has a chance to grow.

And so it is with our faith walk. You may have ‘given your life to the Lord’ a dozen years ago, but there is a day, when you have been walking in covenant with the Lord, walking in a community of believers, and you are taken by His great faithfulness, you are overwhelmed by His great love, and your souls cries out

Lord, I give you my heart,
I give you my soul,
I live for you alone.
Every breath that I take,
Every moment I’m awake,
Lord, Have your way in me.

Ruben Morgan

There are those who argue in the Church about whether I get everything Christ has to offer when I become a believer, or whether there is a Second blessing. That is not what I am talking about today. That whole argument seems a little man centric.

Rather than worry about what you get out of your relationship with God today, I want you to think about what He gets.

He bought us with His blood, yet we are consumed with what WE get. He paid the price, what are you willing to give Him? [Tweet This]

Today is His day. It’s His day to receive His miracle! Today is the day that He wants to see you turn over the keys to your garden and hang His name on the gate.

This garden belongs to Jesus.

Ben NelsonSee you again soon.

Until then, I remain,

your brother Ben

4

GreaterGloryAll week we have been talking about this idea of the Second Birth and it has been rich. I know they are not “quick reads” but they are full of scripture and hopefully bring some deep concepts up to the surface so you can get your mind – and heart – around them.

Today I want to sum it up with a look at a passage in Ezekiel, which looks forward to this second birth and gives us an idea of what it would look like on a person.

Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean;
I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.
Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you;
and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. - Ezekiel 36:25-27

Oh how I love this picture.

When you come to Christ, the very first thing He does is sprinkle clean water on you and makes you clean. I have heard men tell me many times, I am going to clean myself up and then I will come back to God.

It can’t be done – You can’t wash your when you're standing in a cesspool. No amount of soap can cleanse a man standing in filth. [Tweet This]

And the only soap that is any good for cleaning the stains you have from the sin stew you have been living in is the blood of Jesus. Revelation 1:5 tells us that we are washed in His blood. Zechariah 13:1 tells us of a fountain where we will be washed from our sin and impurity, and as the old hymn so beautifully says, “there is a fountain filled with blood, drawn from Emmanuel’s veins.”

The next thing we learn about this new condition is that God will give us a new heart:

Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you;
and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

The problem with a stone heart is that nothing can penetrate it without shattering it.

God will write His law on the fleshy tablets of your heart, and give you His Spirit to give you the power to walk in all His ways.

The law that God wrote on tablets of stone for Moses and Israel was unkeepable – impossible. The law of love that God writes on our new heart would be unkeepable too, if our heart was stone, but He gives us His heart and His Holy Spirit, not to mention His righteousness, and suddenly, we become lovers.

Isn’t that a great picture!

Lord, I am so thankful that you have given me a heart with the capacity to love, a heart that is free from all that junk that held me back. Help me today to use this love organ to demonstrate Your heart for this world You so dearly love.

Thanks so much for coming by.

Ben NelsonI am not sure I am done with this, but for now…

Go love somebody.

Ben

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GreaterGlory

That’s the question Nicodemus asked Jesus when Jesus said this:

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God. - John 3:3

And again when He reiterates it in verse 7

Do not be amazed that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' - John 3:7

Today, I am going to draw together from a number of places in the Bible what it says about how you can be Born Again.

First, let me be clear. The phrase Born Again has been used as though a Born Again Christian was a particular flavor of Christian, but that is not the case.

Born Again is just one of the ways Jesus and the Bible describes becoming a Christian. You can’t be a Christian and not be Born Again.

Some of the other terms for those who are Born Again in the Bible are:

  • Christians
  • Believers
  • Followers of the Way
  • The Body of Christ
  • The Bride of Christ
  • Followers of Jesus
  • The Flock of God
  • Redeemed
  • Saved
  • Sheep
  • Laborers in the Kingdom
  • Friends of Jesus
  • New Creations
  • Children of God
  • The Church
  • The saints

Becoming a Christian is sometimes referred to as entering the Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of Heaven.

So I will start with what Jesus says right here in John 3 when describing how to be born again to Nicodemus, but we will expand it a bit to include some of the things Jesus said about following Him, and some of what Paul said about the Christian too.

Paul is a really good source for this information since most of his writings were addressed to the Church (the community of Born Again people) specifically.

Back to John 3 and Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus.

In the midst of this conversation, Jesus uses the word “believe” three times and then John comes back and repeats it at the end of the chapter just in case we missed it above.

The key verse of John 3, and perhaps the most familiar bible reference in the word, John 3:16 has oft been called the gospel in a nutshell.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. – John 3:16

Right on its heals, Jesus lays out this staggering contrast.

He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. – John 3:18

And John finishes up the subject at the end of the page with his own contrast.

He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him. – John 3: 36

Please notice in these last two verses we go back to the fact we have mentioned before, a man without Christ is both under condemnation and the living in the wrath of God.

Also notice in verse 36 the contrasting word to believe is ‘not obey.’ In the Greek it is apeitheō – where we get the word apathy. John contrasts believing and just doing nothing. Hear this, the wrath of God abides on those who hear the Word of God and just do nothing. This is why over and over in His preaching Jesus talks about those who hear and do, and James exhorts us to be doers of the word.

[Sorry – I am starting to preach – that was not the plan here]

So – the first thing we learn about HOW to be Born Again is to believe – trust in – obey Jesus.

Is there anything else to it?

Check this out:

Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel." - Mark 1:14-15

When talking to Nicodemus it was just believe, but here we have another element.

Repent.

I have written and taught extensively on repentance and its wonderful power to bring us victory over sin, but let me here give a simple explanation of repentance.

The word simply means to change your mind, but Paul lays down some instruction on how to allow this change of mind actually transform your life.

Remember in Romans 12:2 that Paul exhorts us to be transformed by the renewing of our mind, so repentance, or changing our mind, is the key to moving from the wishy-washy worldling you once were into the image of Christ.

In 2 Corinthians 7:10-11 Paul tells us exactly how to repent:

For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death. For behold what earnestness this very thing, this godly sorrow, has produced in you: what vindication of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what avenging of wrong! In everything you demonstrated yourselves to be innocent in the matter. - 2 Corinthians 7:10-11

Repentance is not tears at the altar it is a passion for purity wrought over time until your body, mind and soul are free of that which once enslaved you. [Tweet this] Glory to God!!!

So we have repent and believe, is there more to being Born Again?

Let’s look at Romans 10. When I was a kid, a young man at the time taught me a simple way to remember this verse. He said it was dynamite! Spiritual TNT – Romans Ten:Nine & Ten (TNT)

…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; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. - Romans 10:9-10 (now that’s dynamite!)

This confess is not the same as telling someone you sinned. What is meant by confess here is simply tell someone you believe in Jesus.

This is why when we baptize folks we ask them to give their testimony before they go under the water. They need to confess with their mouth that Jesus is their Lord and believe in their heart  - in what? – in the bodily resurrection of Jesus from the dead.

Now we have Repent – Confess – Believe.

So Ben, are you telling me that if I DO these things I am automatically a Christian.

I could try really hard, even get passionate about beating my sin.

I could tell people about the fact that I am a Christian.

I believe all the things they tell me about Jesus, and for sure I believe He rose from the dead. Am I a Christian now?

Strangely enough – even though we talk about what you must do to be saved, Paul tells us in no uncertain terms, that it is not about things you can do.

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. - Ephesians 2:8-9

You can’t by your own effort be born again, just as you had nothing to do with your first birth. You could not make it happen and you could not stop it.

You do get to choose to believe – to trust – but that is the extent of what you can do.

There are bunches more places we could go to look at this topic, but that is all I have time for today.

Tomorrow I am going to take one good long look at what this salvation is. And let me tell you, it’s a BIG DEAL.

Thanks for coming by today.

If you have never known Christ in this way, and want to, it’s not difficult, and you don’t have to wait till you get your act together (because that day will never come – I promise)

Today, if while reading this you felt a tug somewhere inside – that was the Spirit of the Living God inviting you to come – inviting you to be Born Again.

God is not willing that any should perish (die without Him) but that all would come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)

Repent today – start by telling Him you’re sorry for anything He brings to mind that has offended Him, then follow Him through that repentance. Put your trust in Him today, and tell somebody about it. (I would love to hear about it – either below or via email  - ben@AnotherRedLetterDay.com)

Ben NelsonThanks for reading. I know these are fairly long posts, and I appreciate you taking the time to read all the way to the end.

Walk in the light today.

Ben

2

GreaterGlory

Today, in our study of the Second Birth we are going to look at where 'natural' went wrong.

Thus far we have looked at where the idea of the Second birth originated, and the contrast between a life walking after the flesh and a life walking in the Spirit.

The Bible tells us in no uncertain terms that every one of us has a sin problem.

All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him. - Isaiah 53:6

Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me. - Psalms 51:5

Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned-- - Romans 5:12

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, - Romans 3:23

So let’s dig in and find out how we got so broken.

Clearly, when God created man and pronounced him ‘very good’ man did not have a sin nature. He did however have a free will and the ability to choose between walking in relationship with God and going his own way.

Jesus said it this way:

If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. - John 14:15

The keeping of commandments is not like jumping through hoops to prove to God that we are good enough for His kingdom. Not at all!

The keeping of God’s commands is a demonstration of our trust in Him. It says to God, in more than simple lip service, that we believe He 1) knows best and 2) has our best in view as He leads us.

He is not looking for robots, God is looking for companions. [Tweet this]

As David said in Psalm 103:14, “For He Himself knows our frame,” and so He knows how best to live this life.

Yet Adam sinned in the Garden and with Adam’s sin all mankind took on his sin nature. Paul said it this way:

For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. - 1 Corinthians 15:21-22

You see God told Adam that if he ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil he would die. Of course you and I look at death as that moment when your brain stops functioning and your heart stops pumping and your lungs stop drinking in oxygen, but that is not the death God was talking about.

Adam, like Christ was born with a connection to God. They were able to communicate. He was spiritually alive. Think of it like a pair of lungs. When your lungs stop working, your body can’t gather the oxygen you need to live. When you are spiritually dead, your spirit can’t connect to the Spirit of God and supply you with the source of spiritual life.

When Adam chose not to follow – not to trust – God and rather to go after his own way – try things out for himself – he, Adam, broke that connection with God and died spiritually.

Every man and woman since Adam was born without the capacity to connect with God, without spiritual lungs, so to speak.

That is why Paul tells us:

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. - 2 Corinthians 5:17

This word creature has the sense of species. We are no longer a being with no spiritual lungs. When you are born again, you are born with new parts – spiritual parts – parts that have the ability to connect you to the Father.

This is why every man and woman must be born again in order to enter the kingdom of God. You can’t be part of His kingdom without the ability to connect with Him.

Boy, looking at these wonderful scriptures is doing me good!

Tomorrow we will finish up with the most important part; How can we be born again?

Don’t miss it.

Lord, I thank you that today I can breath in Your Spirit through the wonderful spiritual lungs you have given me.

Ben NelsonThanks much for coming this far. God’s word is so rich!

See you again tomorrow.

Ben

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