The Rising Lord
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Inspired by the Holy Spirit, the prophet Isaiah foretold the suffering of our Lord Jesus for the sins of mankind. He said, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way” (Isaiah 53:6). Jesus clearly told Nicodemus, a seeker of the truth, that one cannot see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. This spiritual birth is the work of the Holy Spirit. All who want to be saved need to experience this birth.
All who are weary and tired of their burden of sin are invited to come to Jesus and find forgiveness. Jesus invites: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). Jesus suffered, shed his blood, and died on the cross “for our sins: and not for ours only, but for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2).
Faith and Obedience
Once we have experienced the new birth, we endeavor to live faithful Christian lives. Jesus instructs his followers; “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24). We are also admonished to keep ourselves unspotted from the world (James 1:27). “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world” (1 John 2:15-16).
The Christian will be able to accomplish this by following the leading of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will give direction and the strength to live a godly life. “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13). The results of this effort will bring about a changed heart; a life of faith that will produce obedience. “By works was faith made perfect” (James 2:22). The Christian is now living for Jesus instead of living for himself.
The indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit inspires a deep love in the Christian’s heart. He will seek the fellowship of other born-again Christians. The unity of this fellowship encourages an open-hearted sharing with one another. This is a support to the Christian and helps him to grow spiritually.
When we are born again, our names are written in the book of life. “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15). Our sins are forgiven, and we experience joy and peace in our hearts. Satan will try to rob us of this gift of salvation by tempting us to disobey, but God has promised to protect and deliver us if we are faithful. “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Romans 8:1). “Godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come” (1 Timothy 4:8).
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