Sunday, November 20, 2005

"What happens when you are Born again?"

When I was eighteen years old, I truly discovered what it meant to be “Born Again.” Up to that point I had heard and done a lot of religious things and most of the people around me (even church leaders) would have said that I was “saved,”

I knew in my heart that I was had no Biblical relationship with God apart from knowing the vernacular and having walked an isle, cried a tear, repeated a prayer and getting dipped in a tank!

But the time came when dead, tired religion just was not good enough for me anymore and I determined in my heart to truly repent and believe the Gospel. I think many people may find themselves in a similar situation and not know exactly what to do. Consider this:

I want to deal with the THREE primary CHANGES that take place in a person’s life when they are TRULY Born again.

#1. There is a change in IDENTITY:

Identity is the condition, state or fact whereby a person is specifically recognized by.
When I was a "lost" person, that is, when I was without Christ and without hope–there were very specific characteristics present in my life that identifies who I was.
  • My conversation described who I was
  • My company described who I was
  • My attitude described who I was
  • My thoughts described who I was
  • My priorities described who I was
  • My appearance even described who I was
I was specifically recognized by the conditions, state and facts evident in my person. But, when I came to Christ Jesus, I could no longer be recognized by those facts or characteristics– I had to take on a new condition that would cease to identify me with the world and would instead identify me with Him.

2 Cor 5:17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." (NKJ)

Creation (or creature in the KJV) can be defined as "a new foundation or building." That is you are changed from the very ground up!

You have a new Identity!

Within law enforcement– there is something that is called "The Witness Protection Plan." wherein a person can decide to testify against a major criminal and in turn be given a new identity–they cease to be known as who they were and have now been put in a safe environment and given the chance to live a new life on the right side of the law–

Through salvation, we too have been invited into the "Witness Protection Plan"
By choosing to serve God–we have testified against "Public Enemy Number One" and have been given a new name, a new home, a clean record and have been put on the right side of God’s law and outside the reach of this adversary the devil.

Col 1:21-23 "Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation--if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel..."

Before you come to Christ–you are identified as an Enemy of the Gospel!—but once one accepts the salvation brought and bought through Christ Jesus–we are free from accusation!
But the greatest CHANGE IN IDENTITY is not in how the world or those around us perceive us—but the CHANGE IN IDENTITY AS TO HOW GOD SEES US!

Rom 8:14-17 "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs-- heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together." (NKJ)

With the change of identity—you move from enemies of God to the sons and daughters of God!
This is the one point that I wish people could truly get a hold of—that God has claimed you for His own inheritance!
That when you come to Him and surrender your life to Him—that the Book of Life becomes your adoption certificate and that He is now dealing with you as His own—rather than seeing your relationship with Him as one better realized at arms reach! But instead one that desires you to rush into His arms any time that you may be in need!

Luke 11:9-13 "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. (10) For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. (11) If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? (12) Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? (13) If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" (KJV)

With your change of Identity comes the blessed provision as provided through the reconcilliation back to the Father.

AFTER THIS, one has a....

#2. Change of DESTINY:

Defined as "A determined course of events."

Rom 8:28-34 "(28)And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. (29)For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. (30) Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. (31) What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? (32) He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? (33)Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. (34) Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us." (NKJ)

2 Tim 1:7-10 "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:(KJV)

When you get saved—something is set in motion that will forever alter the course of your life—it is called Destiny (a course of events designed by God to deliver you into His perfect will)

Ps 37:23 "The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way." (KJV)

Hebrews 12:2 tells us to look to Jesus who is the author and finisher of our fatih..

The One who wrote the forward is the One who writes the epilogue as well! How is it that this can be? He sees EVERYTHING IN THE NOW! He is not limited in His knowing by the ticking away of seconds upon a clock. He sees BOTH your beginning and your ending RIGHT NOW in HIS omniscience AND He is designing a DESTINY with that in mind!

Then comes a...

#3 Change in RESPONSIBILITY (compound noun-derived from two words)
Response is a "reply"

Ability is the state of being able or competent

So when you get saved—you are given the ability to reply competently and act in accordance with your new state of condition.

Eph 2:8-10 "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained (destiny)that we should walk in them." (KJV)

1 Cor 10:13 "No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it." (NKJ)

James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (KJV)

You now have the ability to respond righteously to every situation that you may be confronted with. Your BORN-AGAIN nature is designed to make the right decisions based upon the moral compunction that comes with having the Holy Spirit take up residence in your heart and life. YOU have the power through the Spirit of God and through resisting the adversary to overcome ANY circumstance that the adversary might present to you.

What happened when you were Born Again? The miraculous happened. Don’t forget it

No comments: