Sunday, December 21, 2008

Are You Born From Above?

3 comments:

Shannon Jacobyansky said...

Interesting video...but a bit puzzling to me as well. Where in the Bible does it say we must ask Jesus into our "heart". You will not be able to find it, because it is not contained in the scripture. God finds us. God loves us through his son Jesus Christ who was born that he might die. He died for me! He died for you! He died for all!

The Lord's greatest command is that we love the Lord our God with all our heart...and...love our neighbor as ourself. Does this video portray love? Does this video instill fear? Maybe both I say, but more fear than love.

I love this young man's compassion, but I do not feel salvation can be lost through the act of sin. Do you Sam? I understand the point he is trying to make about making habitually wrong choices. I agree whole heartily that America needs to get back to prayer and not only confess their sin, but also repent and turn away from their evil ways. We are not perfect. We sin so much we are not even aware of all the wretched sin we commit. What God looks at is the heart...and noone knows another persons heart except Jesus.

So I guess I feel it is not for me to judge another, but to love them until they ask me why...for which I will say..."It is Christ in me the hope of glory!"

Sam said...

Hi Shannon,

Where does the bible say that we must ask Jesus into our heart? Nowhere! I love how brother Washer says it:

"Now what are you called upon to do? You say you go through the narrow gate. How do you do that? Jesus said, The time is fulfilled. The Kingdom of God is at hand. What must you do? In Mark, He tells us . . . repent and believe the Gospel.

You say, “Brother Paul, I got saved by praying and asking Jesus Christ into my heart.” And I’m sure you did, but you weren’t saved by a magic formula or some words you repeated after someone else. You were saved because you repented of your sins and you believed"


I think that we use these clich├ęs without stopping to consider the implications... when you boil it all down, telling someone to ask Jesus into their heart has a completely different application than telling someone to repent and believe the gospel!

I also wholeheartedly agree with you... Christ is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only ours, but also for the sins of the whole world! And that the greatest commandment is that we love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and love others as we love ourselves. Sacrificial love is one of the hallmarks of a true Christian. By nature, man cannot love as Christ loved, by the Spirit he can. We love because He first loved us! The fruit of the Spirit is Love.

I agree with you that our salvation is not lost because of our sin. That doesn't make sense! Christ died for sinners, (of which the Apostle Paul declares) "I am the worst". As it is written in 1 John, "If we claim to be without sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sin, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and His word has no place in our lives. My dear children, I write these things to you so that you will not sin, but if anyone does sin, we have one to speak to the Father in our defence - Jesus Christ the Righteous One!". A Christian can fall, and does fall into sin. But, he will not stay there. He will be convicted of his sin, he will repent, and he will be broken and contrite. Humbled. Filled with grief and sorrow over his transgressions and lack of Christ likeness. One thing he won't do is turn the grace of God into a licence for immorality. Because the grace of God teaches us to say no to sin!

Something else that a believer will have is love welling up for God - because he so loved us. For the Saviour - because he died for us. For other brothers and sisters in Christ - because they are loved by God and the object of their love is the same as yours - Jesus Christ. For his enemies - because you know that apart from the grace of God you'd still be an enemy of God. This is how we know that we live in Him and he in us - he has given us His Spirit. And the first fruits of the Spirit that form on the branch is love.

The big thing I got out of this guys testimony is this... when a man or woman is born from above, when by faith they lay hold of the promises of God through Jesus Christ, when he comes and makes his home with them and puts his Spirit within them... they will be a new creation! And at that point, they will have a desire to follow Christ. Their passions will change from self to Christ centred. They will have a longing to grow in grace and truth - to read the word of God and find out more about this wonderful Saviour and merciful God. They will begin desiring to lay down their lives and pick up the cross and follow Him.

You can't have the fruit of the Spirit apart from the Spirit - neither can you have the Spirit of God apart from the fruit!

For years I lived as a false convert. I believed myself right with God, but I was an enemy of his through wicked works. But, by the grace of God, he opened my eyes to see that I was a bad tree bearing bad fruit. I was broken, humbled, sorrowful, fearful, repentant... and he changed my heart. The sins I once loved, I began to hate. The God I once hated (as evidenced by sheer apathy) I found myself beginning to love and want to serve.

This video may well make some fearful of their current state. For some, if they believe themselves right with God, but are not yet born from above – then I pray it does… because the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom… and godly sorrow leads towards repentance.

I remember in my own conversion listening to a sermon by Erlo Stegen on Pride (preaching about the pride of king Saul)… I was so afraid I walked outside into a paddock and cried out for mercy. I wept. I was broken. And the Lord was kind to me. He was merciful! He showed me that Christ had died for my sins! That He was crushed for my transgressions and had purchased peace between God and I through his shed blood!

Shannon Jacobyansky said...

Sam, great points! I love to talk about the Lord with others. It reminds me of when Jesus walked with his diciples. It makes me long for heaven when I too will be able to feast at the table with my Savior and talk awhile about all things!