The Manifold Wisdom Of God
The Kingdom of God Today
"YOU MUST BE"
When it comes to thinking about the Kingdom of God the words of Jesus stand out. He said: “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the Kingdom of God”.
If you have received Christ and know that you are born again that's wonderful. But read on, there are likely to be aspects here you will find refreshing.
Jesus made this statement in a conversation with an educated man, a Pharisee of much importance and influence in Israel. Nevertheless, he is puzzled by Jesus and wants to know the truth and he is willing to humble himself to get it.
There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.
This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”
Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”
Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter 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 marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’
“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
Nicodemus answered and said to Him, “How can these things be?”
Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things?" (John 3'1-10).
Nicodemus became a Believer (see John 7'50 and 19'39) although he didn't altogether understand Jesus he believed Him. However, a person could only be born again after the Holy Spirit came. So how does a person become born again?
This is highly important. It's highly important, not only for those who have come out from being unbelievers, but also to confirm in their faith those who have lived all their lives in a church background.
Through knowing that Jesus ...
"... was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.
He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, 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 1'10-13.
Receiving Jesus results in being born of God. Receiving Him is to go from your way of living to His way of living. From your truth to His truth. It is a very decisive change of mind. This is what the Lord means when He says "repent".
Our own ways of thinking, and living, are unacceptable to God. He has no part in them and the situation is this, "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" and "the wages of sin is death" (Romans 3'23 and 6'23). In other words we are "dead in trespasses and sins" (Ephesians 2'1).
However, Christ died for us. He lived a life that was acceptable to God. He gave His life. He was crucified as the sacrifice for the sins of the world.
"God demonstrated His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5'8). So everyone who reads or hears these things can believe them and act on them. For although "the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord," Romans 6'23.
So change your mind. Ask Jesus Christ to come into your heart. Receive Him. He is the gift of God who brings eternal life. Then thank your heavenly Father for cancelling your old self-centred life and giving you new life.
Now, being born again, the ability to see the Kingdom of God, becomes a reality.
This is just the beginning of a new life. Start, or refresh, your reading of the New Testament scriptures, starting with the gospel of John and then Acts 1 through to Jude. They will assist you to grow spiritually. Learn some basic scriptures off by heart.
But here are two things to understanding and keep in mind:
The first one is that "... by one Spirit we were all immersed into one body - whether Jews or Greeks" (1 Corinthians 12'13). That means that we have been placed into the great body of all those who have received Jesus called the Body of Christ.
The second one is that our heavenly Father "... has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins" (Colossians 1'13). That means being forgiven, the whole Body of Christ are free from all dark powers and given a Kingdom place like Jesus had when He was on earth.
“God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3'15-16).
Next. The Kingdom of God Today - 2: LIVING IT
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