December 8, 2013 – Pastor Tim – “Saved Us”
John 3:3-7, 14-18, Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
4 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?”
5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’
14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but[a] have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
When I posted this scripture on Facebook a friend of mine asked: “I’m confused on “Born Again”. When I was a baby I was Christened and Baptized. Was I born again then?”
I answered, “To be born again is to be converted to a personal faith in Christ. There is some debt as to weather a baby can make this decision on their own. I was also baptized when I was a baby. However I also was baptized when I was 25. Because I made a decision to follow Christ, I was born again, my old life was passed away and I began a new life with Him.”
Then he private messaged me, “Some say if you get baptized again or born again, then it’s almost like you’re calling Jesus liar because the first time you’re were baptized didn’t count. What’s your thoughts, Pastor.”
Colossians 1:13-14, He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.
In his letter to the Colossians, the Apostle Paul wrote of a rescue: God the Father had saved them from the dominion of darkness. This rescue occurred at the death of Christ, but also at our conversion.
In today’s society it becomes all too easy to believe that money and the accumulation of material things will make us happy. The trouble is that the more we accumulate, the more we want. No matter how much we get, it almost never seems like enough. Once we fall into the habit of believing that we will eventually find something outside ourselves that will bring us lasting happiness. The fact that this search frequently ends up with our feeling frustrated, angry, unhappy, and even hopeless is our clue that this belief isn’t working.
We look around us and see people with more than we have who seem to be happier than we are. We turn to other people and seek to fill the hole in souls with our relationships. Surely, if we could only find the right person, our lives would be fulfilled.
Pretty soon we are on a treadmill, going round and round in an endless circle, disappointed and unhappy because neither money and material things nor relationships are making us happy. We have moments, but they seem too fleeting. We may begin to feel trapped by life.
The imagery Paul uses in Colossians suggests that believers have been rescued from the dark reign of Satan by being transferred as free people into the peaceable rule of Christ. By Jesus’ death, believers become free citizens in the kingdom of light. And this is the born again experience, and not what baptism produces. At best, baptism marks you for this promise.
The appropriate response to such amazing grace is to show joyous gratitude by offering God acceptable service with reverence and awe. Hebrews 12:28, Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.
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