The following thoughts have been a great blessing to me. I would like to share some of those moments of personal study time with you. I have discovered that what blesses one of us will bless all of us. It's my prayer and heartfelt desire that this will be your experience.
Those of us who have given our lives to the spiritual development of others are often perplexed by what we encounter. The things that get labeled as spiritual, but don't have their origin in the divine life are of great concern and have grave consequences. Receive these thoughts if they are of value and pass them on to others.
If we believe in guilt and condemnation, and believe we are obligated to obey the law to get God to approve of us, we will be born from that thinking. We will owe the birth of our life to that which we believe in.
Let’s read what John 1:12,13 (KJV) says about our birth:
12. “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:”
13. “Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
The Question is: To What Do We Owe Our Birth?
According to John, we can have different origins of birth. You can be born of blood, born of the will of the flesh, born of the will of a man, or born of God. The question is: ‘To what do we owe our birth? Who or what is the father of the life we live? Is it obligation, guilt, condemnation, or a revelation of innocence and acceptance through Jesus?’
If you tell a man from the street, who eats from trashcans and sleeps in carefully constructed newspapers, that he is a prince and you can prove it to him, you will only have a prince living in him if he can believe it. Without proof—and belief in the proof—this would not be possible. Our lives are a fruit of what we believe. Many just chase after success because they want to prove themselves. If proving ourselves to others has become the father of the life we live, then we owe our birth to fear of what others think.
Similarly, we find people living a very holy life, but the holy life they live is born from obligation or the fear of hell, making hell the father of their good deeds. This is what John 1:12 is all about. The life we have today, which may be the good, holy life, and the very life we dedicated to God might be born of the will of the flesh or the will of a man, and not of God. John 1:12 clearly states that those who have received Jesus owe their birth—the new life they live today—to God. What that means is that Christ lives in them, because they are persuaded in their hearts about what Jesus Christ has done for them, and in them.
Faith is a crucial factor and our relationship with God is not something unnatural, but very natural and easy to have, once we are in the presence of truth. Truth Ignites Belief! Innocence Believed, Based on What Jesus Christ Has Done, is Salvation Received!
We need to realize that faith is not what we do to get God to do something for us, but faith is what happens to us when we hear what He has done for us. As we feel the faith rise in our hearts and yield to it, we find that which we believe is being born in us, and we are born from the truth that we believe in. When we believe what Jesus Christ has done, we receive the very Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit, which means that our life and His life are now the same life, for we are one spirit with Him. This can only take place when we can see ourselves as innocent because of what Jesus has done. Innocence believed, based on what Jesus Christ has done, is Salvation received!
The Greek translation of the word “receive” is to grab ahold of, with a purpose to make use of. Those of us who grab ahold of Jesus, to make use of what He has given us, owe our birth to Him. And we can say that the life we live in Him is a result of Him living in us. This is the only life, His life, a great life. Paul called it ‘the life I now live in the flesh, lived by the faith of Jesus. His life manifested in me to the world.’
Galatians 2:20 (KJV) “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
-Pastor Bill Annis