The apostle John reveals an astounding truth in his letter to born again believers when he says,
1 John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
John found it necessary to write this letter to born again believers in order that they "may know that ye have eternal life." Didn't they know it? Don't we know it? After all, an incredible miracle has taken place within any person who has "passed from death unto life" in their spirit. It is no less than "life from the dead." The old sin nature that was passed down to us from Adam in our spirit is literally put to death and a new spirit having the very life and nature of Jesus Christ arises in its place.
From John's letter we must conclude that it is possible to have experienced this miracle of the new birth, yet remain so unaware of it, and so unchanged by it that we must be reassured once and again. How is that possible? The answer is vital for us to understand if we are ever going to be able to bring forth "permanent change" in our character. Jesus gave us the answer when he said,
Mark 4:30-32 And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth: But when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it.
When we are born again, this newborn human spirit containing the life and nature of Christ is not imparted to us "full grown," but rather is planted in us like a seed. It is genuine. It is real. It has the potential to grow up into the likeness of Christ. Given the proper nurturing, this new life will grow up to become a mighty tree bearing fruit that will minister to all. It is from the life of Christ within this reborn human spirit that all "permanent change" comes from in our lives.
It is also possible to ignore this reborn human spirit within us to the point that virtually no fruit is ever developed. We all know Christians who have been born again for many years, yet it is obvious that very little of the life and nature of Jesus Christ has ever come to the maturity of bearing fruit in them. Not only so, but when each of us examines our own lives, we all find that we have far to go in developing that nature to "walk as He walked."
1 John 2:6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
At this point it is important to note that John also, like Paul, was having to war against the Judaizers who came after him preaching that born again Christians had to also "keep the Law" in order to be saved. Notice John gives this second reason for writing the letter,
1 John 2:26 These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you.
Trying to keep the Law by the energy of the flesh can never produce the life of Christ in a person's life. One of the main purposes of God giving the Law to the Jews was to prove to the whole world that man cannot save himself by the energy of the flesh … no matter how hard he tried.
Gal 3:11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
Faith in what? FAITH IN THE NEW NATURE THAT WAS IMPARTED TO YOUR SPIRIT WHEN YOU WERE BORN AGAIN! You already have LIFE within you. That's why John said,
1 John 5:12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
If you have put your faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ, you have the Son! Having the Son, you have LIFE! The key to permanent change is not to turn once more to the energy of the flesh, trying to keep the Law or any other moral code. The key is to nurture that LIFE which is already within you in "seed" form until "it grows up" to become the greatest tree in your garden!
Our goal is to "feed the Seed" until that life and nature grows up to bear fruit on our limbs. As the life of the Son overtakes our character, we no longer have to "try" and "walk as He walked." No, we progressively walk more like Him because we "are" more like Him! We will be discussing how to "feed the Seed" all this year, but for now let me share one thing we can do to "feed the Seed,"
1 Pet 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
The reborn human spirit within us MUST be regularly fed the Word of God in order to grow. I encourage you to dive into the Word of God afresh, beginning especially with the four gospels, in order that the LIFE within you can draw forth the nutrients required for growth.
Thank you for your gift to GCM. Sue and I love you and appreciate you. We thank God for your generous and giving heart. God bless you!
Your friend and co-laborer,
Gary Carpenter Ministries|
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