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Dear Partner,

There are three things a Christian must know in order to lead a truly victorious life while living in the world. I find myself often saying, " I am not confused about WHO I AM, WHERE I AM FROM, or WHY I AM HERE!" Because most of us do not have a clear understanding of these three concepts, we suffer much turmoil in our minds and become easy prey for deception and defeat. To acquire the kind of faith that "overcomes the world" (1 John 5:4), we must be very clear regarding these three issues. Jesus made an amazing statement concerning believers:

John 17:16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

Although most Christians have probably made the statement, "I am in the world but I am not of the world," it remains only a vague religious concept to most of us not a bedrock foundation of truth that we build our lives upon. A clear understanding of what Jesus meant by these two statements is freedom and liberty from a life of confusion and defeat by the pressures of the world.

According to the bible, there are only two types of people on the earth. Although there are many races and many nations, from God's point of view, you are either born of His Spirit or you are born of the "spirit of the world." Notice what Paul wrote to the born again believers who lived in Corinth:

1 Cor 2:12 Now we [born again believers] have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

All humans are physically born with the "spirit of the world" within them. That is the nature of sin and death passed down to all humanity from the first man Adam. It makes no difference what race or nation we are born into, we are all born with the nature of sin and death (the spirit of the world) when we are physically birthed into the world.

The exception to that rule is the birth of Jesus Christ. His spirit did not originate from fallen Adam. His spirit was supernaturally conceived in the womb of Mary directly by the Holy Ghost. That is why Jesus is called the "only begotten of the Father." Since the fall of Adam, not a single person prior to Jesus Christ was born with the Spirit of God within them. That's why Jesus would make statements such as:

John 8:23 And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.

As we read of the marvelous life of Jesus Christ in the four gospels, it is obvious to us that Jesus was "not of this world." It is obvious to us that He most certainly was not confused about WHO HE WAS, WHERE HE WAS FROM, or WHY HE WAS HERE! He was tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin. How was that possible? Because He knew He was only "in the world, not of the world." The Spirit of God within Him, the very life of God within Him, continually gave Him the strength to walk separate and sanctified from all that the world could throw at Him.

We marvel as we witness the courage and the strength of character displayed by Jesus as He walked through this world doing the will of the Father, while never submitting to the temptations and persecutions launched against Him by the world. It is obvious to us that Jesus Christ was most certainly "not of this world."

But, somehow, it never dawns on us that at the new birth we too were born of the Spirit of God. That old "spirit of the world" within us died the death when we received Jesus into our hearts. We passed "from death unto life" at that precise moment:

John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

Jesus is now called:

Col 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

Believers are born of God's Spirit! We are born "from above!" We are now called "His brethren." That's why Jesus said of believers, "They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world." We have heard all of this before, but it must become more than some sort of vague, religious concept to us. It must become as real to us as it was to Jesus. It must become the TRUTH that we walk by. It is faith in this truth that enables us as believers to "overcome the world" even while we are living in it.

We will discuss this in greater detail in coming months, but I believe it would be helpful if all of us would boldly begin saying to ourselves often: "I am a child of God. I am from above. I am not of this world. I am not confused about WHO I AM, WHERE I AM FROM, OR WHY I AM HERE."

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


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