Your Birthright!


I teach a small group of middle schoolers at our Awana (Sunday School).  Yesterday, we went over the most basic, amazingly wonderful, and transformative truth in all of Christianity.  And, what might that be?  I loved the earnestness of those students as they wrestled to understand this passage – “For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one Man the many will be made righteous.” (Romans 5:19, NIV)

Sin came to us through Adam’s Fall. Life Eternal comes to us through Christ Jesus’ Resurrection!  On this Monday morning, I urge you to keep reading even if the story of Jesus and salvation is familiar. Let the declaration of God’s favor fill you up with joy.

Born Again! John tells us that Nicodemus came to see Jesus in the night to avoid being seen. Jesus saw his heart and His word were cryptic to the man, at first.  “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3, NKJV) The man, learned in the Scripture, took Jesus’ words literally and he was confounded.  “How can an old man enter into his mother’s womb and be born again?” Jesus responded to him with the explanation that just as we are born once naturally, we must be born again spiritually! The Bible summarizes the crisis this way. “You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins.” (Colossians 2:13, NLT)

By faith in Jesus, we are given a new heart, a new start –  “born again.”  Let’s not think of this as just a metaphor for religious reform or a moral renewal.  God does not just put a new paint job on the old house. He rebuilds it. Jesus says we start over, fresh as a newborn baby before God! “Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Corinthians 5:17, NLT)  Some mistakenly make this only about gaining access to Heaven at the time of death. Wrong! New birth is the preface to living a new life, now. When we are born again, hate is replaced by love, forgiveness replacing bitterness, purpose shaping our choices around something more than the next meal. Because the Spirit makes our spirit alive, we can enjoy a daily conversation with God.

Christian churches are filled with good people who are trying hard to do good things. But, unless they are ‘born again,’ they are still ruled by Self and Sin. There is another powerful word used by the Bible about the state of those who have not accepted Christ Jesus and been born again.  That word? “Slave!”  “When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness.” (Romans 6:20, NIV)

Before you rush off to your busy week, spend some time with this story that John tells us. As you read thank God for a new birth. Ask the Spirit to shape your life by this transformative truth. Live in the amazing assurance that you are no longer a slave, but now a child of God, your beloved Abba (Daddy).

Here is our word from the Word. “There was a man named Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was a Pharisee. After dark one evening, he came to speak with Jesus. “Rabbi,” he said, “we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you.”

Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”

“What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?”
Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. … For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. … those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.
” (John 3:1-5, 16-17, 21, NLT)

Believe. Receive. Live!

No Longer Slaves

(worship at this link)

You unravel me with a melody
You surround me with a song
Of deliverance from my enemies
Till all my fears are gone

I’m no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God
I’m no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God

From my Mother’s womb
You have chosen me
Love has called my name
I’ve been born again into Your family
Your blood flows through my veins

You split the sea so I could walk right through it
My fears were drowned in perfect love
You rescued me so I could stand and sing
I am a child of God

Brian Johnson | Joel Case | Jonathan David Helser© 2014 Bethel Music Publishing

CCLI License # 810055

Pastor Jerry Scott


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