Tag Archive: redemption


“What is a Christian?”

A dictionary definition  of a Christian would be something similar to “a person professing belief in  Jesus as the Christ or in the religion based on the teachings of Jesus.” While  this is a good starting point, like many dictionary definitions, it falls  somewhat short of really communicating the biblical truth of what it means to be  a Christian. The word “Christian” is used three times in the New Testament (Acts 11:26; 26:28; 1 Peter  4:16). Followers of Jesus Christ were first called “Christians” in Antioch  (Acts 11:26) because their  behavior, activity, and speech were like Christ. The word “Christian” literally  means, “belonging to the party of Christ” or a “follower of  Christ.”

Unfortunately over time, the word “Christian” has lost a great  deal of its significance and is often used of someone who is religious or has  high moral values but who may or may not be a true follower of Jesus Christ.  Many people who do not believe and trust in Jesus Christ consider themselves  Christians simply because they go to church or they live in a “Christian”  nation. But going to church, serving those less fortunate than you, or being a  good person does not make you a Christian. Going to church does not make you a  Christian any more than going to a garage makes you an automobile. Being a  member of a church, attending services regularly, and giving to the work of the  church does not make you a Christian.

The Bible teaches that the good  works we do cannot make us acceptable to God. Titus 3:5 says, “He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of  his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy  Spirit.” So, a Christian is someone who has been born again by God (John 3:3; John 3:7; 1 Peter 1:23) and has put  faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Ephesians  2:8 tells us that it is “…by grace you have been saved, through faith—and  this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.”

A true Christian is a  person who has put faith and trust in the person and work of Jesus Christ,  including His death on the cross as payment for sins and His resurrection on the  third day. John 1:12 tells us, “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he  gave the right to become children of God.” The mark of a true Christian is love  for others and obedience to God’s Word (1 John 2:410). A true  Christian is indeed a child of God, a part of God’s true family, and one who has  been given new life in Jesus Christ.

2 Timothy 4:9-14

The apostle Paul knew the value of having good friends. Barnabas encouraged him in his ministry. Silas partnered with him in establishing new churches. Timothy became like a son to him. Paul also knew the heartache of co-laborers turning away from him when times got tough (2 Tim. 1:15). We may experience something similar in our life.

People will react differently to our struggles. Some feel inadequate and hold back because they are uncertain about what to say or do. Others are so protective of their time that selfishness causes them to turn away. And sometimes our friends and co-workers do not want to be identified with us in our trials. In my early days as a pastor, this happened to me when the church was going through a period of turmoil. Only two pastors reached out to me and offered support; the others stood back. This experience taught me the importance of reaching out to people in crisis.

Helping others requires an investment of time and energy. We start by praying for them and asking the Lord how we can help. He may have us lend emotional support, provide spiritual guidance, offer assistance in a physical or financial way, or find others who can. Standing with people will encourage them.

When friends abandoned him, Paul asked God not to count their actions against them. He followed the example of Jesus, who prayed for the Father to forgive His persecutors. What’s your response when friends let you down? Forgiveness is the choice that pleases God every time.

What does it mean to be a born again Christian? The classic passage from the Bible that answers this question is John 3:1-21. The Lord Jesus Christ is talking to Nicodemus, a prominent Pharisee and member of the Sanhedrin (a ruler of the Jews). Nicodemus had come to Jesus at night. Nicodemus had questions to ask Jesus.
As Jesus talked with Nicodemus, He said, “’I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.’ ‘How can a man be born when he is old?’ Nicodemus asked. ‘Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again’” (John 3:3-7).
The phrase “born again” literally means “born from above.” Nicodemus had a real need. He needed a change of his heart—a spiritual transformation. New birth, being born again, is an act of God whereby eternal life is imparted to the person who believes (2 Corinthians 5:17; Titus 3:5; 1 Peter 1:3; 1 John 2:29; 3:9; 4:7; 5:1-4, 18). John 1:12,13 indicates that “born again” also carries the idea “to become children of God” through trust in the name of Jesus Christ.
The question logically comes, “Why does a person need to be born again?” The Apostle Paul in Ephesians 2:1 says, “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins…” (NKJV). To the Romans in Romans 3:23, the Apostle wrote, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” So, a person needs to be born again in order to have their sins forgiven and have a relationship with God.
How does that come to be? Ephesians 2:8-9 states, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” When one is “saved,” he/she has been born again, spiritually renewed, and is now a child of God by right of new birth. Trusting in Jesus Christ, the One who paid the penalty of sin when He died on the cross, is what it means to be “born again” spiritually. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation: the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
If you have never trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, will you consider the prompting of the Holy Spirit as He speaks to your heart? You need to be born again. Will you pray the prayer of repentance and become a new creation in Christ today? “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God” (John 1:12-13).
If you want to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and be born again, here is a sample prayer. Remember, saying this prayer or any other prayer will not save you. It is only trusting in Christ that can save you from sin. This prayer is simply a way to express to God your faith in Him and thank Him for providing for your salvation. “God, I know that I have sinned against you and am deserving of punishment. But Jesus Christ took the punishment that I deserve so that through faith in Him I could be forgiven. I place my trust in You for salvation. Thank You for Your wonderful grace and forgiveness—the gift of eternal life! Amen!

There is no fear when we walk in the presence of our Father.

Some of what the 20th Century brought us:

There are basically two governmental systems on the earth today: One, the Atheistic socialistic system based on the idea of government being the center, and all things being supplied to the people by the government, the other is a capitalistic system based on the idea of man being the center, and government being there to ensure and protect the rights of the individual. This system was based on the Word of God, and all mention of God was referring to the one God, Jesus Christ. Today there emerges a new form of government here in America: “Social-Capitalism.”.”

History and the Bible has revealed that when these two systems come to agreement to proclaim “Peace and Safety”, He will then bring judgment on the whole earth. This judgment will come as travail upon a woman with child. The travail, spoken of here, are labor pains. A woman in childbirth does not have one labor pain and the child is delivered. She has many. They start out easy and far apart. Then they get harder and closer together until the baby comes.

Matthew 24 is a time pattern of events leading to the climax of the age in which the judgment of God is poured out upon the earth, just as it was in the Days of Noah. Jesus states, “Take heed that no man deceive you”.

“For many shall come in My name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.   For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.” Matthew 24:5-7

Many, today, are proclaiming themselves to be the Messiah and have drawn millions to follow them. We hear of many wars. There have been constant rumors of war our whole lifetime. Jesus’ words of comfort were, “See that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.”

“. . .For nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom.”

This, too, we have witnessed. Many nations and kingdoms have risen themselves up against other nations. This is when the weak say, I am strong. Joel 3:10

There will be famines. In the last few years, famine has become a reality in many of the third world nations. Pestilence is disease. Many new deadly, never-heard-of diseases have come to light, killing millions; cancer being the main killer. But Aids will surpass cancer as the number one killer on the earth.

There will be Earthquakes. Earthquakes are so common that the news media only reports the most severe. To get national attention, the earthquakes must happen in populated areas and must register at least 6.5 on the Richter Scale.

We know these things because we, ourselves, have seen them. Some have experienced them and we have all watched these situations become progressively worse.

“All these are the beginning of sorrows.” Matthew 24:8

The word sorrow is the word ODIN and is translated travails in I Thessalonians 5:3. The beginning of sorrows are the birth-pangs that will bring forth the judgment.

Many Christians do not want to hear or believe. They are not even ready to accept what is ahead in the very near future.“Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for My name’s sake.  And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.  And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.  And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” Matthew 24:9-12

This will be the time of persecution upon God’s people and the time of judgment upon the house of God. We are now in this time of judgment. The persecution has already begun. Be assured, it will get worse.

We live in a time when, on the surface, it would appear that Communism has failed and that satanic strongholds are coming down. Democracy has been declared the winner and the whole world will soon be living in “Peace and Safety”.Jesus said, “Let no man deceive you.” Over the pulpit, from so-called prophets, we are hearing that “satan has lost the battle, and we, the United States, are the victors!”Let no man deceive you”

Number one, the United States is no longer a Christian nation, and number two, in many ways, the United States is a more Godless nation than Russia.

Russia has not become as morally debased as the United States. Homo-sexuality and lesbianism is not rewarded, nor accepted, as it is in the United States. Abortion is not legal and the youth have not yet become the drug addicts as the youth in America.

We have sold our children to satan and allowed drugs to ruin their minds and lives. Promiscuous sex among our young has never been equalled in any generation. Drug-related crimes have never been equalled. Our prisons are full of our youth. Suicide is out of control because our youth have no hope. God has been stripped from their lives.

Our churches have left God at the door and do what they want. There is no power in the church to stop what the government has become. We are no longer a government of the people, by the people and for the people. We have watched the greed, corruption and immorality take over the government until it has become a Godless debasement; a travesty of what it was intended to be. We live in the day when “Peace and Safety” is being proclaimed. “Wake up to the truth of the Word of God.” The travail has already begun upon this nation. The labor pains are getting closer together.

When asked, “when will the last day(s) be; I find I have no honest answer.” So, I reverse the question by stating “When I believe the last days began?” The answer I give is 1914,  the onset of the 20th Century and the beginning of the first World War; the war that was supposed to end all wars. But, instead, it established the great nations that we need to take note of in our day. World War I established the United States as the most powerful, most wealthy and the most productive nation on earth, one nation under God.

In March of 1917, Nicholas II of Russia was overthrown. This paved the way for the beginning of Communism. In November of 1917, the Bolshevik Revolution took place and Lenin was established as the new leader of Russia. This was the beginning of Communism; and the Marxist socialist form of government came upon the earth. Also, on November 2, 1917, the Balfour Proclamation was signed to allow Israel to return to their ancient land.

Russia withdrew from World War I when the upheaval came in their government. It was almost one year to the day that the war ended. The stage was set for these nations which would be involved in the end of the age.

World War I ended November 11, 1918. At the end of World War I, President Wilson tried to start the League of Nations which ended in failure.

All these events happened in November of 1917. Thirty years and six months later, May 14, 1948, Israel was recognized as a sovereign nation. They had not been a nation since 586 B.C., or for 2534 years. Now, the same people are in the same land under the same name, an event that only God could have ordained.

At the time of the Second World War, Russia was a backward, ill-equipped nation with virtually no power. But with the stroke of the pen, at the meeting at Yalta, one-half of Europe was enslaved by the Russian bear. This had to be the blackest day in History. Russia’s trek to becoming a world power had begun. By 1948, Russia had a firm grip on Europe. Russia expanded until her communistic, atheistic grip was felt all over the earth.

In 1945, the United Nations was formed to insure peace on planet Earth. Man proclaimed that he could keep peace without the Prince of Peace. Peace was, and still is, in the hands of man, instead of the hands of God.

In 1948, the United States formed NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, to insure the protection of Western Europe. In 1955, Russia formulated the Warsaw Pact to arm and protect Eastern Europe. The arms race and the Cold War were in full swing. The two great powers on earth were established, each side developing more and more weapons; more powerful than the mind could ever imagine. Man was truly turning the plow shares into swords.

At that time, Russia and the United States were spending, an ever-increasing amount of their nation’s income on weapons and armament. Starvation and homelessness were increasing in both nations and they were justifying their waste by the activity of the other. Carl Sagan (who proclaimed nuclear winter to the world), has stated that, at this time, Russia and the United States have amassed approximately 60,000 nuclear warheads.

Arms negotiations have reduced the total nuclear arsenal only about 3% and the world proclaims this to be a great victory. In the same article, “Too Many Weapons in the World”, which appeared in the Arizona Republic dated February 4, 1990, Carl Sagan stated that, quote, “…perhaps one percent of the nearly 60,000 nuclear weapons in the world might be enough to generate a nuclear winter.” End of quote.

A limited nuclear attack from either side would produce nuclear winter and would eliminate crop production. Mass starvation would follow. Common sense tells us that there are no safe levels of nuclear weapons; the same as there is no safe way to shoot yourself in the head.

We read in I Thessalonians 5:3,

“When they shall say, Peace and Safety…”

Who are the “they”? This is not God or God’s people. The “they” are those who have made themselves responsible for peace and safety. This is in the hands of men in Russia and the United States. One is based on Atheistic ideology, an enslaver of the people; the other is based on a Godly ideology, a liberator of the people.

How could two diametrically opposed nations agree on anything? And yet, God said they would agree. When they do agree, He will bring sudden destruction upon them, and they shall not escape. This destruction will come from God.

God has given us many warnings in His Word as to what to watch for. We should not be deceived by outward appearances. We should discern by the Spirit of God and act accordingly.

We read in II Corinthians 3:17;

“Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty”. (Freedom)

Where the Spirit of the Lord is absent, there is bondage.

After the Second World War, we began to hear about civil rights. This was to insure the rights of all mankind. Certain groups demanded their civil rights, or equal rights, with others. The United States began to proclaim that all people on earth had civil rights.

We, the United States, began demanding these rights with threats of withholding financial aid from those nations who did not grant their people civil rights. The end result of civil rights was that the God-given rights, and rights granted under the Constitution, were stripped away under the guise that certain rights had to be taken away to insure the rights of others.

Thus, the loss of rights and freedoms ensued, and government has taken total control of the people. We have rights as long as we don’t try to use them or question the right of government control in our lives.

What we have left is a system of compromise. No right or wrong, no black or white; until, the only rights and freedoms we have, are those that are agreed to by the government.

This brings us to today. The year of 1989 saw tremendous changes made in the communist world. On the surface, it would appear that communism has failed. The old, She Bear (Russia), has turned on her back and kicked up her heels. The news media proclaims that Communism has failed and Democracy is the clear winner. Now the whole earth can live in freedom.

But I warn you, there has been no great revival in the Spiritual realm. Satan is the great deceiver, a liar and a murderer from the beginning. Do not be deceived by what appears on the surface.

Instead, let’s view what has happened. Poland, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Hungary and other Eastern European nation’s economies have collapsed.

Russia, whose economy is in no better shape, could no longer maintain the support they gave to these countries. Massive debt was drowning their economy in interest payments to the West, so Russia opened the gates, tore down the walls and said to the United States, “You have proclaimed civil rights, all these are yours. You feed them, house them and pay their debts”. And the United States said, “What do we do now?”

Egg has become very evident on the face of the United States because of our 16+ Trillion dollar debt. Our national and trade deficit has drowned our economy in red ink.

Our first objective is to cut defense spending. The more we spend on Eastern Europe, the more Russia has to spend to increase their economy, or to spend ever more on defense. Under the facade of Arms Talks and Arms Control, Russia has lulled the world, and this nation, into a false sense of security.

But I say to God’s people, don’t be taken in by the proclamation of peace. We are warned many times in the Word that this is one of the signs of the end of the age; when man would proclaim “Peace and Safety” for the inhabitants of planet Earth.

The whole earth, and especially God’s people, are desiring peace. Our youth have lived their whole lives under the threat of a nuclear holocaust and will grab at any hope of peace. Jeremiah said, “For they have healed the hurt of the daughters of my people slightly, saying, “Peace, Peace, when there is no Peace”. And there is NO peace.

Do not let your guard down! This is the time to press into God and not settle back on your lees and become complacent. If we believe that what happened in Eastern Europe was a victory for the United States, we will only be fooling ourselves because God’s hand of judgment is on this nation, also. It may look like God’s hand of blessing is on this nation, but we need to understand that God will judge sin. This nation has become a sinful, godless country as far as our government is concerned.

God spoke against this nation in Deuteronomy 32. If God was not speaking of the United States, He was speaking to a nation exactly like it. We can be assured that our fate will be no different from prophesied in this text.

Deuteronomy speaks of Jesh’urun, the “righteous ones”. Certainly, in the beginning of this nation, we were the “righteous ones”, founded on the Word of God; by Godly men proclaiming that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the King of the earth. It is said of George Washington, when they wanted to make him King instead of President: He said, “This nation has one King and He is Jesus Christ.”

“But Jesh’urun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation.

They provoked Him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they Him to anger.

They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not.” Deuteronomy 32:15-17

This nation has become fat (wealthy) and has rebelled against God, as that of Laodicea. This nation has forsaken God and lightly esteemed the Rock that it was founded upon. This nation has provoked God to jealousy and anger with strange gods. This nation has sacrificed unto devils.

We allow our children to listen to rock music that has gotten continually worse with its message of rebellion, revolution, euthanasia, drugs, sex and suicide. We justify them listening to this because we listen to so-called Christian rock, country and contemporary Christian music and refuse to take a Godly stance and be examples to our children. If we will not serve God with a whole heart, clean and pure, how can we expect our children to?

Deuteronomy 32:17 states, these are new gods that have come up and our fathers knew them not. These gods have come up since the `60’s and God’s people have become complacent and hardened to where sin is no longer considered sin. These gods are acceptable to their compromised walk in God.

“Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee.  And when the Lord saw it, He abhorred them, because of the provoking of His sons, and of His daughters.  And He said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith.” Deuteronomy 32:18-20

Deuteronomy proclaims that this nation is unmindful and has forgotten the Rock that formed them. God has taken notice of this and He is abhorred because of the provoking of His sons and daughters. He has hidden His face from this nation to see what their end will be. He speaks of a froward generation and children of no faith.

He is only speaking of this generation since the `60’s. A great percentage of our children have no faith and do not recognize God as having any power or control in their lives whatsoever. Many young children do not even know God exists because we have failed to teach them. They only serve the wicked one. They do not try to hide their sin, but rather they flaunt it and are proud of it.

This is a froward generation. The word froward means “perverse or perverted”; a generation that has no sense of morality or conscience. They can lie, steal and even murder with no remorse, but rather with a haughty, bragging attitude toward their perverted way of life.

Most believe that they are getting away with this sin and abomination in the sight of God. But God has pronounced His judgment on Jeshurun and this judgment is on the United States as surely as the Word of God is sure.

“For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.” Deuteronomy 32:22

God proclaims He would set on fire the foundations of the mountain. This is volcanic activity. This was the beginning of God’s judgment on this nation. For the first time in this nation’s history, we had a volcanic explosion on Mt. Saint Helen, in 1980.

“I will heap mischiefs upon them; I will spend mine arrows upon them.

They shall be burnt with hunger, and devoured with burning heat, and with bitter destruction: I will also send the teeth of beasts upon them, with the poison of serpents of the dust.” Deuteronomy 32:23-24

God warns that He will heap mischiefs upon Jesh’urun, sending arrows upon them. Arrows are guided missiles that are launched by a bow, or rocket booster. God may be referring to nuclear weapons. We will be “burnt with hunger and devoured with burning heat”.

There is famine, homelessness and destitution on a large-scale. This has come to pass in the `80’s. Burning heat has scorched this nation, along with record cold, floods, forest fires and earthquakes.

“The sword without, and terror within, shall destroy both the young man and the virgin, the suckling also with the man of gray hairs.” Deuteronomy 32:25

We have the sword without: the threat of armed attack, both nuclear and conventional, are ever-present. Terror within: teams of terrorists have been sent to this nation from many nations and we can expect an increase in terrorist activity. This is going to affect the whole spectrum of society, the young men and woman, the children and the old.

“For they are a nation void of counsel, neither is there any understanding in them. O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!  How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, except their Rock had sold them, and the Lord had shut them up?” Deuteronomy 32:28-30

God declares that this nation is void of counsel, having no understanding.

In times of old, there was always Godly council who advised the leaders of nations. This has been replaced with think-tanks and witchcraft, who have no understanding of what God is doing. When a nation, like Iran, could hold our embassy workers for 444 days; when nations can take our people hostage and we do nothing; and the only victory we have is to attack very small, virtually unarmed countries, – – – truly, one is chasing a thousand. We have been put to flight (running scared) because our rock has forsaken us and has shut us up. Our enemies are our judges now.

“For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges.” Deuteronomy 32:31

God reveals His judgment:

“To me belongeth vengeance, and recompense; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.” Deuteronomy 32:35

Our foot has slid and our calamity is at hand. Things will make haste in coming upon us as travail upon a woman with child. He will ask, “Where are your gods in whom you trusted and made sacrifice to?”

“And He shall say, Where are their gods, their rock in whom they trusted,  Which did eat the fat of their sacrifices, and drank the wine of their drink offerings? let them rise up and help you, and be your protection.” Deuteronomy 32:37-38

Where are the ones you have depended on to feed you, house you and pay your bills? Where are the ones you depend on for your health and your answer to all needs and desires? Where are the ones you look to for the answers to all your problems, the ones you desire to have rule and reign over your life?

When this time of wrath comes upon the earth, God says to go to those gods and let them help you and be your protection.

“And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day.  And the idols (gods) He shall utterly abolish.” Isaiah 2:17-18

Revelation 9:6 says “And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.”

God makes us a promise:

“If I whet my glittering sword, and mine hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to mine enemies, and will reward them that hate me.   I will make mine arrows drunk with blood, and my sword shall devour flesh; and that with the blood of the slain and of the captives, from the beginning of revenges upon the enemy.” Deuteronomy 32:41-42

God has set His hand to the glittering sword and He will not turn back. This nation will not repent and God’s judgment is sure.

We need to view what happened in Eastern Europe with our Spiritual eyes. It proclaims loudly that God put in the hearts of those people to be free, to throw off the shackles of tyranny and walk as free people.

God used this to open the doors of these nations so the gospel of the kingdom could go in. In this day of harvest, the gospel will be proclaimed to every nation, kindred and tongue and people. Revelation 14:6

We need to know one thing; when that which is called God and that which is called satan agree, it has become an abomination and God will destroy it.

When the subject of Nuclear War is discussed, it immediately brings fear. And it should, to those who do not know God. But to those who know Him, this should be the time of standing on His promises!

“Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, My servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry: Behold, My servants shall drink, but ye shall be thirsty: behold, My servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be ashamed:

Behold, My servants shall sing for joy of heart, but ye shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall howl for vexation of spirit.  And ye shall leave your name for a curse unto My chosen: for the Lord God shall slay thee, and call His servants by another name:” Isaiah 65:13-15

 “Wake up America” – There is no fear when we walk in the presence of our Father.

Special People

1 Peter 2:9-10

Whenever feelings of low self-worth threaten us with discouragement, we need to rely on the truth of God’s Word rather than our emotions. Today I want to bring you four phrases that describe how the Lord sees every believer.

  • A Chosen Race. God chose you and me to be part of His kingdom and family because He wanted us. No one who has been specially selected by almighty God is insignificant.
  • A Royal Priesthood. As believers, we are children of God and, therefore, part of a royal family. In other words, we are “heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ” (Rom. 8:17). Just as Jesus fulfilled the roles of both king and priest, so God has also entrusted us with priestly responsibilities of worship and intercession for others.
  • A Holy Nation. The church—or body of Christ—is a group of people who are holy, which means “set apart” for the purposes of God. Our lives are never meaningless, because living for the Lord is the greatest purpose one can have.
  • A People for God’s Own Possession. You and I are the personal possessions of God (Deut. 14:2; Titus 2:14; 1 Peter 2:9). He so values each of us that He sent His Son to die in our place in order that we could be His.

Each of these descriptions shows the high value God places on you. Satan may whisper lies of condemnation and criticism, but he can’t change who you really are. Begin today to demonstrate the truth of Scripture by remembering your real identity and living out your high calling from the Lord.

The Bible is clear that all people are God’s creation (Colossians 1:16), and that God loves the entire world (John 3:16), but only those who are born again are children of God (John 1:12; 11:52; Romans 8:16; 1 John 3:1-10).

In Scripture, the lost are never referred to as children of God. Ephesians 2:3 tells us that before we were saved we were “by nature objects of wrath.” Romans 9:8 says that “it is not the natural children who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring.” Instead of being born as God’s children, we are born in sin, which separates us from God and aligns us with Satan as God’s enemy (James 4:4; 1 John 3:8). Jesus said, “If
God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me” (John 8:42). Then a few verses later in John 8:44, Jesus told the Pharisees that they “belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire.” The fact that those who are not saved are not children of God is also seen in 1 John 3:10: “This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.”

We become children of God when we are saved because we are adopted into God’s family through our relationship with Jesus Christ (Galatians 4:5-6; Ephesians 1:5). This can be clearly seen in verses like Romans 8:14-17: “…because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” Those who are saved are children “of God through faith in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:26) because God has “predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will” (Ephesians 1:5).

Are you born again? This is one of life’s most important questions. Jesus Christ said, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).

It is not enough to reply, “I belong to the church; I suppose I’m a Christian.” Thousands of nominal Christians show none of the signs of being born again which the Scriptures have given us—many listed in the First Epistle of John.
First of all, John wrote: “Whosoever is born of God does not commit sin” (I John 3:9). “Whosoever is born of God sinneth not” (5:18).

A person who has been born again, or regenerated, does not habitually commit sin. He no longer sins with his heart and will and whole inclination. There was probably a time when he did not think about whether his actions were sinful or not, and he did not always feel grieved after doing evil. There was no quarrel between him and sin; they were friends. But the true Christian hates sin, flees from it, fights against it, considers it his greatest plague, resents the burden of its presence, mourns when he falls under its influence, and longs to be completely delivered from it. Sin no longer pleases him, nor is it even a matter of indifference to him; it has become a horrible thing which he hates. However, he cannot eliminate its presence within him.

If he said that he had no sin, he would be lying (I John 1:8). But he can say that he hates sin and that the great desire of his soul is not to commit sin at all. He cannot prevent bad thoughts from entering his mind, or shortcomings, omissions, and defects from appealing in both his words and his actions. He knows that “in many things we offend all” (James 3:2). But he can truly say, in the sight of God, that these things cause him grief and sorrow and that his whole nature does not consent to them. What would the apostle say about you? Are you born again?

Second, John wrote: “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God” (I John 5:1).

A man who is born again, or regenerated, believes that Jesus Christ is the only Saviour who can pardon his soul, that He is the divine person appointed by God the Father for this very purpose, and beside Him there is no Saviour at all. In himself he sees nothing but unworthiness. But he has full confidence in Christ, and trusting in Him, he believes that his sins are all forgiven. He believes that, because he has accepted Christ’s finished work and death on the cross, he is considered righteous in God’s sight, and he may look forward to death and judgment without alarm.

He may have fears and doubts. He may sometimes tell you that he feels as if he had no faith at all. But ask him if he is willing to trust in
anything instead of Christ, and see what he will say. Ask him if he will rest his hope of eternal life on his own goodness, his own works, his prayers, his minister, or his church, and listen to his reply. What would the apostle say about you? Are you born again?

Third, John wrote: “Every one that doeth righteousness is born of Him” (I John 2:29).

The man who is born again, or regenerated, is a holy man. He endeavors to live according to God’s will, to do the things that please God and to avoid the things that God hates. He wishes to continually look to Christ as his example as well as his Saviour and to prove himself to be Christ’s friend by doing whatever He commands. He knows he is not perfect. He is painfully aware of his indwelling corruption. He finds an evil principle within himself that is constantly warring against grace and trying to draw him away from God. But he does not consent to it, though he cannot prevent its presence.

Though he may sometimes feel so low that he questions whether or not he is a Christian at all, he will be able to say with John Newton, “I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I want to be, I am not what I hope to be in another world; but still I am not what I once used to be, and by the grace of God I am what I am.” What would the apostle say about you? Are you born again?

Fourth, John wrote: “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren” (I John 3:14).

A man who is born again has a special love for all true disciples of Christ. Like his Father in heaven, he loves all men with a great general love, but he has a special love for those who share his faith in Christ. Like his Lord and Saviour, he loves the worst of sinners and could weep over them; but he has a peculiar love for those who are believers. He is never so much at home as when he is in their company.

He feels they are all members of the same family. They are his fellow soldiers, fighting against the same enemy. They are his fellow travelers,
journeying along the same road. He understands them, and they understand him. They may be very different from himself in many ways—in rank, in station and in wealth. But that does not matter. They are his Father’s sons and daughters and he cannot help loving them. What would the apostle say about you? Are you born again?

Fifth, John wrote: “Whatsoever is born of God overcomes the world” (I John 5:4).

A man who is born again does not use the world’s opinion as his standard of right and wrong. He does not mind going against the world’s ways, ideas and customs. What men think or say no longer concerns him. He overcomes the love of the world. He finds no pleasure in things which seem to bring happiness to most people. To him they seem foolish and unworthy of an immortal being.

He loves God’s praise more than man’s praise. He fears offending God more than offending man. It is unimportant to him whether he is blamed or praised; his first aim is to please God. What would the apostle say about you? Are you born again?

Sixth, John wrote: “He that is begotten of God keepeth himself’ (I John 5:18).

A man who is born again is careful of his own soul. He tries not only to avoid sin but also to avoid everything which may lead to it. He is careful about the company he keeps. He knows that evil communications corrupt the heart and that evil is more catching than good, just as disease is more infectious than health. He is careful about the use of his time; his chief desire is to spend it profitable.

He desires to live like a soldier in an enemy country—to wear his armor continually and to be prepared for temptation. He is diligent to be watchful, humble, prayerful man. What would the apostle say about you? Are you born again?

These are the six great marks of a born again Christian.

There is a vast difference in the depth and distinctness of these marks in different people. In some they are faint and hardly noticeable. In others they are bold, plain and unmistakable, so anyone may read them. Some of these marks are more visible than others in each individual.Seldom are all equally evident in any one person.

But still, after every allowance, here we find boldly painted six marks of being born of God.

How should we react to these things? We can logically come to only one conclusion—only those who are born again have these six characteristics, and those who do not have these marks are not born again. This seems to be the conclusion to which the apostle intended us
to come. Do you have these characteristics? Are you born again?