Sunday, May 7, 2017

It's Not Enough

1Corinthians 15:36,42-47 - Foolish one, what you sow is not made alive unless it dies. So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a LIVING being.” The last Adam [Jesus] became a LIFE-GIVING spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual. The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven.

Jesus Himself told us there must be a spiritual birth for eternal faith in Him alone. That spiritual birth gives us true wisdom and a whole new outlook to this life on earth and in God. We seek treasures in heaven, not on earth. The old earthly man dies, the new spiritual man is born. Or so they should!

Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water AND the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’” (John 3:5-7)

Did you know that when we die, our spirits live on? Just as some will go to heaven...if they have been born of the Spirit...through faith in Jesus Christ...through our confession of Him as Lord and Savior of our lives...some spirits will live for eternity in hell. It's not a subject many people, sometimes not even the Church, want to talk about. 

It's for this reason Jesus take the burden of our sins upon His own body, nail them on the cross and die. Every sin imaginable...upon His body. I can't imagine and neither can you. And all He requires is our confession of faith in Him, being born in the Spirit, gaining His wisdom and understanding of right from wrong. 

When we receive Christ, this same Spirit of God begins to reside in us also. We are commanded, then, to be baptized. This baptism is our outward expression of our confession of Christ. Jesus was born, died and raised again. Our immersion baptism is symbolic of the same. The old man dies, the new man is raised up. Like Lazarus, like Jesus, like all who have been baptized this way. Baptism is not by sprinkling as a child. What child can confess Jesus when it cannot even speak? Was Jesus sprinkled as a child? Or was He immersed...and then filled with the Holy Spirit? There are no scriptures at all in the Bible that speak of infant baptism. I wonder how all that got started??

So, we can think all we want that we do not need to know the Lord any more than believing He was, but it's not enough. We can think we don't need church, but it's not enough. We can think we are smart enough, successful enough, mature enough, even self-sufficient enough, but it's not enough. We can do nothing of our own to satisfy our spiritual needs and spiritual life. Only Jesus can provide for us. 

Only through Christ can this Spirit of God come to us. We cannot save ourselves. If we could, what was the point of Jesus' death? And what makes any of us think He just died to save all men, no questions asked? Yes, He died for all mankind, but we have to confess Him, confess our sins, repent of our sins...and confess we need Him to cover those sins. We need to live for Him...serve Him. The scriptures talk of being bondservants. A bondservant is one who willingly serves. We willingly serve God. 

I cannot provide this salvation for anyone else. I can only point the way. And the Way is Jesus. Each person must seek Him on his own. It is not transferable. Wisdom must be gained individually through Christ. It's just the way it works. Scripture tells us these things. I have not made this up. Our church teaches this; I know other churches do. I also know that some churches water down the gospel into believing that one simple prayer is all it takes to become born again, with no other decisions made. That prayer is not enough either. It takes an action. 

When a seed is planted it is dry, dead. But given the right conditions it can spring to life. Like baptism, water applied, not sprinkled but soaked, that new life comes forth. From death to life. We are dry and dead without Jesus but through Him and the Holy Spirit we can also spring to new, eternal life.

John 15:5 - I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

Philippians 4:13 - I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

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