The Messenger - March/April 2014

 

Where a new life begins

 

 

The title of this article was seen on a large hoarding on the perimeter of a new housing development. It was meant to convey that a person buying one of these homes would be so delighted that it would be as if they were starting a new life. Admittedly the location was good; public transport connections were nearby; prestigious schools and shops were easily available; churches of all persuasions were local. However, is it true that these materialistic and transient advantages would really introduce the purchaser to a new life? The wisest man who ever lived, apart from Jesus Christ, was Solomon, who tried every conceivable pleasure, and his verdict was, "all is vanity and vexation of spirit" Ecclesiastes 1.14. Also the well-known story of the 'prodigal son' highlights the folly of seeking satisfaction in worldly pleasures, Luke 15.11-24.


Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, was approached one night by a very religious man called Nicodemus; and one who was highly regarded in society, , John 3.1. He was told by One Who never lied, nor exaggerated, in plain and unambiguous language, "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" v.3. Apparently, such a concept was new to Nicodemus and he failed to grasp what was being taught so he asked, "How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?" He was told again, "Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again" v.7. Nicodemus confused physical and spiritual birth. The former is required to fit us for earth and the latter for heaven.


Perhaps this message is new and even confusing, to the reader. We were born into this world with physical life, but that did not give us a fitness for the presence of a holy God. A change is required; a new kind of life is needed: the life of God, eternal life. The Lord Jesus said, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly" John 10.10. The impartation of this Divine life is what the Lord Jesus called being "born again". It is in this, and not in a new, beautiful and expertly planned home that new life begins. This life is new because the recipients have never had it before; it is given to us from above; it brings with it forgiveness of sins, justification from guilt, reconciliation for enmity; redemption from slavery to sin and Satan; the person's desires and eternal destiny are changed and they are fitted to "enter into the kingdom of God". It really revolutionises a person, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" 2Corinthians 5.17.


The incident referred to in John 3.14 is an illustration of this truth. The reader should consult Numbers 21.4-9. The people were bitten by the fiery serpents and many lay dying. They needed life and God told Moses to make a serpent of brass, and uplift it on a pole and whoever looked to the serpent lived.


This was the state of humanity: dying because of the bite of the serpent in the garden of Eden, Genesis chapter 3. New life, spiritual life is needed and can only be obtained by looking in faith to the Saviour, Jesus Christ, uplifted on the cross of Calvary, where He died for our sins, then three days later rose again and subsequently was received back into heaven. Because of His victory over death and the devil, He alone has the power to impart spiritual life to all who believe on Him. Thus we read "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" John 3.14-16.

 

Good news in brief

 

"Ye must be born again"


"New wine must be put into new bottles" Mark 2 v22. i.e. new life must be put into a new man. "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." 2Cor. 5 v17. "Ye must be born again", Christ said so, the Word of God (the Bible) says so. Do not neglect this word of truth, it has eternal consequences. "The days approach that thou must die". Deut. 31 v14. What was said to Moses is true of us also – "must be born again", "must die". "It is appointed unto men once to die but after this the judgement" Heb. 9 v27. To be born once is to die twice, once here, once there – "the lake of fire, this is the second death". Rev. 20 v14.


"To be born twice is to die once". "Absent from the body – present with the Lord". 2Cor. 5 v8.

 

 

Reproduced from "Assembly Testimony" obtainable from W. Neill,
109 Lurgan Road, Banbridge, BT32 4NG, N. Ireland

 

Bible Verse

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5.8)

 

 

 

 

 

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