Of all the SHOCKING revelations I've had over the years this has got to be THE MOST MAJOR ONE - with the MOST MAJOR LIFE-RAMIFICATIONS for us all. Because the TRUTH is that MANY of us, and probably MOST of us, have never got properly and fully BORN of GOD!! This revelation is NOTHING of a SURPRISE - just incredibly SERIOUS... YET TOTALLY FIXABLE!!! We start towards that RIGHT NOW!!!
STARTING TOWARDS BEING FULLY BORN AGAIN!
I stress again - it's almost certainly NOT YOUR FAULT that wholly INADEQUATE STEPS were taken to actually and properly get you FULLY BORN OF GOD (born again). There is no need for you to WONDER why you've found living the Christian life so hard if, that is, you NEVER EVEN GOT PROPERLY STARTED!! - being sort of ONLY PARTLY IN THE KINGDOM (rather like trying to walk with only one leg!) FACT: It took me at least 13 years to get FULLY BORN AGAIN, during that whole time NOT having Assurance of Salvation, and certainly NEVER being filled with the Spirit!!
OUR FIRST STEP HERE is all to do with awareness of our sinful estate! Do I hear you say: "Hey, I already KNOW all about that!" (I read Part 1!!) *hehe!* Well I'm pretty certain you DON'T - so do please read on! STARTING FACT: To fully and properly get into God's Kingdom, recognising who we are, and how we live, and what we've done, and what we've failed to do - well, hopefully we will at the very least feel led to say in deepest sorrow and passion: "I HAVE SINNED!!"
WHO WE ARE SINNING AGAINST
But here's our first problem! It's really NOT "I have sinned," as we almost all would think and say, but rather, "I have sinned AGAINST ALMIGHTY GOD!!!" (Trust me it's NOT common to THINK (or SAY) this.) So who I am and how I'm living is NOT the right focus AT ALL! It is NOT about ME!!! What it is about is that I'VE TOTALLY FAILED MY GOD!! I continually BOMB OUT, and every FAILURE in what I SHOULD DO, PLUS EVERY SIN I COMMIT -- IS AGAINST GOD!!!
• Living for ourselves. • Thinking about ourselves and our life. • Focussing on ourselves. • Caring about ME, ME, ME! • Turning my back on God. • Smacking Him in the face. • I want to do this sin, so I don't care! • I know I should do that, but I can't be bothered. • No, I want that money for me. Do we CARE that this sinning over and over is AGAINST OUR LORD AND GOD, constantly HURTING HIS BEAUTIFUL HEART!!!
GOD: the One Who is COMPLETELY and UTTERLY HOLY!! Perfect. Righteous. And here am I in my filthy rags, with sins to my name so myriad that they cannot EVEN BE COUNTED! - NOT living with a fixed aim of FULLY obeying and pleasing Him at all times, but SINNING AGAINST HIS GLORY, OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER!!...
WE'RE VERY VERY LIKE GOD!
My dearest Friends, when we finally GET this TOTAL picture, we're finally GETTING ONTO THE TRACK!!! But there's more!! God tells us that we are made in His Own Image. So then, have you realised that GOD HAS FEELINGS!!! When you sin against Him, no matter how 'big' or 'small' or what the sin is, YOU LITERALLY HURT HIM!!! He DEEPLY FEELS what you just did to Him.
Yet what has He done towards you: nothing but LOVE you, CARE about you, FORGIVE you, and is SO GRACIOUS to you! - because He IS THE HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL!!! BUT... how do I behave in response to His wondrous consideration of me?... No wonder the Scriptures have the words: "Woe is me, because I am a man of unclean lips." ISAIAH 6:5. I have to say with the Prophet: "Woe is me: I constantly, and wilfully, sin AGAINST A HOLY AND RIGHTEOUS GOD Who freely gave, and gives me my very LIFE!!" Oh, my oh my, THIS IS SERIOUS!!!
AND THEN THERE'S THIS
But as if THAT isn't enough, He then sent Jesus, His only Son, to COVER MY SIN AND YOUR SIN THAT WE'VE WILFULLY COMMITTED AGAINST HIM!! Jesus' death was... because of your sin and mine. We need to recognise the seriousness of this: we should CONSIDER and SEE it as though His crucifixion has your name and mine against it!
I want you now to please FOLLOW WITH ME the conclusion of the first Christian sermon by Peter, straight after Pentecost, to people from nations all over. He reviewed from the Scriptures all about Jesus Christ, the Messiah - who, he informed them bluntly:YOU CRUCIFIED!!!
ACTS 2:23 Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death;
And are WE going to consider ourselves innocent of His blood??
Peter is now near the end of his sermon:
ACTS 2:36 "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ."
God made Jesus Messiah ("the Christ", the Anointed One) and Lord of ALL!! And if it should be considered that this crucifixion is by OUR hands also, then what have we done? This is what those listening were feeling - MOST STRONGLY:
ACTS 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”
They were stung to the quick about what they had done to Jesus, the Lord and Messiah!!! Shocked, convicted, almost out of their mind, they asked the disciples in DIRE AGONY OF HEART: WHAT MUST WE DO???
And THE answer Peter IMMEDIATELY gave was the EXACT same one God gives to you and me today:
ACTS 2:38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
So what to do???... In Part 3 I'm going to help you with REPENTING like you've never known it, explaining this step by step. THIS is where God is going to do the work in youthat He's wanted to do for SO LONG!!
Continued in Part 3 "A Sincere Thankyou" ...
- BM, with his Love