March 4, 2013
Last week we defined and described the new birth, now we want to prove that this experience is demanded by God. Jesus said… ye must be born again (John 3:7). He did not say that the birth was worthy of ones consideration or that ones acceptance of His proposal would be admirable. No, He said… ye must be born again. Why?
First, we must be born from above or born again spiritually because, through our physical birth, we have inherited the Adamic nature. We are “chips off the old block.” Adam, as the head of the human race, passed on the “genes” of a corrupt nature to all his posterity. Paul spells it out clearly in Romans 5:12, 18, and 19. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned… Therefore as by the offence of one [Adam] judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one [Christ] the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one mans disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
We conclude, then, that every member of the human race inherited Adams rotten nature at birth, making each of us what our first dad was-a disobedient rebel. This old nature within us makes us lie, cheat, swear, and desire sin. One is not a sinner because he sins. He sins because he is a sinner.
Thats what the psalmist meant in Psalm 5 1:5 when he said, Behold, I was shapen in iniquity: and in sin did my mother conceive me. The sin in this text was not sex, for, Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled… (Hebrews 13:4). Instead, the “iniquity” refers to the old nature formed within one at conception. This old nature contains all the germs of every known sin. Thats why God declares in Psalm 58:3, 4; The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies. Their poison is like the poison of a serpent….
In the light of this convicting evidence, only rebellious sinners would say, “I dont need salvation,” or “I am saved because I was born into a Christian family” God disagrees. He says …here is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not(Ecclesiastes 7:20). . . . there is none that doeth good, no, not one (Psalm 14:3). All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him [Christ] the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:6). The good man is perished out of the earth: and there is none upright among men: they all lie in wait for blood; they hunt every man his brother with a net (Micah 7:2).
Jesus said . . . none is good, save one, that is God (Luke 18:19). Paul also adds a stroke on the canvas of life by stating in Romans 3:10-18: There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth. There is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulcher [grave]; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the ways of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes.
What a portrait of every member of the human race without God. Sinners possess naught but depraved natures passed on to them from generation to generation. They now need a “born again” experience that produces a “new nature” through “regeneration.” No wonder Jesus said …ye MUST be born again.
Secondly the “born again” experience is compulsory if one is to understand God. 1 Corinthians 2:11-14 depicts this. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which mans wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing the spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. What a text! Lets dissect it.
No man is able to understand another man except by the human spirit commonly possessed. This human spirit makes daily communication possible with other members of the human race, Though human beings enjoy such privileges among themselves, they are unable to conduct intelligible conversations with the animal kingdom, because the human spirit is missing in birds and beasts. Supposing I went into a pasture and began reading Shakespeares Romeo and Juliet to Bozo the bull. What would his reaction be if I looked into his eyes and said, “Bozo, here is one of Englands greatest masterpieces. Are you listening? Oh, Romeo, Romeo wherefore art thou, Romeo?” I think he might snort a little and give me a run for my money. In fact, I might fly over the fence faster than the Space Shuttle! The problem? A communication barrier. Now, Bozo might be the smartest bull in the herd and possess unusual qualities, but intelligible discourse would be an impossibility- hes an animal.
However, if a veterinarian were able to “transplant” a human spirit within the breast of the beast, communication might become a reality Of course this is totally absurd. It could never happen. However, by way of analogy there is something that occurs at conversion which makes good “horse sense.” The “new birth” allows humans to become partakers of Gods nature (see 2 Peter 1:4). His nature enters a believer immediately as the “Great Physician” performs the miraculous transplant. Because of it, MAN, now possessing Gods Spirit, can, for the first time, understand God.
From this point onward he is able to grasp the truths of the Bible. The Scriptures are no longer mythological legends or contradictory pronouncements. Gods Spirit, present in the “new-born” convert, makes spiritual truths unbelievably comprehensible. This is the meaning of the text which bears repeating. …the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in words which mans wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual (1 Corinthians 2:11-13).
It is evident at this point that no human, regardless of I.Q., scholastic attainments, or academic degrees can by mere intelligence understand God. Thats why 1 Corinthians 2:14 adds, (Get it all you college students who have been brainwashed and misled by educated pagans) But the natural man [or unsaved man] receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: NEITHER CAN HE KNOW THEM, because they are spiritually discerned (emphasis mine).
The lost, even those with PhDs, are hopelessly incapacitated when it comes to the Bible. They have no spiritual equipment to investigate the Spirits teachings. This takes a “supernatural” transplant by the Holy Spirit and is called the “new birth.” Then, the believer partakes of the “divine nature” and Gods Spirit within makes Gods writing understandable. You see, one must know the Author of the Bible to understand the Authors writings. Until then, the Bible is as difficult and dry as Egyptian hieroglyphics to a Chinaman.
Third, one needs a “new birth” experience to enter Gods presence. Jesus said, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. And again, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God (John 3:3 and 5).
Is it any wonder that the Saviour vehemently says in verse 7, Ye must be born again. None will ever see the light of the Holy City who reject Christ as personal Saviour. Instead, unbelievers and Christ-rejectors join the legion of the doomed for all eternity! Revelation 21:8 states, But the fearful, and UNBELIEVING, and the abominable, and murderers, and whorernongers, and sorcerers and idolators, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN? He who has been born once dies twice, but he who is twice born, dies once. What strange language, you say? Not really If one is born but once-physically-he dies twice. First, the grave, then the lake of fire which is the second death (see Revelation 20:14). On the other hand, he who has been born twice-physically and spiritually-dies but once. For on such (the born again) the second death (lake of fire) hath no power! Will you die once or twice? Will you exit this earth instantly-via disease or disaster-and then enter the regions of the doomed forever? Why wonder? Why procrastinate? Eternity is ahead.
There is only one way to become spiritually born. That is . . .Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved… (Acts 16:31). Romans 10:13 adds … whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Do it now!
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
Is God Magic?
A little boy asked his mother one day, “How can God love everybody? Is He magic?”
He couldn’t understand how anyone — not even God — could love everyone. After all, there are so many of us, and some of us are so unlovable. To a child’s way of thinking it would take nothing short of magic to be that loving.
You and I know that God is much more than magic. He’s our all-powerful heavenly Father! In John 13:34,35, Jesus said to His disciples, A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
Jesus knew how unlovable people can be. He knew how unappreciative, unkind, thoughtless, selfish, quick to judge and criticize, and very mean we humans can act. Even within that intimate circle of the twelve disciples, there was envy, jealousy, and even murder. And these were the men upon whom Jesus was counting. The spread of the gospel depended upon the disciples showing love to each other and to others. So to these men, only a few short hours before His crucifixion, Jesus gave the supreme command, “Love one another.” And it should be our number one priority today.
But that’s just it. We don’t love one another as we should. In fact, a good many of us Christians are downright unloving much of the time. So how do we get the love of God in our lives?
Where do we begin?
The place to begin is with the people around us — those in our homes, in our places of work, in our friendships, and in our churches. Someone has said we need “an observable love and openness.” I like that. Love isn’t love until it begins at home.
I heard of a woman whose husband was very outgoing, charming, and loving to everyone outside his home. But, often, to his family he was moody and irritable. He wasn’t always outgoing, charming, and loving to them. In fact, his moodiness and his venting his anger and frustrations on his wife and children were destroying the love within his home.
One day in an effort to help him see what he was doing, his wife asked, “Honey, why don’t you save some of your charm for us?” That took courage, but it helped.
Of course, we all need a place where we can let some steam off, let our hair down, and kick our shoes off and relax with those who will understand and not misjudge us. But there must be a balance whereby we also remember to show our love. Continual unloving mistreatment of those dearest to us will drive them away. I’ve heard such sad stories through the years of how people’s hearts have become hard and cold because the love they once had for each other had not been nurtured.
Our example is Jesus. I’m sure He didn’t always find it easy to show love. The Bible tells us that Jesus was tempted in all points as we are (see Hebrews 2:18). When the self-righteous Pharisees tried to trip Jesus up, it would have been easy for Him to withhold His love from those who were cruel, arrogant, and unjust. But Jesus never yielded to that temptation. He showed love in the most impossible of human situations. Jesus was love in action. He demonstrated His compassion over and over again in His dealings with those who desperately needed help, healing, and forgiveness.
Let love be your aim
The Apostle Paul gave the Corinthian Christians a goal that should be foremost in our minds as well. He said, “Let love be your aim” (see 1 Corinthians 14:1). Those words were preceded by the great love chapter in the Bible, 1 Corinthians 13. Those verses are so familiar to everyone, but perhaps their familiarity has dimmed their meaning. Let’s look at them.
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity [love], I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not [love], I am nothing.
And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not [love], it profiteth me nothing.
[Love] suffereth long, and is kind; [love] envieth not; [love] vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. [Love] never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. And now abideth faith, hope, [love], these three; but the greatest of these is [love] (1 Corinthians 13:1-8,13).
What a beautiful description of love! This chapter describes love in three ways — what it is, what it isn’t, and what it does.
- very patient and kind
- enduring, without weakening
- able to bear up under anything
- ready to believe the best of others
- loyal no matter the cost
- a growing thing — growing out of God’s love for and in us.
Love is not:
- jealous or envious
- boastful or proud (inflated or puffed up with pride)
- conceited and arrogant
- touchy, fretful, or resentful
- rude and haughty
- irritable or easily provoked
- selfish and self-seeking
- glad about injustice.
- rejoice in the truth
- not hold grudges
- hardly notice when others do it wrong
- not demand its own way
- hope all things
- stand its ground in defending someone it loves
- not fail — does not fade out, become obsolete, or come to an end.
How loving are you?
Do you want to measure your “love level”? Here’s an exercise that really works. Try substituting “I” in place of the word love in 1 Corinthians 13. Does it read right? Is that an accurate description of you? Can you honestly say, “I am very patient and kind. I am not easily provoked. I do not hold grudges?
The Bible has so much to say about love. Here are some other verses to help us understand the nature of real love. First John 4:8 says, He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. That verse says God is love. That is His nature. He is a heavenly Father who has divine compassion. And if we are His children, we must love, too — and not just those who love us, but even the unlovable. Jesus said, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven…For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?…Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect (Matthew 5:44-46,48).
One day a so-called expert on Moses’ law came to Jesus to test Him. He asked, “Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
Notice Jesus’ reply: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”
The man, wanting to justify his lack of love for some people, asked, “And who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10:25-29).
You see, he was so much like us. He wanted to love the lovable, those who were easy to love. But Jesus said we are to love without discrimination, the way He loves us.
It’s never too late
Perhaps you feel you’ve been so unloving in the past, that there is no way you can salvage your relationships. It’s never too late with the help of the Lord. It may take time, but God can do a work of healing in your heart so that you genuinely love others. His Word to you is simply this: Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass (Psalm 37:5).
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
Dear Mr and Mrs Van Impe,
As I was watching another of your informative and heartfelt broadcasts on satellite TV in Australia I felt compelled to let you know how much my wife and I appreciate your sincere passion, boldness and courage for the lost and Holy God we serve, it is very evident in your consistent teaching and the years of sacrifice you now doubt have put into preaching the gospel that you and Rexella have given a lot, please be assured that it is accomplishing all that God desires it to and know that we, and I am sure many others are standing all around the world with you in prayer, may God continue to richly bless you, thank you,
Brian and Julie C.
Dear Drs. Van Impe,
I am grateful that Dr. Jack boldly proclaims the Word, who is Faithful and True. I am equally grateful for Dr. Rexella who brings a sweetness to the message with her compassion and joyfulness. Every message is a cup filled with loving goodness and I look forward to each broadcast. Thank you for your uncompromised teachings. I only get that God-given “feel good” when I know that the true Gospel is preached. When God’s Word resonates in my soul, joy is the result. Not the counterfeit joy of a false message, but soul-nourishing, spirit-renewing joy of learning God’s true Word. I pray you continue until the Trumpet sounds and I get to meet you both in Heaven!
HIGHLIGHTED PRODUCT OFFERS
Unprecedented blasphemy; apostasy; heresy; so-called Christian leaders utterly turning their backs on the Word of God.
What does it mean? What does the Bible say about this colossal falling-away from the faith? What does it signal about YOUR FUTURE?
Drs. Jack and Rexella Van Impe offer the astonishing answers to these and other riveting questions:
- What does the word apostasy actually mean? Where are we seeing it today?
- What is the “blasphemy law”? How have our U.S. leaders responded to it?
- How does the persecution of Christians around the world relate to the final signs pointing to the return of the Lord?
- How is it possible to determine whether someone is truly a Christian when they claim to be?
- And much more!
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are set to ride – and the USA slumbers in ignorance of the catastrophe about to descend upon her! Drs. Jack and Rexella Van Impe want to awaken this nation to the perils that lie ahead, and the soon return of the Savior! Discover the answers to critical questions:
- How soon will apocalyptic judgments begin?
- What does the Bible say about the prediction of the world’s end in 2012?
- How do current events fit with prophecies of Christ’s coming?
- What is the Mark of the Beast and who will control it?
- And much more!