Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: birthday (05/23/05)
TITLE: Our Spiritual-Birthday
By Doug Laird
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For some, it speaks of the essential requirement for salvation (John 3:3), whereas for others it is a contemptuous label that is applied to those they see as Bible toting, quoting, religious “fanatics”.
Politicians are especially careful in the use of the term. While their political life is dependant on popular support, they fear being labeled or associated with either extreme end of the spectrum in fear of the rejection by the other. When dealing with controversial issues, politicians strive to maintain a middle of the road position, hoping to garner the support of opposing factions.
Before we condemn the hypocrisy of those involved in politics, it may behoove us to consider how so many of us dance around the very subject ourselves and try to keep one foot in the Kingdom of God and the other in the devil’s world. We want to know that we are heaven bound, but don’t want to face rejection or miss out on many of the things that the world has to offer in the meantime. We don’t mind being religious, but often balk at true spirituality. We don’t mind doing the “Christian thing” on Sundays, but want a “life” the rest of the week.
In times of spiritual famine (Amos 8:11), we must maintain a clear understanding of what the Bible has to say about our spiritual-birthday and the eternal significance of the event.
Church attendance, religious rituals, and a moral lifestyle do NOT result in being “born again”. There will be many who will spend all of eternity in Hell who attended Church, went through all of the motions of the rituals and requirements of their chosen denomination and lived a relatively good and moral lifestyle. This is not to say that Church attendance (Heb. 10:25), the Communion ritual (1Cor.11: 25) and a moral lifestyle are not to be a part of our post-salvation spiritual life, but none of this has anything to do with being born again.
If eternal life were obtainable through such means, there would have been no need for the Lord Jesus Christ to take on the form of humanity and pay the sin debt in full. He did for us what we could have never accomplished on our own.
There are many spiritual truths that Satan vehemently strives to blind individuals to. At the top of the list is the need to be born again. Satan endorses religion and promotes human good that appeals to our fallen natures in place of true spirituality and divine power.
No one can ever be “good” enough to earn salvation and a believer can never be “bad” enough to lose it. At the moment of salvation, a person is saved for all of eternity. He can do NOTHING to make it more secure and he can do NOTHING to diminish it. The spiritual issue, from that moment on until his earthly departure, is the acceptance or rejection of the post-salvation spiritual life. Rejection results in curses (1Cor.16: 22) in the form of Godly discipline (Heb.12: 6) while here on Earth and loss of certain rewards (not salvation) in Eternity (1Cor. 3: 15).
When we were born, we were physically alive, but spiritually dead, separated from God. We are spiritually born if and when we believe in the Person (who He is) and the Works (what He did on the cross) of the Lord Jesus Christ. Individuals who believe the Gospel are thus born again and are assured an eternity in Heaven (John 3: 16, 18) and individuals who reject the Gospel message are assured of an eternity in Hell (Rev. 20: 15). This remains so regardless of whatever else happens or fails to happen in the lives of either group.
None of us had any choice or input regarding our physical birthday, but all of us have a choice if we are to have a spiritual birthday. The ONLY way to become spiritually alive (united with God) is by being born again as our Lord explained to Nicodemus (John 3: 3).
Happy spiritual-birthday to all who have had one!
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (R) Copyright (C) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All Rights reserved.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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