New Life

Reborn Life on Earth

Upon receiving both the baptism of water and the Holy Spirit, a new man in the line of Jesus Christ as the firstborn is made. However, the present body and soul still has its bug, which is the flesh that can cause aging and problems and corruption with sin. In summary, we all have a body, soul, and spirit.

The body has the physical structures and physiological processes, like bones, joints, marrows, brain, heart, nervous systems, chemicals, etc. It has also the corrupting flesh since Adam’s time. The degeneration and aging and illness can be traced to the flesh.

The spirit was breathed into us, or given to us by God. It is a life-giving spirit who gives birth to meaning, purpose, and love. It also makes our heart pumps, and keeps our physical body functioning. However, the spirit inside man is dead without the indwelling/regeneration of the Holy Spirit.

The soul is formed as the spirit is attached to the body. It holds all of our freewill, conscience, emotions, personality, memory, cognition, etc. collectively known as the Personhood. The essence of our lifetime on earth is to have our souls saved unto Jesus Christ and be purified into the likeness of Christ.

Daily Walk with the Spirit

When Jesus was crucified on the Cross, he brought to death with him the flesh and its affections and lusts. He did not however remove the mind that still knows sin and can choose sin. Yet, God knows that we can stumble over sin and thus have the blood that Jesus shed to cover our sin. By the stripes Jesus bore on his body, there is healing which can be applied unto our bodies too.

The new life after both baptisms is not perfect yet. It is only a beginning on this earth which leads to a journey of perseverance, in order to purify our soul in a process called the sanctification. In this journey, we will sin lesser and lesser as we come to know where to correct and be made right with God through the guidance and help of the Holy Spirit living inside us. Over time, we should bear an image of Jesus Christ clearer and clearer, that is from glory to glory which comes from God the Holy Spirit. It will be a daily walk that crucifies or denies the fleshy desires, and a willful choice to obey the Holy Spirit inside us. And over time, we will be more sensitive to the voice of God the Holy Spirit and be led by Him.

Spiritual Gifts

Through One Spirit, that is the Holy Spirit, we have all the spiritual gifts accessible for the building of the church. We are the church and Jesus’ body on earth. There is no withheld gift in the Spirit in which one can lay hands for healing and and not be able to utter wisdom. As certain gifts are exercised more, such as teaching, the gifts will be more developed upon use. But there is no limit as to which can be exercised and which cannot be exercised. One person can learn from another person on the gifts being exercised. The only limit is the practical knowledge of the gifts, followed by discipleship. If discipleship is not practiced, one person will only watch and not be able to exercise the gifts.

Evangelism

Everyone born again bears the responsibility of the truth, which is to make disciples of Christ by preaching repentance and the Kingdom of God, as accompanied by the power of healing and deliverance.

Body of Christ

The church is interconnected. As one member suffers, the whole body suffers; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. As an encouragement, let’s address one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart.

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What’s the Story about?

Chess Match

In a garden, two guys are playing chess. The first guy, Jack makes the first move, moving the pawn forward. The guy in the opposite, Aaron follows with a blocking pawn. Now, it is Jack’s turn and he uses the queen’s pawn forward.

When Aaron has made his move, Jack knew that he has to do something better in winning the situation over. But by rule, he cannot undo or make multiple moves at one go.

Why is it so?

In the beginning, God created man and placed him in the Garden of Eden. Everything was perfect and man walked with God. It was like an open heaven in which God and man can speak directly to each other.

In that garden, there were two trees, one the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and the other the tree of life. God forbade man, Adam from eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, lest he will die. However, he made the wrong move and ate of that tree, and found himself naked. He was created without the knowledge of evil, but by eating of the fruit he now knew both good and evil. Hence, for the very first time in history, man has then sinned against God by rebelling against God.

God saw that it was a bad move, but the rule is that He cannot undo or make multiple moves to save man, even though He really wants to save man. At this point, God was saying, “what if man eats of the tree of life and has to live forever in sin, that will be really bad.” So, God drove man out of the garden, and even put angels in guarding the tree of life.

The Hidden Problem

Following that, man’s children have the problem of sin. You can name it, lying, raping, stealing, and so on. And they killed each other. Down the line, the whole world was chaotic/corrupted. At that point, God regretted making man on earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So, he decided to wipe man from the face of the land, except for Noah whom he found to be the only righteous man in his generation.

However, after the great flood that wiped the rest of mankind of the earth, the children of Noah had the same problem of sin again. It is because the same old man with sin still lives on. To correct the problem, Jesus was sent into the world. But, before speaking of Jesus, we have to recognize what is sin.

Sin is not obvious. We talk like one, and we live like one. As we look around and compare ourselves, we feel comfortable doing just the same. However, the problem is everyone has sinned.

Scene A: Drive by the Left/Right?

In some countries like the UK or certain commonwealth countries, driving by the left is the rule of law. However, in the others, driving by the right is the rule. Supposed a person is in the US where the right lane is the rule, he cannot keep to the left where he is used to be. Because it is “right” to stay right (pun intended).

If he insists on staying left and gets caught by a police, he cannot defend himself against the law by claiming that that is the way in his previous country of residence.

Moving further, the punishment for breaking the law is proportional to whom it is wronged against. For instance, if an adult lies to a child, the child is unable to punish the adult. If an adult lies to another adult, the other adult can backfire against him. If an adult lies to the judge, the judge can throw the person into a prison. What if a person lies to God, who is so great and in and beyond the universe, what would be the consequence?

Scene B: Public Profile

Supposed here is an identity chip or photo camera which can take a snap shot of you and display all of your life history, covering every single detail both publicly and privately. That info is then put up to the whole world.

Nevertheless, one day we will all appear before God. Naked we came into this world, naked will we leave. And nakedly we stand in front of the Holy God. All of our life history will be put up publicly, including things that were done secretly behind closed doors and/or in the dark.

Taking a step back, at a judicial court, the accused is brought in not for the good things that he had done, but for the wrongs that he had done. On the Day of Judgment, man is not going to appear before God because of the good things, but for the wrongdoings.

Disregard what standard we adhere to, God is going to judge by His law on the universe He created. According to the law, if anyone hates another person, he has already committed murder. Should a person lusts after a woman in his heart, he has already committed adultery. By breaking one law, a person has then broken all of it. The list includes stealing, worshipping idols, and so on (as set out in the Ten Commandments). The penalty of sin is death.

Scene C: Conscience & Gravity

For a few months old baby, he can run around naked without any shame. For a 5-year-old child, he will tell you to leave him alone while he is naked because his conscience is already activated.

For a first-time thief, he would walk out of the store feeling deeply guilty and in shame that he had stolen something. However, for a habitual thief, he would not feel sorry for his crime. Because his conscience has already been seared and silenced, it is no longer sharp.

In the case of gravity, things fall to the ground when dropped because the law of gravity is in effect. Even if a person does not believe in the law of gravity, gravity is still in effect and things still fall to the ground. For a person who does not believe that he has sinned, he still sins under the effect of God’s law.

Free Gift of Forgiveness

However, that is not the end. Because of the problem of sin, God sent His only Son, Jesus to come into this world in the form of man. He knew no sin and lived sinlessly throughout his lifetime on earth, and then died on the Cross to pay for the penalty of our sin. It is because he is sinless, so justice can be done by carrying out death punishment unto him, so that all of our sin can be counted unto him at the Cross. Three days later, He rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of God in Heaven. His work at the Cross has then given all of us the free gift of forgiveness.

Now, it is our turn as in chess, to receive the gift of forgiveness. No matter how desperately God wants to save us, He had done all that He could at His end. At our end, if we would turn away from our sin and believe in Jesus, we will be forgiven for all of our sin in the past. At that point, our heart of stone will be replaced with a heart of flesh.

Symbolically, given a new heart, the old body with sin is still living. Hence, in a water baptism, down into the water we lie, and up from the water we rise. Such an act is a decision that we will bury the old flesh with sin in the likeness of the burial of Jesus, and resurrect the body with a new conscience towards God. The new body shall then be fully filled with the Holy Spirit to do the good works of God in the face of the earth.

New Life

As Jesus had walked among man, filled with the Holy Spirit, went healing the sick and preaching the Kingdom of God, those who now has a new life can do the same. Because the same Holy Spirit who was in Jesus is now in those who has a new life. There can be no lesser or more of the Holy Spirit. He is either in you or not. He is a full Person who resides in those living a new life.

New Heaven & Earth

One day, God will separate those who are living a new life with the Holy Spirit from those are not. By God’s heart, He wouldn’t want anyone unsaved but that He would wait and wait and wait until the last person turns back to Him. However, there will still be ones who do not want to accept Him and choose to be separated from Him. When this world passes away and is no more, there will be no place for them but the lake of fire. But for His, He will place them in a New Heaven & Earth where He will forever be their King. There the tree of life is planted, and people will live eternally in the perfect glory of God.

Continue: Reborn Life on Earth


Reference:
1. The Last Reformation

Living Faith

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. — Matthew 16:24

To debate on the head knowledge is easy, but to obey and live it out is self-challenging. The victorious future in God is sure, but we’re also left in the “meantime”. Jesus knew that the victory over death/sin was sure, but He’d to obey the Father and walked up to the Cross during the “meantime”. If we are called to imitate Christ while following him, we must also obey what He has told us to do.

For the present suffering and being uncomfortable are only a growing pain in the light of seeing souls joining in into the love, freedom, glory, and life flowing unendingly in God. This world will never cease to feed individual complacency and self-sufficiency in itself. The moral values are promoted, but always apart from God. In the name of religion, peace is felt generally, but not the surpassing flow of joy that gushes forth from within the conscience that at once recognizes that it is God himself through Jesus Christ.

Whatever accomplishments and possessions are but, external to the person. Abraham had great possessions, cattle, servants, riches, reputation and so on, but in his heart he understood that he owned nothing. He understood in obedience as he was about to lay his hand on his son. Yet, he also worked on what has been entrusted to him, blessings and not curse as by mismanagement. In the “meantime”, he was faithful to multiplying what God has entrusted to him, while knowing that they are also temporary in this passing world. Only what God sustains is eternal.

There is nothing beyond God’s knowledge. No matter what mistakes, detours, frustrations, and struggles. What is God’s, God will take care, given that the entire universe was created within His unlimited capacity. Such is a great God we serve, and by His Holy Spirit living within us shall we live. It is still in the “meantime” where we live. So, let all that we do be done as unto the glory of God. Make everyday count as for the day of visitation, the Glorious Day which the saints of old and generations to generations have proclaimed. Let’s start praying without cease and be led by the Spirit to engage the world.

Keywords: Radiator, filter, peacemaker, connector, fellow neighbor/worker, priest, disciple

Sustenance

A lamp drops dangling from the ceiling, and lights the room with its light energy. As the lamp hangs downward from the ceiling, gravity is doing its job pulling the lamp towards the core of the earth.

What then, sustains the earth in its solar system, and let it hanging there in the bigger universe? As a matter of fact, there is no coincidence, nor natural law itself that provides the sustenance. Everything that has power in this universe is a derivative from God. God speaks forth, and His word accomplishes His will. When He spoke in Genesis‘ creation, the world came into existence. He is still the same God, and His word sustains the universe.

Created beings like us might think that we can do what we desire, because we can. In fact, we are only operating under the power entrusted to us, for a definite time and within a designated domain, by our free will. Such is a humbling aspect, for any abuse and misuse of the power brings harm. Yet, that is still within the permissive will of God. It is humbling because the greater the knowledge of God and His majestic work in His creation, the more we question our use of power. Is it just? Is it fair?

Two passages struck me in humility:

For in Him (Jesus Christ) all things were created, things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities. All things were created through Him and for Him.Colossians 1:16

Jesus Christ who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to cling to, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross. — Philippians 2:6-8

God (Jesus Christ), who is all powerful, who created the heavens and the earth, and everything that is within, had humbled himself to come down from heaven, in order to sacrifice himself at the Cross for the redemption of man from the price of sin, which is death. He even obeyed his own law as if he were a mere creature, and in the attitude of a servant during his lifetime on earth (Keathley, III, 2004). 

The answer to such a display of power, is the power of love.

Featured Passage – The Way of Love:
1 Corinthians 13


References:

  1. Keathley, III, J. H. 2004. Satanology.
    Retrieved from: https://bible.org/article/satanology
  2. Keathley, III, J. H. 2004. Angelology: The doctrine of angels.
    Retrieved from: https://bible.org/article/angelology-doctrine-angels