THE IMPLICATIONS OF BEING BORN AGAIN

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THE IMPLICATIONS OF BEING BORN AGAIN

In our last message, we saw what it means to be born again. Today, I want to look at the implications of being born again and what it means to our lives.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” 1 Peter 1:3-5

Now, from this passage, we see that there are essentially 3 implications to being born again;

“to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead”
“to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you”
“who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time”

So let’s take these one at a time and see what it means for us.

“…to an ever-living hope and confident assurance through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” 1 Peter 1:3 [AMP]

What do we need hope and assurance for? Well, to answer that question, we need only think about what we insure ourselves against? I am led to understand that there are two broad categories of insurance products, endowment plans and protection plans, those that provide and those that protect.

And those are the very things we need from our Father, aren’t they? Protection and provision. So that is the hope and confident assurance that we have through the resurrection of Jesus. And that is why, when we look forward into our lives,

“…because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation,” 1 Peter 1:3 [NLT]

We can expect good things and good days and that is why with Jesus, we can pray with a positive expectation of good. Simply put,

“What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now!” 1 Peter 1:3-4 [MSG]

And this brings us to the next implication. For because we have been born again, because we have been transformed spiritually, because we have been set apart for His work, we are also,

“[born anew] into an inheritance which is imperishable [beyond the reach of change] and undefiled and unfading, reserved in heaven for you,” 1 Peter 1:4 [AMP]
This simply means that the world can do its worst to you but you know that in the end, you’ve got something good waiting for you, reserved in heaven, beyond the reach of change, undefiled and unfading, imperishable. Indeed, your inheritance is secure in Jesus.

But fine and well to tell me that my future is secure. What about the here and now? What about the bills on my table? What about the pain in my body? What about the troubles at work? What about your teenager who has not come home for three days?

Well, beloved,

“What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.” Matthew 6:31-33 [MSG]

If our Father has got your future covered, do you think He doesn’t have your ‘here and now’ under control as well? So you don’t see Him working in your life yet. Yet the reality is the reason why you don’t see is because you are in the time zone called ‘yet’. If He has got your future well covered, He must have your ‘here and now’ well sorted. Give yourself time to see just how well covered He’s got you; because in the end, this is your reality, even in the ‘here and now’ for

“…in the meantime you are guarded by the power of God operating through your faith, till you enter fully into the salvation…” 1 Peter 1:5 [PHILLIPS]

You see, the moment you received Jesus into your life, the moment you were transformed and renewed spiritually, the moment you were set apart for His work, you received faith. And this faith is a wonderful key to unlocking untold miracles for

“…through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.” 1 Peter 1:5 [NLT]

Indeed, we who believe are they

“who are being protected and shielded by the power of God through your faith for salvation that is ready to be revealed [for you] in the last time.” 1 Peter 1:5 [AMP]

So that is why

“In this you rejoice greatly, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials,” 1 Peter 1:6 [AMP]

For why was it necessary for you to be distressed by various trials?

“so that the genuineness of your faith, which is much more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested and purified by fire, may be found to result in [your] praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:7 [AMP]

Jesus is getting you ready to received praise, glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. For

“Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and though you do not even see Him now, you believe and trust in Him…” 1 Peter 1:8 [AMP]

And what did Jesus have to say about people like that?

“Blessed and happy and to be envied are those who have never seen Me and yet have believed and adhered to and trusted and relied on Me.” John 20:29 [AMPC]

When I was starting out in ministry, a preacher friend challenged my assertion that all we needed to do in ministry was to put Jesus first. Well, here is the evidence.

“In this you rejoice greatly, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, which is much more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested and purified by fire, may be found to result in [your] praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:6-7 [AMP]

It is necessary for us to be distressed by various trials because Jesus is preparing us to receive praise, glory and honor for the faith that we are exercising during our trials. And these all will come to us when Jesus is revealed in our circumstance, when Jesus is revealed in the message that we send with our lives, when Jesus is seen clearly, evidently and unmistakably in our lives.

Beloved, when we are ‘born again’ not only are we transformed and renewed spiritually, not only are we set apart for His work, all these happen so that we know that we have hope. Our hope comes from the knowledge that we have an inheritance waiting for us in Heaven. And in the meantime, our Father is keeping a good close watch over us in the ‘here and now’ preparing us to receive praise, glory and honor when the world is able to see Jesus present and working mightily in our lives.

So you see, being ‘born again’ is not about us making a sacrificial commitment to serving God. Instead, it is about us receiving God’s commitment to us as displayed through Christ’s sacrifice; a commitment to watch over us, protect us, provide for us and to raise us up as we raise Christ up in our lives.

This is what it means to be truly born again.

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