Now that we know a little more about God and that the Christian God is the best God. We have learned that not having a god, makes pain a harsh inevitable reality of life with no meaning.
But you may be asking yourself, if there is a God, as revealed in Christ (a loving God); then why does such a God create a world and people in which he knew there would come pain? Or does it? If it doesn’t then why did God create us in such a way that we would bring pain into life?
A key to the answer of these questions is in the focus on ME and keeping ME at the center. This creates a delusion that I have the power to change the nature of God. The difficulty with this is that the Christ of Christianity preached the necessity of losing one’s life in order to find it.
Even going back to the very basics of Christianity we find the Garden of Eden story the Bible tells of Adam and Eve. We find them dealing with the temptation “You will be like God” which suggests, “You will have something even better and more of what you want.” We learn from the Bible and what we reviewed; that what needs to be done about that part of our being, we can’t do ourselves. We need a “higher power.” We are sitting on the throne of our lives as puppet gods. No lasting fulfillment and meaning can be found in that way of life. None of us is God; the clear fact of life is that we live with pain, brokenness, and human limitation?
The Bible sees surrender as a common human need. It is essential in a successful relationship with God and for having life and having it abundantly. The Bible also makes it clear that it is a human need we cannot meet by ourselves. The Bible often speaks of surrender as being born again, Jesus said it this way, “You must be born again.”
The Bible also speaks of a improper relationship; which it calls “sin.” “Sin” relates to placing our “kingship” before “His kingship.” This causes a improper spiritual condition within humans and our relationship with God, self and others.
The message of the gospel is that God IS, that he IS our God and has created human life. The mark of “being born again” in the Christian faith is the confession that “Jesus is Lord.” That means that there is a new occupant on the throne. There is a new center other than self. Jesus becomes the Way, the Truth, and the Life, for life and in death. In Jesus, God but also human, we see a human life of service to others, a person emptied of “ego,” praying “Your will be done,” giving thanks to the Father, and glorifying his name. Jesus said that this is life, abundant in the midst of the pain, brokenness, and human limitation. And this is what Paul meant when he said, “If anyone is in Christ, He is a new creation” (2 Cor. 5:17).
So why isn’t everything great as soon as we are “born again.” Although there is something new, the old remains. Being “born again” does not result in the removal of the tendency to go back to the old way, but their is something new. The new is “Christ is my Lord in life and death.” He is at the center. There is a new desire expressed in the prayer, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as in heaven.” Paul called the old the “flesh” and the new the “spirit” and describes realistically the battle that exists between “flesh” and the “spirit.”
The way of life includes “one day at a time.” Luther expressed it well in his Small Catechism, “Our sinful self …should be drowned through daily repentance; and day after day a new self should arise,” that the new person may live seeking to do the will of the Lord. The prayer that needs to arise daily from within is, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done.” The desire of the old is to have it my way. The desire of the new that comes through “being born again” is that Christ the Lord will live within and through one’s life.
In the Christian message, Christ is revealed as our God who has come to save us and restore us to a new way of life in the midst of our pain, brokenness, and limitation.
“Yet to all who received him to those who believed in his name, He gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:12)
Unfortunately, there are people who say they believe in Jesus, but who show by their way of life that this is not true. It is not enough just to say we believe in Jesus. To be a child of God, we must also receive Jesus as our Savior AND Lord. This means turning away from your sins and believing in Jesus as Savior AND Lord.
When we receive the Lord Jesus and believe in him we became members of the Family of God. God himself is our Father. So, it is said that you were “Born Again” as a member of a new family. This is just like being born a second time. This is why your experience is called a new birth.
You now have within you a new life. It is a life according to the training plan set up for you by the Holy Spirit. This is what we will be studying in the rest of the Helpful guidance. “Praise be to God… In his great mercy he has given us a new birth.” (1 Peter 1:13). According to this verse, who was it who caused you to be born again? God.
“If you then though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matt. 7:11)