Last week I asked the question: Why did you get saved? And secondly, has the reason you walk with God now changed since you first believed?
When did the recognition you have life come for you?
For Peter it came fairly quickly, for in John 6:68 after Jesus spoke some very difficult parables and many disciples stopped following Him, He asked if the 12 would leave Him too. Peter's response was a revelation of the core of why he was following Jesus:
"Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life."
Peter and John realized the truth Jesus stated in John 5:26: "The Father has life within Himself, and He has given to His son to have life in Himself."
What makes Christians unique is this fact: We have life.
Being a Christian is not adhering to a philosophy, which is how most unbelievers see us. They often see us as having strong opinions about Jesus while giving up our intelligence to believe fables. Unfortunately many do seem to lay common sense and logic aside in the name of 'faith'.
Being 'born again' in our spirits means we have life. Often in the New Testament the life of God is coupled with the word 'eternal' or 'everlasting'. I would suggest we have heard 'eternal life' so often we've become numb to exactly what that means.
All human beings have eternal life, meaning we will live forever, because we are spirit beings. The same is true of the angels and former angels. When a person dies they will go to the kingdom they are a citizen of - either the kingdom of darkness which is ruled by a fallen cherub* who doesn't want anything to do with God or His life. Or they go to the kingdom of life and light to be with the Father and Lord because they love life and light and the things of God. *Ezekiel 28:16
But as far as we know, everyone has eternal life. God the Father is a (Holy) Spirit and lives forever, so whatever spirit beings He creates live forever. They continue to exist after this earth-body dies. Satan and his followers continued to exist though they rejected life and a place without life had to be prepared for them. (Revelation 12:8, Matthew 25:41).
When I look at old photos and watch old movies, I often think, 'All those people are still alive, I wonder where they are now?' In Matthew 22:31-32 Jesus said, "...God said, 'I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob', so God is the God of the living, not the dead."
Words of this life
In Acts 5:17-20 the high priest had all the apostles arrested and thrown in prison. An angel releases them with the instruction in v20: "Go, and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this life."
This life - which life? - this life. How is our life different?
You have probably heard people say that before a person comes to the Lord they are spiritually dead
But that isn't scriptural. Some believe before we come to the Lord our spirit man is dormant, or 'has the nature of Satan', or in some other way inert. But that's not scriptural either.
Ephesians 5:8: "Before you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. So live as children of light."
We were darkness - we weren't dormant, we weren't inert, we weren't spiritually dead, we weren't spiritually asleep. We were spiritually alive, but that life was darkness. We existed in spiritual darkness. Our spirit man was alive in that darkness. If we were to have died without Jesus, we would have continued to live in that kingdom that rejected Him. But we changed kingdoms by giving our lives to Jesus.
Colossians 1:12-13 says the act of our spirit man being recreated by the Holy Spirit caused this to happen: "We give thanks to the Father who made us able to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light, who has translated us out of the authority of darkness into the kingdom of His dear Son."
We don't get saved all by ourselves. Jesus said in John 6:44 that no one comes to the Lord unless the Father draws them. Not a single person in the Old Testament or gospels before the resurrection was born again - yet they heard the Lord and Father, and had amazing spiritual experiences and miracles. They could function in the spirit realm and the realm of the Spirit of God. But they were not born again.
How many of us before we were born again, obeyed or were aware of a premonition, hunch, gut feeling, or knowing something before it happened? How did that happen but by the Father being gracious to you in the process of drawing you to Himself. The Father put in your un-born again spirit, information about something that was going to happen, or something that wouldn't work out that you knew 'in your gut' or 'had a hunch' about.
If He couldn't deal with us about Jesus before we were saved, none of us could be saved -
It is while in the midst of sin that He reaches out to us, to touch us, to communicate to our spirit about the Lord Jesus. Our spirit isn't dormant, for those formerly in the occult know full well their spirit functioned in that realm.
A doctor was a student of mine when I was the Director of a Bible school, and he told me he had been part of all the main religions, as well as New Age. He said he was looking for life in those religions. One day he realized each religion taught a sliver of truth that could be found in the person of Jesus Christ. By process of elimination, he realized all wisdom dwells in Jesus and believed in Him, and was immediately fulfilled in his heart.
But what was he looking for when he was trying each religion? Life.
Back in 1981 a group from our church made regular 'witnessing' trips to the red light district of Denver, Colorado. We would walk the streets talking to addicts, prostitutes, and people coming and going to the clubs and bars in that area of town. One day a prostitute listened to us and believed in Jesus, and her life was transformed. She mentioned in all those relationships and the way she earned her living, was all a search for something, and she found the answer in Jesus. What was she looking for in sexually based relationships? Life.
A friend of mine shared his life before Christ consisted of 4 packs of cigarettes a day in a fast paced hardened corporate career. He said he just thought if he had enough money, had enough things, that one day it would fill the emptiness and lack of purpose he felt in his heart. His wife, realizing their lives and marriage were empty, came to the Lord and led him to the Lord. At that point he quit smoking, left the corporate world to seek employment in church - anything to be around the things of and people of the Lord.
What had he been looking for when he was striving in the corporate world to be the best, the richest, the one with the most 'toys'? Life.
They were looking for, in a word: Life
When we read the gospels we see that what Jesus meant to the disciples when they first met Him, changed over time. To some, He was going to be the Messiah that kicked the Romans out of Israel. To Peter and Andrew, He was the Messiah that John the Baptist had talked about and they wanted to know more. To Matthew He was the one who called him out of the job of tax collector that was hated by everyone.
We experience a similar transformation in our walk with Him. When I was 16 and came to the Lord, it was in part because I needed a father because my own dad had left our family, and I was looking for purpose. But now, not too far from 50 years of walking with the Father and Lord, I'm focused on that Life that I have inside me.
Maybe you too came to the Lord due to a tragedy that turned your heart to something solid and sure. Maybe you were a truth seeker like the doctor I mentioned above, and eventually the Father led you to Him. Maybe you had given yourself to some habit to dull the pain of life - whether it was drugs, alcohol, sex or money. But over time why you got save has changed.
We have life. But what is it? That's for next week, until then,
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