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Tag Archives: Kingdom of Heaven

Born Again and the Kingdom

CastleI’ve been posting about the Biblical definition of being born again. It’s quite different than how we use the term in this generation. In this post I want to look at how Jesus describes it to a believing Pharisee who met with Him.

In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”
John 3:3

In answering his statement of faith, Jesus tells Nicodemus that he must be born again. In the book of John, the gospel that was written to the church, that’s a ground shaking statement. Telling a believer that he needs to be born again is something unheard of in our generation.

According to Jesus Christ Himself, believers must be born again. Obeying the law isn’t enough. Trying your best to be good isn’t enough. The Good News is not “believe in Jesus and follow the law.” It’s all about becoming a new person.

The Lord tells Nicodemus and us that unless we experience the process of this new birth, we will not see the Kingdom of God. At this point it’s important that you understand what Christ is saying in this passage. He’s not saying that you must be born again in order to be saved. That’s how we describe it.

The Greek language has two words that translate to the word see in English. They are blepo and eidon. Blepo means to look at with your eyes. That’s what we normally think of when we hear that word.

That’s not the word in this verse. Instead it’s the word eidon, which literally means to know by seeing. In other words – to experience something. Christ was telling this Pharisee that unless he is born again, he will never experience the kingdom of God.

You can sit back and watch things happen in the Kingdom of God. But if you want to be a part of what’s going on, experiencing the manifestation of the kingdom, then you need to be born of God.

At this point Nicodemus was thinking merely in the physical. He asked about how you could return to your mother’s womb. In later years he probably looked back on this and laughed. Jesus explained it further.

Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.”
John 3:5

The Lord wasn’t talking about physical birth, but entering the kingdom. That’s the definition of being born again – being given access to the Kingdom of God.

Then again, that brings us to another sloppy definition of the modern church – exactly what is the Kingdom of God? Listen to how Jesus described the Kingdom to the Pharisees that opposed Him.

“Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.”
Matthew 21:43

The Kingdom of God is about producing its fruit. It’s not just reciting a prayer, then sitting back and doing nothing. Paul gives us even more insight.

…strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said.
Acts 14:22

Paul and Barnabas, as they were encouraging the disciples, told them that in order to enter the kingdom, hardships would have to be overcome. When was the last time you heard that preached on a Sunday morning? Well, you’re reading it today. It’s hard! You must be born again!

Question: How does the church react to the thought of hardships these days?

© Nick Zaccardi 2016

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Posted by on May 2, 2016 in Revival, Spiritual Walk

 

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Your Schedule – Who’s Time is it?

Time ChainI’ve been posting about clearing our schedules for a move of God. Did you know that this is how God operates through His people? It’s only when they turn over their time to Him that the Lord will move in a manifestation of His power.

And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment — to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.
Ephesians 1:9-10

We are told in this passage, about the mystery of God’s will. Actually, Paul uses three different words to get this point across. He mentions God’s will, His good pleasure, and His purpose in Christ. These are the things that He wants to accomplish on the earth through His people.

The question is; are we willing to position ourselves to let the Holy Spirit use us in this way? I’ve been saying that this requires our time. There’s no other commodity that will purchase God’s will.

How do I know this? The above passage is very interesting to read in the Greek. It says that this will, good pleasure, and purpose of God is put into effect in the economy of the filling of time.

Economy – that’s a financial term, like when we talk about the economy of the United States. Here we’re talking about the economy of the Kingdom of God. A large part of that economy is time.

In essence this verse tells us that God’s will is accomplished on earth as we deposit time into the bank of Heaven. God doesn’t need our money or our resources. What He really needs in order to do His work is our time.

Actually, who’s time is it? We like to think of it as all belonging to us. With that attitude, we schedule everything we want to do, them place the Lord’s work in any leftover spots.

I know there are things that we need to do. Scripture says that if we don’t work, we don’t eat. The Lord doesn’t want us to neglect our families either. There’s a place for all of these in our schedules.

But are we really operating in the plan of God if there’s no time for the move of His Spirit? In our generation, we’ve learned to add so many good things to our schedules, that we’ve left no room for the best.

I’m truly convinced that if we want to see a move of God in our nation, it’s going to require us to make a sacrifice. Not of money, but of time. Peter puts it this way…

For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do…
1 Peter 4:3a

Ours is not the first generation to run into this problem. But it’s something that needs to be straightened out – quickly. Time is short. Now is the time. We are the people God is calling to turn this nation around.

Question: Are you willing to do whatever it takes to bring about a move of God?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on June 18, 2014 in Power of God, Revival, The Church

 

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