Radio Broadcast Monday 10/26/2020

Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at Jesus Christ P10 (10-26-20)

Synopsis

The religious mind is still bent upon establishing a righteousness of their own. But God came that we might receive His righteousness. At such a point in time in history, a person understands what God did for him through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He knows the meaning of what Jesus Christ alone accomplished for him and enters into a relationship with the living God. This is a work of the Holy Spirit, to be made complete in Christ. When you are born again, you have been made complete in Christ.

All of God is in Christ and all of Christ is living in you, if you are born again. Christ was all the fullness in bodily form, receiving all of his resources from God the Father, and now I have been given that completeness and fullness in Christ. You have the fullness of God living in you. That is what makes you complete.

This work of the Spirit is invisible to the eye, just like the work we cannot see when a seed becomes a plant. The real work is underground, but we see the result of it. Jesus described this work in talking with Nicodemus in John 3 about the wind, in explaining to him what it means to be “born again”. You cannot see wind but you know its effect.

So just like a branch to a vine, as a new creation, we are attached to Jesus, who is the vine. When we rest in Him, abide in Him, then fruit is produced in our lives. The fruit Jesus is talking about is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)

There is no law against what the Spirit is doing. Love is the fulfillment of the law. Love does its neighbor no wrong. That is why our concentration should be on the Spirit. If our mind is on the Spirit, then we will not be carrying out the desires of the flesh. There is our victory in Christ. It is not about thinking what I should not be doing, and not even about what I should be doing, but resting in my relationship with the living God, making myself available to Him to live His life in me and through me. That is what true living is, living in the new way of the Spirit and not of the written code.

You might hear people say that the gospel is love, and you should just obey the first two commands, to love God and your neighbor as yourself. Well, love is a fruit of the gospel, of having the Spirit of God come to live in you, and then abiding in Him, but not the gospel itself. If you look at God’s definition of love in 1 Corinthians 13, and set about in the energy of the flesh to love like God loves, how well will you do? I think all of us would not always be patient, not always be kind, and, at times, would keep records of wrongs. We would fail.

Yet people try to find acceptance with God by what they do. Yet to find acceptance from God by what you do is an endless task, an impossibility for man. Jesus was explaining this to us through the encounter with the rich young ruler in Luke 18, who asked him what he must do to inherit eternal life. Consider also the testimony of John Wesley, parroting the words of scripture but not knowing the reality in Christ. He sought to save the Indian so that perhaps God might save him. He found himself in total frustration and in a state of confusion. Then one day he heard a message of Christ Jesus, of simple trust in the work of Christ alone and entering into that rest in Christ. He was then free indeed, having heard and believed the simple gospel of Jesus Christ as explained in Romans.

See God wants us to have new life, God’s life, not of us depending on what we can do to find acceptance from God. That is all futility when you consider how bankrupt and depraved man is in light of the glory and perfection of God. So man must be born again, which Jesus was explaining to Nicodemus in John 3. Once born again, then you have the living Christ residing in you. That is the starting point in which you live, having Christ’s righteousness imputed to you, having His forgiveness and His life.

Jesus is saying to us that our mind needs to be on the Spirit. So, now we are to renew our minds to walk in the new way of the Spirit, in total dependence on Him, just as Jesus illustrated to us in the story of the vine and the branches in John 15 and demonstrated to us in how He lived His life on earth. Jesus, although God, became like one of us, so that we, who are not God, will know how man was intended to function. For Jesus did nothing on his own initiative. He only did what He saw His Father doing, and said exactly what His Father told Him to say and how to say it. This living in dependence on God, which is how God originally made Adam with the Spirit of God living in him, is how man was designed to function.

God sent Jesus to restore that relationship with you and me. If you are born again, then that relationship has been restored. Our responsibility is to merely open the door and ask Him in. That is not a work. That is just a natural response to understanding that Jesus wants to enter our hearts. So that becomes our responsibility, that is by faith and faith alone. Responsibility is really nothing more than my response to His ability. That is what response-ability is. So He has the ability and I have the response. I can either respond by saying, “I do not need you. I do not want you.” or I can respond by saying, “Thank you Lord Jesus. I want you to come into my heart and be my Lord and Savior.”

Transcript

Now folks, it is an interesting thing because the kingdom of God is what Jesus is talking about. We are living in the era today, the king is in exile and his body is here on this earth. That is the mystery. It is like a plant. The dynamic of a plant is underground, where you cannot see it. It is in the root system. Those roots are not growing above ground. If the roots are above ground, you are not going to get much fruit out of it. It is down under the ground, invisible, where nobody sees what is going on. The only way you know when something is going on is when it is beginning to bear fruit. When you see fruit being born then you realize that is what took place under the ground, where nobody can see. It is operable and in effect, otherwise you would not see fruit born. But it is underground.

John 3:5-8
5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

That is the work of the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God is living in me. I cannot see that, but He is living in you. You cannot see that. It is kind of underground. People cannot see the kingdom of God. It is invisible. It is being reflected by the fruit of the kingdom of God. The dynamic of the kingdom of God should be reflected in us, who are abiding in that vine. In other words, the life of that vine is in the root system.

Colossians 2:9-10
9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.

And we do not understand why it works that way, but it works that way. It is invisible and yet the result of it is visible. And so, if Christ was all the fullness in bodily form, receiving all of his resources from God the Father, then it says you and I have been given that completeness and fullness in Christ.

John 15:1-5
1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

We have become attached to the vine with an unbelievable privilege of abiding in the vine, who derives all of its life from God Himself. Therefore, we become the recipients of that life and there is a by-product of that. There is an overflow of not only thanksgiving, but there is an overflow of what is called fruit.

Galatians 5:22-23
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control.
Against such things there is no law.

That is a result of the life of the vine. We have nothing to do with that except be bearing that fruit, an unbelievable privilege we have of walking on this earth and allowing the living God, who lives in us, to live his life through us and for us, to be a reflection of that love to people. Of love, of peace and patience, kindness, goodness, and of long suffering, against these things there is no law.

You see man says, “if I abide in the vine, I will not be doing this and this and this.” The concentration of religion is on what you will not be doing and there is no concentration at all on what you will be doing, if abiding on the vine. Of course that is a deception, plugged into the wrong vine. The emphasis on the New Testament is not if you are abiding in Me, what you won’t be doing, but the emphasis is, if truly abiding in Me, this is what you will be doing. Of course, if you are doing something, you are probably not going to be doing something else.

So I say when you are truly abiding in the true vine, which is Jesus Christ, not a vine of religion, or of tradition or not being, as Major Thomas said neither an ape or a parrot learning who to act as you are supposed to act, putting on clothes you are supposed to be putting on, going through all the motions and singing all the songs, singing “Amazing Grace” with fervor or a parrot over here learning how to parrot some verbiage, which has no reality to you, but you learned how to parrot so they think you too are spiritual. But what the result is, the by-product of abiding in the vine of Jesus Christ, is that love will be produced in you and you will be bearing it. That love is described in 1 Corinthians 13.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails.

This fruit is patience and kindness to other people. Kindness would never do something to harm another human being intentionally. Kindness is very opposite of that type of behavior. It is long suffering. It hangs in there with people. It keeps no records of your wrongs. In other words, someone having on their little computer everybody’;s wrongs. That is in total contrast to what love is. There is no way to be abiding in the vine of Jesus Christ and keeping records of somebody’;s wrongs. No way to do that. You are abiding in another vine. It is not the true vine. It is another one you are plugged into, someone else’;s. It is not Jesus, but someone else.

So when talking about trusting the best, hoping the best, all those qualities talked about in 1 Corinthians 13, which is love, that is what will be being produced. Finding out what kind of fruit is hanging out of us, is not determined by what you are not doing but is determined by what you will be doing. You will be bearing fruit of God Himself. If not bearing fruit of God Himself, of love, joy, peace, and you cannot have the peace of God that surpasses all understanding until you have the peace with God and you cannot have peace with God until you are abiding in the vine, resting in Him. You cannot do that by self effort. Your mindset is not, “I am going to be a Christian and go out desperately to get everybody to love me.” For now your concentration is on me and what people think about me. You do not have time to be thinking about what they are thinking about, Jesus, when they are thinking about me.

All these are attitude adjustments that God has to work in our hearts if we are ever going to be what God wants us to be and that is a reflection of the divine nature that is living in us. You and I have been given completeness in Christ, who is God over every power and authority.

When we are talking about the fact of abiding in the vine of Jesus Christ, all of that process begins at a point in time in history, in your history, when you came to understand your total inability to ever achieve salvation in and of yourself and to accept the offer of God through His Son Jesus Christ for that salvation. And this is what the conflict with religion has been for thousands of years and ever since the coming of the Messiah where he came to present Himself to His own people.

Revelation 3:20
20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

In other words, we will come in and fellowship together, to be friends. And, of course, His part was there of knocking and our responsibility then is to merely open the door and ask Him in. That is not a work. That is just a natural response to understanding that Jesus wants to enter our hearts. So that becomes our responsibility, that is by faith and faith alone. Responsibility is really nothing more than my response to His ability. That is what response-ability is. So He has the ability and I have the response. I can either respond by saying, “I do not need you. I do not want you.” or I can respond by saying, “Thank you Lord Jesus. I want you to come into my heart and be my Lord and Savior.”

You will see a contrast to a response to His ability.

Romans 9:30
30 What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal. 32 Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone. 33 As it is written:

“See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes people to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall,
and the one who believes in him will never be put to shame.”

Paul goes ahead to say since his people of Israel did not know the righteousness that comes from God, they sought to establish their own.

Romans 10:1-4
1 Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. 2 For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. 3 Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. 4 Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.

Christ in His righteousness offered man an offer of right standing with God, not based on what they are doing, but based on what He did. That goes quite contrary to the religious mind, who is still bent upon establishing a righteousness of their own, not realizing the righteousness that comes from God and seeking their own righteousness. That is, of course, what religion does.

The religious person says, “This is how you are righteous in the sight of God. If you do not cut your hair, wear clothes a certain way, attend church three times a day, go to prayer meetings on Sunday”, and whatever else it might be. Nothing wrong with those things but if you think that is creating righteousness, you missed the whole point of Jesus Christ. You have stumbled over the stumbling stone and worshipped at the feet of tradition and religion rather than being able to be dwelt by the living Christ.

There would be many people who would identify with John Wesley, who was a missionary for fifteen years yet never sure of his relationship with Jesus Christ and went over here to America, who testified he would save the Indian in hopes of saving his own soul. In other words, if I do enough good works and good deeds to save the Indian, then maybe God would reach down and save me as a result of how good I have been. John Wesley became so disillusioned, for that is exactly what religion will do to you. It will dilusion you.

When you are out working for acceptance from man or from God, you will end up being one frustrated human being because if indeed I am working to try to be accepted by you, then I am going to have to set some standards as to what that acceptance would be like. I will have to have some rules and regulations out there if you act like this. “If you pat me on the head for this, then I will know you have accepted me. That is how I will know you have accepted me. If you do this and this and this, then I know you will accept me. God knows I want you to accept me.”

You just put yourself in bondage and also put me in bondage because if I have any clues as to what those laws are, which I don’;t, then I will be in bondage to try to perform for you, to keep you from having a nervous breakdown. It is an absolute bondage that we put ourselves in when we are in bondage to try to earn acceptance, not only from God, folks, but from one another. Man is continually out there striving for acceptance from one another, not realizing the fact that in so doing, you just got yourself back under law and you are doomed to an absolutely frustrating existence and because you will have to make some determinations in your mind what that would amount to. In other words, what that person needs to do for me to know I am accepted.

We do the same thing with God. I want God to accept me. How would He accept me? Surely He would accept me if I was good. Surely He would accept me if I did this or that. So what do we do? We set out to do those things so that God will accept me.

Then we come to a point one day, that we really do not do that thing so well. Or we come to the point we do not really want to do it. Or we come to the point thinking that we do all those things, as the rich young ruler.

Luke 18:18-27
18 A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

19 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good – except God alone. 20 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.’[Exodus 20:12-16; Deut. 5:16-20]”

21 “All these I have kept since I was a boy,” he said.

22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

23 When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was very wealthy. 24 Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! 25 Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

26 Those who heard this asked, “Who then can be saved?”

27 Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”

In essence, Jesus told him to do this, this and this. And he said he did all those things. Well, then God put another demand. Go sell everything. Well, that wiped him out. Why was Jesus doing that? To show him that if you want to name some standards as to what you must do to inherit eternal life, my list would be endless. That is exactly right, totally endless. If it is dependent on you to satisfy a perfect God, it would be endless, folks. That is futility and foolishness of man trying to find acceptance on his own.

John Wesley was thinking, “if I come to America, across that ocean, and maybe save the Indian, then maybe Christ would accept me.” He became a frustrated, burnt out human being. On his way back to England, totally wiped out, there was a terrific storm and he was scared to death, petrified. Yet there were Moravian Christians singing praises to God in the midst of what looked like a total disaster to come, about to lose their lives, drowning in an ocean. Yet he did not understand that. Why did he not understand that? Did he know the vernacular? Yes, he had learned to parrot it. Did he know how to be an ape? Yes, he learned how to act for sure. He has been at it for years, learning how to act like a good little Anglican should act. He learned all of those things. What was his problem? He did not have a relationship with the living Christ. He was trying to work for acceptance instead of trying to receive acceptance.

The storm calmed down and he spent the rest of the trip in utter confusion and soul searching. Later on, he came to a place called Altersgate, outside of London. He heard one of the Moravians reading from Martin Luther’s preface to the book of Romans. Upon hearing that, although he had done many things for God, he never trusted what God had done for him in the person of Jesus Christ. At that moment, he totally trusted Christ and Him alone as sufficient for his salvation. As he expressed it, “my heart was strangely warmed.”

If a man could earn his own salvation, then Christ obviously died for nothing. It is just that simple. We read that in Romans 11.

Romans 11:5-6
5 So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. 6 And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.

People will talk about cheap grace. That is an impossible statement, my friend. If grace cost a penny, it would cease to be grace. So it is not cheap grace or expensive grace. The grace of God that reached down to you and me came down to us in the person of Jesus Christ. It is not a message. It is a person. Christ is the reflection of the total grace of God. What does that mean? God looked down on you and me and saw us as we were, wretched, totally unacceptable in and of ourselves. Totally incapable of reaching up to God by what we have done. In His mercy, kindness, goodness, understanding and forgiveness. He reached down to us in a person, not in a message, but in a person. That person is Jesus Christ, who is the message.

Jesus Christ is the message of what God’s love and mercy is about. So Jesus Christ came to this earth and walked on this earth in total perfection because of Himself, being God, but as a man, He walked in that perfection because He walked in dependency upon His Father. He walked on this earth and thus fulfilled that by love. He walked in perfect love, and love being the fulfillment of the law. He fulfilled all the righteous demands of the law, the old covenant. He went to a cross and there died for those of us who could not and was raised from the dead in order to usher in a brand new covenant where sins and lawless acts are remembered no more and where these are forgiven there is no longer any sacrifice for sins.

Hebrews 10:17-18
17 Then he adds:

“Their sins and lawless acts
I will remember no more.”[Jeremiah 31:34]

18 And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.

This was not done by our works. If it is by grace, then it is no longer by works. If it were by works, then grace would no longer be grace. You cannot put a penny to that. It is not cheap. It cost him his life. But to us it is a free gift. If a gift costs a penny, it ceases to be a gift. So salvation is clearly a gift according to the word of God.

Ephesians 2:8-9
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.

So we have to see, my friends, that the stumbling block is Jesus Christ Himself because man in our pride and ego are continually trying to reach up to God to find acceptance in Him by what I do. That is an endless process. Acceptance has to be as a result of receiving what He has done for us. He proved His acceptance of you and me. We are accepted, we are told, in the Beloved.

Ephesians 1:6
6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

You want to be accepted by God, then get in His Beloved Son. Accept what He came to do for us. The acceptance of God is abundant and forever in your life.

If a man needs salvation, which of course he does, then he must realize he is lost. We talked about that, and when you stop to think about it, it is a wonderful and miraculous thing to be lost and then found. When you are lost, it means someone is looking for you. There is a lost coin. It means someone is looking for it. There is lost perl. It means someone is looking for it.

Read in Luke 15 these parables Jesus shared with his disciples about a lost sheep, a lost coin, a lost pearl and a lost son.

Matthew 13:44-45
44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.

45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.

It must have value or you would not be looking for it. You throw garbage in a garbage can, and you do not say the garbage is lost. It is not lost at all. It is where it belongs. No one is looking for it except the garbage collectors. When a man is lost, it is that someone is looking for him and that is Jesus Christ. And that is why God said His mission is to seek and save that which is lost. I am seeking for you. I am looking for you.

Luke 19:10
10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

Man is separated from God.

Romans 3:23
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

Isaiah 59:2
2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.

Man has attempted to earn his own way into God’s acceptance throughout the ages, engaged in trying to do all kinds of things, like we talked about, to do for others like John Wesley, or to try philosophy, good ethics, moral reform, education, tradition and religious ceremonies. “If I could just go in and learn the ceremony, then I will draw close to God and be accepted by God.” It is amazing how people who even have a good grasp on the word of God are duped into that type of thinking. However noble those things can be, there is no amount of those things that will bring lasting peace or quickening of your heart.

Pascal, a great physicist and philosopher said, “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man that only God can fill through His Son Jesus Christ.” St. Augustine, centuries ago, said, “You have made yourself for Thyself, oh God, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee.”

(Of course, we read the same thing in the scriptures from Solomon, the man known for his great wisdom, but who found himself empty, looking for meaning in life.)

Ecclesiastes 3:11
11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

Religion is man’s best effort to reach up to God. But Christ is God’s only method to reach down to man, in forgiveness, acceptance, love and in life. God’s love is constant. Man, however has sinned against God by turning to his own way.

Isaiah 53:6
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

But being a holy God, He is not going to tolerate sin because sin is unbelief. He did not create His creation to walk in unbelief. He created His creation to live in dependence upon Him. That prideful mindset of man that says, “I don ’ t need you God” has created that great separation that exists between God and man. God’s standard of righteousness is in the person of Jesus Christ. When we compare our righteousness to one another we can always find someone worse than we are or find someone engaged in activities worse than ours. So we fall into the sea of false security by thinking we are not so bad, not compared to that person over there. But compared to the righteousness of Christ, how are you doing? When we compare our righteousness to His, we all fall short of the glory of God. Realizing that the meaning of the word of God that tells us that our deeds are like filthy rags.

Isaiah 64:6
6 All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.

It is for this reason we must return to God’s plan of salvation, not our own. Salvation is like creation. It was originated by God. He did not consult any man in those two. He just did it. Although both done for the benefit of and to man, we were not consulted on the matter. God saw our need and He fulfilled it. The bible tells us that is appointed for man to die once and after that comes judgment.

Hebrews 9:27-28
27 Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

Every man will some day stand before the judgement seat of God. He will stand either having accepted God’s provision for His sins in Jesus Christ or he will stand in the futility of his own efforts, defending his own efforts to live up to the holy standards of God. Salvation is not determined by what we have done for God but it is what God has done for us in the person of Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 4:12-13
12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Folks, there is nothing more certain than death but just as certain as the fact that we will stand before God to give an account of our lives. That means, what did you do with Jesus? That is the account we are going to give. What did you do with Jesus? Did you live your life separated from Him, ignoring Him, spitting in His face, saying I would rather do it my way, or did you live your life in dependence upon the one who loved you and gave Himself for you.

Galatians 2:20
20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

If every thought and act be flashed on a movie screen right now, would you feel righteous in the sight of God? I do not think so. Then we must realize we must be born again in the sight of God, clothed in His righteousness.

Isaiah 61:10
10 I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

Romans 5:17
17 For if, by the trespass of the one man [Adam], death reigned through that one man [all of mankind], how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!

I do not have any righteousness of my own and never had any righteousness of my own and never claimed to have any. Therefore, I had no option but to stand in His righteousness if I was ever going to be righteous in the sight of God, to stand in there with the forgiven blood of a Savior, the promised Messiah.

Do you remember how Nicodemus came to Jesus by night. He was called the teacher and according to tradition, prayed seven times a day and was a devoted follower of the holy scriptures. But upon approaching Jesus, he said this.

John 3:-5
1 Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”

3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”

4 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”

5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.

Jesus was referring to being born of water as natural birth. Unless a man is born naturally and spiritually he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. Natural birth is natural birth. You must be born spiritually.

John 3:7-8
7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

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