The path of man to regeneration in heart
At least every Christian knows this very chapter and verse of the scripture, but not all Christians understood the content. This is about a man who has all it takes to be a religious leader, in fact he was a rabbi, the teacher of babes, telling people about the laws of Moses, appearing in the Pharisaic garments and he held a position in the synagogue but he was an empty man roaming about. Little did he wonder;seeing Jesus,there was something spectacular about him. People knew Jesus was the son of that carpenter; Joseph and Mary His mother, so why would they think He is special to teach and heal people. He came to the world, taking the body of sinful flesh, and he had any sin, he grew up like every other child and had a childhood experience but Jesus was the only man being God that came to the world with the sole aim to die for me and you. The people of Israel have waited for the messiah and their thought was; the messiah is going to come in a fashionable way, having the characteristics of a would be king, but God who knows all things and owns all things came to this world, took the form of a man with a low life style; loving me and you died to set us free. This great Pharisee by the name Nicodemus came to Jesus by night and said to him Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no man can do these miracles that you do except God be with him; ‘John chapter 3 v 1 and 2 emphasis added.’
Have you wondered, Nicodemus did not tell Jesus why he came to Him but Jesus told him the need for him to be saved because he has an empty space in his life to be filled, and its only Jesus can fill the space in his life likewise any other person on earth today, man or woman, black or white and name it? The space in your life today is as a result of your negligence and refusing to accept Jesus; the savior of the world. Jesus told the ruler of the Jews that came to him by night the need of repentance and be born again. Today’s salvation means nothing to people, it is a word in the Bible people ‘agreed’ and it was meant for those who lived in such time and not for this present generation they said.
Salvation is from theword salvage which means to save or to rescue. It is a supernatural work of God in a life of a man that is still alive, brought by the shedding of the blood of Jesus, to save men that are in sin, also from the consequences of sin. Yes this world is full of sin and sin is everywhere, knowing that is a good point and Nicodemus knew that also, but asking himself this question I believed, ‘what must I do to be saved’ from his lapses and sins, have you asked yourself that question?. Nicodemus is a well-known and respectable figure to the public, but he was stung by the sinfulness of sin in his life and he needed to be saved.Salvation does not sting your ear but your conscience; because you believed‘no need for you to be saved, this life is meant to be enjoyed to its fullest’. Jesus told Nicodemus without a man being born again he cannot see the kingdom of God not to talk about entering it ‘John 3 v 3 emphasis added’. Nicodemus was astonished by this saying and asked in verse 4; how can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb and be born? To me this is a very good question, but did you know that the people of this present time never wondered why this question arose from this man, but Jesus in His omniscience allowed this question from Nicodemus so He can tell this present generation that every man born into this world need to be born of water and of the spirit.The blood of Jesus is thicker than water and his spirit will make conformable the grace which you need to live above sin.
Christianity is the only religion that our God lives in a soul of a man bearing witness in his spirit ‘Romans 8 v 16 emphasis added’ and that is what salvation will bring to anybody who confesses his or her sin to God and plead for the blood of the lamb that washes away sin. Describing salvation; it is when the spirit of God dwells in a soul of a man, and that waswhat Jesus meant in verse 5 of the book of John chapter 3; ‘that except a man be born of water and of the spirit he will not see the kingdom of God, I believe because I am salvaged. The adversary of this world ‘satan’ makes people think two things about salvation, 1; you are too good to be saved and 2; you cannot be saved because your sins are grievous.
It is a lie, no matter how good you are, without salvation that is morality which cannot save you and no matter how terrible your sins are, you can be saved only If you pour your heart to God with all your mind and plead for the blood of Jesus confessing your sins, you will experience salvation which is the starting point for the Christian race. I want tell you about moral; moral is ‘A person’s standard of behavior or belief concerning what is and is not acceptable for him to do.’ That is to say, if you do not believe that you will die and go to hell, you will not go to hell when you have sin. If there is any sin in you and you die, automatically, you will perish but far from it because if you believe in Jesus, you shall be saved. You may have a good family upbringing, but you do not known the savior of the world ‘JESUS’ Then how can you overcome temptations and sins and inherit the Kingdom of God.
A lady may dress decently but her mind is full of bad thoughts and imaginations of sin, you may greet in a humble way and talk nicely but you can deceive people to pave a way for yourself and you may be a church ‘goer’ but engage in an illicit relationship with the opposite sex. I had a discussion with a lady in my work place, she is a Christian and I was witnessing to her about Jesus, I threw a question at her: ‘can a man live without sin? She replied NO that man cannot live above sin, but having sin around, man should try not to commit big sin, but little sin. If so, why did Jesus die on the cross?Is the death of Jesus Christ on the cross in vain? God forbid.
The book of ‘Titus 2 v 11 -12’ says ‘for the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, verse 12;‘teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lust, we should live soberly, (sensibly) righteously and godly in this present world. ButChristians of this generation have forsaken Christ because of their ignorance and many take the lovely story of Jesus death on the cross as a mere history. He died to set you free and you think that you are free without the wonderful work of salvation in your life, I tell you, there is no other way for you to have eternal life, nothing else, nobody else can save you from the chains of sin satan has bound you.
This attitude of the present Christians, shunning sermon on salvation and not forsaking their sins to take up their cross to follow Jesus constitute why the Lamb of God has tears on his eyes. You must repent from your sins in order to accept Jesus and it is by faith, trusting the atoning Blood of Jesus for forgiveness and cleansing, turn away from your evil ways, with a broken heart knowing you have rebelled against Him because of your sin. There is hope for you if will you embrace the salvation of your soul and live with Christ eternally in his kingdom to come. If you have made up your mind; I have one major think to relate to you. Firstly,when you have prayed with all your heart and withsincerity you want to follow Jesus, having Him as your Lord and personal savior, with your little strength, Jesus will accept you, and give you the desired grace you need, for those that are saved today, where not saved by their good works but by His grace, lest any should boast. ‘Ephesians 2 v 8 emphasis added’
Please give all you have and substitute your weakness for God’s strength and not your good works. Secondly, Christianity as people see it today is not a religion of ‘I will try my best, it is difficult, so many rules to keep, do not do this, do that’ Yes, Christianity was never served with a golden plate, you have to strive to enter the Kingdom of God for broad is the way that leads to destruction and narrow is the way that leads to eternal life with God and there be little that find it ‘Matthew 7 v 13 and 14 emphasis added’ but grace will abound even where sin abounds for God has promised it and He will perform it. His blood will shield you and take you home safely; the will of God is that none should perish but that all should come to repentance.
I will tell you my own experience, everybody born into this world has a story to tell; in a family of four, with my father and mother making up to six people. I was the last child, nothing so special about me, no prophet told my mom that this child is this or will be that, I grew up in West Africa, the most populous African nation. I am a Christian and nothing different from my own going to church, being told about Jesus as a child and I continue knowing Jesus as Jesus Christ of history but there is no experience. I was never saved until at the age of 22. Twenty two years of my life was spent on the verge of eternal damnation if not for the sheer mercies of God Almighty, and how did it happen.Telling you about my salvation, I really need a change in my life. I have heard sermon ondifferent topics but I was not saved, even sermon on salvation but yet I was still in my sin, in fact, I do not know what salvationis all about because I heard my fellow Christians saying that salvation is personal and I took it personal not knowing that it is every body’s right and it is not a privilege. On that faithful day when I was able to alter some words of prayer with all my heart and with little strength,having sorrow for my sins and have repented, I said: Lord I need a change in my life and when you come into my life you will transform me. Saying this, I could not understand whether it was my own words or those words were put into my mouth and I believe in change but it is only the blood of Jesus can go beyond changing me but bringing transformation into my life.
I waited and pleaded. I was sincere and by praying continuously, using the same words, it became my little strength and when he touched me, I knew it not; oh I thought that I was sick or something. Like that Pharisee; Nicodemus, thatcame to Jesus by night, I went to the savior of the world and the lamb of God moved with compassion towards me, when I lifted up my eyes to that cross wherethe prince of glory and peace died to save me, where He said it is finished, I knew truly, he paid the price for me. Three days passed and I was still not able to draw a clean clear cut on what has happened to me, whether I am feeling happy or joyous but something strange has happened to me.
I met a pastor that lives with me in the same apartment and I began to explain to him; I told him; I feel so happy and I do not know why; that my fears has been relieved, actually I had no exact word or phrase to qualify my feelings, and he sensed there has been a change in my life. First, he gave me a correction, that the word happy is not the right word to use but joy, and this is the joy that comes from the salvation of my soul as the psalmist explained in the book of Psalm 51 v 12 ‘restore to me the joy of your salvation and uphold me with your free (willing) spirit.I was amazed with his explanation. I have never had such personal interaction with a man of that caliber. He explained to me the word of God concerning me and every living soul on earth and the necessity of being born again. The word of God in the scripture says;‘he that is in Christ Jesus is a new creature and old things have passed away behold all things are become new. This he explained to me concerning my sudden feeling of being secured and my fears being relieved. I may not say all things concerning my own experience but I will not leave behind this important aspect for every newly saved Christian or non-Christian.
The book of Ephesians chapter 6 v 10 -18 made me to understand that every saved person must have the full knowledge of this chapter and verse(s) of the scripture. My pastor friend that expounded the word of God to me when I was newly saved did not miss to tell me these and prayed along with me that these same chapter and verses should be made conformable to me.
Ephesians chapter 6 v 10-18 made us to understand that we are in a battle field immediately we are saved, because the adversary the devil will fight back to see that you did not live a victorious Christian life. This chapter from verse 10 says…‘Finally brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might…’ This gives us an insight that without the power and might of the God, we ordinarily cannot match the strength of the adversary, it is a word of exhortation to stir us up to trust in God and have our being inChrist Jesus seeing him as the Author and Finisher of our faith and not our little strength. These messages of exhortation were delivered to the church in Ephesus and mind you that they were addressed as brethren meaning they were all saved. If you are saved, where you willcast your trust? In a man, your pastor; No, the person you will lay down your trust to stand is Jesus Christ and nobodyelse. You may have your saved brethren around; it is encouraged but let your strong pillar be God, with whom you can do all things. Verse 11 says: ‘put on the whole amour of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.’ Now what is amour? Weapons of war, this is an eye opener, that every saved person in Christ Jesus engages him or herself in a battle, but this is not a physical battle comprising soldiers from a country fighting a battle No. As saved Christians, we are soldiers because the wiles of the devil will come to pull us down. You need to fight and not to defend, for God has made you a weapon in his hand, not to defend because greater is He in you than he that is in the world ‘1stJohn 4 v 4 emphasis added’ this verse encourages us to put on the whole amour of God and not the half amour or the amour of one preacher or an evangelist but the whole‘mark the word “Whole” amour of God that you may be able to stand, of which without the whole amour, you will not to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Verse 12: for we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Did you wonder now why sinners find it hard to believe and be saved? For when you are in sin and you groove in sin, the wickedness of the adversary will not allow you to have freedom, for then you are carnal and do not wrestle with carnal things but with spiritual things which you cannot overcome being in sin.
Devil cannot appear to you in flesh and in blood. You may be a mighty man in stature but cannot wrestle physically with the adversary. All the principalities, powers and rulers of darkness of this world is against you, holding you firm and tight and their sole aim is to take you to eternal damnation ‘Hell’ but fear you not, for the King of Glory has conquered the world, He led captivities captives and He has gotten you victory through the shedding of His blood. In the book of Isaiah 53 v 5 says;‘but He (Christ) was wounded for our transgression, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him and with his stripes we are healed.’ He has suffered for us to have victory, to be victorious; not in any other way but solemnly through His wounds and suffering. With the blood of Jesus Christ you will overcome all these mentioned principalities, powers of darkness and all the spiritual wickedness in high places because now, you have Jesus as your Lord, savior and high priest.
Verse 13: ‘wherefore take to you the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day and having done all, to stand.’ This verse almost repeats verse 11 in context but I believe it stressed the inevitability of the whole armor of God. We cannot do without it. Putting it on every second, minute, hour, day, year and the rest of our life, believing our savior Jesus Christ is your shield and buckler.
Verse 14: stand therefore having your lions girt about with truth and having on the breastplate of righteousness. This verse is where the armor was first mentioned, the previous verses were telling us how we cannot live without the whole armor. The armor mentioned in this verse include; Truth and righteousness.
Truth is a vital weapon of every saved Christian; you cannot do without saying the truth or living for the truth.The instance I will sight from the scripture to explain how important truth is to a believer is from the book of Daniel chapter 3 to the end, this is not a make-up story, but happened in the days of Daniel for the edification of the present Christians. There were three Hebrew children in the land of Babylon and they were captives and slaves to the king; Nebuchadnezzar. This king is an idol worshipper and he made a golden image that all the inhabitants in Babylon with fall down and worship when they hear the sound of all kinds of music. Who are you to refuse the order of the king? But let me ask; the children of Israel can they fall down and worship idol? No, but the scripture recorded that it was only Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego stood against the command of the King, holding fast the truth as the children of God Almighty. God’s express command to the Israelites about worshipping other gods is clear. Exodus chapter 20 verses 5 says; ‘you shall not bow down yourself to them (Idols, graven images, false gods etc.) for I the Lord your God am a jealous God…’
You shall not fall down to worship images, men or any graven thing. What happened to the rest of the Hebrew children, because I believe they were not only three in the land of Babylon? Oh they have swallowed the truth because of the fear or the fury of the King. This is telling us that God saves if you hold fast His words which are true in all circumstances. In verse 14 of Daniel chapter 3: king Nebuchadnezzar confirmed that it was true; the three Hebrew children did not worship the golden image which he set up,probably they were found standing tall when others has fallen on the ground. In verse 14 ‘Nebuchadnezzar spoke and said to them, IS IT TRUE, oh Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, do not you serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up?’ these truth holding children of God Almighty even at this time did not deny God, but held fast the truth. If you read down to the last verse, we understood that God delivered them when they were cast into the burning fiery furnace and through that a decree was made; ‘whence forth all should serve and worship the true and the living God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and anybody which make an offensive statement referring to the God of these three Hebrew children will be cut into pieces’. Not only that, they were promoted by the King in the province of Babylon. Have you seen what God will do if your loin is fastened with truth as a weapon of war. I have no doubt that you have known.Righteousness; the righteousness of father Abraham is fascinating and how did Abraham attain to be righteous? The book of Genesis chapter 15 stated clearly that Abraham believed God, even in his old age that he will have a son of his own blood with his wife Sarah. In that chapter and in verse 5; ‘and God brought him forth abroad and said; look now towards heaven and tell the stars, if you are able to number them and he said to him, so shall your seed be.’ The next verse; says ‘and he believed in the Lord and he counted it to him for righteousness.’ To be righteousis living your life right with God, walking in his path, obeying his precepts, commandments, ordinances as and when due without any excuse, not your own good works but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith. ‘Philippians chapter 3 verses 9’
Not just that, reverence to God’s Holy nature is very important. Abeliever, who is saved, needs not to allow the things of the world and the systems of the world to master him, because in so doing you cannot obey God and the world at the same time. The things of this world, the life style of this world and the decrees of God are parallel lines, they can never meet. This is to tell a believer; newly saved Christian or anybody outside the fold of Christianity that is saved, believing wholly on God at all times, can be counted to you for righteousness. Now in form of armor, put it on around your breast and let it serve as a shield to protect your heart in the day of battle.
Verse 15: ‘and your feet shod with the preparation of gospel of peace. The armor mentioned here is Gospel of peace, in the sense that your feet should not hesitate to declare the good works of God in your life. The salvation of your soul is the greatest testimony you will have on earth. You should no longer be ashamed to call God to be your God. In the book of ‘Romans chapter 1 v 16; Paul declared; ‘for I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation to everyone that believes; to the Jew first and also to the Greek.’ His declaration was not abnormal or fanatic because whosoever experienced salvation has unspeakable joy that flows in him. He is willing and always ready to tell people about it and persuade them to accept Christ to be saved. Are you saved and you are still ashamed of the Gospel which you heard, believed and were saved. You do not want people to see you with Bible, when you are praying or when you are going to church,satan makesyou think if people should know about your faith in God, you will lose your respect and look like a social misfit to them, he brings discouragement and when you continue to listen to his voice; he has gotten you, and he will prepare a stumbling block that will pull you down. You had faith the first time and believed, move on with that faith, for faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of GOD ‘Romans 10 v 17 emphasis added’ therefore shun the voice of discouragement and stop being ashamed of the awesome beauty and thrilling majesty of the Gospel but rather shod your feet with it, using it as an armor to wade off discouragement and proclaim it to people unsaved.
Verse 16; ‘above all, taking the shield of faith where with you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts (shots) of the wicked.The armor in this verse is faith. Faith is an important weapon used by savedChristians; the grace of God comes through faith, and now what is your faith like? It is tossed up and down, you are not sure to stand today because you feel somehow, what do you mean by somehow? Faith is not a sense of feeling, but it is the supernatural gift of God which enables us to believe without doubting whatever God has revealed to us.
Mind you, whatever you express, you impress, if you express weakness, you will impress it in your heart and truly you will appear weak to the battle of life. This verse of the scripture made us to understand that above all, meaning with all the things you have gotten, faith is indispensable. Take note of the word “taking” it is in present tense, (continuously) and always taking it, the shield of faith and without it, you shall not stand. But with faith, you shall be able to quench all, “all the tricks of the devil and his agents”. I can tell you that faith is the reckless confidence we have in the grace of God. Confine yourself in the faith of God that can never fail, you shall be able to stand. You might not have taken a chance to stand at all if you have no single faith, so boost your faith by using the same words of Apostle Peter with faith ‘Lord increase my faith’. Can you stand now against all darts? I know you can.
Verse 17; ‘and take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God.
Helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit (word of God) are the two armors mentioned in verse 17 of Ephesians chapter 6.Helmet of Salvation:Salvation is a wonderful work of God and has appeared to all men, nations, tribes, tongues and clans. As Jesus spoke to Nicodemus, except a man is born of water and of the spirit, he will not see the kingdom of God. In first book of Peter chapter 1 v 23; it says ‘being born again, not of corruptible seed, but incorruptible, by the word of God, which lives and abides forever’ if you are saved, your mind should not be corruptible but should be filled with the indwelling words of God, this is the perfect explanation of helmet of salvation, your thoughts, deeds, works, career and your life style will be transformed. You cannot be saved and bear grudges or have unforgiving spirit, No, the work of grace when it comes to your life will cover your head, your mind and you will be renewed, keeping your mind free from the thoughts and imaginations of evil which are sinful, the helmet of Salvation is an armor to overcome sin. Apostle Peter, exhorting the elders of the church in the first letter of Peter chapter 5 v 8, expounded to them the necessity of being sober, (being in a good state of mindalways) ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about seeking whom he may devour.’Be in a godly state of mind always, through the helmet of salvation, you will wade off the roaring lion; the devil. The psalmist (King David) being a man of war prayed in the book of Psalms 140 v 7 ‘O God the lord, the strength of my salvation, you have covered my head in the day of battle.’
Sword of the spirit (word of God)
This will totally convince you, that you cannot escape from sin with your own formula, probably by any means that seems easy. The book of Hebrews chapter 2verses3 solved this problem, it says; ‘how shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord and was confirmed to us by them that heard him.’ This verse, what is it trying to convey to us about escaping? That is from sin.If we accept this great salvation, we will have total liberty from sin. The armor; sword of the spirit clearly shows us that we are in a battle which will not be fought with hands or will weapons made by men. Here, the word of God is our spiritual weapon (SWORD) which we use to engage in the spiritual warfare.
It is important to know if you are saved, the weapon of your warfare is not carnal but it is mighty through God for the pulling down of strong holds of the enemies. To confirm how powerful our weapons of warfare are; in the book of 2ndCorinthians chapter 10 verse 4, 5 and 6, Apostle Paul was beseeching the church in Corinth to have themselves anchored in Jesus holding firm the weapons of warfare that has been made available to them; thus saying in verse 4 ‘For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (fleshly) but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds. Verse 5 ‘casting down imaginations and every high (proud) thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. Verse 6 ‘and having in readiness to revenge (punish) all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled. The word of God you read from the scripture is the sword of the spirit, through those powerful words, you rebukesatan and by mentioning the name Jesus Christ ALL living souls must bow down, in heaven and on earth, even in hell and confess that Jesus is Lord. What a Name! With His name you will get ground over the agents of darknessand have knowledge about God. Exercise the authority you have gotten through the study of word of God (scripture) in prayer and continue steadfastness in prayer.
Verse 18; ‘praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, and watching thereto with all perseverance and supplication for the saints’ this verse obligates us to continue without ceasing in prayer and we are meant to pray until we have victory.
The use of the acronym PUSH will help you to understand the importance of being in prayer and waiting in prayer for total victory.
Prayer is the key and you have to pray to maintain your Christian race and life, being vigilant and sober with all perseverance. The bookof Ephesians chapter 6 and these verses were made known to me by mypastor friend but these explanations were given to me as I am writing it down. This so great salvation the world has neglected is making constant tears to flow down the cheek of The Lamb of GOD. You can wipe away these tears by accepting Jesus and embracing His Salvation and also join the soldiers of Christ to proclaim His Gospel. Mark chapter 16 verse 15 and 16 says; ‘verse 15; and He said to them, Go you into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature, verse 16 ‘he that believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believes not shall be damned (condemned). Now take the whole armor of God and be clothed for the day is at hand.
Salvation is not a gradual process; you cannot say that Jesus is setting you free from sin little by little, capital NO. He comes and takes His place in the heart of a man and remains but you must continue to follow Him. Take this description to understand my point.
A boy was caught red handed stealing, he stole a lady’s purse and inside the purse a 100 dollar note was there.He was taken to a court and the judge asked him, are you guilty of this charge laid against you? He answered yes being sober and tears rolling down his cheeks, his eyes swollen and reddish in color. The judge moved with compassion and sat up from his chair, approached the poor boy and said, are you really sorry? The boy said yes my lord, wiping away the tears from his eyes; the judge asked again, do you have any record of purse(s) you have stolen before, yes the boy answered, my lord this is the 356 purse(s) I have stolen and all contained some dollars and some valuables. The judge said, well I have forgiven you for the purse you have stolen, the previous ones and all the purse(s) you are going to steal for the rest of your life.
No, that is not salvation, today saved, and tomorrow saved, one week no sin, next week in sin. If you are saved, you are saved only once and you need to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus and savior. ‘2 Peter 3 v 18 emphasis added’. Guard your soul with the whole armor of God and hold fast your crown that no man takes it away from you,Jesus is on his waycoming. As you do these may thegood GOD continue to be your shield and buckler until we see in Heavenly places with Christ Jesus. Amen!