Know Thy Self (Part 2)

Contrary to popular belief, not all men are children of God. 

 In fact Jesus rebuked a crowd of self righteous, egoistic pundits, who took offense at his teachings.  Their intellectual pride almost swallowed them into lunacy after Jesus claimed he has fulfilled the prophecy of The Prophet Isaiah.  They want him dead.

  •  “When they heard this, the people in the synagogue were furious.  Jumping up, they mobbed him and forced him to the edge of the hill on which the town was built. They intended to push him over the cliff, but he passed right through the crowd and went on his way.” (Luke 4:28-30 NLT)    

 Moreover, after Jesus told them, “The Father and I are one.” (John 10:30).  They freaked out.  These sanctimonious prigs could not take it anymore.  They need to get rid of the abomination – kill Jesus.

  •  “Once again the people picked up stones to kill him.  Jesus said, “At my Father’s direction I have done many good works.  For which one are you going to stone me?”  They replied,”We’re stoning you not for any good work, but for blasphemy!  You, a mere man, claim to be God.” (John 10:31-33 NLT)

But the Great Teacher lives forever.  He conquered death, and death cannot swallow him up.  He has risen from the dead, and He is Lord.  He boldly faced his accusers and had proved them wrong.

  •  “Jesus told them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, because I have come to you from God.  I am not here on my own, but he sent me.  Why can’t you understand what I am saying?  It’s because you can’t even hear me!  For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does …”  (John 8:42-44 NLT)  

 To shed light on what Jesus meant, the apostle Paul put another spin on the nature of man.  

  •  “You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil – the commander of the powers in the unseen world.  He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God.  All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature.   By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else.” (Ephesians 2:2-3 NLT)

 The Bible, however, teaches that the only way to become a child of God is to be born in the spirit through faith by accepting and believing the Lord Jesus Christ. 

  •  “But all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.  They are reborn – not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.”  (John 1:12-13 NLT)
  •  “Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit.  Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life.  So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’”  (John 3:5-7 NLT) 
  •  “…Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children.  Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”  For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.”  (Romans 8:15b-16 NLT)
  •  “For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:26 NLT)
  •  Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one can come to the Father except through me.”   (John 14:6 NLT)

 Consequently, that life that you received grows and it conforms into the image of Christ.  Moreover, a changed life comes from knowing the wonderful grace of God – His Word, Jesus His Son.

 It follows then that this life bears fruits.  The fruits of the Spirit that satisfy the longing of this lost world.  Once you receive His word in your heart, you receive His life.  Jesus said, “The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:63 NKJV)  

  •  “This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world.  It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace.” (Colossians 1:6 NLT)
  •  “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.  Against such there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23 NLT)    
  •  Jesus said in John 15:5 (NKJV), “I am the vine, you are the branches.  He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”
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