24 Dec 2013 by Robin Piong CM –
Another year is coming to a close, and tomorrow, we will be celebrating the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ. We know that this is not His exact date of birth as most scholars believe it is somewhere in the month of August. Nevertheless, we do this in remembrance of Him, because His birth came with a purpose and a mission.
The birth of Jesus was never ordinary. It was because He was conceived by the Holy Spirit through the Virgin Mary. He was God came in the form of man, to live and to communicate with man. In fact the same Spirit that conceived Him in Mary’s womb breathed into Adam’s nostril the breath of life. This time it is unlike Adam who brought sin to the world and alienated us from God. Jesus came with a mission; to save us from sin by showing us the way back to God.
God created mankind in His image and that image is not an image of a physical likeness, but an image in the spirit. For God is Spirit. The things God wanted to bring to mankind were funneled through one man which is Adam. But Adam resisted the divine plan of God and fell to the temptation of Satan. Thus, sin and death came into humanity and the darkness of Satan entered into God’s creation. Indeed, creation’s patterns were completely out of God’s divine order.
Mankind then multiplied through the ages, and God in His sovereignty chose and tested one man by the name of Abraham, to make him and his offspring a great nation. Thus, the birth of the Jewish race and the nation of Israel. This is why we read in Matthew 1: 1 to 17 that the genealogy of Jesus Christ began from Abraham. Abraham believed in the promises of God and God credited it to him as righteousness.
God made a covenant between Himself and Abraham. He established an everlasting covenant with Abraham, becoming the God of Abraham and his descendants. In return, they too will have to keep His covenant, beginning with the circumcision of every male (Genesis 17:1 to 22). Throughout the centuries, the old covenant, the law of Moses and other laws from the prophets were being implemented by God’s divine order.
Then, there was the Law of Sacrifice; an unblemished lamb to God, so that when God sees it, He would forgive His people and remember their sins no more. But even with that, not every Jew obeyed it, and throughout the Old Testament, time and time again we read that the laws were not kept, and that the Jews were constantly bickering, disobedient, of little faith, and into idolatry. Yet God, from age to age kept His everlasting covenant without wavering and His ultimate act of love for mankind is that HE HIMSELF provided the solution to save mankind from sin once and for all, be it Jews or non Jews.
Thus, the perennial verse from John 3: 16-17;
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
But before we take a look at this verse deeply, let’s look at the whole context of it which begins in John 3:1 onwards.
3 I tell the truth no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. 4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter his mother’s womb and be born a second time, can he?
You see, Nicodemus could not comprehend what Jesus was talking about, thinking that the act of being born again was confined to the physical body. Birth by natural means happens in the physical realm, but Jesus was referring to birth in the spiritual realm. We need to be born again, ‘conceived’ by the Spirit; a new spirit living in us. There was no need for Jesus to be born again because even though He was born in the physical realm, He was born sinless and was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and already born of the Holy Spirit.
Now, for the first time in the history of mankind since Adam, a human being was born sinless and without blemish, thus meeting the criteria of God. If He was to be sacrificed just like an unblemished lamb, God is willing and able to forgive the sins of the world to those who believe and are willing to ask of it. But Jesus being born as the Son of God is one thing, and to be obedient to death as a sacrifice for the sins of the world is another matter. Our Lord Jesus was obedient to the point of sacrificing His life.
John 3. 6:
Flesh gives birth to flesh but the Spirit gives birth to spirit
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, when we believe and accept Jesus in our life, when we ask God our Father to forgive all our sins and repent, God comes into our life and renews our spirit. We are not only made of a physical body where the body will decay and die. We are also made of a soul and a spirit. Our soul is where all our emotions came from. We can be happy, angry, sad, jealous, revengeful, caring and loving. We also have a mind and an intellect to reason with which are also a part of our soul. But our spirit which is defiled and sinful can be born again and be made new!
2 Corinthians 5:17
So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; what is old has passed away – look, what is new has come!
We are firstly made new when we accept Jesus Christ into our life and our spirit now becomes new. The Holy Spirit now causes your spirit to be made new, and your old spirit becomes dead and a new being inside of you is birthed. That doesn’t mean that part of your soul is a new soul immediately. No, it is still you, and all your emotions, intellectual reasoning and behavior are still there.
However, after all the years of using our flesh to reason and behave, God now has a window to commune with us and to change us to be like Him and into His likeness. Jesus who is our resurrection and our life is changing us and teaching us to change from within through His grace, giving us opportunity after opportunity. Where our flesh is weak, grace abounds even more. He wants to teach and show us what living through faith in the Spirit is all about, and not by sight. He has now planted in us a seed which is not corruptible but a seed which is incorruptible!
1 Peter 1:23
Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.
In a nutshell, when we are born in nature, we are born with natural DNA which has codes that causes our human body to rot and die. But when we are born again in the Spirit, we are born with the Holy Spirit DNA which is the incorruptible seed, where there are codes to make us live. This seed which need the nurturing of the Word of God will never die because it is incorruptible. Through this miraculous incorruptible seed where Heaven rejoices in you, which is Christ in you, the Word of God, you can then surely do all things through Christ who strengthens you.
You can hone your faith and believe in God for greater things and achieve things that you can never fathom or even dream of. You can believe in miracles in your prayers and you can look to God to answer and to meet your needs. God becomes alive in you and you begin to experience His grace and love, all because of Jesus, who is your righteousness and who has resurrected your spirit to be alive in God. When we are born again, our spirit are no longer bound by the law of nature which is the law of sin and death, but is now governed by the Spirit of life which can only happen when we believe in Jesus Christ as Lord of our life.
Because through Jesus Christ the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law sin and death.
Jesus came with a plan and an objective. That plan is to set us free from all bondages and to give us life – and life abundantly – and to plant His incorruptible seed in us to grow to be more like Him. Just as God is pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, we too will experience the fullness of Christ in our life journey through Him.
References for pictures