Born again through the resurrection of Jesus Christ

1211Peter 1:3: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy begat us again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

The most elementary level believer should know what it means to be born again. Jesus Christ expressed surprise that Nicodemus who is the teacher in Israel does not understand the concept of being born again (John 3:1-17).

But what is the relationship of the resurrection of Jesus to our being born again? Everything!

When Jesus died we died with him, and that is what the act of being baptized in water symbolised (Romans 6:1-11). That means to baptise infant is not right, because that brings a false sense of being saved, even if you go along your life kicking against God. It also fosters a dependence on the church and its practices as a means of being saved rather than becoming dependent on Christ. It is a way of controlling the people telling them that if they neglect the church then their child might go to hell because it was not baptised, by a specific church too. (Is the church greater than Christ?)

Jesus did not lay down the practice of baptism as a quick fix. Don’t allow the long-standing tradition of a church blind you. Jesus accused the Pharisees that they make the word of God of no effect because of their tradition (Matthew 15:1-6). Because something is tradition does not mean it is true. The call has rung out from the time of prophet Isaiah: whose report would you believe (Isaiah 53:1)? Would you believe tradition or the word of God?

The truth about being baptised is: those who believe are baptised. On what basis then should a child be baptised? An infant does not have the ability to understand the gospel, let alone believe? Let’s put a stop to this falsehood.

Another possible reason people buy into the false idea of baptising infants is not just because it is tradition, it is also an expression of their love for the child and fear of the child going not making it into heaven otherwise.

But that covers up the truth of the responsibility of parents and guardians to guard the child in the way of truth, guiding the child to Christ. Paul praised Eunice and Lois, the mother and grandmother of Timothy, for being responsible for the helping young Timothy to know the scriptures (he didn’t praise them for baptising him as an infant) which later made him wise for salvation in the Jesus Christ (2Timothy 1:5, 3:15).

Infant baptism possibly breeds lazy parents. Because if the parent themselves have taken time to know the scriptures like Timothy’s mother and grandmother, they would see that the bible does not have any loop hole in the laid down precept of water baptism to permit infant baptism, in whatever guise.

The practice of baptism involves immersion in water (Mark 1:9-10), as a display of our spiritual link with the death and burial (which the immersion stands for) of Jesus, a when we come out of the water, it is an expression of our spiritual link with his resurrection, through which we are able to walk in newness of life, the resurrection life. The new life through the resurrection of Jesus that we have makes us born again.

It is the power of resurrection which worked in Christ Jesus to raise him from the dead (Ephesians 1:15-2:9)  that caused us to become alive to God having been dead in trespasses and sin.

It is said that as many as believe in Jesus will be receive the power to become the sons of God (John 1:12). That power was made available when the Holy Spirit was effecting the resurrection of Jesus. According to the word of God, Jesus was declared to be the son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness which is the Spirit of God (Romans 1:1-4).

So in raising his son up, God raised us up.

How?

When you believe in Jesus, God records it retroactively (because there is no time with him, he dwells in eternity) as if you died with Christ when he hung on the cross and are born again by the fact of his resurrection. Once you receive him, you get numbered as being part of his body which got raised from the dead.

It’s all in the plan. Once you confess Jesus as Lord (because he rose from the dead) and you believe in your heart that God effected it (confirming he is the messiah) then you are saved (Romans 10:9-13).

Something happens with that confession.

Jesus said that he who confesses him before men, he will confess before his father in heaven (Matthew 10:32-33). What would he confess? He would confess that you are his brother/sister (Hebrews 2:10-17). It was Jesus who gave you the right to be called a child of God. Once you confess him, he’ll confess you as his brother and God will agree with him. He’ll call you his brother meaning that you are also a child of God, i.e. by adoption (Ephesians 1:3-7, Romans 8:15-17). But if you did confess him as Lord before men, then he would not allow you into his kingdom in heaven.

Peter from the focus verse wants us to realise the special relation we now have with God. With his resurrection, Jesus took care of the wrath of God (John3:35-36), now through the new and living way which is his flesh (Hebrews 10:9-20); we can come into the embrace of God. We only have to agree with God that salvation and forgiveness of sin can be obtained by us through His son Jesus (Ephesians 1:3-7, Colossians 1:12-14).

The problem that entered the world through sin was originated from the wrong identification by Adam and Eve of what the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was (Genesis 3:1-10). They believed what the devil said, instead of what God said, and eat the fruit of that tree, and became “lost” in sin and spiritual death.

Now the solution is for people in all places to have the right identification of Jesus Christ as the Tree of Life, as the source of life (John 1:1-5), through whom they become free from death and enter into light and immortality (2Timothy 1:8-10).  After believing, they take the fruit (of life) with their mouth, i.e. confessing him.

God made man free, but he sold himself to sin and Satan through disobedience. But His plan had always been to have a free man who chooses to follow him. Adam was not a good example, easily selling out to the devil. Therefore there was death and destruction appointed for man. But the mercy of God is great and that mercy reached up in the holes where we put ourselves in sending his Son into the world, with the specific mandate of saving the world (John 3:14-18), saving humanity from itself as much as from the rule of the devil through death. So through Jesus, God got what he wants, freeing men to choose to follow Him, with Jesus Christ as the good example.

God was angry with man but he doesn’t want to remain so (1Thessalonians 5:9), what he wants is to turn his face of favour towards us. However, that anger had to be unleashed somehow.

And it is only himself that can successfully handle his own wrath (man would be destroyed and the anger will still remain unappeased. It is an eternal anger, because he’s an eternal God, and finite man doesn’t stand a chance); so God had to become man, the eternal Word became man, and in that state took on him the wrath of God, applied through the rod of man (without justification) so that we can have applied to us the grace of God (without qualification).

Since we cannot qualify for God’s favour by ourselves, Jesus became us and satisfied the demands of God’s anger, and because he qualified for resurrection, since he was sinless, we are qualified in him for resurrection by faith, in the order of Abraham, who believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness (Romans 4:1-9). Our faith in Jesus is accounted to us for identification with the death and resurrection of Jesus and we become born again through the resurrection of Jesus.

 

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