Friday, 17 January 2014

The gift of being Born Again

It seems to be a bit of a theme this week in my thought process, but my reading this morning once again has me thinking of our new life in Christ and being born again.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
~1 Peter 1:3-9, ESV
So in a previous post I wanted to convey the importance of knowing the concept of being born again, and in another post about the seriousness of only those who are born again are actually saved.  But today I was reading this passage and God refreshed in me the joyous gift being born again is.  The truth is we are created to glorify God... but being born into sin breaks and damages us from our original purpose.  Living our sinful life can never be completely fulfilling because we aren't doing what we were originally created to do - no matter how much someone denies it, they were created to glorify God, and until they do they will never be truly satisfied.
God created me - and you - to live with a single, all-embracing, all-transforming passion - namely, a passion to glorify God by enjoying and displaying his supreme excellence in all the spheres of life. Enjoying and displaying are both crucial. If we try to display the excellence of God without joy in it, we will display a shell of hypocrisy and create scorn or legalism. But if we claim to enjoy his excellence and do not display it for others to see and admire, we deceive ourselves, because the mark of God-enthralled joy is to overflow and expand by extending itself into the hearts of others. The wasted life in the life without passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples.
~John Piper - Don't Waste Your Life - p31
So being born again into the new life Jesus gives through the cross is the greatest gift... it is not just a way to avoid hell and pain. Being born again is God allowing us to fulfill our original purpose... which is not a boring, or troublesome thing, but something we can enjoy and be passionate about.

As a pastor I think I need to be careful to express my joy and happiness in being born again, and in expressing and displaying my enjoyment in glorifying God.  Because I think the main reason people don't get this exceptionally awesome point is that most people expressing and preaching or being an example of the Christian life do it in a way that is starved of joy.

Today take some time to consider the gift of your new life, rejoice, and glorify God - enjoy glorifying God because that is what we were created for.

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