To Be a Reborn Disciple 3

To Be a Reborn Disciple 2

One of the quickest ways to assess if someone is born again is how much they speak of God. This must seem like a rather simple test, but the reality is that if you are filled with God then all you want to do is to praise God and worship Him. You just want to tell people about Jesus, about His Kingdom, and the Gospel. If your heart is truly renewed and beating with God’s heartbeat, then from that heart must come an unction, a yearning, and a need to constantly speak about God and His goodness, mercy, and grace!

And yes, even your hearing will change as you are reborn! You will have ‘ears to hear’ and know the voice of Jesus Your shepherd who will protect, lead, and guide you into ‘paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake’ (Psalm 23; John 10:4; 14; 16; 27). You will hear the convicting as well as comforting and encouraging voice of the Holy Spirit who will lead you into all truth (John 14:26; John 16: 7-11; 13) and you will be able to hear the voice of the Father as He pronounces His words of love over you. (Zephaniah 3:17). After all, faith comes by hearing, so more than ever in this world of so much noise, a reborn disciple will truly yearn to turn his or her ear to the truth of God. A reborn disciple does not want to listen to things that are of little value, or fake, deceptive, and carnal, wicked or hold little meaning. Such a disciple truly seeks the truth of God, the voice of God, and the wisdom of heaven. The seven letters to the churches in the Book of Revelations speak of those who have an ear to listen to what the Spirit says. Indeed, a reborn disciple seeks to hear what the Spirit says and yearns to hear the voice of the Shepherd.

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Ultimately, our actions and attitudes must change: You will ‘bring forth the fruit that is keeping with your repentance’ (Matthew 3:8). You will be a ‘doer of the Word’ who proves that your faith is indeed alive (James 1:22; 2:17, 26). It will become apparent that it is ‘no longer you who lives, but Christ who lives in you by faith’ (Galatians 2:20) and that He empowers you to do the will of the Father, even when ‘your flesh’ doesn’t ‘feel like’ obeying God. You will bear the fruit of the Spirit that is at work and living inside you: you will operate in His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23) You will help those who are in need (Isaiah 1:17); you will go and share the gospel and make disciples (Matthew 28:19); and in general, you will ‘offer your body as a living sacrifice’ (Romans 12:2) in imitation of Christ Who offered up His life for your sake. (Philippians 2:1-11; Ephesians 5:1-2).

In Matthew 7 we read: “15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.” Matthew 7 directly links up to John 15 that says: 5 “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. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you[b] will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.”

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So a reborn Christian abides in God, and thus by such process will bear fruit to the glory of the Lord. And such fruit must be evident. An avocado tree will not bear pears, neither will an apple tree produce lemons. If you are truly grounded in Christ, meaning rooted in Him, you will bear the fruits of the Kingdom. This is the truth of “Psalm 1: Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; 2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law, he meditates day and night. 3 He shall be like a tree planted by the [c]rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.”

A reborn believer must thus accept change, for such a believer walks no longer in the darkness but in the light. You are born into a new family, the family of God– made up of other believers in Jesus from ‘every tongue, tribe, and nation’ from all over the world and throughout history. Yet it means experiencing conflict. According to 1 John 5:4, “Whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.” The word overcome implies a struggle. We’re faced with an adversary whom we must overcome. Our adversary is identified in 1 John 2:14 as the wicked one: “I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one.” John went on in the next verses to say: “Do not love the world or the things in the world. . . . For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world” (1 John 2:15-17).

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Jesus said in John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” And also John 15:18: “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.” A reborn believer will ultimately not fit into this world. Such a believer resists the carnality, the immorality, and the wickedness of this world. And because of this, the believer shall many times be hated, persecuted, shunned, or resisted. And such a believer will always be under demonic attack, but we fear not for God is with us! Yes, we shall be resisted for our faith, but like Paul we must endure to the end, always seeking the right path of God and doing as His commands.

For a person reborn, Christ is all beautiful. That is why Paul described new birth as the shining forth of “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” in our hearts (2 Corinthians 4:6). It is a growing heart conviction that God is good, that He can be trusted, that we can spend our life in His service and will not be disappointed. Thus, our view of Christ has to change. Do you increasingly want to imitate him? Has he become the treasure in the field for which you would sell everything (Matthew 13:44)? Are you changing? “You may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him” (1 John 2:29). Do you handle your money, your time, and your gifts differently? Is your speech becoming godlier? Are you more willing to forgive, to love an enemy, to push yourself out of your comfort zone? Are you changing how you relate to your spouse?

It says in “Philippians 3: 7 But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. 8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.”

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Riaan Engelbrecht

To Be a Reborn Disciple 4

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