But even in my young mind, I knew that Jesus made a way for me to be forgiven. I knew that through his death, burial and resurrection, I could be forgiven and washed clean of my sins. That realization made me extremely happy! I immediately let my family know that I wanted to be baptized. In my obedience, I was born again.
Today I know and profess that the Gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16)
and my obedience to it saved me and made me righteous before God.
In my new birth, no immediate or profound changes were evident. Consider a new born baby. A baby enters the world as an infant relying on milk for nourishments and parents for all of its care. Overtime, that newborn grows, develops and changes. And after many years, that baby becomes a young adult and is able to take care of themselves. This does not occur simply because of the physical changes that take place, but because a child also learns and grows in understanding, knowledge and wisdom.
After many years, I have grown in knowledge and understanding of God’s word. During that time, do you think I made errors or failed to judge righteously? You know I did and still do.
Over many years, however, my spiritual growth has become more evident in my daily life.
Spending time with God in His word transforms me in an "other world" person foreign and
unrecognizable by the world I live in. Because of Christ, my purpose in life has become more defined as I am set apart by truth.
BIBLE Reading: John 17
The life of a Christian is founded on love. With love, it possible for us to experience salvation and transformation. Consider John 17. Many people are awe struck as they read John 17. This chapter is unique in that it allows us to experience a very intimate conversation between the only begotten son and his father. Jesus gives us a glimpse into his heart as he prays to the God of glory. His days on earth are drawing to a close and, in John 16, we find the Lord spending his last hours with his disciples. In John 16:5, he states, “But now I go my way to him that sent me”. This revelation was concerning to his disciples and left them bewildered. How would they be able to continue without their beloved Messiah? In John 17, Jesus lifts his eyes to heaven and pours out his heart as he considers the fate of his followers.
In leaving the disciples in the world, Jesus recognized a serious challenge. The world hated him and the world would hate them too. These mortal men spent so much time in the presence of deity that they had become “other world” people. It stood to reason. The Lord was not of this world and thus his discipleship would not be of this world either. They had become transformed and would absolutely face condemnation.
"I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. "
John 17: 15-17
Jesus concluded that his disciples or followers would not be removed from the world. Instead, his prayer was for their protection and fortification. After spending several years in the presence of deity, and absorbing all they were taught, the disciples had undergone a deep and profound transformation. In his prayers, Jesus requested that his followers be set apart or sanctified through God’s truth.
They would live in a world of condemnation but their purpose would grow more defined as they were set apart by truth.
So, the prayers of the Son are still relevant today and they continue to cover those of us called by his name. We are reborn into love, saved by the blood of Jesus and transformed by the renewing of our minds. Just like the disciples, we become "other world" people who look to God as our fortress and shelter of protection in a world full of evil. And each day, we aught to encourage one another to remain faithful and true, fortified in Christ Jesus.