Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Receiving Jesus

“Have you received Jesus?” is a common question asked within evangelical Christianity. Yet what does such a question actually mean? To the average professing Christian it is simply a question referring to whether an individual has received the package or made their arrangement with God.

Modern professing Christianity has reduced the Gospel message down to a provision or a package. One simply confesses they are a sinner and then all they need to do is accept or “receive” Jesus into their heart, trusting that He died on the cross for them and that all their sins are forgiven.

Yet what does the Bible actually teach?

In the Gospel of John the following is written...

Joh 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
Joh 1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

This passage clearly states that those who received him (Jesus) that God gave them power to become a son of God.

James made an interesting comment on receiving when he wrote...

Jas 1:21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

Thus in order for one to receive the implanted word one must lay aside their evil deeds. This tenet is evident through the scriptures.

Pro 28:13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.
Isa 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

The laying aside of all sin and rebellion towards God does not save someone but rather puts them into position where they will yield to God's instruction. Just as a wild horse must be broken before it will submit to a rider a rebellious sinner must also be broken.

This occurs in repentance through a true godly sorrow which works a true change of mind (repentance) allowing a real conversion (change of action/direction) to take place.

2Co 7:10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
2Co 7:11 For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.

Thus in order to receive Jesus one must truly repent and forsake their wrong doing.

Luk 13:3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

Act_3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;

The refreshing wrought by the Holy Ghost is the power that God grants to those who come to Him via repentance and faith. This is the power of God by which we may become a son of God and we find ourselves back where we started in John chapter 1.

Joh 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

We then use this power to walk in victory as Paul teaches in Romans...

Rom 8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
Rom 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

If we are indeed led by this Spirit we become a son of God having overcome the world.

2Pe 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

God bless.


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