| Are you truly a child of God...have you been born from above?|
"Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother." (1 John 3)
- Is this a litmus test? Sure seems so.
- Sounds to me as if John is very much aware of a lot of deception going around back in the day, lots of people calling themselves and each other a "Child of God" but he states that it might very well not be the case.
- Could this be the GREATEST deception of all...the illusion that satan can create in the mind and heart of a man to convince him that his true Father is God almighty, when in fact he (satan) is the real father? Remarkable. And to think we may or may not have a part to play in helping to keep this illusion alive?
- Not much has changed over the centuries. One could argue that the deception is stronger today which would lead us to surmise that the percentage of people in christiandom who think they are "Children of God" and not be so...is reaching the tipping point? I just don't know, but it sure feels like the world has changed, the air has grown colder and there is a dark, clammy gloom settling in on everything. But you would never know it if you pulled up the average Sunday sermon. All is well, nothing to see here, nothing to be concerned about. You are all children of God "on a journey"...just ease back and enjoy the show.
- What exactly is this so called litmus test that John speaks of? John tells us that if a man claims to be a child of God but there is nothing about his life that suggests he is LIKE God, then he is an illegitimate child. If he does not PRACTICE RIGHTEOUSNESS and/or LOVE HIS BROTHER, then it doesn't matter what he says, he is not born from above, he is not born again by the Holy Spirit. Something has not occurred on the inside of this man. Something that is very hard to describe in human terms, for who can understand clearly the very inception of human life, let alone the inception of the God life?
- At the other end of the spectrum we have another group who claim that they too are Gods children merely because they have an outward form that appears to the untrained eye to be the practice of righteousness and the love for the brethren. But it is all outward, there is nothing inside the heart from which these practices are spawned. It is merely rote, religious copycatting. The form, the cloning of a way of living in an attempt to convince themselves and others that they are righteous.
When you next hear a congregation sounding forth that each and every one of them are children of God, remember these things. Imagine a strange kid at a mall running up to you and claiming that you were his father. You would say, "no, sorry son but I am not your father". But he screams back at you that he is your child and even raises his hands in worship of you and sobs and carries on and begins quoting all kinds of reasons why he thinks he is your child. And you scratch your head and start to think he has lost his mind. And you tell him that he is not your son but he refuses to listen and calls you a liar. Finally he runs away skipping and singing and telling the world that he has your last name. But it is all in vain.
This is the single most important question that a human on planet earth needs to answer. Are you a child of God? Have you been born from above? You would think that this issue would be thundered from the pulpits around the world in churches at every opportunity. But sadly it is not. We must also wonder the same about our own children and take nothing for granted.
May God give us true discernment.
| 2016/8/23 4:24|
| Re: Are you truly a child of God...have you been born from above?|
What does "born from above" mean in what we can know from Gods Word? How exactly are we rebirthed? Like Nicodemus, It is unlikely not very many understand this happening. I know "Christ in you", "It is no longer I who live" and all the other scriptures that say I am now a child of God because I have the incorruptible Seed of Jesus Christ birthed in me. How can this be true? My flesh still has bad dreams, still gets mad, still have sinful thoughts, still do the things I don't want to do and the things I want to do, especially being righteous before God, I don't do.
So all I can go by is Faith to believe I am righteous before God because He see' His Son birthed in me and He is my righteousness and the Word of God, (scripture) say I am.
Is this all we have, or am I missing something or haven't received yet. Where do I go from here?
I know all this and much more, what am I missing? Assurance? The Spirit in me? What?
I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, in the virgin birth, in the Cross of Christ, in His death, in His resurrection, That He is coming back for His Bride the Church and that no One especially God would lay down His life Just to get a wretched sinner like me and make me a son. But, that is what the scripture says I am to believe.
I am by faith supposed to believe that I am in Christ and He is in me, by my own weakness and His strength of mind I believe: Is this enough?
Edit: for who and what I am; I live alone in a 30 foot trailer, very nice, I have a titanium plate in my neck, four crushed lower vertebrae from an airplane crash and a big truck hitting my Geo, he was doing 45, crushed from behind , I picked up scabies form somewhere 60 days and going, I have a hyper heart with two stents in it, I take 9 medications for heart, pain, intestinal problems, sleep problems, I don't drink anymore, 40 years sober, (Gods doing not mine) I still smoke, I have tried every thing possible to quit, down to 1/2 pack a day. I pass out when I see a needle, I can't get any energy anymore, take 5 hour energy just to function. These are just a few of the things I now live with. Divorced with 7 children. I guess that is enough.
Please; I praise God every day, I love Him and long to see Him. Any advice? Sorry to vent but I had to get it out somewhere. Thank you for listening or not if you want.
| 2016/8/23 7:19||Profile|
| Re: |
Dear brother Phillip,
I wrote down my thoughts after reading this passage because this was a very real issue for the Apostle John. There were religious people masquerading as born again believers. But how could John and his friends tell them apart? John tells us the test that he used. Personally I think it is a litmus test. If a so called christian in Johns day was practicing sin and did not love other believers then that was enough for John to call them out as false brethren.
So if that was the case 2000 years ago, why should it be any different today?
And another question, what would John have classified as "practicing sin" back then...what were some of the specific sins he was seeing going on in the lives of these false brethren?
I cannot speak for you brother Phillip and I cannot speak for anyone else, but I can speak of my own life and "practicing sin" was very evident in my life up until 5 years ago. I was one who would watch pornography, and all the while I called myself a child of God. Nothing could have been further from the truth.
But thank God for His grace and His mercy. He saved me and He delivered me and He washed me and He performed in me the reason for why He came...to destroy the works of the evil one. And what were those works? To practice sin.
Regarding my sin, watching porn, I say this with fear and trembling...now that I have been born of God...I CANNOT SIN. As John says, it is impossible for me to watch porn again, because I have been born of God. Tempted yes, but practice this sin, no, not ever...and only by the grace of God.
Impossible? Of course it is possible but it is impossible in the way that it is impossible for me to bend my finger back and snap it in two. Or hold my hand in a furnace and burn it off. Sure, I could if I wanted to - because I have a free will, but I "cannot". In the same way John is explaining how/why we "cannot" sin. There are many steps to go through for me to give into this temptation. I would not get past step one before the pain of the conviction of the Holy Spirit would be so great that I would yank my hand back out of the flames.
| 2016/8/23 8:47|
| Re: |
Is this enough?
Joh 3:36 He that believeth πιστευω on εις the Son υιος hath εχω everlasting αιωνιος life ζωη: and δε he that believeth not απειθεω the Son υιος shall οπτανομαι not ου see οπτανομαι life ζωη; but αλλα the wrath οργη of God θεος abideth μενω on επι him αυτος.
1Jo 5:10 He that believeth πιστευω on εις the Son υιος of God θεος hath εχω the witness μαρτυρια in εν himself εαυτου: he that believeth πιστευω not μη God θεος hath made ποιεω him αυτος a liar ψευστης; because οτι he believeth πιστευω not ου εις the record μαρτυρια that ος God θεος gave μαρτυρεω of περι his αυτος Son υιος.
I do believe. Does this come from me or is the witness of God given me that I might believe, which makes me a son? Is there a chance I myself could believe and it not be by the faith of the Son of God?
Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Is this the faith it takes to believe and be saved?
How can I be saved and still sin by what you posted?
I hope this is true; 1 John 1:8-10 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
I pray this is still true, "God is faithful".
Sorry my life is a mess and it feels like my faith and perseverance is very low right now.
Colossians 1:29 Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.
I pray His working has not left me, if that is possible.
As you can see, my soul/mind is cloudy right now.
In Christ: Phillip
| 2016/8/24 22:09||Profile|
Johannesburg, South Africa
| Re: |
Your signature says In Christ, which means you believe you are indeed In Christ.
How do we know we are in Christ? By faith.
What is this faith? Romans 10 verse 9 and 10: "if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead you will be saved"
"By grace are we saved, through faith, and this not of ourselves, it is a gift from God"
Faith is a gift given to those who repent and come to God in obedience to the gospel message.
If your heart and mouth still believe and confess that Jesus Christ is the resurrected Son of God and Lord, then you are saved.
The Word of God and the Spirit of God within you are your witnesses to this fact, not how you feel, not the test or temptations you may be facing.
Brother Phillip, rest on His Word and His finished work, not on your strength, your will or your feelings.
Cease from striving and simply renew your confession:" Jesus Christ is Lord!
| 2016/8/25 2:14||Profile|
| 2016/8/25 3:50||Profile|
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Jade and William, there are no words, but thank you.
Jesus is the One Thing. Nothing of me and all of Him.
| 2016/8/25 6:45||Profile|
Johannesburg, South Africa
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As one has said: "You are deeply loved, highly favoured and greatly blessed!"
All because of the lover of our souls, Jesus Christ the Lord.
| 2016/8/25 6:52||Profile|
| Re: affliction |
Afflictions quicken us to prayer. It is a pity it should be so; but experience testifies, that a long course of ease and prosperity, without painful changes—has an unhappy tendency to make us cold and formal in our secret worship. But troubles rouse our spirits, and constrain us to call upon the Lord in good earnest—when we feel a need of that help which we only can have from his almighty arm. Afflictions are useful, and in a degree necessary, to keep alive in us—a conviction of the vanity and unsatisfying nature of the present world, and all its enjoyments; to remind us that this world is not our rest, and to call our thoughts upwards, where our true treasure is, and where our heart ought to be. When things go on much to our wish, our hearts are too prone to say, "It is good to be here!
I Asked the Lord that I Might Grow by John Newton -
| 2016/8/25 7:51||Profile|
| Re: |
Amen, That I might find my all in Him.
It is so well to find comfort in brothers and sisters even in black and white on a computer. I make my thought of you all that you might find love and comfort as I do from you.
Thank you is not enough but He is; God bless all of you as He has blessed me through you. My tears have run dry but the thought of you guys I am sure will replenish them.
In Christ: Phillip
| 2016/8/25 11:56||Profile|