Book: Why Were You Born?

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Now that you have been saved from your sins through baptism, received the Holy Spirit, and been chosen by God, you have direct access to God the Father through your personal prayer and Bible study. Moreover, God has personally rescued you from Satan the devil—the author of sin! The apostle Paul states that the very purpose of his calling and ministry was to turn people from Satan, the “god of this world,” to the true God and to Jesus the Christ. When he was called, Jesus gave him this mandate: “ ‘To open their eyes [those being called and chosen], that they may turn from darkness to light, and from the authority of Satan to God, so that they may receive remission of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified [chosen] through faith in Me [Jesus]’ ” (Acts 26:18).

Christ said, “I am the light of the world; the one who follows Me shall never walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12). Every true believer is to constantly come to Jesus, and practice, as a way of life, the truth of God: “And this is the judgment: that the light [Jesus] has come into the world, but men loved darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who practices [and continues to practice] evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, so that his works may not be exposed; but the one who practices [and continues to practice] the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be manifested, that they have been accomplished by the power of God” (John 3:19-21).

In Jesus’ final prayer to the Father just before He was arrested, He prayed for all of the disciples—including those who were to yet believe through the apostles’ teachings: “I am praying for them; I am not praying for the world, but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours…. I do not pray that You would take them out of the world, but that You would keep [protect] them from the evil one” (John 17:9, 15).

There is no doubt that the Father continues to answer Jesus’ prayer to keep you from the evil one—Satan the devil. But you are also involved— you are to pray that God will continue to rescue you from the evil one!

In the beginning of His ministry, Jesus taught His disciples to pray directly to God. In the model or outline of how to pray, He instructed them to begin with God the Father. Since they were not to give long public prayers, notice what Jesus taught them: “But you, when you pray, enter into a private room; and after shutting the door, pray to your Father Who is in secret; and your Father Who sees in secret shall reward you openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions, as the heathen do; for they think that by multiplying their words they shall be heard. 

“Now then, do not be like them; for your Father knows what things you have need of before you ask Him. Therefore, you are to pray after this manner [or according to this outline]: ‘Our Father Who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name; Your kingdom come; Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven; give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but rescue us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen’ ” (Matt. 6:6-13).

Only by the grace of God can you be saved from your sins and from Satan the devil. Before you answered God’s call and were chosen, you were as good as dead in your sins. Paul explains: “Now you were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you walked in times past according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air [Satan the devil], the spirit that is now working within the children of disobedience; among whom also we all once had our conduct in the lusts of our flesh, doing the things willed by the flesh and by the mind, and were by nature the children of wrath, even as the rest of the world.

“But God, Who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, has made us alive together with Christ. (For you have been saved [from your sins and Satan the devil] by grace.)” (Eph. 2:1-5).

In fact, it is God the Father Who personally does this for you: “Giving thanks to the Father, Who has made us qualified for the share of the inheritance of the saints in the light; Who has personally rescued us from the power of darkness and has transferred us unto the kingdom of the Son of His love; in Whom we have redemption through His own blood, even the remission of sins” (Col. 1:12-14).

Though the Father has personally rescued you from Satan, there will be times when the devil will try to tempt you and draw you away from God and your new life in Christ. When that happens, here is what you are to do: “Therefore, submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you” (James 4:78).

The apostle Peter also admonishes us on how to resist the wiles of Satan: “Be sober! Be vigilant! For your adversary the devil is prowling about as a roaring lion, seeking anyone he may devour. Whom resist, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are being fulfilled among your brethren who are in the world. Now may the God of all grace, Who has called us unto His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a little while, Himself perfect you, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the power into the ages of eternity” (I Pet. 5:8-11).

When Jesus Himself was severely tempted by Satan for forty days and forty nights, He demonstrated exactly what you should do. You are to cast those thoughts and temptations out of your mind and rebuke the devil. Jesus fought Satan’s temptations by quoting Scripture in answer to the devil’s propositions. Notice here that when Jesus says “You” He is not referring to what Satan should do. Rather, He is referring to Himself, as a man—to what He should do. Jesus said to Satan: “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’ ” And, “Again, it is written, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ ”

After that, the devil took Jesus to an exceedingly high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. Satan said, “All these things will I give You, if You will fall down and worship me.” Jesus responded, “Begone, Satan! For it is written [to everyone], ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him alone shall you serve.’ ” The devil then left Jesus alone (see Matt. 4:1-11).

God the Father and Jesus Christ will always hear and answer your prayers when you draw near to God and resist Satan by using the Word of God!

 

Once Chosen, You Are to Walk in Newness of Life

God chooses you at baptism when you receive the Holy Spirit. This is the beginning of your salvation and your new life in Christ. Every Christian is to live his or her life by doing or practicing the will of God. (Matt. 7:21). As Paul writes, since your sins have been buried in the watery grave of baptism, you are to live unto God and walk in newness of life through Jesus: “For when He [Jesus] died, He died unto sin once for all; but in that He lives, He lives unto God. In the same way also, you should indeed reckon yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God through Christ Jesus our Lord. 

“Therefore, do not let sin rule in your mortal body by obeying it in the lusts thereof [as you did before baptism]. Likewise, do not yield your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin; rather, yield yourselves to God as those who are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God…. Don’t you realize that to whom you yield yourselves as servants to obey, you are servants of the one you obey, whether it is of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

“But thanks be to God, that you were the servants of sin, but you have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered to you; and having been delivered from sin, you became the servants of righteousness” (Rom. 6:10-13, 16-18).

What is righteousness? Righteousness comes from God and you are to live your life in accord with the commandments of God. In Psalm 119, King David declared the righteousness of God: “All Your commandments are righteousness” (verse 172). “Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and Your law is the truth…. Your commandments are my delight. The righteousness of Your testimonies is everlasting; give me understanding, and I shall live” (verses 142-144). “O LORD … all Your commandments are truth…. Your word is true from the beginning, and every one of Your righteous ordinances endures forever” (verses 151, 160).

Finally, David ties this together with the salvation of God. “Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him…. Mercy and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other” (Psa. 85:9-10).

The Spiritual Seed of Abraham: When you are baptized and receive the Holy Spirit of God, you become part of the spiritual seed of Abraham and heirs according to the promise of eternal life. Paul makes this clear: “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ did put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither bond nor free; there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Gal. 3:2729).

Abraham was given the promises because he “believed in the LORD. And He [God] counted it to him for righteousness” (Gen. 15:6). If you truly believe God, as did Abraham, then you will obey what God commands. Indeed, faith and belief are perfected by obedience (James 2:20-26). God declared to Isaac that he received the blessings of his father because “Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws” (Gen. 26:5). Since you are now Abraham’s seed, you are to follow his example of loving God and keeping His laws and commandments. John writes: “For this is the love of God: that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome” (I John 5:3).

Now that you have been chosen by God and have received the Holy Spirit, you will begin to demonstrate a greater love for God—because you now belong to God! In fact, Jesus instructs you to love God, which is the “greatest commandment”: “Jesus answered and said, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment; and the second one is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets” (Matt. 22:37-40).

There is no doubt that God the Father and Jesus Christ chose you because They love you. How then do you show your love for Them in return? Jesus told His disciples that love and commandment-keeping are bound together. “If you love Me, keep the commandments—namely, My commandments…. As the Father has loved Me, I also have loved you; live in My love. If you keep My commandments, you shall live in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and live in His love…. The Father Himself loves you…” (John 14:15; 15:9-10; 16:27).

 

The Holy Spirit—the Love of God for You

and Your Love for God

The Holy Spirit is the special spiritual power that God uses to create and accomplish His will.1 During Jesus’ final instructions to the apostles on the night of His last Passover, He spoke extensively about the Holy Spirit. As we will see, when you receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, it is actually the joint work of both the Father and Christ. Notice how Jesus explained it:

“ ‘If you love Me, keep the commandments—namely, My commandments. And I will ask the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that it may be with you throughout the age: even the Spirit of the truth, which the world cannot receive because it perceives it not, nor knows it; but you know it because it dwells with you, and shall be within you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you…. In that day, you shall know that I am in My Father, and you are in Me, and I am in you. The one who has My commandments and is keeping them, that is the one who loves Me; and the one who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will manifest Myself to him.’

“Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, ‘Lord, what has happened that You are about to manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?’ Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. The one who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word that you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s, Who sent Me’ ” (John 14:15-18, 2024).

These are some of the most important verses in the New Testament. Jesus clearly says that sending the Holy Spirit is the joint spiritual work of God the Father and Christ. Notice: “But when the Comforter comes, even the Holy Spirit, which the Father will send in My name, that one shall teach you all things, and shall bring to your remembrance everything that I have told you…. But when the Comforter has come, which I will send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of the truth, which proceeds from the Father, that one shall bear witness of Me” (John 14:26; 15:26).

Thus, it is through the power of the Holy Spirit that God the Father and Jesus Christ spiritually dwell within each one who has been chosen. This is a great secret, or mystery, of God. Paul describes it this way: “That we [who are chosen] might be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in the Christ; in Whom you also trusted after hearing the Word of the truth, the gospel of your salvation; in Whom also, after believing, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory” (Eph. 1:12-14).

When you receive the Holy Spirit, it is actually the earnest, or down payment, of eternal life. It is at the first resurrection when Jesus returns that you—and all the “called, chosen and faithful” (Rev. 17:14)—will receive the fullness of eternal life. Until that time, you must continue to dwell in Jesus and the Father. Indeed, you are to be “growing [continuously] in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (II Pet. 3:18).

Jesus explained this to His disciples by comparing Himself to a vine to which they were attached. At the same time, He emphasized that the Father actually causes the growth in spiritual character: “I am the true vine, and My Father is the husbandman. He takes away every branch in Me that does not bear fruit; but He cleanses each one that bears fruit, in order that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean through the word that I have spoken to you.

“Dwell in Me, and I in you. As a branch cannot bear fruit of itself, but only if it remains in the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you are dwelling in Me. I am the vine, and you are the branches. The one who is dwelling in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; because apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not dwell in Me, he is cast out as a branch, and is dried up; and men gather them and cast them into a fire, and they are burned.

“If you dwell in Me, and My words dwell in you, you shall ask whatever you desire, and it shall come to pass for you. In this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit; so shall you be My disciples” (John 15:1-8). 

Referring to the “greatest commandment,” Jesus said you are to love God “with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30). This is made possible by the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling within you. “God is love”—and His love toward you is based on His love for Jesus and on Jesus’ love for the Father. Thus, the combined love of God the Father and Jesus Christ is given to you.

In turn, through the Holy Spirit, you can love the Father and Christ with a more complete love. Looking again at John 15, Jesus next makes this profound statement: “As the Father has loved Me [Can there be any greater love than this?], I also have loved you; live in My love” (verse 9).

Living in the love of God is not just some emotional experience; it involves your whole being in devoted love and obedience to God in all things. Note carefully how Jesus explains it: “IF you keep My commandments, you shall live in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and live in His love” (verse 10).

Continuing: “These things I have spoken to you, in order that My joy may dwell in you, and that your joy may be full: This is My commandment: that you love one another, as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this: that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends, if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, because the servant does not know what his master is doing. But I have called you friends because I have made known to you all the things that I have heard from My Father.

“You yourselves did not choose Me, but I have personally chosen you, and ordained you, that you should go forth and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain; so that whatever you shall ask the Father in My name, He may give you. These things I command you, that you love one another” (verses 11-17). 

The Father Himself Loves You: Jesus then explains to the apostles that He would be going away—by dying and being buried. However, they would see Him again—after His resurrection. “And likewise, you indeed have grief now; but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and no one shall take your joy from you. And in that day [the day of His resurrection] you shall ask Me nothing. Truly, truly I tell you, whatever you shall ask the Father in My name, He will give you.

“Until this day, you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you shall receive, that your joy may be full. These things I have spoken to you in allegories; but the time is coming when I will no longer speak to you in allegories, but I will plainly disclose to you the things of the Father. In that day, you shall ask in My name; and I do not tell you that I will beseech the Father for you, for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God” (John 16:22-27).

Think and meditate on this!  

What wonderful love God the Father and Jesus Christ have for those who are chosen and faithful. Their awesome love is powerful and intimately personal! Jesus said that through the power of the Holy Spirit both He and the Father will come and make Their abode with us (John 14:23). Through Their love and the power of the Holy Spirit, They dwell in you! This stupendous divine relationship is the greatest thing that can happen in your life!

Think of it! Through prayer, you have personal, direct, unencumbered access to the great Sovereign Rulers of the universe—Who love you with supreme love! However, this wonderful fellowship you now have with God and Christ is only the down payment of your eternal life to come in the Family of God!

The truth is, God’s ultimate purpose for all those who answer His call is so astounding and awe-inspiring that Jesus could not reveal it even to His apostles until years after He had ascended to heaven! He said, “I have yet many things to tell you, but you are not able to bear them now. However, when that one has come, even the Spirit of the truth, it will lead you into all truth because it shall not speak from itself, but whatever it shall hear, it shall speak. And it shall disclose to you the things to come” (John 16:12-13).

What were the things Jesus said He would yet reveal to His followers through the power of the Holy Spirit? As the next chapter will bring out, the answer has to do with astounding aspects of God’s Master Plan of salvation. It involves understanding the “sonship of God”—the knowledge of how a person, who originally began human life in his or her mother’s womb smaller than a speck of dust, can actually become a son or daughter of God!

 

Chapter 10 Note:

1. The Holy Spirit is the power of God by which He accomplishes His will. It is not a person or a third member of a so-called trinity. When the virgin Mary was impregnated by God the Father, He did so by the power of the Holy Spirit, just as the angel Gabriel had told her: “The Holy Spirit shall come upon you, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you; and for this reason, the Holy One being begotten in you shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35).

The Holy Spirit it is never called God. In the introduction to each of his epistles, the apostle Paul never acknowledges the Holy Spirit as God. Moreover, throughout the New Testament, the neuter gender Greek to pneuma (the spirit) is used exclusively.

The impregnation of the Holy Spirit from God the Father as a spiritual begettal and is granted freely to each believer upon repentance of sins, baptism by immersion, and the laying on of hands. This begettal of the Holy Spirit is the earnest and assurance of the promise of eternal life through Christ. It is the power of God, which makes each begotten child of God a partaker of the divine nature and imparts the ability to develop the love of God. The fruits of the Holy Spirit are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self-control. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit imparts the power to each individual to live in accordance with God’s will and to overcome the temptations of human nature, the world, and Satan. As the spiritually begotten believer seeks to serve and obey God the Father and Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit will lead him or her into all truth that is contained in the Word of God and is essential for salvation.

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