Giving Our Hearts to God

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

In this study, we are going to be looking at one of most misunderstood sections recorded in the Gospels regarding a statement that Jesus made about a woman who gave all she had. But before we quote the passages and begin looking at what Jesus was teaching, I want to make the point that giving is a spiritual principle that will always return blessings back to the one who is the giver. God is the “possessor of heaven and earth” (Genesis 14:19, 22), and He honestly does not need financial support from His children to make His ends meet, but much more what He desires of us is our love and respect, prayer and faithfulness. There are spiritual and physical reasons for giving; giving proves to ourselves that God is real and caring for us by blessing us in multiple ways. When we know for certain that He has blessed us, then giving from a cheerful heart (which is offered in thankfulness) becomes a way of life that bountifully reaps. “He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully” (II Corinthians 9:6), and God’s desire is that His children reap bountifully.

In the Book of Acts, we have the story of the Apostle Paul who walked up on Mars’ Hill in Athens to preach the Word of God.

Acts 17:22–25:
-22: Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious.
-23: For as I passed by, and beheld {and I looked on all of} your devotions {Paul is referring to all their idols, deities, statues, and altars that the Athenians had set up along the walkway leading to the top of the hill}, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him {the unknown God} declare I unto you.
-24: God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
-25: Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing {emphasis supplied}, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things.

The altar with the inscription to the unknown god was set up by the Athenians because they were so into worshiping any and all the gods of the world that they had set up an extra altar just in case they may have forgotten anyone. If so, then they had that situation covered; thus, they hoped to not offend the peoples of the world who came to study and worship in their philosophically academic city, “For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing” (Acts 17:21). They were more into political correctness in Athens than we are these days. Paul was able to use the unknown god altar and theme to introduce to them the true Lord of heaven and earth, and the first thing he teaches them is that God does not dwell in manmade temples, but rather He dwells in the hearts of people who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior who said, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20).

“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you” (I Corinthians 3:6). Indeed if a believer happens to be in a temple, then so is God, but He does not dwell in empty buildings without His people being present, “the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands” (Acts 7:48). Could the Scriptures be more explicit? The Scriptures teach “for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people” (II Corinthians 6:16).

Please, do not get me wrong, places of worship are needed and inspiring to the hearts of believers who gather in His name; as well, those places are blessed by God, but this does not change the truth that WE are the actual “habitation of God!” Indeed one can find God anyplace and miss Him anywhere, although “in him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28). When the heart turns to Him ― then He is discovered within “written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart” (II Corinthians 3:3). His most sacred abode is in His beloved children, as we read in Ephesians, chapter 2.

Ephesians 2:19–22:
-19: Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
-20: And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
-21: In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
-22: In whom ye {YOU!} also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

As far as giving directly to God, Paul taught in Acts 17:25, above, that, “Neither is {God} worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things.” There is nothing you can bring to the altar that emanates from the works of the flesh that God requires of you; NO, not your money or other gifts are required by God to prove your worth to Him because you have been already made worthy by the offering of Jesus ― on your behalf, and his gift suffices for all ― forever (Hebrews 10:12–14). Interesting to note that in the Old Testament, King David WAS a man after own God’s own heart (Acts 13:22), but today, in the New Testament, in grace, God IS a Spirit after OUR OWN HEART (John 4:23–24)! He has been trying to reach you from the beginning, and in truth, He called you from before the world began (Ephesians 1:4, II Thessalonians 2:13).

It is TRUTH that makes us free (John 8:32) rather than our finances and/or the amounts we give away in any capacity. Christians are not instructed in the Scriptures to be tithing simply for the sake of giving, or to give because they have been threatened with the supposed retribution of God or to hold to the false mindset of “give to get,” but much rather we “want to give” because we have received, then you have something to give. We can be inspired with the love of God to become cheerful givers who have placed our believing trust and hearts into the care of our heavenly Father.

Mark 12:41–44:
-41: And Jesus set over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.
-42: And there came a certain poor {humble} widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.
-43: And he {Jesus} called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor {humble} widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:
-44: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living. {This is also recorded in the Gospel of Luke 21:1–4.}

The treasury reference above is not in relation to the tithe outlined in Old Testament Law, but rather, this treasury was for many reasons, some religious and some secular, for donations such as giving to community needs for relief. (In the Companion Bible, page 1414, the footnote on this verse reads, “the treasury. Situated in the woman’s court, occupying about 200 feet square, and surrounded by a colonnade. Inside, against the wall, were thirteen receptacles, called ‘trumpets’ (from their shape): nine being for legal dues, and four for voluntary contributions. All labeled for their special objects.”) For instance, one container may have been given to help support the homeless, another for widows and the fatherless, another for disaster or famine relief, another for public works, and so on. We still have these kinds of fundraising containers today, such as for The United Way, The Salvation Army, The Red Cross, the latest catastrophe, and so forth.

Yet, unscrupulously, the standard teaching about the verses above from Mark 12 has been interpreted that this poor little widow caught the Savior’s eye ONLY because she had given away all that she needed to live on, while the rest of the people were merely giving only out of their abundance, and were not really true believers because they were not making any real sacrifice for the Lord. Then, folks like these imply in sundry ways that the more poverty we endure on earth, well then, the greater and richer our eternities will be with heavenly rewards. Oh – baloney! Come on – really? This kind of preaching may instigate a real roof-raising experience at meeting – in temple – at worship, but it completely negates the true teaching of Jesus and of any common sense or decency.

Jesus saw all the people who were giving, not just the widow. Jesus simply observed that of all the donations he personally saw that day coming into the treasury came from people’s abundance, except for that one “poor widow.” Please note that Jesus never said that everyone else was wrong, nor did he say that those people who gave of their abundance were going to hell for giving only what they didn’t need anyways, as I have heard this passage qualified. Nowhere in the Gospels did Jesus preach that giving of one’s abundance is a bad thing; besides, all those people were giving to the Temple treasury (which was a good thing).

Sometimes those who desire more money from believers to make church-ends meet, who come to see their parishioners only as “their cash flow” can fall away from what is important and that is that God is our sufficiency as much as He is theirs. They can often rise up to becoming people like Ezekiel 22:27 references, “Her princes in the midst thereof are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, and to destroy souls, to get dishonest gain.” Now I know that people like this are not everywhere, they are few and far between, but we do come across them from time to time who think that our finances are in reality theirs to coerce out and gather up in the guise of “good works for the Lord.” The shedding of blood in Ezekiel 22:27 is in reference to taking away what one honestly worked for through their efforts by way of blood, sweat, and tears.

If we ever come across their paths, then God’s Word wants us to be aware of their motives as well as their end and ours if we become their enablers by hook or crook. Leaders are instructed to, “Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind” (I Peter 5:2), and filthy lucre is dishonorable gains of cash that are extracted by greed. People who are motivated to this kind of gain are “destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself” (I Timothy 6:5). “He that oppresseth the poor to increase his riches, and he that giveth to the rich, shall surely come to want {more and more although acquiring less and less}” (Proverbs 22:16). If we give to corruption what will we reap (Galatians 6:7–8)?

Please Consider!

Haggai 1:5–7:
-5: Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.
-6: Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes.
-7: Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.

This is what happens when filthy lucre is extracted from the children of God ― everybody involved comes up short! Even the funds collected from the innocent are so named filthy lucre. “Thou shalt not wrest judgment; thou shalt not respect persons, neither take a gift: for a gift doth blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous” (Deuteronomy 16:19). And yet, once I was told by a church leader to only witness to people who met two requirements, 1) they had to have a good paying job, and 2) they had to own a car. Why? Because on average, people who owned a car and worked hard gave more money at church and they were considered nothing more than numbers for balancing the ledgers. I’m sure Jesus never looked at one’s finances before helping them; in fact, he spent much more time with the sick, sinners, and the needy, with those society would throw away, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Mark 2:17), and he was “a friend of publicans and sinners” (Luke 7:34).

Presenting: God’s way of giving, “Every man shall give as he is able, according {ACCORDING} to the blessing of the LORD thy God which he hath given thee” (Deuteronomy 16:17). We never are instructed to “give to get”; that is not the kind of trade-off God desires; we “get to give!” We all too often reverse God’s will by trying to out-give Him or bypassing His will altogether and never truly receive all that we could. The Bible reveals “freely ye have received, {THEN} freely give” (Matthew 10:8). All we own from God’s perspective is His to begin with, but until we really come to that realization, our stuff is still ours. The wise path is to use our stuff for His glory, then we are all in, and that is all in to receiving our personal needs met by God. Paul questions “what hast thou that thou didst not receive” (I Corinthians 4:7)? You see, all we have is either ours or His, and if you give what you need away, which was given to support you, then why would He give you what He gave you again if all you do is give it away? That is not being a faithful steward, but is an unwise act. There is nothing wrong with giving regardless of how much one gives because when one gives from the heart, then God certainly is blessed, and as well, one will always receive back more abundantly when their heart is in the gift given. But giving should never be done as payment in the hopes of receiving blessings of healing or abundance in return; it’s not tit-for-tat.

The widow in Mark 12 was most definitely giving something beyond her abundance, something no one else gave that day, but what? She had no extra money to give; in fact, she gave very little, two mites. Yet this humble widow was giving something much more precious than money, for she gave to God all her living. The key to understanding the point that Jesus was making to his disciples is in knowing the meaning of the word living, it means one’s life, she was committing herself, her life to God as her sufficiency in life.

This is what Jesus was referring to when he said that she, “cast more in than all they which have cast into the treasury” for she was casting all her cares upon God! She realized that her life was the greatest gift that she could return to God. In the Greek Text the word for “poor” is the word for humble, she was humble before God. She had recognized what so very few people do and that is that God uplifts the humble.

James 4:10 reads, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” She realized that the greatest thing that she could give was herself to God, and acknowledged Him as the real source of her happiness and her true sufficiency in life.

The notion that she gave even what she needed to live on is ridiculous. What kind of blessing or benefit would it really be if she literally starved to death? None, whatsoever!

I could say, “Gee, I wished that God would just give me a million dollars, but my true need at this very minute is that I really need a hot meal!” So if I could thank God for that, well then He can go to work and “do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20). Then dessert will be forthcoming, and that is the abundant life in spades!

Do you know what the difference is between one dollar and a million dollars? The amount of zeroes used. God can add zeroes to anyone who gives from the heart to bless others because zeroes are no big thing to God and are something quite marvelous when someone gives with a cheerful heart to others in need. Then He can go to work blessing their account for counting on Him as their true sufficiency in life.

When one commits their ways to the Lord, what they will receive is true spiritual freedom and the desires of their hearts, which is something one does not pay for but receives from God (see Psalms 27:2-6). One desire of the heart is to be a blessing to others, to give help or support when that is needed. All too often Christians cannot help because they are way too strapped in both time and resources, but when God gives time, redeemed time (Colossians 4:5), and the power to get wealth (Deuteronomy 8:18), then giving finds a godly way to be supportive of the needs in our communities and in our fellowship or church outreach programs.

Receiving first, as a biblical principle may seem counterintuitive to common sense but it is a principal to godly receiving. “Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee” (Proverbs 4:5–9)

I Peter 5:6:
Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

Being in Christ

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

From the Scriptures we learn about the mind of Christ who is spiritually dwelling within. When we look to the Word of God, we will recognize that being in Christ is the foundation of continuous joy and spiritual growth. We have a real premise on which to invigorate our minds as we carry the Word in our minds and God’s love in our hearts ― then we will begin to understand God’s approval of us.

II Timothy 2:15 encourages believers to, Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. Some people think that the more they study their Bibles, the more they will become approved before God, but this is wrongly dividing the word of truth, because God has already approved us in Christ. If a premise begins in error, then the conclusions will be no closer to the truth than the original error. We cannot approve ourselves by works, for we are already approved by God’s grace (Ephesians 2:410) because we are accepted in the beloved, and the beloved is Christ; To the praise of the glory of his grace {God’s grace}, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved- Ephesians 1:6. II Timothy 2:15 is saying that when we study the Scriptures we will come to know just how much approval we have before God because we are in Christ, and this is rightly dividing the word of truth.

God does not shame us in the Scriptures; rather He encourages and builds us up because we have the God-given approval to have the mind of Christ ― daily. God’s Word indeed reveals the magnificence of the new man, the Christ within and in whom we may aspire to become like, as the Word says we are in “Christ’s stead” (II Corinthians 5:20). God approves of us through His grace, “To the praise of the glory of his grace {God’s grace}, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved” (Ephesians 1:6), and the beloved is Christ Jesus, and through him we are approved, and being with him in our understanding is being in Christ.

II Corinthians 4:15–16:
-15: For all things are for your sakes {all the things promised to us in the God’s Word}, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound {to give in thankfulness} to the glory of God.
-16: For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish {although we continue getting older}, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

The abundant grace we have upon our lives causes us to be bountifully thankful in our giving glory back to our God. We faint not means that we will never get tired of thanking God for His abundant grace. The greatness of being a believer is that no matter our current age, we can always aspire to His healing Word as we are continuously renewed in the spirit of our minds with truth. In the Bible, the children of God who walk before Him are never called “has-beens” or considered “over the hill,” for the inward man (the Christ within) can always grow as we think on and speak of God’s Word.

I Timothy 4:8 records, “For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.” Bodily exercise profiteth little means that it primarily benefits oneself, but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. Godliness is having a meaningful relationship with God as our heavenly Father. Godliness is enjoying the renewed mind, being spiritually fit. Godliness is learning how to be in Christ as an athlete of the spiritual realm. Godliness is proving the “good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2), which brings profit into a believer’s heart, a heart that can then reach out of themselves and help others with God’s Word. Godliness is profitable, not only at any age in this life, but will be beneficial through all eternity. Everlasting rewards will be received by a life lived in godliness, and thus, I Timothy 6:6 expresses, “godliness with contentment is great gain.”

Galatians 4:19: My little children {from God’s point of view we are always His precious children}, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you.

Having Christ formed in you represents the time span that it would take from the point of your salvation until you begin truly realizing your own spiritual light (the new man), and its source, “that the excellency of the power may be of God” (II Corinthians 4:7). After learning and knowing of the Christ within (created and placed there by God) comes your realization of this miracle of having Christ formed in you. When the Word of God really begins lifting your life up and out of the old nature and you begin relying on God’s Word as the words of life and your daily spiritual food, then Christ will be formed within your conscious mind and divine inspiration will direct your path into a life of godliness.

Galatians 6:15: For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature {new creation}.

This “new creation” is the spirit that God created in us, it is our “new nature in Christ,” and this new nature places the Christian believers on a spiritual journey with God that continues until the return of Christ when we receive our new spiritual bodies that will be totally renewed in spiritual perfection. The word availeth literally means that we can become strong in our spiritual life, the new creation strengthens plus enhances our walks with the heavenly Father, for the new creation shows us the true strength that Christ within continues giving to us (Philippians 4:13). The phrases neither circumcision and nor uncircumcision refers to an outward appearance of the works of man, for our new creation is an inward gift received by God’s grace, and the best we can do is appreciate the work of God in that He hath made us accepted in the beloved and renew our minds to this inherent truth.

I could take the time to tell you how sinful the old man nature is, but I would not be telling you anything new (Isaiah 59:12), because we have lived with this nature our whole lives. Indeed, the world is full of very good people and kind deeds, but the nature of sin is also everywhere, just pick up a newspaper or watch the news and you know what you will find. Focusing on sin and its motions is the diet that the world feeds itself on, and the more they do the worse the outlook and apparent destiny of man looks. But because of the new creation there is an escape, it is in Christ, and it is much more profitable to tell you that most assuredly we have a getaway that leads us out from that old nature. We have a new and eternal nature in Christ, one separate from “the course of this world” (Ephesians 2:2); it is our promised emancipation to be in Christ, and he earned this for us in the first century! It is time that we accept it, it is time we, as the Apostle said, “Save yourselves from this untoward generation” (Acts 2:40); it has been waiting in store, and all we need to do is believe to not only acknowledge it but to enjoy our heavenly nature. This is offered from above, from the right hand of God (James 3:17–18), and this is ours in the present now, in the perfect tense of every day till forever.

II Corinthians 5:21 reads that Jesus became “sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” Jesus did not have to identify with mankind ― souls born into the nature of sin (Romans 5:12–14). Jesus was sinless, he was perfect, but for us he became sin, the righteous one for unrighteousness ones as he totally identified with man and literally tasted death for all (Hebrews 2:9). Jesus did this unselfishly because he loved you and me! We may now identify with him, yes we can ― we have been enabled to because of the love of God in us, which when applied will place us directly in Christ. We have been called to a new beginning, a rewrite of our personal histories that places us as being members in his-story, a new story of us in Christ that is being recorded down in the book of life, i.e., the living memory of God, for we have received a heavenly destiny in Christ. We will be in Christ in the eternity of heaven, as we can also be today, even though we live “in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation” (Philippians 2:15). Jesus our Savior takes us to a whole new dimension as we begin fellowshipping with him, coming to know all that he delivered us from and rejoicing in all that he presents to us now in grace.

I Thessalonians 1:10 says that now we are to “wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.” Our deliverance from the future wrath is thankfully based on the awesome grace of God and is received by answering the call of salvation (Romans 10:910). There will be wrath coming in the future; the Bible says so, so it must be true. However, and thank God that you are totally exempt from all that wrath and you will be rescued by God’s son from heaven who will take you back to heaven with him (I Thessalonians 4:1318). Romans 5:9 states, “being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him,” and since you are justified you are equally saved from wrath. In the meanwhile, you have the blessed opportunity to allow the reality of Christ to be formed in you, as you are evermore becoming a new creation in Christ, renewed by the Word and nurtured in the light of God’s unending love.

Now, at this moment in time, we are the recipient of a heavenly call to be in Christ that was first made known and answered in the first century by the Christian church. This is a call of unparalleled proportions as we become “heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ” (see Romans 8:1617). Philippians 3:20 says, “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.” The word conversation means our citizenship (see Ephesians 2:1822). This is a call to daily walk in Christ, knowing we are saved forever. “For God hath not appointed {or called} us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us” (I Thessalonians 5:9–10). God has called you to Himself even before the foundation of this world.

Ephesians 1:4–5:
-4: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
-5: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.

II Thessalonians 2:13: But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

God has chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, and He hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation! Could you have a greater calling? There is only one response to this calling ― answer! But how do you reply to such an awesome call? Paul wrote, “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called” (Ephesians 4:1) “That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory” (I Thessalonians 2:12). You answer the calling by first believing He called you to be His child. This is then fulfilled by believing in and loving His Word, by seeing your approval of God Almighty, and by enjoying the truth that this calling was and still is according to the good pleasure of his will. By not doubting that you are dearly loved by both your heavenly Father and your wonderful Savior and that you are exempt from the future wrath, this is walking worthy of your calling.

II Corinthians 5:17: Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature {creation}: old things {in the mind, the old nature} are passed {are passing} away; behold, all things are become {are becoming} new {in our understanding}.

God loves you so much that He calls you His Beloved in I John 3:2! Let us start from this perspective, let us realize His outlook, let us accept His viewpoint, and let us enjoy His approval as we accept His endearing love for us that is so enduring! Being in Christ is walking with the healing Word of God in our daily lives. As we continue aligning our minds with the mind of Christ, then the true impressions of Christ will rise to the surface of our understanding and reason, and this will present to us inspirations that will unmistakably reveal in our hearts that we truly are in Christ.

Ephesians 2:19–22 (The Amplified Bible):**
19: Therefore you are no longer outsiders (exiles, migrants, and aliens, excluded from the rights of citizens), but you now share citizenship with the saints (God’s own people, consecrated and set apart for Himself); and you belong to God’s [own] household.
20: You are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Christ Jesus Himself the chief Cornerstone.
21: In Him the whole structure is joined (bound, welded) together harmoniously, and it continues to rise (grow, increase) into a holy temple in the Lord [a sanctuary dedicated, consecrated, and sacred to the presence of the Lord].
22: In Him [and in fellowship with one another] you yourselves also are being built up [into this structure] with the rest, to form a fixed abode (dwelling place) of God in (by, through) the Spirit.

I John 3:1–3 (The Amplified Bible):**
1: SEE WHAT [an incredible] quality of love the Father has given (shown, bestowed on) us, that we should [be permitted to] be named and called and counted the children of God! And so we are! The reason that the world does not know (recognize, acknowledge) us is that it does not know (recognize, acknowledge) Him.
2: Beloved, we are [even here and] now God’s children; it is not yet disclosed (made clear) what we shall be [hereafter], but we know that when He comes and is manifested, we shall [as God’s children] resemble and be like Him, for we shall see Him just as He [really] is.
3: And everyone who has this hope [resting] on Him cleanses (purifies) himself just as He is pure (chaste, undefiled, guiltless).

**Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE.
The Amplified New Testament copyright (c) 1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation.
Used by permission.

Being Born Again

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

 I Peter 1:23: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible {seed}, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.

When the Scriptures say that believers are born again, then we may believe this truth because the Word of God liveth and abideth forever. In the beginning was the Word (John 1:1), and the Word of God is still here and always will be. Since God’s Word claims that we are born again, then that is the truth and something we may put on in our thinking processes as we renew our minds by thinking with this spiritual perspective that we are born again.

Nicodemus once questioned Jesus about these same truths of being born again and this is recorded for us in the Gospel of John chapter 3. “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). But Nicodemus could not comprehend the concept of being born again, thus Jesus said to him, “If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things” (John 3:12)?

Jesus was somewhat disappointed that Nicodemus did not understand the Word of God and said to him, “Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things” (John 3:10)? Nicodemus was a master (teacher) of the Scriptures, yet he really did not have a clue about the subject of being born again and everlasting life when speaking to Jesus who is the resurrection (see John 11:25). Jesus was in essence saying to him, “Man, how can you call yourself a Teacher and a Man of the Cloth (so-to-speak), if you do not understand even foundational truths regarding your future life!”

John 3:14–17:
-14: {Jesus is still talking to Nicodemus} And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
-15: That whosoever {this includes Nicodemus, you, and me} believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
-16: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
-17: For God sent not {sent NOT} his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

When we were born, we became the progeny of our mother and father; we can never change that fact. (The miracle of our birth is not that man created anything, but rather the God-given abilities that the Creator gave humanity were employed.) Oh, I know some parents would like to disown their children and vice versa; however, by virtue of birth we are the children of our parents. It is the same with God ― once we are saved (born again) we are children of our heavenly Father. We become born again, but not of corruptible seed, as is our first birth, which is corruptible because of the sin nature inlaid in man since the fall of man in Genesis (Romans 5:12). However, God’s seed is incorruptible and eternal. He is our heavenly Father for all eternity!

Galatians 3:16: Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He {God} saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy {or your} seed, which is Christ.

When we become born again, we have the spiritual seed of Christ in us, and having Christ is having eternal life (I John 5:11-13). We are, according to the Scriptures, members of the body of Christ (I Corinthians 12:27) because we have received the seed of Christ. Romans 12:5 says, “So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another,” because we are born again of incorruptible seed, and are now permanently members of God’s Family. Having this wonderful gift within gives us an everlasting standing in the household of God as His very own children (Ephesians 2:19-22), and this can never change. In the Old Testament, yes, the believers could lose their standing in God’s care, but today in grace because of the completed work of Jesus Christ on our behalf (I Peter 1:18-19), we are the children of God now and throughout all eternity.

Colossians 1:27: To whom God would make known {to you and I} what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

The mystery is literally that the Jews and Gentiles who do become saved belong to God, and they become permanent members in the body of Christ (Ephesians 3:1-7). The foundation of this mystery is Christ; and we having everything Christ has ― his love, his peace, and his eternal life ― and we can know and enjoy the spirit of Christ in our hearts (Romans 8:9-17). The riches of this mystery are Christ in you, the hope of glory, to literally be with Christ in his glory for all eternity.

II Thessalonians 2:14: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

II Timothy 2:10: Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

Having Christ in you and obtaining his glory are biblical testimonies, but learning how to enjoy these spiritual truths takes the renewing of our minds to what the Scriptures teach. The renewed mind is a dynamic study within the Scriptures that show and teach the children of God how to become ever more Christ-like in daily living. The first step to having and enjoying a renewed mind in this day and age of grace is to become born again, and Romans 10:9 and 10 explicitly puts the process into plain words about how to become saved, receive salvation, and be born again.

Romans 10:9–10:
-9: That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
-10: For with the heart man believeth unto {God’s own} righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto {your own} salvation.

The renewed mind process is one of the most enjoyable and exciting treasures we could ever receive, because having the renewed mind is having God’s best for us; we literally start to enjoy the spiritual qualities of Jesus Christ. Romans 10:11 continues, “For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” The words shall not be ashamed means to be totally exempt from condemnation and despair because when we have the renewed mind, as promised we will know for certain that we are born again and we can know the certainty that we are going to heaven. We will never need to question or doubt in our eternal destiny again, as Nicodemus had, because our eternal life will become an apparent, present-tense reality in our hearts.

In order to enjoy God’s blessings upon our lives we first believe and confess in Romans 10:9-10 and we become born again and are members of God’s family, able to receive biblical truths that are inspiring and renewing and comforting in our new fellowship and journey together.

II Corinthians 6:2: For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

Ephesians 1:13: In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.

I Thessalonians 5:9: For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.

And if Children, Then Heirs; Heirs of God and Joint-Heirs with Christ- Romans 8:17

“A joint-heir has an equal share; we will not divide up Christ’s inheritance among all of the children of God, but rather we will all partake completely in everything that belongs to Christ! If you can get a moment this evening, look up at OUR heavenly amphitheater that passes through the night sky and grasp for one moment the true spiritual reality that we are heirs to all of it, and allow the Spirit of God to show you it is yours, and He will bless you thoroughly. Shall he not with him also freely give us all things– Romans 8:32, God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy– I Timothy 6:17.” ~LMJ~