Tag Archives: New Birth

Sharing Your Faith With Dead People

Have you ever wondered why your friend will simply not listen to you when you try to tell them about your faith? Jesus explains…

“If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.” John 8:46-47 (ESV)

Some people just cannot hear, because God has not given them ears. Or, as Jesus put it, they are “not of God.” Therefore, our first step must always be to ask God to give them hearing.

This truth reminds me of the story of the homiletics (preaching) professor who one day took his class to the cemetery. The bewildered students stood around a grave, and he asked one of them to begin preaching to the dead person, telling him to come to life. The student thought the prof was joking. He said he was quite serious. So the student began to talk to the grave, and then seizing the moment, actually began to shout at the dead person.

Satisfied that the young man had done what was asked, the professor looked around and said, “Do you understand the lesson?”

The students said nothing, which seemed the safest course.

So the professor continued, “One day, God willing, you will be called to a church. And some of those people in the pews will say they are alive, but they will dead. When you try to talk to them about conviction of sin, or repentance, or new life in Christ, they may nod their head, but there will be no change…because there will be no life. And similarly, when you relate to a professing unbeliever in the community about Christ, he or she will not be able to hear you, because they will be spiritually dead. They might as well be 6 feet under.

“So you must remember that the new birth is not something that you can manufacture with persuasive arguments and especially good illustrations, or with compelling preaching. Your church services may have terrific music and your preaching may be wonderful, but unless God makes someone alive, it will all be for naught.”

And so it is true with those we love and long to see come into the Kingdom. We must be faithful to share with them, but ultimately, our only hope for their salvation is the power of the Holy Spirit.

If He moves, they will be moved. If He makes them alive, only then can they come out of the grave.

For tomorrow, Thursday, October 15: John 9

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Posted by on October 14, 2015 in Uncategorized


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This Is Not What A Christian Is

The Roger Williams Inn at Green Lake Conference Center

The Roger Williams Inn at Green Lake Conference Center

The Edgewood staff just returned this afternoon from the fall district conference of our denomination, and as usual, it was held at the beautiful Green Lake Conference Center. It’s a fine place to spend a day or two, and we all had a great time, finishing up with lunch at nearby Christianos, meaning some of the best pizza in Wisconsin.

Now, anyone who has ever been to Green Lake or the aforementioned conference center knows about a historic building on the grounds known as the Roger Williams Inn. Originally named the Lawsonia Country Club Hotel, the Inn was constructed by the H.O. Stone Development Company of Chicago in 1930. Situated right on the water, almost all of its 81 guest rooms have a view of lovely Green Lake. And you may not know that today, a major project is going on to restore the exterior and renovate the interior of this historic building. It should be wonderful to behold when the project is finished.

I’m bringing up the Roger Williams Inn renovation project because a lot of people think it is a fine example of what Christianity is – a renovation project. But actually, nothing could be further from the truth. Quite the opposite, Jesus said, Instead…”You must be born again.” John 3:7 (ESV)

Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd Jones explains what this means in a chapter entitled “Born Again” from his book, The Kingdom of God. Some excerpts:

“We have a curious notion that to be a Christian is to just be a little bit better than we are now. We think that if we stop doing one or two things, and take up two or three others, then we are Christians. Is not that it? Knock off one bit, add on another! Put on a new suit, Brighten up a bit, clean yourself a little bit…, And then you are all right. But that is not Christianity; that is morality if you like; ethical behavior or philosophy. It is all right, but it is not Christianity. It is as far removed from it as it can possibly be.”

“Christianity is not just an addition to something you have already got…when people become Christians, it is not a little bit of improvement on what they were before.

“Before we can become Christians, we need an entirely new start.”

“This is the New Testament teaching; sometimes it is called “a new creation”, “regeneration” – you are generated anew and afresh. And, of course, by that He means that what you are by nature is useless and hopeless, that you need to be a “new man”. So you need life, a new nature. God does not renovate us; he does not improve us or make us a little bit better. No, he puts new life into us. He works an operation on the soul and He infuses a principle of life, a new disposition – we are made “partakers of the divine nature.”

Glory to God, this is the new birth – and according to Jesus, it is the only way to see the Kingdom of God.

For tomorrow, Thursday, October 8th: John 4

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Posted by on October 7, 2015 in born again, Uncategorized


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