Wednesday, September 2, 2015, 7:13 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song, “Unless You are Born Again.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Isaiah 6:1-10 (NASB).
Holy is The Lord (vv. 1-4)
In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called out to another and said,
“Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts,
The whole earth is full of His glory.”
And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke.
The word “holy” means “apartness, separateness, sacredness.” With regard to God’s holiness, it carries with it the idea that he is like no other. He is high above all others. None can compare to him. He is absolutely perfect, without sin, and fully righteous in all that he does. He is our creator, and he holds all things together. He is absolutely sovereign (supreme in authority) over all that he created. He is all powerful, all knowing, and present everywhere all at the same time. So, he is to be honored, revered and esteemed above all others. We, as human beings, are to give him our full respect, obedience, and submission to his authority over our lives.
As well, he has called us to be holy, which means we are to be set apart from the world of sin because we are being conformed into the image of Christ. We, as his followers, are not supposed to be like the world, but we are supposed to be like Jesus in all that we are, and do and say. Yet, in today’s modern church, we have all but lost the fear of the Lord. So, many who profess his name have become all too casual and even disrespectful with regard to their relationships to God/Jesus, taking him and his grace to us for granted.
Woe is Me (vv. 5-7)
Then I said,
“Woe is me, for I am ruined!
Because I am a man of unclean lips,
And I live among a people of unclean lips;
For my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.”
Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal in his hand, which he had taken from the altar with tongs. He touched my mouth with it and said, “Behold, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away and your sin is forgiven.”
When we are presented with a holy God who humbled himself, took on human flesh, and was willing to die on a cross for our sins so that we could be set free, it should bring us to tears, and we should be broken and humble before him with regard to our sin, especially in contrast to his divine holiness and glory.
I can still remember the day when I was at camp. I was maybe 7 years old at the time. Our camp was right at Lake Erie in Ohio, so the pavilion sat on a hill overlooking the lake. The building was completely open, i.e. it had no walls, but it did have a roof. It had hard wooden benches for seats. It was in the heat of the summer. The preacher was preaching the gospel. The invitation was given to receive Jesus Christ. I sat in my seat and just wept over my sin, and I prayed for God to forgive me and cleanse me of my sin and to make me a new creature in Christ Jesus. I wanted to be his forever! And, the Lord heard my prayer, he forgave me of my sin, and he came into my life to live within me in the person of his Holy Spirit, and to lead and guide me in the way he wanted me to go from that day forward.
I didn’t become instantly perfect, though. The Christian life has been a life of growing in his grace, falling down sometimes, and him picking me back up and putting me back on the right path. Yet, he was and is always with me, always speaking his words tenderly to my heart, always showing me the right way to go, and always giving me all that I need to walk daily in his truth, to grow in his grace, and to mature in his love.
You see, this is the type of response the holiness and awesomeness of Almighty God should invoke in our lives. Now, I know that such a response can also be emotional only, and that true repentance might not possibly take place, so tears of sorrow over sin is not necessarily an indicator of true repentance. People can have emotional experiences which never stay with them, or which stay with them only a short while because genuine faith never took root. And, this is also not to say that if we lack this type of tearful response that we have not truly repented of our sins. Yet, what I am saying is that when we are presented with a holy God, as was Isaiah, that it should bring us to our knees in all humility before God, and we should acknowledge our sin to God and our need of him and of his salvation.
Jesus Christ died for our sins, not just so we could escape hell and have the promise of heaven when we die. He died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. This is the essence of the gospel of our salvation, for if we have not been crucified with Christ to sin, and we have not been resurrected with Christ to newness of life, “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness,” then we have not truly been born again. We are not saved from our sins, but we are still dead in our sins and bound for hell. The old us has to die in order for the new us to come alive, yet this is not something that happens once, then we just live our lives, and then we go to heaven when we die. We must daily, by the Spirit, put to death the deeds of the flesh and conduct our lives according to the Spirit, and not according to the flesh. God’s grace, which brings salvation, teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions and desires, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s soon return (See: Tit. 2:11-14; Ro. 8:1-14; Eph. 4:24).
Send Me (vv. 8-10)
Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!” He said, “Go, and tell this people:
‘Keep on listening, but do not perceive;
Keep on looking, but do not understand.’
“Render the hearts of this people insensitive,
Their ears dull,
And their eyes dim,
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
Hear with their ears,
Understand with their hearts,
And return and be healed.”
When we have humbled ourselves before Almighty God in humility and in repentance, and he has forgiven us of our sins, and has given us new lives in Christ Jesus to be lived in his righteousness and holiness, all in the power and working of the Spirit within us, our Lord will show us what he has for us to be and to do. The Holy Spirit within us gives each one of us gifts of the Spirit, and God assigns each of us tasks (roles, parts) within the body of Christ which are ours to be and do.
When the Apostle Paul was transformed of the Spirit of God on his way to Damascus, he immediately was told what he was to do. He was to go to Jew and Gentile alike, and he was to open their blinded eyes, turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they could receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified through faith in Christ Jesus (See: Ac. 26:16-18). This, as well, is the essence of the gospel of our salvation. And, it is what we are all commissioned to do, i.e. to open blinded eyes and to turn them from sin to the light of God’s holiness. This is what it means to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth, and to make disciples of Christ of people of all nations. By our lives and by the words we speak we turn the hearts of people away from living for sin and self to living for God and for his will and his purposes.
Yet, not everyone will receive the message with joy. There will be those who will slam the door in our faces, who will reject us and the message, and who may even persecute and ridicule us, or even kill us for our testimonies of God’s saving grace in our lives. They will close their ears to the truth because the lies sound better, because the lies allow them to live however they want without the fear of the Lord in their lives, while still promising them heaven when they die. Yet, we must continue in the faith we have been taught by Jesus Christ and by his NT apostles, and we must continue to share the truth of the gospel so that many will be saved before Jesus Christ returns for his bride.
Unless You Are Born Again
An Original Work / November 3, 2013
Based off John 3:1-21
Nicodemus came to Jesus.
He acknowledged God was with Him.
Jesus said, “You can’t see heaven
Unless you are born again.”
“How can a man be born when he’s old?
Can he enter into his mother’s womb?”
Jesus answered, “Flesh is flesh,
So of the Spirit, you must be.”
Jesus said to Nicodemus,
“You’re a teacher, and yet you don’t
Understand of what I tell you,
Because you will not believe.
“For God so loved the world that He gave
His one and His only Son for your sin.
So, whoever believes in Him
Has eternal life in heav’n.
“Light has come into the world,
But human beings love the darkness,
Because their deeds are so evil,
So in truth, they stand condemned.
“Everyone who practices evil
Fears that the Light will expose his sin.
Yet, whoever lives his life by the Light
Does so through his God.”