Congratulations to Corey and Kelsey (Jones) Gibbs upon the occasion of their marriage yesterday. May the Lord bless their union and grant them many, many happy years together.
THE NEW BIRTH
The new birth is not the result of a sinner’s decision to believe in Christ; for without new birth no sinner would do this – “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not” (John 1:11). The new birth is not a mere profession of religion; for many profess to believe in Christ but do not possess Him for eternal life. The new birth is not a mere reformation of conduct; for many become reformed in behavior but do not experience a change of heart. The new birth is the powerful, inward work of Christ through the Holy Spirit Who imparts spiritual life in regeneration and gives the sinner a new heart and new spirit. This brings a sinner to faith in Christ, repentance of dead works and idolatry, and the obedience of love and faith to serve the Lord as motivated by grace, love, and gratitude. It is a miraculous change brought about, not by the sinner’s will, but by the sovereign will of God – “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12-13). It is not by the sinner’s goodness, for he has none. It comes to God’s elect as the fruit of the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ freely imputed to the sinner (Rom. 8:10). –Copied
When I hear it said, “Such and such do not believe the doctrines of sovereign grace and substitution, but they love the Lord and are saved,” I wonder and ask, “What then was the Bible written for?” Is it no infallible expression of the mind of GOD? Is it no standard of Truth? Are we to believe what appeals to us and deny the rest? God forbid! God’s Word declares the oneness of Truth and condemns every departure from the Truth as a direct attack on God Himself! Do not tell me that a man’s heart is right with God when his head contains a creed of error and denies the Person and Work of the Redeemer. –Horatius Bonar
“OUR FATHER WHICH ART IN HEAVEN”
These are the opening words to the model prayer when the Lord Himself taught His disciple how to pray. In dealing with this model prayer, a man once said, “Even though Christ Himself spoke these words, there is no Christ in this prayer.” This statement exhibits the ignorance and unbelief of the natural man and the necessity of the new birth wherein blind sinners are given spiritual eyes to see. The glorious Person and finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ is all through this model prayer, and we who know Him can see this in the first line, “Our Father which art in heaven.” How can we know God as our “Father” and approach Him as such without Christ?
FIRST, we must LEARN of the Father. We can only learn of God as “our Father” as the Holy Spirit teaches us from His Word in the Gospel of how God can be both a just God and a Savior through Jesus Christ as our sovereign Redeemer. The Lord taught that “every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto Me” (John 6:45). Without Christ, a sinner can only approach God as a righteous Judge Who must punish sin with death.
SECONDLY, when sinners approach God as “Father” it must be on the basis of perfect righteousness. Where can we find this perfection? God’s Word teaches us that we as sinners can only approach God as our “Father” when we come to Him at “the throne of grace,” and “by the blood of Jesus” (Heb. 4:14-16; 10:19-22). Our right and privilege to approach God as our heavenly “Father” is the imputed righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ and not any supposed goodness or fitness of our own. Christ is our worthiness to pray.
THIRDLY, we cannot approach God in self-righteousness, pride, and presumption. We can only approach God as our “Father” when we come to Him in the spirit of grace, love, and gratitude – “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and JOINT-HEIRS WITH CHRIST; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together” (Rom. 8:15-17).