As you go through the Bible, one thing becomes very apparent – God desires to fellowship with His family.
It is clearly seen in Genesis as He called to Adam for a chat ‘in the cool’ of the day; with Abraham, whom after God tested, blessed him and called him a friend; with Moses, who was the only man in the Bible that God physically showed parts of His body (Exodus 33:21-23); or David who God expressly stated was ‘a man after His Own Heart’.
But, man’s constant sin proved a massive barrier to achieve this feat. The old covenant as seen in the Old testament bible, made only a single yearly sacrifice in the form of animals chosen by God as a propitiation for sin. The law of Moses was given to bring order, but also brought to light how fallible man in the flesh really is.
God had to put more distance between Himself and men due to the increasing darkness in them. Thankfully, God being all-knowing, also had a plan to save His creation and restore the broken relationship.
God did the unfathomable; making a once and for all sacrifice for sin in the form of His only son Christ Jesus, to give man in human form, access to the divine and Holy God. This is the primary reason for the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ; to grant us unlimited fellowship with our Creator, God Almighty.
Romans 5:8 ‘But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us’.
Interestingly, He did not stop there. Jesus, representing God on earth, also came to show us that it is possible to live a life free of sin while in our earthly mortal bodies. He lived a sin-free live despite the temptations of the devil through people around Him and even faced down the devil himself. He also showed us how to use the principles of God to win in life and enjoy our lives while on earth. He so graciously said, ‘I have come that you might have life and have it in abundance’ (John 10:10).
Jesus spent time teaching and performing divine miracles to show and equip the disciples and future believers with the spiritual wisdom and knowledge we would need to function as children of God (the new creation) in the new covenant. The new covenant began the moment Jesus was raised from the dead by the power of God and later ascended on high to the heavens.
Romans 10:9-10, ‘If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation’.
In the new covenant, we become God’s new creation by reason of the rebirth in Christ Jesus. Anyone who believes in the name of Jesus Christ and the sacrifice He made for us and boldly makes this confession by mouth, becomes born again as a follower of Christ (a Christian). As He died, our formal sinful natured body died with Him and when he was raised by God’s power, we arose with Him into a new eternal life (Romans 6:4).
In this new life, we are no longer slaves to the sinful nature of our old selves when we were sinners, but have a renewed spirit in us whereby we discard and trample down any temptation to sin by the power of God in us and make a daily constant choice to live our lives to glorify our heavenly Father.
While the old covenant in the bible used the sacrifice of animals to impute justification from sin once a year, the new covenant provides justification through the final sacrifice of Christ Jesus for the sin of the world.
As new creations in Christ, we are purified and justified before God not because of obedience to the law of Moses anymore, but because we believe in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus. It is not good moral works that determines who will spend eternity in God’s kingdom, but faith and belief in the name and saving power of Jesus Christ.
Do you truly believe?
If the ultimate sacrifice has been paid to restore fellowship with God, as shown by the Holy curtains being ripped from top to bottom in the temple (when Jesus Christ declared on the cross ‘it is finished’), our God experience should be even greater than the patriarchs of the Old testament. They did not have the promise yet, although they were aware through prophetic revelations that it was to come.
Yet, with the level of God encounters they had, those that believed in God and walked in obedience with His ways, experienced incomprehensible works of God on earth. We read of a young David slaying a giant with a mere sling and stone; Moses splitting the red sea with a rod; Joshua commanding the sun and moon to stand still (and the Lord made it happen, read Joshua 10:12-14); Elisha’s bones healing people; Elijah praying for rain to cease and pour down again three years later (Elijah 17:1, 18:41-46), and many more amazing works found in the old testament, manifested by the power of God through His people. So why don’t we hear more of such encounters today?
1 Kings 17:1, ‘and Elijah the Tishbite, of the inhabitants of Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, except at my word.”’
The most important question you would ever ask yourself as a Christian is this, ‘do I truly believe?’. All through the ministry of Jesus in the gospel books, this is one question He kept repeating to the people seeking miraculous healings. He wanted to emphasise how vital it is to believe in order to see the works of God.
Hebrews 11:6, ‘But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him’.
But, the same question is as relevant for our faith walk today. There are over two billion Christians in the world now and probably the most ever on record since the resurrection of Jesus. The only way for that many Christians to make a significant impact in the world is if we all decide to OWN OUR FAITH.
To own your faith is to have an inner conviction brought about only by relentless belief in the power of God manifested in the name of Jesus Christ. Such inner conviction happens in your renewed spirit and is the mark of a matured Christian. This is a point of no return. A point of no single doubt about your faith, where you can no longer be wavered by any and every wind of doctrine. This is an ALL or NOTHING faith walk with God. There is no room for lukewarm or ‘one leg in, one leg out’ Christianity. God Himself has said:
Revelation 3:16, ‘So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither [a]cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth’.
The test of your faith is tied to whether you truly believe in the gospel and power of God or not. Conviction sets you apart for great works of God in you and through you to the world.
The question of belief is a very personal and private one. It can only be answered by your heart. There are many who became Christians for various reasons. Some, by reason of their family’s Christian faith, or because their friends became Christians, or as a spur of the moment event!
Then, there are those who had a personal revelation of the truth when they heard the gospel preached and with genuine brokenness and repentance of the heart, surrendered all to gain the new life in Jesus Christ.
Either way, every self-proclaiming Christian’s faith will be tried and tested in this world. Those who arrive at the point of immovable conviction of their faith will no doubt produce great results in their Christian walk as they await immortality with Christ Jesus in the afterlife.
Matthew 13:23, ‘But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown’.
Jesus foresaw the different categories of people that would be exposed to the word of God and shared a parable about them referring to seeds sown on different kinds of grounds. As seen in Matthew 13, when we don’t receive the word of God with understanding, which leads to inner conviction, the enemy will try various methods to distract us from the word of truth we already heard. This is a good example of the testing of our faith resolve.
Jesus further gave examples of distractions such as troubles, persecutions, worries of life and deceitfulness of riches as means by which the enemy uses to steal the word from those who do not receive it with inner conviction.
To believe and have a deep understanding and inner conviction of the gospel of truth, is to truly own your faith. This is how we experience God in our lives. The gospel of truth is the word of God. We experience and engage with the person of God by taking the responsibility of living by faith in what the word of God says about any and every thing you come across in life.
You choose to own your faith by not succumbing to how you feel about situations, but by what the word of God says about any situation you encounter. The more you understand and obey His word in everything, the more grounded you are in Him. This way, when the storms or trials do come, your foundation would already be sure and you will come out victorious as God’s word has promised those who live by faith in His word.
This can be your moment – Recommitment by conviction
The sacrifice of Christ came as the New covenant to make us the new creation, born again into adoption as children of God. He gave His life so we can have unlimited access to fellowship with God, but we also have a part to play to gain that access. We need to first truly believe in our hearts that Jesus is the Son of God and came to pay for our sins. We need to confess this belief with our mouths and declare Him Lord over our lives.
This is one of the most personal journeys anyone would ever make and truly the most important one. If you are unsure about being saved or know you need to recommit your life to God, I encourage you to make this confession from your heart through your mouth, if you are ready for an eternal, ‘ALL IN CONVICTION’ journey with Him.
With all honesty of heart, I do not know or understand the life I have been living up till now. What I do know however is that with everything I have tried and done, I am not complete. So I am done trying to make my life work by myself as if I own my life. I believe you created me and own me. I CHOOSE to surrender completely to you and believe that indeed Jesus Christ, Your Son, came to die for me to pay for every single sin in my life, reconciling me with You and giving me unlimited access to fellowship with You. I believe you have raised Him from that death and He is alive today. So right now, I confess every sin I have committed, both knowingly and unknowingly and I am so sorry for the way I have lived till now. I believe in the forgiveness of sins in the name of Jesus Christ and I therefore ask for your mercy to speak over judgement in my life and forgive me. I receive forgiveness from you and I believe that the enemy can no longer hold guilt over me. Hallelujah! Thank you for saving my soul, cleansing me and making me born again into a new eternal life in Christ Jesus. I believe I am now a child of God! Amen.
Your decision to believe and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord over your life is not to be taken passively or lightly. You have now entered the New covenant with God and believing in His Son Jesus, means believing in His Word. Jesus said in John 8:31-32,
“If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
As a born again Christian, the word of God is your first and most vital life manual. Not friends or family or even other Christians! This means you have a responsibility to hear and read the word, and more importantly obey it. With this in mind, according to the word of God, every new believer in Christ Jesus should be baptised with water by immersion (Matthew 3:11-17) to declare we have now passed from death to life with Jesus Christ and are no longer slaves to sin in the flesh. This is another important milestone for believers because it signifies that as we go under water, we are declaring that we have been buried with Him and as we emerge out of the water, we are now resurrected with Him and sitting with Him in heavenly places (Romans 6:1-11; Ephesians 2:6-7).
When He was on earth, Jesus promised the Holy Spirt will come to be God’s representative on earth and He will make our human bodies a temple for the living God by residing in each of us. It is imperative the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in every new Christian because you cannot function as a believer in this world without Him. He will guide you in all things including to how to pray and worship God in the spirit, study God’s word, live a life that is not controlled by sin in the flesh and how to fellowship with other Christians (John 14:16-17).
If you have become a Christian either recently or for however many years, and you are not sure if you are full of the Holy Spirit, I encourage you to pray this prayer with all sincerity of heart and be ready and open to receive the Holy Spirt and let Him manifest His gifts through you (the most notable in the scriptures being the speaking of tongues in the Spirit). If you are able to, albeit not necessary, I also encourage you to ask another Christian that is already full with the Holy Spirit to pray with you as the disciples of Jesus did by laying on of hands (Acts 8:17).
Thank you for saving me through the sacrifice of your Son, and giving me eternal life and access to fellowship with You. I now understand that to live as a born again Christian with a renewed spirit in Christ Jesus, I need to be full with Your Holy Spirit. I humbly ask for Your Holy Spirit to come and dwell in me and lead every area of my life. I receive your Holy Spirit now in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
As you walk in this newness of life, you need to constantly be God conscious and give no room for the enemy to distract you from your calling as God’s witness in Christ Jesus. It is no longer fine to hide your faith at work or pretend during social gatherings. It is not acceptable to say you are a true believer and not fellowship regularly with God in the name of Jesus through meditating on the word, prayer, worship, praise and fasting. (Yes, fasting is as vital today as it was in the bible days and Jesus said we would need to fast when he departs – Mark2:20. He even fasted during His ministry!).
Every true believer will be made known by their deeds, not only by attending church and hearing the word or reading the word. Jesus made this clear using another parable in Matthew 7:24-27. Those He referred to as wise were the ones who heard and obeyed the word of God. Such people would be unshakeable in the face of storms and trials because their foundation is strong in their conviction of the gospel. These people know the power of God by inner conviction and personal experience.
The ones who do not obey the word they have heard, He referred to as unwise people who would crumble in the face of trials and difficulties because they do not have an unwavering conviction about their belief in God. Their faith wavers in the face of problems.
But the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. Daniel 11:32
We have a part to play to experience God in our daily lives. Why would we become Christians otherwise? Just to access heaven? And then do what? If we have not taken advantage of the gracious free access given to us to develop our relationship with God while on earth, how do we intend to spend eternity with a God we did not make time to truly know?
As God clearly stated in Jeremiah 29:13,
‘You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart and I will be found by you’.
To truly experience and know God is to engage with His Person and Principles. He wants to be found by us but we need to seek Him like our lives depend on it every day. My prayer is that has you go through each book in the Holy Bible, God’s Spirit in you will open your hearts and minds to engage with the person of God and learn how to hear personally from Him; learn and apply His principles for living a power-filled successful life on earth, to influence your world with the testimony of Christ Jesus at work in you; and that He will help you prepare for immortality with Christ Jesus in the new heaven and earth (Revelations 21:1-8).
Before you leave…
Thanks for reading this post. I write about strategies to lead a successful life in these areas - personal growth, faith and success. You can read more on my blog pages. I also write on medium.com here.