Concerning our perceived effectiveness, the church has done a fair job of saving people from Hell, but a poor job of saving people from their brokenness. Jesus commanded us to go and make disciples, not just converts. I am afraid in our enthusiasm to make only converts we have left a heap of lost souls in the wake of false confessions and hurry-up-sinner-prayers.
As a young enthusiastic pastor, I remember telling an older, seasoned pastor about a successful revival meeting where we had ten people saved (professions of faith). He busted my bubble, saying he did not count them until after a year had passed. He was right. How many times have we seen seemingly sincere people “give their hearts to Jesus”, then take their hearts back to the dreary mess they had just left continuing in their brokenness?
We live in a broken world full of broken people. Jesus came to redeem broken people and He sent the Holy Spirit to restore broken people. Those who are truly redeemed, stick around for the restoration (with some encouragement); those who make an emotional decision instead of a spiritual rebirth find “better things to do”.
I would like to use an antique car analogy. Let’s say an old and valuable antique car is headed to the scrap yard where it will be sold by the pound for scrap metal and then be melted in a furnace. There is potential in the old car if someone only knew its value, but the scrap man sees nothing but rust and crumpled metal. So along comes a man who is knowledgeable about antique cars. He asks the scrap man for how much he would sell the pile of junk. The price is settled on and the antique car dealer goes his way thinking about his rare find and the seller is excited about the money he received for the junk.
So, the dealer redeemed the junk car, he ransomed it from the scrap heap. He takes it to the shop and skilled workers take the junked-out car and restores it to almost original condition. The dealer redeemed it with a price. The shop guys restored it through skill and work.
Moral of the analogy: God the Father valued our souls and sent Jesus who redeemed us from our sinful state in an instant by His blood. The Holy Spirit through His work and power restores us back to more of the original condition—what God intended us to be.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV).
Just as God delivered Israel from Egyptian bondage in a relative short period of time; He used forty years of desert living to deliver Egypt out of the Israelites.
The deep meaning of redemption concerns the buying of a slave (paying a ransom) with the purpose of liberating him from slavery. Jesus redeemed us from destruction by His own blood on the cross and through the work of resurrection power of the Holy Spirit, we are restored more and more to the likeness of Christ.
Titus 2:11-14 NKJV
(11) For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,
(12) teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age,
(13) looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,
(14) who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.
We don’t need our numbers embellished so we look good; we need broken lives restored, Hell emptied, and Heaven populated!
Yours on the Journey,
Harry L. Whitt
7 Replies to “Spiritual Rebirth”
I agree but I have mixed feelings about the topic. The real issue is Contempt for God and others. That is why Jesus brought up the serpent in the wilderness and why he said the law was summed up in one word.
My concern is Controlling leaders become punishers and policemen rather than taking ownership for their pride in putting themselves above others while saying others need to change.
New Christians fall to the side all the time, not because of their issues but because of Leaders in the church negligent to do their duty in a role they have forced on others. Employing someone to be an electrician and then not training them or giving them work to develop their learned skills will leave that electrician wandering. This is the same with New Christians. We shouldn’t expect any more. And we should look inward not at them.
I think one aspect of this is evangelism and discipleship. We need both. Discipleship is the responsibility of the church leaders, however new converts must receive the instruction and mentorship.
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It just made me think about the coffee house I attend. there is about 50 or so people from the community that attend regularly and a few new people here and there.
About 6 months ago the last pastor running the Saturday night coffee house moved on to another job. Hard feelings over some false allegations. The regular back biting stuff etc.
Anyways, talking with the main pastor about leadership I said, isn’t it amazing that the spirit gave gifts to the church but only the pastor seems to have any. Wouldn’t you think its better to delegate and use peoples gifts.
So, He started a thing where people upstairs on sunday would be picked to work down stairs on Saturday hosting once a month or every other month. So now, just in that area we have dozens of people involved rather than one guy.
The thing is, He really needs go over goals and expectations. We have a night of music and some coffee mid point. And often a testimony. I come generally loaded and if there is a need or a calling from God for the moment I will stand up and say something.
But we need more than this. I have a diet plan for Christians. It basically talks about building peoples faith, the points of salvation, getting people to know God and teaching the stories in the bible and their significance.
its no wonder people fall away. We do not know what we are doing, do not have a plan, do not have people implementing the plan and don’t do the basics ourselves. With a few exceptions people choose bossiness over delegation and on most levels there is delinquency meaning, no one feels like there is any method and completion of that method.
There are exceptions of course. But Honestly. I have been to bible college, they didn’t teach the things necessary for success anyways. So, why would we expect organizational leadership that includes rather than excludes, delegates and instructs toward best practices.
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Thanks RuthAnne! Stay safe and well.
This message is so true! Thanks for reminding us all again! Blessings on all of you during this lockdown.
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Thanks Sister Sarah! God bless you beyond measure.