2008.08.15 - The Evidence of the New Birth
(From “My Utmost for His Highest” by Oswald Chambers)
“You must be born again” (John 3:7).
The answer to Nicodemus' question, “How can a man be born when he is old? is: Only when he is willing to die to every thing in his life, including his rights, his virtues, and his religion, and become willing to receive into himself a new life that he has never before experienced (3:4). This new life exhibits itself in our conscious repentance and through our unconscious holiness.
“But as many as received Him ...” (John 1:12). Is my knowledge of Jesus the result of my own internal spiritual perception, or is it only what I have learned through listening to others? Is there something in my life that unites me with the Lord Jesus as my personal Savior? My spiritual history must have as it underlying foundation a personal knowledge of Jesus Christ. To be born again means that I see Jesus.
“...unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). Am I seeking only for the evidence of God's kingdom, or am I actually recognizing His absolute sovereign control? The new birth gives me a new power of vision by which I begin to discern God's control. His sovereignty was there all the time, but with God being true to His nature, I could not see it until I received His very nature myself.
“Whoever has been born of God does not sin ...” (1 John 3d:9). Am I seeking to stop sinning or have I actually stopped? To be born of God means that I have His supernatural power to stop sinning. The Bible never asks, “Should a Christian sin?” The Bible emphatically states that a Christian must not sin.The work of the new birth is being effective in us when we do not commit sin. It is not merely that we have the power not to sin, but that we have actually stopped sinning. Yet 1 John 3:9 does not mean that we cannot sin - it simply means that if we will obey the life of God in us, that we do not have to sin.
NOTE: Here is the nature of the New Birth - from a new perspective or vantage point. For 5 years until 1915 Oswald Chambers taught a group of missionaries, missionaries in preparation, and serious students of the Bible at the “Bible Training College” in London.
It had a most important effect, though small in numbers. Chambers at the same time lectured on weekends throughout England and Scotland, and during the week at nights, many extra students attended. Those during the day were boarding students. The lectures during these 5 years served as the basis for the majority of his 50 books, all but three of which his wife Biddy published post-posthumously.
Again and again, challenges such as appear in the above selection made by his wife Biddy following his premature death at 43 in 1917, caused students to vigorously contend with Chambers. He was delighted to receive such challenges. Sometimes when his answers were not received he would reply, “Let it simmer - it will become clear after a while!
Now 100 years later approximately - the c hallenges of OC in his over 50 published books continue to intrigue 21stCentury readers. Should you like his students of 100 years ago desire to know more about this outstanding man - by all means purchase his 3rdbiography, “Oswald Chambers, Abandoned to God” - The Life Story of the Author of My Utmost For His Highest by David McCasland. Or, if you purchase the Collected Writings of Oswald Chambers, edited by the same author, his biography is contained in a free DVD which is part of the package.
Blessings on us all as we let the challenges of such men as Oswald Chambers sink deep into our hearts. And we need to remember - that it is not only Oswald we are listening to, but the Lord Himself through His Spirit. For the “Personal, Passionate Devotion” of Chambers to Jesus enabled His Lord to speak through him. Though it is not on the same level of importance as the 33 writers of the 66 Bible books - yet it is definitely on the next concentric circle after the Canon of Scripture - as contained in Important Writers on the things of God.
Your friend - Jim Watt
PS. On my last mailing I spoke on the Divine Inspiration of the whole Bible, 66 books. This actually means that God so inspired the 33 + writers of the Bible, that what Hewanted written and recorded, indeed took place, whether He was speaking, men like Job's 3 friends, or Satan to Eve in the Garden of Eden. God oversaw that the recording was according to His design, apart from any speaker.
However, in the 21 New Testament Epistles, the 4 Gospels, the Book of Acts and the Book of Revelation -- the words especially in the 21 epistles are the words of God, notthe words of man. So many people today tend to say - even Evangelical believers - “O - that's just what Paul or Peter or John thought and said!” Not so!Paul categorically corrects this most erroneous view by giving 1 Corinthians 14:37, and Pater states the equivalent for allBible writers in 2 Peter 1:21.
I believe few readers would have misunderstood the intent of this in the previous mailing. It was especially to correct those who fail to understand that the epistles are God's word to man, notman's word to man. JW