"BORN FROM ABOVE" Print E-mail

BORN FROM ABOVE

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2019

Pastor Carolyn Sissom

 

 

Jhn 3:3: - Jesus replied, "I tell you the solemn truth, unless a person is born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God." (NET)

 

Jhn 3:7 - Do not be amazed that I said to you, 'You must all be born from above.'  (NET)

 

During the Christmas season, almost the whole world pays tribute to the Christ child born in Bethlehem.  Amidst the pagan ways of the world’s customs, mankind still remembers and recaptures, at least once a year, a little of the wonder and glory of that holy night when the Son of the Most High God lay in the arms of a virgin mother.

 

The world celebrates His birth with joyful song.  And even the unbelieving repeat His blessed title in the age-old greeting, “Merry Christmas!” With the manifest glow of the glorious Christmas lights, His glory shines across the world.  If the manifestation of His glory is so beautiful on earth, how much more is it in Heaven?

 

We, who are devoted to Him, tune out the distractions of the world, and seek to recapture the wonder of His birth, in Sprit we exult and sing with the angels, repeating the tidings of great joy.  We marvel with the shepherds, who saw the glory of the Lord shining round about them, and we hasten with them to the manger.  We stand with Joseph and experience a little of the joy and satisfaction he must have known after the months of anxious waiting. 

 

We feel Mary’s mother-heart of love, and cannot restrain our eyes from tears, as the Holy Spirit once again stirs the emotions within our own hearts.  The great hour came---the hour for which all Israel had waited---and they knew it not!  But she knew!  And we know that this tiny Baby is our God “Whose doings are of old,” the Mighty One of Israel, our Savior, and our King! And we fall before Him!

 

We worship---we wait---and begin to grasp a little of the mystery of the incarnation.  By faith we know that before the creation of the world, this plan of incarnation existed in the mind of God.  Then God made known His plan to Eve, and gave the promise of its fulfillment (Gen. 3:15).

 

This promise was renewed to His people, generation after generation.  At the set time, the promise was fulfilled.  The incarnation is now a historical fact which the Church confesses, and the world acknowledges.  But for the Christian, it is more than a historical fact.  Jesus Christ is a present, living reality to every true believer.  We know Him.  We have a personal relationship with Him.  We walk and talk with Him.  We see Him in creation and in the lives of one another.  We see Him in every new born baby.  We see Him when we see love.  We see His justice moving across the earth.  We see Him in the signs of the times.

 

We know the purpose of our LORD’S first coming was fully accomplished: that He was “born to raise the sons of earth, born to give them second birth.”

 

 1 John 3:2:  We know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. 

 

Ro. 8:19: For the earnest expectation of the creature waits for the manifestation of the sons of God.

 

In them He will display His grace, power and glory throughout all eternity.  This will be the fulfillment of the incarnation of God manifest in the flesh.

 

 

1 Cor. 6:20: “…glorify and bear God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

 

The complete satisfaction of God’s redemptive work was not attained in the mere creation of the human body.  It is in His union with us that God’s fellowship with man is fulfilled.  Christ in us the hope of Glory.

 

The early church commemorated our LORD’S first coming by looking forward to His second advent.  They worshipped the Babe of Bethlehem as the firstborn of many brethren.  Those who were watching for Him recognized His coming was the culmination of centuries of prophetic utterance and expectation.  This Rod out of the stem of Jesse (Isa. 11:1) is the glorious Branch, the full flower of the faith of God’s chosen race.  The plan of God came to the hour of promised performance!  Our God is a God of performance.  Abraham, the father of the faithful, staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God and being fully persuaded that what He had promised He was able also to perform.  (Ro. 4: 20-21)

 

Likewise, Elizabeth cried out to Mary, the chosen vessel of grace, Blessed is she that believed; for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord. (Lk. 1:45)

 

Immutable is the law of God:  According to your faith be it unto you. (Mt. 9:29)

 

As God dealt with His chosen race, so He deals with each of His redeemed.  His incarnation in each one of us begins with the new birth in Christ and continues on until He has subdued and redeemed each believer---spirit, soul, mind, and body.  What a glorious and great salvation is begun in us. 

 

He that has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. (Phil. 1:6)

 

Each individual vessel of God passes through cycles of experiences similar to those of His people Israel, and of His chosen vessel, Mary.  I recently preached on the Seven Separations of Abraham as a type and shadow of the separations and new beginnings set before us.

 

Following the initial rebirth, there comes times of revelation---an illumination about the plan and purpose of God for our life.  Many other life cycles follow.  No one gets a free pass into the glory.  The glory of God is on the other side of the cross.  We will each bear our own cross. 

 

The cycles of life may combine or overlap.  The greater the call on one’s life, the greater the cost; yet to those who are called to greatness, His grace is sufficient.  If each one of us is fulfilling our destiny in each season of our life, our reward will be as great as those whose calls appear to be greater.  Those who are chosen for greatness will carry their cross.

 

The Lord deals with His chosen vessels in a variety of ways.  Each individual son will experience may different cycles during the years of preparation until we all come in the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. (Eph. 4:13)

 

Ephesians 4:13 is the ministry vision the LORD called on my life.

 

Frances Metcalfe gives the following summation of the order of the cycles of preparation as revealed to her by the Holy Spirit:

 

  1. Revelation
  2. Expectation
  3. Preparation
  4. Proclamation
  5. Separation
  6. Confirmation
  7. Exaltation
  8. Humiliation
  9. Deprivation
  10. Manifestation’
  11. Immolation
  12. Glorification
  13. Uttermost Salvation
  14. Consummation.

 

The pattern was carried out in Israel and in the manifestation of God in Jesus Christ.  It was wrought in Mary as she carried Him in her own body and gave Him birth.  Somewhere in these cycles we will find ourselves in the process of being brought into the fullness of the stature of Christ.

 

The new birth is only the beginning.  The Word must become flesh in us.  His very nature must be wrought in us.  This explains the years of testing and waiting, the seasons of pain and preparation, the postponed consummation of His fullness and glory, for which we yearn with ever-increasing desire.

 

God has a great plan for us.  He has given unto us exceedingly great and precious promises whereby we may become partakers of the divine nature. (2 Pet. 1:4)

 

He has covenanted with us that there shall be a performance of these promises, and that we shall be conformed to the image of His Son, and that His Son shall be manifest in us.

 

O Lord, hasten your Word to perform it. (Jer. 1:12)

 

If the Lord permits, next week I will take each one of these cycles of the Christian life using the preparation of Mary to receive the grace to bring to birth the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

 

Veiled in flesh the Godhead see,

Hail the incarnate Deity!

Pleased as man with man to dwell,

Jesus, our Immanuel.

(John Wesley – Hark The Herald Angels Sing)

 

Incarnation!  God manifest in flesh; God in the form of man!  Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness; God manifest in the flesh, seen of angels…” (1 Tim 3:16)

 

This has been the inspiration for countless hymns and the theme of innumerable sermons.  God manifest in flesh---essential tenet of the Christian faith!

 

C. Patmore:  “There is one secret, the greatest of all---a secret which no previous religion dares, even in enigma, to allege fully---which is stated with the utmost distinctness by our Lord and His Church.  I mean the doctrine of the incarnation regarded not only as a historical event which occurred 2000 years ago, but n event which is renewed in the body of every believer who is in the way to the fulfillment of his/her divine destiny.”

 

Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries Church

www.eastgateministries.com

Scripture from K.J.V., N.K.J.V. and NET.  I entered into the labors of Frances Metcalfe, Ladies of Gold, Volume 2; quotes from C. Patmore and lyrics by John Wesley.  Comments and conclusions are my own and not meant to reflect the views of those who I entered into their labors.

 
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