Positional Truth - Who We Are In Christ

Programme 7: Knowing our New Birth

Today we are continuing our series on Positional Truth. Many people try to discover who they are through tracing their family ancestry and history. In this way they hope to find some meaning and purpose to their lives. Perhaps they sense that they are not just a disconnected individual (as modern society tends to view things) but part of something bigger and they can only find their identity by connecting with that. They want to know their positional truth, that is who they are on the basis of their birth. You see many things about us are automatically true just on the basis of our birth. It was automatically established from my birth that I was male and British.
My upbringing and place in life was largely determined by the position and wealth of my parents. I inherited many of my characteristics from my parents. All these things about me that were true from my birth are called Positional truth and they don’t change.We can think of ourselves as just isolated self-made individuals. Our identity and meaning is tied up with our birth.

The Bible agrees, for God did not create each man separately like He made each of angels as separate creations. Instead He made Adam, the first man, with the ability to reproduce himself. That means by birth we are sons of Adam, part of the family of man, and we inherited the family’s status, position and condition, whether we like it or not. We were born in Adam (that’s our position) and so we have to reap the consequences of his decisions and actions. We were in Adam when he sinned, so we all sinned in Adam and so the whole human race fell through Adam’s sin. 
 
 Sin, curse and death came upon the whole human race as a result. Simply though being BORN in Adam we inherited a sin-nature in the flesh, a dead spirit, a body doomed to death, and a certainty of future judgement. Although our own personal sins confirmed our sinful condition, all these things were already sure at our birth. We inherited positional truth from Adam because we were born in Adam. If the PM declared war on Russia then we would be at war with Russia simply because of our position in the UK. We might not think its fair, but that is how it is for we are part of a bigger family.
 
 If in Adam we were born in sin and are destined for judgement what hope is there for us? No hope, UNLESS God can provide us another birth, that will override our first birth and create a new positional truth for us. And that is exactly what God has done for us in Christ, the 2nd Adam, 2Corinthians 5:17,18: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a New Creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ.” 
 
It is the creation of something altogether new -that is all of God-untouched by the fall. Something filled and dominated by God’s eternal life. It's not patching up the first birth - but something new. 
Through His death and resurrection Jesus became the head of a new creation, a new human race that derived its nature and destiny (PT) from Him rather than from Adam. When we receive Christ as our Lord and Saviour, we are put into Christ and His life and nature are put into us through the New Birth. By simply being in Christ we inherit a completely new PT that replaces our Adamic PT. 
 
 We had inherited from Adam a position and state of sin before God, where we stood under His judgement. But now we have received Christ’s position of righteousness and acceptance before God.

2Corinthians 5:21: “We are the righteousness of God in Christ.”

 
 Spiritually we are now in Christ rather than in Adam, and although our body is still derived from Adam, it too will finally be changed to be a Christ-like body. God gives us a rebirth in Christ so that we are now born into a wonderful inheritance, kingdom and eternal life (PT). 
 
 In John 3:1-16 Jesus announced that this was exactly what God would do for us. He chose Nicodemus, a man who had everything going for him in the natural (an Israelite, a respected VIP, intelligent, well-off, a good moral man, a Teacher). His positional truth was impeccable and yet Jesus made it clear that even Nicodemous needed to be REBORN. 
 
 v3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.”
 Jesus shocked Nicodemous by saying that his real problem was in his birth for while he remains in Adam he is in satan’s kingdom, doomed to destruction. Therefore to enter God’s Kingdom He needs a second birth. When Nicodemus pointed out that a second physical birth was impossible, Jesus explained that the second birth was different. 
 
 It was a rebirth of the inner man, the spirit:
v5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is 
(1) born of water and (2) the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” 2 Births are needed - (1) the natural birth - through the water of the womb and (2) a supernatural birth of the Spirit. 
He confirms this in v6: That which is (1) born of the flesh is flesh, 
and that which is (2) born of the Spirit is spirit. 
 We need a 2nd birth by the Spirit. It is the rebirth of our spirit! 
v7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 
 
 What was wrong with our first birth? 'What is born of flesh is flesh' (v6). By physical birth we inherited a sinful nature (in the flesh) from Adam. Everything reproduces after its kind. When Adam sinned he died spiritually and he came under the power of sin in the flesh resulting in physical and eternal death. God had warned Adam: “Dying (spiritually) you shall die(physically)”(Genesis 2:17) The result of being in Adam, the result of my first birth is that we had a dead spirit and we needed it to be made alive again (resurrected). Thus to enter God's Kingdom we needed a new birth.
 
 By comparing these 2 births, Jesus implied that the New Birth is just as real as our 1st Birth. HOW does it happen? Nicodemous actually asked that in v4, and Jesus answered by describing it as the supernatural work of the Spirit. He said: As we were born from the water of our mother’s womb so we are born through the Spirit. The Spirit of God surrounds our spirit like water in the womb surrounds the baby, and recreates and makes our spirit alive, imparting eternal life to it. Then He said that the action of the SPIRIT in the New Birth is just like the action of the WIND:
  
 “The WIND (same word as SPIRIT) blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (v8)
 
 (1) The wind of the Spirit blows on us. It is God's work
- we just receive the action of the wind.
  
 (2) It is invisible but has tangible results. The wind communicates energy and power. You can't see it but when He blows on you and regenerates you - it's very real and causes real changes in your life.
 
 (3) The wind blows according to laws - it moves from high to low pressure,as in breathing. When you expand your lungs you create low pressure which draws the air in. Likewise, when there are the right conditions of receptivity in human heart (FAITH) - the Spirit blows into our spirit and imparts Eternal Life into you.
“Nicodemus answered and said to Him, “How can these things be?” - how can I have the Spirit blow upon me and recreate me? (v9)
At this point Jesus pointed to Himself and what He would do on the Cross, saying that it was when we believed in Him as the Son of God and in His death and resurrection that we receive this New Birth:
 
 v14-17: “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have (possess) eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have ETERNAL LIFE.”
 
 Jesus used a story from Numbers 21:9 to explain this. The Israelites were in sin and had been bitten by snakes causing them to die. We also have all been bitten by the snake of sin and its poison in us means we are all under the power of death. God's remedy for Israel was a brass serpent lifted up on a pole. Those who LOOKED in faith at it LIVED. They received LIFE. New Life entered them, delivering them from the snake bite of death. Jesus said this was a picture of God’s provision for all men when He would be lifted up on the Cross 
 
 The serpent represented their sin. Brass symbolises judgment. So the brass serpent represented their sin judged (rendered harmless). When Israel looked at the brass serpent lifted up on the stake, they saw their sin judged and dealt with by God and so they received life. Likewise when Jesus was lifted up on the Cross He took our sin and our sin was judged upon Him. So that all who look in faith on Jesus bearing our sin on the Cross receive the benefit of what He did there. They receive ETERNAL LIFE (the New Birth). When we accept the Cross where our old man was crucified with Christ and our new man (spirit) was made available, the Spirit blows upon us removing the old and bringing forth the new. Thus we received NEW LIFE. 
This new life we possess is called ETERNAL LIFE (God's Life and Nature). This rebirth is for WHOSOEVER WILL. It is up to each man to receive it or not. 
 
 v14-17: “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever BELIEVES in Him should not perish but HAVE (possess) ETERNAL LIFE. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever BELIEVES IN HIM (as the Eternal Son of God) should not perish but have ETERNAL LIFE.”*Believe in Him as son of man who died on the cross for our sins and as the Son of God. Believe God gave His Son to the world, who became a man and died for our sins and rose again -see v13. Thus the New-Birth involves eternal life being imparted to our spirit by the Holy-Spirit when we believe in Jesus as the Son of God and what He did for us in His death on the Cross paying the penalty for our sins. By this Birth we now possess eternal life in our spirit and we automatically become sons of God in His Family and CITIZENS of His Kingdom, inheriting and sharing in all His blessings (“He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ” - Ephesians 1:3). It is a rebirth of our spirit so that it possesses ETERNAL LIFE (the life and nature of Christ).
 
 Titus 3:4-6: “When the kindness and the love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour.” It must be by GRACE - no one can take credit for his birth. Regeneration washes away the old-man and renews our spirit.
 
 It is a supernatural work of God: “As many as received Him (Christ) to them He gave the right to become the children of God, to those who believe in His Name (as the Son of God), who were BORN NOT of blood, NOR of the will of the flesh, NOR of the will of man (it had nothing to do with us being born in the right family or something that we did to earn it) BUT (born) OF GOD” (John 1:12,13). 
 
 It is God Himself who regenerated us and gave us this new-birth! God, our Father, actually gave birth to us. Therefore He is now called the Father of our spirits (Hebrews 12:9). God is now literally our Father. He re-birthed our spirits in His perfect image. This is REGENERATION - to be born again, to be born of God, where God's LIFE recreates our spirit and we become CHILDREN of GOD, sharing His NATURE. That’s why 2Peter 1 says that: “His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness” (v3), and that we are: “partakers of the divine nature” (v4).
This new nature within is described in Galatians 5:23 as love, joy, peace, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness etc - the fruit of the spirit. As the BIRTH of a new-baby brings much joy to the father and mother who have brought forth a new life, so our new birth caused much rejoicing in Heaven. A baby does nothing to earn his birth, but automatically he has sonship in a family and citizenship in a Kingdom, and is a full inheritor of all the blessings and provisions of his Family and Kingdom. He has come to life with a nature inherited from his parents - LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON. 
 
 All this is true of THE NEW BIRTH. It is impossible by our own efforts, but God by His grace (on the basis of the Blood) regenerated our spirits in the perfect image of Christ and put His royal seal (the Holy-Spirit) within and upon us, indicating that our spirit is a finished, perfect work that belongs fully to Him (Eph 1:14). 
 
 In Adam, as sons of Adam, we inherited everything of Adam, but in Christ, now we are sons of God, and so we inherit everything of God and Christ (righteousness, new birth, new nature): 
Galatians 3:26-29: “For you are all SONS of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ (in the inner man in the New Birth). There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and HEIRS according to the promise.”
 
 Galatians 4:6,7: And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a SON, and if a SON, then an HEIR of God (the Father)through Christ. 
 
 Romans 8:15-17: “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are CHILDREN of God, and if CHILDREN, then HEIRS—HEIRS of God and JOINT HEIRS with Christ.” Inheritance includes new life/nature in new birth, indwelling Holy-Spirit.We are truly new creations and everything has changed for us! Now all things that we have in us in the new-creation in Christ are of God -2Cor 5:18 (inherited from Father). Therefore the key to discoving our true identity, purpose, nature, abilities, resources and destiny is not by discovering who we are from our first birth, but who we are in our second (new) birt h, “for the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2). *GAL 3:13, 2Cor5:17,18 total change of PT, Christ PT (blessing) replacing Adamic PT (curse) thro death (end of old PT) and resurrection (intro of new PT) Just as our natural birth defined who we were and what we had in life, so now the same is true about our spiritual birth. We need to discover now who we are and what we have in our inheritance in Christ. We need to know where we are going and what resources we have in Christ to get there.

Home

Books

About Us

Events

Teachings

Bible Commentary

Media

Shop

Donate

Contact

Print

OBC Office

363 Banbury Road
Oxford - England - UK
OX2 7PL
Telephone: +44 (0)1865 515086
Fax: +44 (0) 8721 107068
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Print

Sunday Services

Sundays at 11am and 6pm
Cheney School Hall
Cheney Lane - Headington
Oxford - England - UK
OX3 7QH