“Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).
Jesus said that, it wasn’t me. In my humble opinion, that means we are all born losers…because unless we receive a rebirth of our Spirit, we shall not enter God’s rest. In Christianity, that is commonly called “born into sin” or “born in sin”.
Though we are losers by birth and natural heritage, we have great potential to become winners. In fact, Jesus already did the leg work, and paved the way. He just asks us to believe in Him and follow in His steps…bearing own own crosses (Matt 16:24). We must never forget that part. About the Cross.
Because if we follow Jesus and do not understand His cross nor accept and bare our own, we will find ourselves at the gates of the Kingdom, being turned away, as He says “depart from Me you workers of iniquity, I never knew you!” (Matt 7:23).
Sure, you may have done many good things and not many bad…but all your works apart from the Cross is fruitless; futility and “iniquity”. It is the power of the Cross that saves and transforms sinners to saints, and losers to winners. But, that wasn’t why I decided to write this post.
I was just ruminating about how easy it is for us to give up and lose, rather than to push on to win. It was then I realised that by default, we are losers. We are prone to lose, it is innate. Thus, losers are born but winners are made through trials and temptations (1 Pet 1:6-7). Winning is not something we are privileged with by birth, but something we have to work out, with faithfulness. Thus we are told:
“Work out your salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil 2:12); and
“Let him who thinks he stands, take heed lest he falls” (1 Cor 10:12); and
“He who endures to the end shall be saved” (Matt 24:13).
It is truly a race that must be run with endurance and faithfulness, if we are to arise as winners (1 Cor 9:24-27). But if we turn away and give up, we show ourselves to be losers, and God says, He shall have no pleasure in such (Luke 9:62; Heb 10:38).
Now, the significance of the Cross is the rebirth. The Cross signifies death to self, which is needed BEFORE a rebirth or resurrection, which is to everlasting life (the gift of God). This we must do daily, as we carry our own crosses daily. When we pick up our cross and follow Jesus, we die to ourselves, so that we can live for Him, gloriously and victoriously. We are no longer losers, we have become winners. Get this:
“Any man who seeks to save his life will lose it, but if you lose it for the sake of the Kingdom, you will gain it…” (Luke 17:33); and
“There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life…” (Mark 10:29-30); and again
“Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it abides alone (unprofitable loser!), but if it dies, it brings forth much fruit (righteous winner)” (John 12:24).
Every day, we choose to be losers by preserving self, or winners by dying to ourselves. It’s the secret to life! “No pain, no gain,” they say. Even and especially in marriage. If you do not know and live by the Cross, you have not known the Christ nor His power in your life!
When you follow Christ, the wisdom of the Cross becomes so much more meaningful and beautiful, as you realize the divine power in losing to gain, dying to live and stooping to conquer. To the world, it is foolishness, but to us, it is glorious saving WISDOM (1 Cor 1:18)! That was the power that redeemed the world through the death of the Son of God. And to enter into that Kingdom, we must become dead to self and alive to Him (Gal 2:20)!
So, Brothers and Sisters, being born again isn’t just a spiritual experience that you do not feel in your flesh. When your flesh screams and shouts and fights for preservation, know that you are in the throes of a rebirth! Stay on that Cross until self is put to death, even if it takes your whole life! Being born again is a lifetime of submission to the Spirit of Truth, which humbles us, breaks us and transforms us into His beautiful image of Love.
And the winners are… May your name be mentioned among the righteous. Amen.
“Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses” (1 Tim 6:12).
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