1 Peter 2: 1-3

1 Peter 2: 1-3 Reading from the King James version, these are my thoughts: If you have experienced God’s grace, then control the words you speak and desire the pure Word of God…for your own growth and in good grace towards others. Speak His Word, His truth, not your own opinions.
Now, reading the Amplified version….. (The Amplified Bible is a version in which the translators took into account the detailed and specific meanings of the original Hebrew and Greek manuscripts. For example, in English we have the general word salesman, but the words grocher and butcher are more specific salesmen and give a more defined idea. So, the Amplified Bible is a very good version for Bible study.)
Amplified version: “So be done with every trace of wickedness (depravity, malignity), and all deceit and insincerity (pretense, hypocrisy), and grudges (envy, jealousy), and slander and evil speaking of every kind. Like new born babes, you should crave (thirst for, earnestly desire) the pure (unadulterated) spiritual milk, so that by it you may be nurtured and grow unto completed salvation.”
So much more stands out to me…..”be done with”
Be done with EVERY trace of wickedness….one definition of wicked is to be crooked or twisted as in wicker….so be done with twisted truth.
Be done with deceit and insincerity….no lying, not even little white lies, no pretending, no putting on a “front”, no insincerity, no manipulation.
Be done with grudges.
Be done with envy….wanting something you see that others have that you do not have (consider media advertising and how it lures people to envious desire).
Be done with slander and speaking evil…including gossip (even prayer chain gossip) or vain, empty chit chat, or swearing. Read the book of James if you want deeper insight into what God considers to be evil speaking.
You are now born again into a new and living way, so like the new born babe you are, crave pure spiritual milk to grow up. Begin by reading the Bible…ingesting God’s Words into your spirit. Be done with drinking everything the world offers…..and wordly media is always spilling out garbage. The pure spiritual milk is the way you complete the salvation you have entered into! Earnestly desire and seek to grow up spiritually!
Matthew 5: 6 Amplified version, “Blessed and fortunate and happy and spiritually prosperous (in that state in which the born again child of God enjoys His favor and salvation) are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (uprightness and right standing with God), for they will be completely satisfied.”

1 Peter 1: 13-25

1 Peter 1:13 Amplified version, “So, brace up your minds, be sober (circumspect, morally alert), set your hope wholly and unchangeably on the grace (divine favor) that is coming to you when Jesus Christ (The Messiah) is revealed.” so much in this one verse. What appropriate instructions for today!
Brace yourselves…especially in your mind. Be sober…meaning habitually temperate, serious, conscientious, and contemplative. Circumspect meaning to be discerning and cautious. Be morally alert….discerning good from evil according to truth. Put your hope wholly into Jesus. Be unchanging in your focus on Jesus and knowing that you have divine favor from Him and can trust Him through everything. This age and life is temporary. When Jesus Christ comes and is revealed, then our eternal hope will be realized. This is certain and sure….something solid we can stand on and keep in mind to brace ourselves in Him!

1 Peter 1: 13-17 We have been reading in 1 Peter 1 how Father, Son, and Holy Spirit planned before the foundation of the world to have a family in love relationship. They prophesied and continue tow rok out their plan. We are offered adoption into His family and kingdom by being born again spiritually through Jesus. Now, we need to change and learn to live His lifestyle, righteous ways, and in His character. He is the head of the house, the Father. We are not to live under our old worldly lifestyle when we were ignorant of His good ways. he is holy, set apart to live right ways. We should be the same and follow Him now. During our temporary residence on earth, we should conduct ourselves with true reverence (honor) and obedience to Him. He is the Judge of all, and judges all conduct impartially. Claiming to be His children and carrying His name should give us more reason to be a good example. We need to continue to examine ourselves and inquire of Him if we are still on His narrow road of righteous living.

1 Peter 1: 18-21 Do you realize that you were ransomed, rescued, bought back out of the humanistic traditions of the world and into a new and living way? And you were not purchased with worldly corruptible silver or gold, but by the precious blood of Jesus, our spotless sacrificial Lamb! Jesus was foreordained for this purpose before the foundation of the world. It was prophesied, but now in these last days, Jesus has manifested and fulfilled it all for our sakes. Through Jesus we believe, adhere to, rely on God, so that our faith and hope are centered and rest on Him. Be encouraged and keep the faith for He is faithful; and we, His spiritually born again children, are very precious to Him! Hold fast!
1 Peter 1: 21-25 Being a believer, you have become obedient to Truth through the Holy Spirit and also purified your heart by that choice. You were made new by the immortal Word of God made flesh. The mortal flesh will pass away, but the Word of God remains and endures forever. This is the good news preached to you when you were born again in Jesus. He loved you and He loves all His people, so also you should love your brothers and sisters in Christ.

1 Peter 1: 8-12 Studies

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Continuing in 1 Peter 1……

1 Peter 1: 8-9 How true! “Jesus Christ, whom having not seen, you love.” Many unbelievers claim they cannot believe in something or someone they cannot see. But, in reality, there are many things people believe without seeing….an adopted child believes they have a biological mother they have never seen; we believe what we are taught about minute cell structure even to the far expanse of the universe without really seeing them; a blind person uses senses other than physical sight to live in this world.
There is a spiritual sense that is more than physical sight. Like the blind person can magnify other senses to replace physical sight, so our spiritual sense can go beyond our physical sight. Plus, Jesus taught that we cannot see the Holy Spirit, but we can see the effects of Him…… like the wind (John 3: 6-8).
We can come to know and love Jesus, who we have not yet seen physically. I am also reminded however, that believing in Jesus is not “blind faith”. There is evidence for Jesus as the risen Savior and Lord that can be examined, IF people take the time and effort to search Him out! Those who do not see HIm, yet, believe, will find inexpressible joy and the revelation of His glory unto the total receiving of the fullness of their faith, which is the full salavtion of their soul. Yes, it is not really so hard to beleive in someone or something you cannot see physically. You can personally, with certainty in your soul, know God in the persons of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

1 Peter 1: 10-12 This salvation through Yeshua Jesus which we now rejoice in and experience was searched and inquired for carefully by the prophets. They were seeking God for the what and when details for this promise of grace. The Holy Spirit spoke to them beforehand of the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. It was revealed to them that their prophesies would not be for themselves in their lifetime on earth, but for those in the future. Yeshua Jesus came just as prophesied, fulfilling all thier prophecies. Later in 2 Peter 1: 16-21, Peter makes this same point again – the disciples, including Peter, had been eyewitnesses to the honor and glory of the Father bestowed upon Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit working through Him, BUT, by Yeshua Jesus fulfilling the prophecies concerning the Messiah, that made the evidence even more sure.
And now, the good news/gospel of salvation is being spread across the world through the Holy Spirit working through God’s people, just as He worked through and inspired God’s prophets of old. Only now, when we choose to be in Christ, the Holy Spirit indwells us at our salvation and our restoration into relationship with God. That prophesied promise of grace is NOW available to all who will believe, trust in, rely on, love, and follow Jesus! The angels desire to look into all these amazing things that God is doing for and in His people who are being created in His image and likeness!!!
How marvelous is the love of God for His sons and daughters!!! How deep is His love, mercy, and grace! How longsuffereing, patient, and full of compassion! Yet, all in perfect wisdom and upholding holiness, righteousness, truth, and justice! How precious does He esteem His beloved one in true faithful love (giving of one’s heart), that He also allows choice to leave Him, as well as to come to Him voluntarily, of their own will. His ways are higher than ours. Words cannot express the full marvelous character of God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. My heart shouts, “Thank You, Thank You, Thank You to Father, Yeshua, and the Holy Spirit!!! I love You! “

1 Peter 1 Beginning a New Study

Epistles of Peter
1 Peter 1
Verse 1 – Peter was the disciple/apostle sent to the Jews to tell them that Yeshua Jesus really is their promised Messiah. He begins writing this letter to “pilgrims” (New King James version). Remember that in 70AD, Rome destroyed Jerusalem and the Jews either were killed or scattered into other nations. These people to whom Peter writes, were Christians who had been Jews and now were living in a new unknown land. It made me think of Thanksgiving and the Christian pilgrims who came to America for a new life. Then, I had the thought that when we are “born again” in Jesus, we begin a new life! We may have been “religious” Christians, but when we are truly united with Yeshua Jesus in a real relationship, we become citizens of His new kingdom! In these verses, religious Jews had become followers of Jesus and citizens in a new kingdom, a new land….physically and spriitually. Now, like these Jews, we need to learn to know how we are supposed to live in this new place! And continue to give thanks for His blessings! Happy Thanksgiving!

Verse 2 – Peter, the apostle to the scattered Jews who are now Christians (believers who know Yeshua Jesus is their promised Messiah), reminds them that they are the elect according to the foreknowledge of God. Did you ever stop to realize that the omniscient Father, Son, and Holy Spirit knew what it would take in the future for them to finally end up with a family of people of their own, a family in love? Yet, they determined it would be worth it all! And beginning with Abraham, God elected the Jews to bring Yeshua Jesus into the world as Savior. And not only to be saved in Jesus, but to be sanctified (set apart to be purified and holy) by the Holy Spirit! And all by being obedient to receiving the sacrificial blood of Jesus! This was very costly for Father, Son, and Holy Spirit! It is costly to us in that we must also give our lives to Him! We certainly do have grace and peace with God multiplied towards us!

Verses 1-2 In case you are wondering, this message of 1 Peter is not only for Christian Jews. Peter wrote it to Christian Jews so that gives the message a unique perspective, but it is also for all God’s people. There is now no more division between Jew and Gentile. The dividing factor is now either those in Christ or those outside of Christ. Those in Christ are now God’s elect, those He desired before the foundation of the world. If you would like cross references, read Romans and Ephesians 1. Hallelujah!
Ephesians 1: 3-5 Amplified version, “May blessing (praise, laudation, and eulogy) be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) Who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual (given by the Holy Spirit) blessing in the heavenly realm! Even as [in His love] He chose us [actually picked us out for Himself as His own] in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy (consecrated and set apart for Him) and blameless in His sight, even above reproach, before Him in love. For He foreordained us (destined us, planned in love for us) to be adopted (revealed) as His own children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the purpose of His will (because it pleased Him and was His kind intent)”.

1 Peter 1 : 1-2 Amplified version – Reading these verses in the Amplified version gives additional revelation. Verse 1 specifies tha the Christian Jews who were scattered abroad after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD, were also sowed! They were sowed into all nations for the spreading of the gospel! Remember, at Jesus ascension, He commanded us to go into all the world and teach the gospel/good news of peace with God through Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit. In verse 2, the Amplified version also points out that they were sanctified (set apart and made holy) by the Holy Spirit to continue to be obedient to Yeshua Jesus. We are also to continue in being sanctified, set apart to be made righteous in character, thought, and behavior). The last portion of verse 2 speaks of grace and spiritual peace to be given to us in spiritual abundance! Yes, in abundance!!! This peace is realized through Christ. It is peace that is freedom from fears, agitating passions (emotions), and moral confilcts. We are given the peace that passes understanding (Philippians 4:7). Wow! We surely need that today! We must look to Christ, the Author and Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). Keep your eyes on Jesus!

1 Peter 1: 3-6 Praise/honor God and Jesus Christ, who was resurrected so that we can be “born again” in spirit to become adopted children of God! We have an ever living hope with an inheritance reserved in heaven for us that will never change, is imperishable, cannot be soiled, and will never fade. And we are now being guarded/garrisoned by God’s power through our faith until we inherit that final salvation. We are not living alone, ever again! What a joy it will be when that unimaginable heavenly inheritance is revealed to us in the last time. We have good reason to be exceedingly glad, even if now we encounter distress, troubles, trials, and temptations. This age is temporary, our inheritance in Christ is eternal!

1 Peter 1: 6-7 In Christ there is great reward, even if now in this world there exists trouble, distress, suffereing, and temptations. The genuineness of our faith is being tested, the same way precious gold is purified by fire. In exercising our faith in God, it becomes stronger and is purified. Our relationship gorws ever strong, deeper, and righteous. Our growing trust in God is much more precious than gold!!! The intent/purpose is to result in our giving of honor, praise, and glory to Jesus at His return and revelation. Because we are His, we will overcome with Him, in Him, and through Him. People will finally see that our relationship with Jesus is real and that our loyal faith is in love, in truth, is overcoming, and with great reward.

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Blessings through God’s Word.

Chapter 13 Why I Believe In The Return of Jesus Christ

We come to the last chapter of this book, “Why I Believe” by D James Kennedy. Appropriately, it ends the same way as the Bible with the return of Jesus Christ to earth, as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
“Behold He comes with clouds, and every eye will see him….” Revelation 1:7
“Let not your heart be troubled, believe in God, believe also in Me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself, that whre I am, there you may be also.” John 14: 1-3
The fact of Jesus return to earth is written over 300 times in the Bible. Prophecy demands it. The completely trustworthy and true Word of God demands it.
Yet, there have been and will continue to be scoffers…..
“Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” 2 Peter 3:4
Not only is Jesus surely returning, but He gave us signs to watch for that time. There will an increase in number and intensity of earthquakes, famines, wars, terrorisms, diseases and plagues, and martyrdom. These troubles will be accompanied by an explosion of knowledge, yet never coming to truth (2 Timothy 3:7).
There will be great increase in immorality, sexual perversion, and violoent behavior (rioting and crime). People will tolerate and even honor corruption instead of pursuing God and righteousness. People will be saying that evil is good and good is evil. We see this today when people say sin is OK because we must compromise in love and allow every individual freedom to establish their own moral law….and when people say good moral standards are not good because they are restrictive, biased, intolerable, uncompasionate, old fashioned, and insensitive.
1 Timothy 3: 1-5, 13 “But understand this, that in the last days will come perilous times of great stress and trouble (hard to deal with and hard to bear). For people will be lovers of self and utterly self centered, lovers of money and aroused by an inordinate greedy desire for wealth, proud and arrogant and contemptuous boasters. They will be abusive, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane. They will be without natural human affection, relentless, slanderers (false accusers), troublemakers, intemperate and loose in morals and conduct, uncontrolled and fierce, haters of good. They will be treacherous betrayers, rash, and inflated with self-conceit. They will be lovers of sensual pleasures and vain amusements more than and rather than lovers of God. For although they hold a form of piety (religion), they deny and reject and are strangers to the power of it (their conduct belies the genuineness of their profession). Avoid all such people (turn away from them)……wicked men and imposters will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and leading astray others and being deceived and led astray themselves.”
Matthew 24:37, “As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.”
I find it very interesting that this book was written in 1980, and D. James Kennedy passed on to meet the Lord in 2007; yet, he writes that he sees the world in a terrible state of chaos and despair back then. What does that say about the state we find the world in today? It has become much worse!
And we are much closer to the return of Jesus Christ now! Are you ready? Are you ready for Jesus to return as King, Lord, and Judge? Does it cause you to fear or rejoice? For those who do not know Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, the day of His return will be a dark and terrible day! For those of us who do know and love Jesus Christ and put our trust in Him, we will rejoice in His final victory over evil! I say, “Come Lord Jesus!” Yet, for the sake of those who do not yet know You in personal relationship, I say thank You Lord for your love, longsuffering, and patience to delay, that they may also respond to Your gift of salvation and turning to You to be saved. Blessed is our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ (Yeshua Messiah)!

Chapter 12 Why I Believe In The Holy Spirit

I recall when I first became aware that the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit were individual personalities to whom I could relate, yet one God. I had been talking to Jesus since I was a young child….my Mother taught me that prayer was talking to Jesus. But, I suddenly realized that I should also talk to and get to know my Heavenly Father and the Holy Spirit. I started with the Father because I did not yet have a grasp on who the Holy Spiirit was. I think many people do not realize they can have a relationship with the Father and the Holy Spirit, as well as with Jesus.
The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are always united as one, think as one, work as one, and are identical as a unity. But, each is an individual personality with their own part in their mission. Remember the baptism of Jesus? All three were present at the same time in unity, but the Father’s voice spoke of being well pleased in His Son, the Holy Spirit descended as a dove, and Jesus humbled Himself to be anointed by the Father and the Holy Spirit to be prepared for His mission. There was the expression of three personality, but in one purpose.
D. James Kennedy explains that the Holy Spiriit is not just a force or an “it”, but rather a personality, a person. Unlike a force, the Holy Spirit has a personality, an intellect, a will, emotions, and can communicate. A force or “it” like electricity or gravity can do none of these things. Kennedy also explains that in the original Greek of the New Testament, the pronouns referencing the Holy Spirit are masculine, therefore the Holy Spirit it a he and not a she.
We can get to know the Holy Spirit, who He is and His ministry, in the Bible.
John 16:8 The Holy Spirit convicts of sin, regenerates, cleanses, sanctifies, makes pure, leads into righteousness.
Romans 8:26-27 The Spirit helps us in our weakness, knows our hearts and minds, helps us pray, intercededs for us
1 Corinthians 2:11, John 16:13, John 15:26 The Spirit knows all the things of God. He even knows the future. Whatever He hears from the Father and the Son, He speaks. He testifies of Jesus.
1 Corinthians 12:11 The Spirit gives God’s people gifts.
Acts 13:2, Acts 20:28 The Holy Spirit appoints leaders in the church.
1 John 5:6, Romans 8:9-16 The Spirit bears witness with our spirits that we are the children of God.
1 Corinthians 3:16 The Spirit indwells every true follower of Jesus.
Galatians 5: 22-23 The Holy Spirit bears good fruit in and through us…love, joy, peace, patience, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self control.
On page 146, Kennedy lists some of the work of the Holy Spirit: participatied in the creation of the world, inspired and authored the writing of the scriptures/Bible, caused Jesus to be conceived in the womb of Mary, baptized Jesus, led and empowered Jesus, raised Jesus from the dead, was poured out on people at Pentecost and continues to be poured out on people today, inspires and encourages and empowers God’s people today!
While every believer/follower of Jesus has the measure of the Holy Spirit, not all are full of the Holy Spirit. We humans are leaky vessels. First, it is important to get full, and then to keep being filled up. First, ask for the Holy Spirit to fill you full of Himself. This is called the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. There ia a baptism of water, but also a baptism of the spirit. The baptism of water is like the baptism of John the Baptist. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is like the infilling of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. It is best to have both.
Luke 11:13, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heaveenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them who ask Him?”
Then, keep filling up with the Holy Spirit and His Word daily.
James 1: 22-25 tells us that we are not supposed to just hear the Word and them go away and do nothing about it, we need to continue to walk in and by the Holy Spirit and His Word.
Acts 13:52, “And the disciples were continually filled (throughout their souls) with joy and the Holy Spirit.”
Epheisans 5:18, “Ever be filled and stimulated with the Holy Spirit.”
Also check out Colosians 1:9 and 2:10. We are to be filled and keep on being filled with the Holy Spirit. This is how we come to know the voice of the Holy Spirit and to follow His lead, instructions, and teachings. He is the perfect loving coach and mentor. The Bible calls Him our Comforter and Helper (John 14:16, 26, John 15:26, John 16:7).
What a great and marvelous blessing it is to get to know the Holy Spirit personally and be continually filled!

Chapter 11 Why I Believe In The Second Birth

Jesus said…
“I tell you the truth, unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God………You must be born again.” John 3:3, 7
And Jesus spoke this to Nicodemus, a religious leader, a Pharisee! So, this applies even to church leaders and church memebers, as well as sinners outside the church!
This chapter is a MUST, so we need to give it a lot of attention! The prior chapters are largely to give logic, facts, and evidence for faith in Jesus Christ (Yeshua the Messiah). As we have stated previously, even Satan believes that Jesus exists and is the Son of God and Savior of mankind, but Satan is NOT a follower who comes under the authority by faith in Jesus. The second birth puts us in a loyal relationship of Jesus by faith. The second birth is essential to being saved. True salvation is more than believing in Jesus.
In our generation, we tend to talk about being “born again” as believing in Jesus and saying a salvation prayer. Some people follow that model but then just go back to living in the world just as they did before! The difference in whether the prayer for ‘second birth” really resulted in true salvation is if it was prayed as a heart vow.
When you were “born again”, was it like a marriage vow? Did you determine to repent of your old life and now live your life under the authority and in union with Jesus as your spouse and head of household? Did you give Him your heart in lifelong loyalty? Did you change your name and identity from “world chaser” to “follower of Christ” (Christian)? Were you willing to let the old life fall behind you in order to take up the new life with Jesus?
This life surrender level of being “born again” also called “the second birth” is what the “old time” preachers of the gospel of Jesus preached. D James Kennedy mentions George Whitfield who was forceful in the Great Awakening. Other “old time” preachers with this message are Charles Spurgeon, A. W Tozer, Oswold Chambers and Andrew Murray. You can find many of their sermons, articles, and books online. Very good reading and video listening!
The whole message of the Bible, God’s Word, is new birth, regeneration, and restoration. It is the big picture and all the details coming together for His astonishing and unimmaginable purpose! Mankind chose to disobey and leave His authority and kingdom to pursue their own, and therefore fell away from God and His right way of being and doing (righteousness). Seed can only produce its own kind and therefore all mankind is born in sin with the consequence of death (separation from God). But, God promised mankind hope of restoration with Himself and into His kingdom of life through a Savior. The Bible tells us of this prophesied promise and its fulfillment in Jesus Christ! We can now choose to be regenerated into life out of death, and restored in relationship to Creator Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Our first physical birth is in sin and death, but we can ask for the new second birth of our spirit through Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit….if we are willing to take the “marriage vow” with God.
Here are some examples of this promised new second spiritual birth in Jesus Chrsit that the Bible teaches……
Beginning in Genesis in the Garden of Eden, the serpent became the symbol of Satan, sin, and disobedience. In Numbers 21, we find a disobedient people are attacked by serpents in the wilderness and the venom is killing them. God tells Moses to mount a bronze serpent on a pole and tell everyone that if they look upon it, they will be saved from the serpents. This was prophetic of Jesus Christ who would be lifted high on the cross and bear the sins of the world so that all who look upon Him will be saved and given eternal life!!! Jesus also teaches about this is John 3: 14-18.
We are born of water and the spirit. John 3:5, Acts 1:5, 1 John 5:8
We are made alive. “You has He quickened (made alive), who were dead in trespasses and sins.” Ephesians 2:1
It is passing from death into life….a resurrection from death. “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
It is being born of God, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible seed of the Word of God….Jesus is the Word of God made flesh. 1 Peter 1:23, John 1:14
It is being begotten again unto a living hope. 1 Peter 1:3
It is a washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit. Titus 3:5
It is a circumcision of the heart. Deuteronomy 30:6
It is the giving of a new heart. “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh (a heart designed to love God). Ezekiel 36:26
It is being given a new mind in Christ. “The natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness to him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 2 Corinthians 2:14
It is becoming His workmanship. Ephesians 2:10
This was the confession of faith for centuries! We can even see the “new birth” in Christmas songs. “O Little Town of Bethlehem” contains the words, “Be born in us today.” “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” tells us that Christ has come “to give us second birth”. “Joy to the World” says “Let every heart prepare Him room.”
There is real evidence for the second birth. Millions of people from all nations and all strata of life have experienced the “second birth” through total surrender to Jesus Christ and its resulting change of heart, mind, and life. They are transformed! Their testimony and the witness of their changed actions and behavior give evidence of the reality of the second birth of the spirit.
I agree with D James Kennedy when he says on page 136, “Most of all, I believe in the new birth because I have experienced it.” I had been raised in Christianity and believed in Jesus. But, there came a time as a young adult when I heard that there was more than “church memebership” and believing. My mother had taught me how to pray, so that is what I did one night all alone in my room. I had to ask Jesus about it and if it was true. Guess what? The second birth is true. I realized that I was not enough in myself. I would be moving from trusting myself to trusting in Jesus. This was a serious commitment to walking His way, not my way on my own! I decided to “marry” Jesus that night. I wanted to give up my old life with all its failures and inadequacies. I repented of my sins and asked His forgiveness that I might be made pure and holy and enabled to “marry” Him. I wanted to be like Jesus! I made a vow to love Him more than all others, to follow Him everywhere and anywhere, to be faithful and loyal in our love relationship, to do my best to please Him, to do my best to work together with Him through life and to belong to Him!
I had also heard about the second baptism of the Holy Spirit. I knew about and experienced the baptism of water, but had never experienced the baptism of the Holy Spirit. (Mark 1:8, Matthew 3:11, John 1:33, John 14, Acts 1:5, Acts 2, Acts 10: 44-46) So, I also asked Jesus about this truth, letting Him know that I also desired this being filled to the full in relationship with the Holy Spirit. I also experieced the Baptism of the Holy Spirit that same night. My spirit knew the truansformation and exploded in joy and thanksgiving! For me, it was a private matter, but totally transformed me and changed the direction of my life forever! I became a new person in Christ with a new identity and now living in a new kingdom authority! I determined to love and remain faithful to God forever to the best of my abilities and strengths!
Now, I have learned that when I experienced my second birth, it was also a death to “self”, as well as to the “old life” with primary focus on the physical life. One day, my physical body will see death, but my spirit has already been transformed from death to life and will never die again! I have eternal life in Jesus through my second birth! My name is now written in “The Lamb’s Bood of Life”. I will never experience the second death of the spirit, which is eternal separation from God, for those who are without Jesus Christ.
If you have not experienced the second birth, please ask Jesus! If you seek Him for it, you will find it. “Ask and it will be given, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:8, Luke 11L 9-10
“The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.” Revelation 22:17
Are you tired of trying to do life all alone? Are you willing to trust someone other than yourself? Are you feeling empty or without purpose? Do you find that no matter how much you gain, your heart is never satisfied? Do you desire a life transformation? Do you believe all the evidence this book has been presenting and now want to get to know Jesus personally?
Then, forsake your sinful life and be sorry for that past focus, failures and imperfections, and ask Jesus for forgiveness. Then come into a relationship with Jesus through a commited vow of heart and mind and confession. Ask Him to be your Savior and the Lord of your life! You will then belong to Him and no longer be enslaved under the authority of Satan and the fallen world. You are now His beloved and His workmanship! You will never walk alone again! Now, remain faithful! Read His Word so you can learn how He thinks, talks, and works. And, ask for the Holy Spirit to teach, lead, and guide you. What a blessed adventure…all the way through eternity! What a marvelous plan! What immeasureable love!

Chapter 10 Why I Believe In Christianity

D. James Kennedy makes a point to first clarify what he means by Christianity. He is talking about those who believe Jesus is the Son of God, Savior, and Lord; and therefore, read His Word to know Him more and follow Him more closely. He explains that he is aware that there are people who claim to be Christians, but are not true beleivers in relationship with Jesus or trying to follow Him.
“By their fruits you will know them.” Matthew 7:16
Then, he gives many examples of the fruits of Christians int eh world since the time of the early church. Some of these good fruits include….

  • the Christian church grew from 12 disciples into a huge powerful force in spite of Jesus not being well known and an impossible sounding resurection testimony and under intense persecution and martyrcom; it required supernatural guidance and assistance.
  • the love, protection, and value of children resulted from Christianity, most other past cultures and religions give absolute authority of parents to treat children as property,e ven to their abuse, sale into slavery, or to kill them.
  • the love, protection, value, and respect for women; in most heathen cultures and religions, women are also the possession of men and not given respect or freedom, but rather to be as submissive slaves expecting abuse if upleasant.
  • Christianity had a huge impact and influence in removing slavery as commonplace in the world
  • Christian missions helped to bring peace to tribal violence as well as abolishing cannibalism
  • Christianity has had a huge impact and influence in promoting education throughout the world, due to the belief that all should be enabled to read the Word of God in teh Bible for themselves
  • Christianity had a huge impact in the founding of America as a nation and democracy as a governmental system, ruled under God, by the people and for the people, with religious freedom.
  • Christian love and compassion have been at the root of many charities to feed, clothe, heal, and shelter the poor.
    Where would the world be without Christianity? We greatly take for granted the gifts of Christianity in which we live today! America and the world are now moving away from Christianity. What is to become of us as a result?

Chapter 9 Why I Believe In The Resurrection

“To whom also He showed Himself alive after His passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.” Acts 1:3
The resurrection of Jesus is the most important of all Christian doctrines. If Jesus was not raised from the dead, then he was a mere man, a religious cult leader. The resurrection of Jesus is the center of the Christian faith. Resurrection is unique to Jesus Christ.
Therefore, skeptics, atheists, and unbelievers have been trying to find proof against the resurrection for centuries. It seems it should be easy to disprove because resurrection sounds outrageous, right? On page 106, Kennedy says, “The evidence for the resurrection of Jesus has been examined more carefully than the evidence for any other fact of history! It has been weighed and considered by the greatest of scholars….” Yet, none has been able to disprove it! The evidence points to the truth. He mentions one such scholar, Frank Morrison, a British lawyer, who set out to write a book repudiating the resurrection. He found the evidence to confirm the resurrection so overwhelming that he became a believer and wrote a book, “Who Moved the Stone,” which gives his discovered evidence for the resurrection of Jesus! The first chapter of his book is called, “The Book That Refused To Be Written”.
Many have tried to prove that the resurrection of Jesus was a fraud and lie by the disciples, or that they were somehow deluded or deceived themselves….. in either case Jesus did not rise from the dead. Yet, the evidence and proof always favors the truth that Jesus did die and did rise again and did appear to many after His resurrection!
Jesus HImself prophesied His death and resurrection in three days. The tomb was empty except for some grave clothes and the stone rolled away. When the Roman soldiers went to report what actually happened, they were told to say that while they slept the disciples came and stole the body away…..and the religious leaders would make sure to keep them from being penalized or killed by government officials. Yet, how can someone know what happened while they were sleeping? And wouldn’t the rolling away of a huge stone have awakened them? Plus, the disciples did not expect an empty tomb and did not beleive the report of the women until they saw for themselves….not likely the reaction of those who stole the body in order to defraud the people. Had they been writing the narative, they would not have given that place of the honor of first appearing to a woman.
Plus, modern psychology says that no person would be willing to give his life for what he knew to be a lie…..and the disciples gave their lives proclaiming the resurrection of Jesus! How does one explain the 500 or more witnesses who saw Him alive after His resurrection? Plus, Jesus was immediately seen alive and well….not bruised and broken. Some suggest the swoon theory, that Jesus did not die on the cross, but regained consciousness while in the grave. Yet, with His whipped back, nail pierced hands and feet, and a side that gushed water and blood, could He have revived with strength to roll away the stone? And how does anyone explain that the Jesus everyone saw was healed and whole, no healing time required? Could the risen Jesus just have been a hallucination? No. How can over 500 people have the same hallucination? There is amazing evidence for the resurrection. No one can logically prove against it. You can only not believe the evidence by choosing not to beleive.
“I am He that lives, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore….whosoever lives and believe in Me will never die.” Revelation 1:18, John 11:26