Sermon Fourteen How to recognise the new birth

john                                                                                  audio clip


Wesley has four elements to the new birth – faith, peace, hope and love.

How wonderful is that, doesn’t it make you jump for joy and grin wildly. We have faith, we have peace and we have love all given to us as gifts from the Lord.

We are children of God, citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven – we shall be glad, we shall rejoice and we shall jump for joy. And we do, daily, hourly, by the minute and second because to be a child of God is to live differently.

Now in previous sermons Wesley has honed in on faith so I won’t go over old ground. We are to be reminded though that because of faith there is power over sin, we are not slaves to sin as we were in past lives we have been set free from the burden of sin and we give thanks for that.

This freedom leads to maturity and that is the process we are all in. We mature over time just like fruit on trees. Those fruit need water, food and sunshine. We need the bible, fellowship with other believers, sound teaching, prayer and worship to the Lord. With these tools we mature so that the sinful past becomes a shadow and in time even we forget.

What a privilege we have to be adopted into the family of the Living Lord. Do you feel that privilege today? Or do you think of it as unimportant, are you taking it for granted that you are saved?

We have peace in our hearts that transcends our understanding, we cannot even begin to describe it, nothing we say will ever come close. But it is wonderful isn’t it. Do you feel it today as you face uncertainty, trials and tribulations?

Our hope is in Christ Jesus, in him alone. It is a living hope, and very real. It is not the hope, like oh I hope to go to Cork tomorrow. It is that very real deep down hope that we shall see Jesus, and in the meantime we walk with him in simplicity and sincerity.

We love because first he loved us, it keeps coming back to love. Because love was there in the beginning and it will be there forevermore. It is a love that surpasses all human knowledge. There is no earthly reason why I can turn to my abuser and say I love you, I hope only good things for you, God loves you too, There is no earthly reason why anyone could find something to love in me. But God loves me and because he loves me I am able to love and because I am able to love so others love me. What a wonderful love we have. What a wonderful Saviour we have. Thank you Jesus.

So to be born in God means to believe in God through Jesus as to be free from sin and to enjoy the peace which passes understanding, so to hope in God is to have the witness of a good conscience and the witness of the Holy Spirit; so to love God as to love every human being as you love yourself, making your whole life a labour of love.

Wesley finishes on a note of caution to not backslide, to not become children of the devil once more but that if people do they can fall on God’s mercy again. And he gives an altar call to be saved in Christ.