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January 23, 2023

A Christian Being One Receiving Life in Christ's Words (1)

John 3:1 But there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. (2) This one came to Him by night and said to Him, Rabbi [teacher], we know that You have come from God as a teacher, for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him. (3) Jesus answered and said to him, Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless one is born anew [regenerated], he cannot see the kingdom of God.

(Part 1 of 3) In John 3, the Lord Jesus discussed the question of regeneration with Nicodemus, who said, "We know that You have come from God as a teacher." The Lord answered him, saying, "Unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God." With a teacher, the main emphasis is teaching and learning; these are all outward matters. With regeneration, it is a question of spirit and life; these are inward matters. Many so-called Christians have tried to enter through the gate called "Teacher." They think that as long as they understand the teachings of Christianity, as long as they are baptized and are familiar with the prophecies and types of the Bible, and as long as they have picked up outward Christian behavior such as prayer, attending services, and tithing, they can consider themselves good Christians. These people are wrong about Christianity. The Bible shows us that a Christian life begins from regeneration. If a man is not regenerated and does not have the life of the Lord within Him, he is not yet a Christian. Let me repeat: Christianity is not an outward religion but an inward revelation. A Christian is not one who is one outwardly but who is one inwardly. In John 6, the Lord Jesus fed the five thousand with five loaves and two fish. The same group of people looked for Jesus the next day, and the Lord told them plainly: "You seek Me....because you ate of the bread and were filled. Work not for the food which perishes, but for the food which abides unto eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you" (vv. 26-27). Again He said: "I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall by no means hunger, and he who believes into Me shall by no means ever thirst" (v. 35). These men came to the Lord Jesus because they ate bread and were filled. They did not know what their real need was. Neither did they know what the Lord was giving to men when He came to the earth. They only saw the physical bread without but did not see the preciousness of the life within. The Lord Jesus was full of mercy; He did not hide Himself from these ignorant ones. He opened Himself to them and told them that He is the bread of life and that He gives life to those who believe in Him. (Continued tomorrow)

Bible verses are taken from the Recovery Version of the Bible and Words of Ministry from Watchman Nee, General Messages, Vol. 37, The Collected Works of Watchman Nee, pp.229-230. Both are published by Living Stream Ministry, Anaheim, CA. Please visit us at www.emanna.com. Send comments to: comment@emanna.com.

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CWWN - vol. 36 (Central Messages)