Embracing The Kingdom Of God: Sermon By Apostle Gobanga
There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind 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.” Nicodemus answered and said to Him, “How can these things be?”
Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things? Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness. If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. And 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 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 everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”
After these things Jesus and His disciples came into the land of Judea, and there He remained with them and baptized. Now John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there. And they came and were baptized. For John had not yet been thrown into prison. Then there arose a dispute between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purification. And they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, He who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified—behold, He is baptizing, and all are coming to Him!” John answered and said, “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven. You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ,’ but, ‘I have been sent before Him.’ He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease. He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all. And what He has seen and heard, that He testifies; and no one receives His testimony. He who has received His testimony has certified that God is true. For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure. The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand. He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”John 3 (NKJV)
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,Titus 3:5 (NKJV)
There is a difference between the phrase, ‘to be born again and ‘to be born of water and the Spirit.’
To be born again is to be born anew, from above via regeneration. To be born from above denotes the origin of the spiritual birth, meaning that it is of the heavenly order.
To be born again positions you to transcend from operating with an average perception to functioning with a spiritual perception. The average level of perception limits you to the contours of the natural/carnal. Thus, the average level of perception is malfunctioned in that it impedes your capacity to have the right posture/perspective.
To be born again enables you to have the right attitude, posture, and perspective of life. Right perspective enables you to exercise wisdom to make informed decisions. It causes you to perceive life beyond the limitation of time and space, beyond the carnal perspective, where you perceive from divine perspective. Thus, your response towards life is divinely inspired/led.
Divine perspective enables you to embrace the reality of your capacity to do all things through Christ Who strengthens you. In other words, you have capacity to see yourself as you are from God’s perspective, and appreciate you for who you are in the Lord, His love for you, and His willingness to do more exceedingly abundantly above all you can ask or think.
Being born again enables you to perceive the divine power available for you to become. Being born again causes you to perceive and grasp/compass divine secrets within the receptacle and repository of divine truth.
Regeneration means to return to life/purpose, for life is all about divine purpose; get or give new life or energy, or reestablish on a new, usually improved, basis or make new or like new.
To be born again equips us to see the Kingdom of Heaven. This means that divine truth from God renews your mind with capacity to have a right perception. It means your attitude about sin, righteousness and judgment changes.
God imparts spiritual life. Void of it, one cannot perceive spiritual things. Impartation of spiritual life commences from the mind, where the Divine renews it by the Spirit through the word of God.
To see the Kingdom is different from entering the Kingdom of heaven. To see the Kingdom means to rightly perceive the divine concept about God’s Kingdom. You cannot enter unless you are well able to see the kingdom you wish to enter.
Those that qualify to enter are those who can see, with the eyes of the Spirit, those whose minds are renewed to have the mind of Christ. It means to conceive/conceptualize the Kingdom of God. It means to have the right comprehension of God’s Kingdom so as to interpret, to envision and discover the Kingdom of God.
The birth of Christ refers to a heavenly birth. The wind comes from an unknown heavenly source. Spiritual birth must be experienced by the spiritual, not the fleshly lot. This birth cannot be perceived with the natural senses.
To be born of water and the Spirit is experiential. It is being in the right state/condition, or circumstance, due to change of perception. When the perception is changed, it results in the transformation of the heart. It is the transformative process of the heart by the water of the word and the Holy Spirit that enables one make decision to enter the Kingdom. This means that the divine truth of God’s word revealed to the mind by the Spirit is embraced by the heart, which then gets transformed wholesomely before the will gets to know the proceeding revelation of God’s will, for man to obey God’s will.
To enter means to yield to another’s wish or opinion, to submit to his wish, to express agreement. Thus, the person must yield his/her will to the will of God’s dealing.
To enter is twofold. First, it means embrace the reality of kingdom values/principles/culture based on the right perception of God/truth of God. Secondly, to enter means to walk in the reality of truth of God, where you apply kingdom principles, culture and value system to fulfill your function.
To enter means expression of the essence of true conversion of one’s heart, facilitated by the water of the word and the Spirit. To enter the kingdom requires that you first perceive (have the right attitude) the Kingdom in the Spirit, have the capacity to know and comprehend the Kingdom in the Spirit before entering. You must know the dynamics of the Kingdom, before relating to its value system.
Entry into the kingdom has nothing to do with race, ethnicity, Scriptural knowledge, religious piety and energized zeal for observance of the law. It is the impartation of the new spiritual life from Christ that capacitates one’s entry.
For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.Ezekiel 36:24-27 (NKJV)
Water and spirit refers to spiritual cleansing according to Ezekiel 36:24-27. It is cleansing of the soul by the Holy Ghost through the word of God.
The word of God seeks to reveal spiritual impediments in our endeavour to perceive the reality of the Kingdom. The word sanctifies the soul from all manner of moral defilement, enabling its preceding work to transform the heart for one to apply.
The Spirit infuses you with capacity to embrace reality of the Kingdom, by conquering sin and living for righteousness. You must know what the Kingdom is, what its purpose is and how to enter the Kingdom.
What is the Kingdom? The Kingdom of God is a spiritual sphere of God’s divine reign. It is the dominion of God within a believer by way of the Holy Spirit. It is the presence of God indwelling a believer, the presence of God within a person occupied as His holy habitation.
In other words, you become God’s divine occupation, where His presence indwells within you. God being the occupant, determines the function of your entire person, values system, culture, etc. That presence releases to the human vessel the Godhead’s embodiment, all the benefits, provisions, and power characteristic of Creator God and His eternal Kingdom. The embodiment releases the hand of God to move and exercise His authority wherever there is a believer present.
The Kingdom of heaven denotes the sway of God’s orders, systems, rules, and ways in the affairs of men, through the Church of Christ, with Him as the Sovereign.
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