Born-Again to Win
A. Opening Joke
I want to talk to you about being born-again to win.
God did not exhaust the wealth of heaven, Yeshua our Passover lamb, so that you would
1. Live in addiction
2. Live in doubt
3. Live in scarcity
4. Live in dysfunctionality
5. Live in the past
6. Live in light of what other people say about you.
7. Live in defeat
8. Live walled in by sin.
The thief comes only to steal, slaughter, and destroy. I have come that they might have life, and have it abundantly!
When you trusted in Yeshua you were born-again to win. Yeshua said in John 10:10, “I came to give life and life abundantly.” Let me Greek out here real early on you. That word chain life abundant comes from one Greek word perissos and it means simply, “whatever goes beyond the normal, the expected amount.” In other words, it would be like taking your child to Marble Slab to get ice-cream and they look at you and say, “Can I have one scoop or two scoops of cream dad? And you say, “I did not bring you here to give you just one scoop or two scoops, I brought you here to give you all the ice-cream in the store with all the toppings you could ever imagine.” That is the super-abundant life Yeshua promises to all who trust in Him. This offer was what prophet Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Isaiah all looked forward to: Ezekiel 11:19-20
Then I will give them one heart. I will put a new Spirit within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, so that they may follow My laws, keep My ordinances and practice them. They will be My people and I will be their God.
This new life in the Hebrew Bible was called a “heart-transplant” that would result in the ability to live in a new vibrant way with our God and in obedience to His Torah. This would be the life we always wanted but could not have unless we had a heart transplant, what Yeshua called being “born-again” of the Spirit to Nicodemus.
I am not just arguing from anecdotal evidence (story based proof) but the overwhelming evidence of Scripture declare that you were given a new heart, a new spirit, a new birth to win, to have an abundant life.
We learn this from 1 John 5:18
We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him.
Read 1 John 5:18 from TLV
The Point: The God-Begotten are God-Protected.
You don’t have to live in fear always worrying about the devil because you are not giving high-fives to the evil. The Greek expression here in 1 John (οὐχ ἅπτεται αὐτοῦ) is trying to say that the devil has no sticking power with you, you don’t enter into agreements with him because God has got you protected. God shines light on the darkness of the enemies plans, shows you the folly of his thinking and gives you a way of escape.
While the powers of evil may tempt, entice, and otherwise influence the believer, even to the point of lapses into sin, the evil one cannot take hold of a child of God to remove them from the light and life and drag them back into darkness and death.
Illustrate: Seth was not going to be touched, high-five engage in what his friends were doing because He knows who his father is.
The Point: The God-Begotten are God-Protected because they have had a radical re-alteration of their soul. The God-Begotten are God-Pleasers because they have had a radical change of heart, their old desires are passing away for sin and in its place their is a new hunger for righteousness and a new hunger for the kingdom of God.
This is what Rabbi Paul means when he says 2 Cor 5:17
Therefore if anyone is in Messiah, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
Read 2 Cor 5:17
You are not the sum total of
Your Past: what you once were
Their Past: what they once were, it just runs in the family
Your Labels: what you once said about yourself
Their Labels: what was once said about you.
If you are God-Begotten , you are a new creation not a sex addict anymore . You are not an alcoholic anymore . You are not an adulterer . You are not out of control anymore.
You are a new creation in the Messiah Yeshua. That is not what you do and it is not who you are anymore. You are washed . You are sanctified . You are justified in the name of your Lord Yeshua the Messiah .
The old labels don’t work anymore. You have been given new labels. You are beloved, you are a kedoshim, you are an heir and co-heir, you are a friend of Messiah, you of such infinite value to the heart of God that he leaves the 99 to come and find you One who knows exactly who you are , what you need most , and who you can become: a victory, a conqueror, a warrior, devoted husband, eshet chayil, successful, highly favored.
Here is Paul’s point, The God-Begotten are Newly-Created the old has passed away, so let it go. Don’t go back to it.
Here is the thing, Rabbi Paul teaches a radical kind of myessianic judaism. He does not think for a second that having faith in Yeshua is like adding a supplement to your life. Being born-again is not a supplement. It is not some new information you add. It’s not some extra activities you do on Saturday.
No, It’s a complete reorientation. It’s a complete change. Look! When a person becomes a follower of Yeshua, they don’t just get some new information they add to things. They don’t just put a new file in the drawer. They don’t just put a new book on the shelf. They are a completely new creation!
This does not just happen by human effort, it is so much more powerful than that 2 Peter 1:3-4
His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and virtue. Through these things He has given us His precious and magnificent promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, since you have escaped the corruption that evil desires have brought into the world.
My friend Abraham Kuyper liked to say that the God-Begotten are God-Engrafted. The successful grafting of a budding shoot of the cultivated grape upon the wild vine results in a good tree growing upon the wild trunk. This applies to all fruit-trees and flowering plants. The cultivated can be grafted upon the wild. Left to itself, the wild will never yield anything excellent are great. The wild pear and the wild rose remain stunted and chary of fruit and blossom. But let the gardener graft a finely flavored pear upon the wild pear, or a beautiful double tea-rose upon the wild rose, and the former will yield luscious fruit and the latter magnificent flowers.
When you were born-again God planted in man which by nature he lacks. He gave all those trusting in Yeshua a new heart and put His Spirit inside of us. He made us a new creation and grafted himself inside of us so that we would not longer be a wild grape, a wild pear, a wild flowers but a new vine capable of bearing beautiful fruit. A new kind of life because it is not just based on the old fallen nature of Adam but on God’s nature on the inside of us. The old you does not have power over you the new you in Messiah was created to win.
The Point: The God-Begotten are God-Engrafted
Being Born-Again is the answer Jewish prophets were longing to hear from Israel. Being God-begotten, born again is an answer to Him who is asking, “Will you choose life? Will you choose blessing? Will you choose to walk in my ways?”
Before you were born-again, the Bible says we all walked in darkness. Our answer use to be to Him:
a. I can’t because
b. I won’t because
c. I refuse because
d. I will but only if I get something out of it.
That was before when we were trying based on our strength. Now, it is His strength working mightily within us. The old creation never could fully respond rightly to the voice of God asking, “Will you choose life? Will you choose blessing? Will you choose my Way, My Torah, My Messiah?” But the new creation screams, shouts, “Yes, Yes, Yes, I choose life, I choose blessing, I choose Messiah” because there has been a radical transformation of my entire being, I have been born-again.
I struggled experiencing this win for several years because I was taught to expect eternity but manage current dysfunction.
Seminary taught me that I was born-again to win eternity but it was the boy’s scout modo Monday through Sunday just “try your best.” It was be a good person, try not to sin, try to make good choices, make sure to read your bible and don’t forget to pray.” All great advice but there was no promise of victory day-to-day just management.
I knew they were only teaching me half the equation. They were right that I was God-begotten to win eternity but I knew that I was God-begotten to win daily victory, sometimes hourly victory.
My story and how I was left broken and in pieces when I came to faith.
I could have just walked around and said, “I hope I just make some good choices. I hope I can just manage these out-of-control desires...” That is not what I did.
I started to declare over myself, “I have a new mind. I fear God and I have the wisdom of God. I am not an idiot, I am a child of God. I will not be defeated, I am a child of God.”
I refused to have a victim mentality, I had warrior mentality.
I believed deeply that I was a new creation and then I started acting like it and I would command my desires to get in-line with the new nature living inside of me. I believed God wanted me to win against my addictions to drugs, to alcohol, to sex, to swearing, to pride, to arrogance. He wanted me to win against my suicidal thoughts, my thoughts filled with fear, my thoughts filled with self-doubt and self-loathing. He did not want me to manage the, He wanted me to kill them, He wanted them to be crucified with the Messiah so that it was not longer I that was living but they Messiah who was living inside of me.
You have to tell the past, the old you:
I am a new creation, the old has passed away.
I am no longer frazzled, exhausted, overwhelmed, defeated, discouraged ashamed, confused, angry, or frustrated.
I am a new creation in Messiah Yeshua I am free, gracious, loving confident, content, stable, joyous, filled with shalom, radiant with God’s love and a warrior for his kingdom and rapidly advancing his plan for my life.
It took me a couple years after getting out of seminary to come-back to where I started from. I told Rabbi Lanning that I bet some of my old professors would now consider me a well equipped traitor. I will be a traitor all day long to inadequate theology that denies the mighty power of our loving father to do the very things the Bible says that He can do and will do.
You have to tell the old you:
I am God-Begotten and God-Protected
I am God-Begotten and God’s New Creation
I am God-Begotten and God Engrafted.
It does not matter if today is the first day of the rest of your God-Begotten life or if this 20th year of your God-Begotten life, stop making excuses and walk in the newness life. Start living like, talking like, declaring that you were born-again to win. The longer you make excuses, the longer you will miss out on experiencing the abundant life.
This shows up in John 4
I. Quit making excuses and walk in newness of life. – John 4
A Samaritan woman comes to draw water. “Give me a drink,” Yeshua tells her, for His disciples had gone away to the town to buy food. Then the Samaritan woman tells Him, “How is it that You, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?” (For Jewish people don’t deal with Samaritans.) Yeshua replied to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who is saying to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”
Conversation 1: I was born this way. It just runs in my family.
1. Problem: John 4:7-9 – My DNA prevents me from
2. Solution: John 4:10 – My Life, living water, is available to all.
“Sir,” the woman tells Him, “You don’t have a bucket, and the well is deep. Then from where do You get this living water? You’re not greater than our father Jacob, are You? He gave us this well. He drank out of it himself, with his sons and his cattle.” Yeshua replied to her, “Everyone who drinks from this water will get thirsty again. But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never be thirsty. The water that I give him will become a fountain of water within him, springing up to eternal life!” “Sir,” the woman tells Him, “give me this water, so I won’t get thirsty or have to come all the way here to draw water!”
Conversation 2: The best days are behind me.
1. Problem: John 4:11-12 – Wasn’t the past as good as it gets
a. Illustration: Abraham, Jacob, Isaac, Saul
2. Solution: John 4:13-15 – Being born-again is a greater win then that.
3. She is trying to justify her reason for why she can’t change. She was born this way. The best days are in the past. As long you make excuses for where you are, you will stay stuck. Here is the thing. Yeshua sees right through the excuses. Right through all the religious mumbo-jumbo. He says your just play religious because your broken deep down and your scared…..
He tells her, “Go call your husband, and then come back here.” “I don’t have a husband,” the woman replied. Yeshua tells her, “You’ve said it right, ‘I have no husband.’ For you’ve had five husbands, and the man you have now isn’t your husband. This you’ve spoken truthfully!” “Sir,” the woman tells Him, “I see that You are a prophet! Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you all say that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.” Yeshua tells her, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But an hour is coming—it is here now—when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people as His worshipers. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
Conversation 3: Human nature is in need of transformation.
Problem: John 4:16-18 – Sin has left you broken, isolated and playing religion.
Solution: John 4:19-24 – Yeshua says:
You have let your past circumstances…
You have let your religion…
…keep you from rich vibrant relationship with God.
I have come to make you new and change your view of God and what he want to do for you.
She went from religion to revelation: First Person in John’s Gospel That Yeshua Affirms that He is the Messiah – John 4:26
Yeshua tells her, “I—the One speaking to you—I am.”
She went from questionable to respectable: The disciples don’t even blush at her being with Yeshua – John 4:27
At this moment, His disciples came back. They were amazed that He was speaking with a woman. Yet no one said, “What do You want?” or “Why are You speaking with her?”
She went from rejected to accepted: the townspeople believed her report – John 4:29-30, 39-42
Many of the Samaritans from that town put their trust in Him because of the word of the woman testifying, “He told me everything I ever did!” So when the Samaritans came to Him, they kept asking Him to stay with them. He stayed there two days, and many more believed because of His word. They kept telling the woman, “It’s no longer because of your words that we believe. We’ve heard for ourselves! Now we know that this really is the Savior of the world!”
She went from being just another nameless face in history to being immortalized forever in the Gospel.
She could have just kept on holding on to “I was just born this way” nothing good ever happens to me only to people in the past. She could have kept masking the deep despair sin had caused by playing religion but she chose to trust in Messiah and she was born-again and immediately she began to win.
Transition: Rabbi Freeman could have just said, “I am peanut farmer. I am just a farmer. I am not Jewish how can I do that.”. He knew when he was born again he was more than just his origin story, he had a new origin, a new creation that trumped everything else. He also had plenty of people telling him that he was out of his mind.
II. Sometimes you have to get away from the people who can only see you as you used to be and refuse to see you as God has made you to be.
A. David’s family could only see him as used to be and not what God had made him to be.
B. Even the early apostles struggles to see Paul as God made him to be and they could only see him as he used to be.
C. You have to stand up to the shepherds of the old you and declare to them that you are a new creation with a new shepherd of your soul.
1. Illustration: My friends and even my family could only see the old me until I stood positively on the new me.
2. Here is the point: Because I have stood firmly on the Scriptures that I am a new creation, the old me is no longer alive, it is dead, it is defeated, it is crucified with the Messiah now I see my children going further faster than I could have ever gone in my life. They are smarter, they are more industrious, filled with zeal, filled with faith. They have heard parts of my story and heard me say that I refused to be held back by my past but instead I decided to fall forward into who God made me to be. Because of that I have heard each of my children say at some point, “If Abba could overcome then I believe God will give me strength to overcome.”
3. You can be that for your children, you can be that for your grandchildren. You can break the curse of the past but declaring right now in the present, “I am a new creation, I am God-begotten and God-protected.”
4. You can be the end of negative things that have been passed down. It may not have started with you but it will stop with you. On the other hand, you can also be the start of positive things to be passed down. Say to the
a. Poverty, no more
b. Addiction, I am an overcomer.
c. Divorce, not in my family.
d. Depression, be gone.
e. Begin to say: Joy your welcome here, Romance fills my life, Blessings are in my future, Today I choose life, Today I crucify the old and let loose the new creation that God has made me to be.
You are born again to win a victory.
Read Passage 1 John 4:4; 5:18
You are from God, children, and you have overcome them, because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.
Here is the thing: Don’t talk yourself out of believing that you are born again to win.
You need to plant a “new creation” mindset and “harvest its fruit only.”
You need to plant the seeds of who you are now:
A Son, a Daughter
Totally Accepted and being Perfected
Beloved of God
Delighting to Walk in God’s Ways
The right people are going to be good to me
Blessings are going to chase me down.
God likes it when you talk to Him and to your problems like you what you are the God-Begotten.
Illustrate Praying Bitya.
You need to feed your family with the harvest of those seeds
Declare it at your table
Declare it over them.
Pull down those old man seeds and plant new seeds.
Surround yourself with people that are like minded. We need to constantly be reminded that we are born-again to win.
I would not be standing here today if Rabbi Freeman did not see the new creation inside of me. When I met him, I was defeated, discouraged, doubting and ready to quit ministry. I was walking away from who God created me to be. Rabbi Freeman looked at me and said, “That is not who you are. You are called. You are anointed. You are a captain. You are a leader. I believe in you. I believe in God’s work in you.”
Here is the point: Surround yourself with people who will remind you that you were born-again to win.
But Michael, you don’t understand I have messed up a lot!
It is not where you started from or where you last fell down that matters but where you finish.
Proverbs 24:16, “though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again.”
For though the righteous one may fall seven times, he gets up again, but the wicked stumble in adversity.
If you are born-again you have been made righteous by the Messiah, you are going to rise when you fall because you were born again to win.
I have been vulnerable with my kids about my failures as a rabbi and a leader during our time in Canada.
Here is the point: Just because I fell down once, twice, thrice and so on, does not mean I am going to fall down again. I was not born again to stay down but to rise up.
You may have fallen down yesterday but you are rising today.
You may have lost your cool yesterday but today you are cool headed.
You may have been bitter as an onion yesterday but today you are going to be as sweet a honeycomb.
You may have put your foot in your mouth last night but tonight your words are going to lift your bride’s heart!
You may have been a hot mess yesterday but today you are God’s treasure, God’s possession, God’s Son, God’s daughter.
Where you start is not important, where you fell is not important what is important is that you were born-again to win.
1. Now it is time to get up.
2. Now it is time to declare
3. Now it is time to walk in victory
Conclusion: You are born-again to win. Now act like it, talk like it and I promise you will begin to experience the victory you are looking for in your life.