Tuesday, February 15, 2011


By Rev. Greg Schermerhorn

Have you ever really contemplated the birthright you have in Jesus?  I mean, as a person who has received the free gift of salvation accomplished by Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection from the dead?  Yeah, salvation means that you will go to Heaven when you die, and I DON’T meant that lightly, BUT salvation gives us so much more than just an escape from Hell!

When you received salvation from God, you went through three distinct processes:  justification, reconciliation, and regeneration.  Justification is where God declared us as righteous in His sight.  This is a judicial pronouncement that we are “NOT GUILTY” of our past sins because Jesus has paid the penalty for us.  We would NEVER be able to stand before God guiltless without Jesus’ help.  We are justified by faith because Jesus took our sins away.  We can’t be good enough, ever work hard enough or long enough to earn our salvation.  Only God can give it to us and Jesus is the only way.

Ephesians 2:8–9 (NKJV)
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Reconciliation is the termination of enmity with God and the establishment of friendship with Him.  In other words, two former enemies have been brought together as friends because sin no longer separates a Holy God from the forgiven person.  This gives us the ability to have a personal relationship with the Godhead:  the Father, Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit.  This reconciliation and new friendship is only possible because Jesus was the propitiation for our sins.  What is propitiation?  The substitutionary act of Jesus taking our place on the cross of Calvary to be the atoning sacrifice for all mankind causing God to look upon those who receive Jesus’ substitutionary atonement (aka-salvation, getting saved) as righteous because Jesus is righteous.  This act by Christ completely satisfied God the Father and made the continuance of animal blood sacrifice for the forgiveness of sin unnecessary.

2 Corinthians 5:18–19 (NKJV)
18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

Regeneration is where the soul is reborn as a new creation.  The soul is the psychological part of us or psyche and is where our wants and desires exist.  This part of our persona has been at war with God since the time we were born.  When we are born again, that salvation experience changes our soul.  We become a new creation with a new nature that has new wants and desires that replace our old sinful nature.  At that moment, the warring with God ends and God’s peace that passes all understanding begins.  This is a peace that only a Christian can understand.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

 Romans 6:11–14 (NAS)
11 Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts,
13 and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
14 For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

Romans 5:1 (NKJV)
5 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

Philippians 4:7 (NKJV)
7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

This is just the start of what happens at salvation.  You have a marvelous birthright!  You, because of what Jesus has done for you, have been adopted into God’s family as a son or daughter!  I mean a FULL ADOPTION, God has made you a joint-heir with Jesus!

Romans 8:16–17 (AMP)
16 The Spirit Himself [thus] testifies together with our own spirit, [assuring us] that we are children of God.
17 And if we are [His] children, then we are [His] heirs also: heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ [sharing His inheritance with Him]; only we must share His suffering if we are to share His glory.

Indeed, you were a sinner that has been saved by grace, God’s amazing grace!  Learn who you are NOW and chose to leave your old self in the past.  Chose to LIVE in the resurrection power of Jesus. Realize that He has given you a spirit of power so that you can live victoriously in your new nature. 

2 Timothy 1:7 (AMP)
7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.

Who are you by birthright? 
·         You are God’s child (John 1:12)
·         You are Christ’s friend (John 15:5)
·         You are in Christ and He is in you (1 Cor 6:17)
·         You are a saint (Eph1:1)
·         You have direct access to God through the Holy Spirit (Eph 2.18)
·         You are complete in Christ (Col 2:10)
·         You are a citizen of Heaven (Phil 3:20)
·         You are God’s workmanship, created for good works (Eph 2:10)
·         You are born of God and the evil one cannot touch you (1 John 5:18)
·         You are free forever from condemnation (Rom 8:12)
·         You can do all things through Christ, who strengthens you (Phil 4:13)
·         You are a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 3:16)
·         You may approach God with freedom and Confidence (Eph 3:12)
·         You cannot be separated from the love of God (Rom 8:35-39)[1]

When you take hold of who you are in Jesus Christ, and really let that sink in, it WILL change you!  You will find that it is easier to live in your new nature and cast aside your old nature.  The true you has been changed and transformed.  Now, it is against your true nature to sin!  The sin nature is not a part of you anymore; it is your past, not your present, or your future.  It was crucified with Christ, so it is dead.  Your birthright is Life!  This is not a complete and exhaustive list of your birthright in Jesus Christ.  It is just a very high overview that skims the surface.  At the very least, these Scripture passages demonstrate how much God not only loves us as His adopted children, but how much He loves the world.  I am constantly reminded of John 3:16-17 (NKJV):

16 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. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

In the Amplified Bible, that first line reads, “For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world…”.  That world is us, humanity.  Praise God that He loves us so much that He planned from the beginning of time a way for us to be forgiven and restored to sweet fellowship with Him!

[1] Ronald Cobb, “Who Am I?” (Foundations of Biblical Counseling, Luther Rice Seminary, Lithonia, GA, February 7, 2011) excerpt.