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  • Writer's pictureFr Robert Randall McDonald Bagwell

Christmass through Epiphany AD 2019 + On a Mission for God

“You must be born-again” said Jesus to the learned Nicodemus in John chapter 3. Everyone who has faith in Jesus Christ for salvation and has truly committed heart and life to them has been “born-again”. This isn’t merely an acknowledgement that God exists, or even that Jesus was the Son of God, that one belongs to a church congregation or even has been baptized and confirmed. This is so very much more. It is transformative.

What am I saying? I am saying that there is something to be wary of in believing. In two texts of the Newer Testament of the Bible among others, what I am getting at is stated in the book of James where he says even the demons believe, and shudder (2:19). Jesus, while addressing all of the Jewish scholars and religious leaders who all believe that God exists says this: You study c the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life. (John 5)

The overall testimony of the scriptures is that faith in God and Jesus Christ is made real by the relationship that an individual has with Him. All of the religious jargon that we use, being born-again, converted, saved, regenerated or whatever—all of this is simply an acknowledgement that God has changed the relationship between you and the Trinity. Perhaps this is best recognized in our personal experience by adoption, but even this fails because the adopted person is not made a new person in spirit, soul and body as in being “born-from-above”. This spiritual rebirth, of God putting His Spirit within us, is what salvation makes real to us. We are literally God’s kids!

The Epiphany, or literally “manifestation” sets into motion what Christmass began. We are walking displays of Almighty God in Jesus Christ, We are new creations we are told by the Apostle Paul. We will never attain to the fullness of that reality but we will continue on that pilgrim road. He wrote: Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. (Philippians 3:12) It is now that we can tell others what Christmass really means. I ask for opportunity to tell others about Jesus, to enact the love of Jesus by ministering to others in their need. We also have the secular New Year beginning on the eighth day of Christmass. It is a time for new things: new resolutions both spiritually and in the outward person. God is the God who is always growing in us, if we allow Him. Jesus is always doing “a new thing.” Before us is 2019 and the launch of Restoration Pointe. May God do both a “new thing” and a “great thing” through this new work of faith that the world may believe in Him who has made us new.

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