Once we become born again we are given authority to rule and reign like a king.
In the previous post on God’s Plan Of Redemption we saw how our sin has been dealt with, legally. However, we were still left with the problem of the fallen state of Man because of what happened when sin entered the world.
In this post we will look at the 2nd part of God’s Plan of Redemption, which deals with the restorative work God would do in us, once our sin has been dealt with from a juridical perspective.
In this post we will look at the destiny God had purposed for us all along, which is a destiny of restoration from a life of sin and death.
As a reminder, we are busy with a series of post where we look at Why Jesus Said He Is The Only Way. Rather than making the claim ourselves, we are investigating why Jesus made this claim so each person can decide for themselves whether there is any merit to this claim.
God’s Restorative Work
Though we became children of wrath when sin entered the world (see the previous post), because of God’s Plan of Redemption we have always been destined to:
- Escape God’s Wrath
- Receive A New Heart
- Receive A New Spirit
- Be Reconciled Back To God
- Be Adopted As A Son Of God
- Be Set Free From The Bondage Of Sin
- Grow In Holiness
- Rule And Reign With Jesus Christ
To receive a new heart and a new spirit, and to be reconciled back to God, is what happens when a person becomes born again. Therefore we can also say that we have always been destined to:
- Become Born Again
By the mercy of God and through His Plan of Redemption, we are able to escape the wrath of God which we, as sinners, deserve. By the grace of God we are able to become born again, be adopted as a son and be set free from the bondage of sin, which is everything we get from God while we don’t deserve it.
This mercy and grace, demonstrated through the sacrifice of Jesus who took our punishment in our place on the cross, is the quintessence of God’s love for us. While it is this love that paid the penalty on our behalf, it is also this love that wants to do even more than just saving us. God also wants to restore and establish us as legitimate sons and daughters in His Kingdom. Let’s now look at the destiny God had in mind for us, and the restorative work God wants to do in us.
Destined To Escape God’s Wrath
Because of God’s love for us, part of His plan included us being able to escape His wrath. He did this by pouring out His wrath against sin, on Jesus. Romans 5:8-9 says,
“But God clearly shows and proves His own love for us, by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9Therefore, since we have now been justified [declared free of the guilt of sin] by His blood, [how much more certain is it that] we will be saved from the wrath of God through Him.”
While God wants us to escape His wrath, we should not be deceived into thinking there could possibly be any other means by which we can do so apart from the blood and sacrifice of Jesus. The Bible makes it clear we are justified because of the blood of Jesus, and not by any other works or human effort.
Destined To Become Born Again
To be born again is to receive a new heart and a new spirit. In Ezekiel 36:26 God revealed that the miracle of becoming born again formed part of His Plan of Redemption when He prophesied through the prophet,
“Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you, and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”
Jesus said in John 3:3,
“…unless a person is born again (anew, from above), he cannot ever see (know, be acquainted with, and experience) the kingdom of God.”
We need to understand that escaping God’s wrath and being born again goes hand in hand. Only the person who is born again can have the assurance that his or her sin is forgiven. If a person’s sin is not forgiven, the wrath of God is still abiding on that person. John 3:36 says,
“He who believes and trusts in the Son and accepts Him [as Savior] has eternal life [that is, already possesses it]; but he who does not believe the Son and chooses to reject Him, [disobeying Him and denying Him as Savior] will not see [eternal] life, but [instead] the wrath of God hangs over him continually.”
If the wrath of God is abiding on a person, then that person is not walking in the destiny God has for him or her.
Destined To Be Adopted Into God’s Family And Reconciled To God
When a person becomes born again, he or she is no longer a child of Satan, as we saw in the previous posts in this series. Because of God’s love and compassion for us, He adopts us into His family so we can have eternal fellowship with Him. Ephesians 1:5 says,
“For He foreordained us (destined us, planned in love for us) to be adopted (revealed) as His own children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the purpose of His will [because it pleased Him and was His kind intent]”
Because our case before God has been legally dealt with through the sacrifice on the cross, we are reconciled to God so we can stand in a relationship with Him, just like Adam did before he had sinned. Romans 5:10 says, “… while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son…” – italics for emphasis added.
Destined To Be Set Free From Sin And To Grow In Holiness Instead
Not only can we now be acquitted from our guilt before a holy and just God, but when we become born again we also become free from the enslavement of sin that used to keep us in bondage. Romans 6:22 says,
“But now since you have been set free from sin and have become [willing] slaves to God, you have your benefit, resulting in sanctification [being made holy and set apart for God’s purpose], and the outcome [of this] is eternal life.”
Once we have been set free from the bondage of sin it becomes possible to walk in the destiny of growing in holiness, which God had all along planned for us. Romans 8:29 sheds more light on this destiny and says,
“For those whom He foreknew [of whom He was aware and loved beforehand], He also destined from the beginning [foreordaining them] to be molded into the image of His Son [and share inwardly His likeness], that He might become the firstborn among many brethren.”
God desires a family of people with whom He can have fellowship and an intimate relationship, who He delivers from the bondage of sin so they can grow in holiness and be moulded into the image of Jesus Christ – who the Bible says was without sin.
Destined To Rule And Reign With Jesus Christ
When God created Adam, God placed him in a garden and gave him the authority to rule over the garden. In Genesis 2:15 we read,
“And the Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend and guard and keep it.”
Not only was he instructed to cultivate and take care of the garden, he was also given authority to guard and keep it.
However, when Adam sinned he lost this authority as he became a slave to sin instead. When we become born again, the yoke of bondage is broken and we are no longer slaves to sin. Instead, because of what Jesus did, we are able to reign with authority again. Romans 5:17 says,
“For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.”
In the original Greek language, the word used for ‘reign’ is basileuō. This word literally means to reign as a king. Furthermore, the word used for ‘life’ is zōē, which describes an absolute fullness of life.
Also, in Matthew 28:18 Jesus said that “All authority (all power of absolute rule) in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.” Because all authority belongs to Him, He can also give authority to whomever he wishes. In Luke 10:19 we read about Jesus who gave authority to His disciples, in order for them to do His work.
Similarly, once we become born again we are given authority to rule and reign like a king. However, the authority to reign as a king should not be confused with a power to accomplish one’s own will. The Greek word zōē, which has been used in this context, is also a word that describes a life that belongs to God as well as a life that is devoted to God – and not a life devoted to oneself.
While we have been destined to rule and reign as a king in life, it is only meant for the purposes of lives that are lived within the framework and parameters of God’s divine plans for our lives. 2 Corinthians 5:15 says,
“He died for all, so that all those who live would no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and was raised for their sake.”
Therefore, just like any other legal transaction has terms and conditions associated with it, God’s redemptive work – which is the biggest legal transaction that was ever made – is accompanied with terms and conditions too.Read Also: God’s Terms of Redemption