How God created us is a heavenly thing we can only comprehend when we are born of the Spirit. In unsaved state, we were natural man, body and soul—flesh. We couldn’t understand heavenly things (Jn 3:12).
Since we were flesh, God met us as we were. God sent His Son in the flesh. “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14 NASB).
That was the beginning of how God created us. It is mind boggling to see in chronological order what God did to make us new creatures created in Christ Jesus (Eph 2:10; 2 Cor 5:17).
Jesus was to be born of the virgin Mary. Mary was deeply concerned. God sent the angel Gabriel to explain how (Lk 1:26-38).
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the holy One to be born will be called the Son of God.” Luke 1:35 HCSB
The heavenly host announced Jesus was born (Lk 2:1-19). “Today your Savior, the Lord Messiah, was born in the City of David” (Luke 2:11 ISV).
God sent John the baptist to prepare the Jews to see Jesus as the promised Messiah. John did that by preaching repentance and baptizing the repentant in the Jordan river.
1This is the beginning of the gospel of Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God. 2As it is written in the prophet Isaiah,“See! I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way. 3He is a voice calling out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way for the Lord! Make his paths straight!’”
4John was baptizing in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism about repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5People from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were flocking to him, being baptized by him while they confessed their sins. 6Now John was dressed in camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist. He ate grasshoppers and wild honey. 7He kept proclaiming, “The one who is coming after me is stronger than I am, and I am not worthy to bend down and untie his sandal straps. 8I baptized you with water, but it is he who will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” Mark 1:1-8 ISV
Jesus was born of water and Spirit. 9In those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10Just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens split open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11Then a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love. I am pleased with you!” Mark 1:9-11 ISV
36 The Message which He sent to the descendants of Israel, when He announced the Good News of peace through Jesus Christ—He is Lord of all—that Message you cannot but know; 37 the story, I mean, which has spread through the length and breadth of Judaea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism which John proclaimed. 38 It tells how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, so that He went about everywhere doing acts of kindness, and curing all who were being continually oppressed by the Devil—for God was with Jesus. Acts 10:36-38 WNT
After that, Jesus began his ministry.
12 At once the Spirit impelled Him to go out into the Desert, 13 where He remained for forty days, tempted by Satan; and He was among the wild beasts, but the angels waited upon Him. 14 Then, after John had been thrown into prison, Jesus came into Galilee proclaiming God’s Good News.
15 “The time has fully come,” He said, “and the Kingdom of God is close at hand: repent, and believe this Good News. Mark 1:12-15 ISV
Then, Jesus called disciples to follow him and minister to the Jews. Jesus taught the disciples more about the kingdom through his word, example and on the job training (Mark 1:16-45). For about 3 years Jesus preached the gospel of the kingdom with signs and wonders following. During that time some of the Jews recognized him as the promised Messiah, but the not most of the religious leaders did not, they resented him and the truth he spoke and conspired against him.
Toward the end of his earthly ministry, Jesus began telling his disciples he must go and why he must go. This deeply concerned them, but Jesus comforted them by revealing more of God’s plan of Salvation. God would give them another Councilor, the Holy Spirit.
15“If you love Me, you will keep My commands. 16And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. 17He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive Him because it doesn’t see Him or know Him. But you do know Him, because He remains with you and will be in you. 18I will not leave you as orphans; I am coming to you.
19“In a little while the world will see Me no longer, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live too. 20In that day you will know that I am in My Father, you are in Me, and I am in you. 21The one who has My commands and keeps them is the one who loves Me. And the one who loves Me will be loved by My Father. I also will love him and will reveal Myself to him.”
22Judasas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it You’re going to reveal Yourself to us and not to the world? ”
23Jesus answered, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word. My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. 24The one who doesn’t love Me will not keep My words. The word that you hear is not Mine but is from the Father who sent Me.
25“I have spoken these things to you while I remain with you. 26But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit — the Father will send Him in My name — will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you. John 14:15:25 HCSB cf. Jn 15:26-27; Jn 16:5-16
Jesus revealed he would become the sacrifice for our sins. On three different occasions, Jesus told his disciples he would be killed and would rise from the dead on the third day (Mk 8:31–33; Mk 9:30-32; Mt 20:17-19).
When Jesus ate the Passover with his disciples, he turned that sign of the old covenant into the prophetic sign of the new covenant.
14 When the time was come, and He had taken His place at table, and the Apostles with Him, 15 He said to them,
“Earnestly have I longed to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; 16 for I tell you that I certainly shall not eat one again till its full meaning has been brought out in the Kingdom of God.”
17 Then, having received the cup and given thanks, He said,
“Take this and share it among yourselves; 18 for I tell you that from this time I will never drink the produce of the vine till the Kingdom of God has come.”
19 Then, taking a Passover biscuit, He gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying,
“This is my body which is being given on your behalf: this do in remembrance of me.” 20 He gave them the cup in like manner, when the meal was over. “This cup,” He said, “is the new Covenant ratified by my blood which is to be poured out on your behalf. Luke 22:14-21 WNT
Jesus poured out his blood on our behalf when he was crucified. “God put Jesus forth as the place of mercy , through faithfulness, by means of his blood.”
Now we know that whatever the law says, it is speaking to those who are “in the law.” The purpose of this is that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be brought to the bar of God’s judgment. No mere mortal, you see, can be declared to be in the right before God on the basis of the works of the law. What you get through the law is the knowledge of sin.
But now, quite apart from the law (though the law and the prophets bore witness to it), God’s covenant justice has been displayed. God’s covenant justice comes into operation through the faithfulness of Jesus the Messiah, for the benefit of all who have faith. For there is no distinction: all sinned, and fell short of God’s glory—and, by God’s grace they are freely declared to be in the right, to be members of the covenant, through the redemption which is found in the Messiah, Jesus.
God put Jesus forth as the place of mercy, through faithfulness, by means of his blood. He did this to demonstrate his covenant justice, because of the passing over (in divine forbearance) of sins committed beforehand. This was to demonstrate his covenant justice in the present time: that is, that he himself is in the right, and that he declares to be in the right everyone who trusts in the faithfulness of Jesus. Romans 3:19-26 THE KINGDOM NEW TESTAMENT N.T. Wright cf. Heb 9; 1 Jn 5:6
On the third day, Jesus rose from the dead. (Luke 24). Luke begins Acts there showing Jesus preached the kingdom for 40 days after his resurrection. He told his disciples to wait until what was promised (the Holy Spirit) came. Then ascended into heaven.
1The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach, 2until the day when He was taken up to heaven, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen. 3To these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God. 4Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised,
“Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; 5for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
“It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; 8but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” Acts 1:1-8 NASB
What was promised came about 10 days later. On the day of Pentecost, God poured out His Spirit.
14 But Peter, standing up with the Eleven, lifted up his voice and spoke out to them, “You men of Judea and all you who dwell at Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to my words. 15 For these aren’t drunken, as you suppose, seeing it is only the third hour of the day. 16 But this is what has been spoken through the prophet Joel:
- 17 ‘It will be in the last days, says God,
- that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh.
- Your sons and your daughters will prophesy.
- Your young men will see visions.
- Your old men will dream dreams.
- 18 Yes, and on my servants and on my handmaidens in those days,
- I will pour out my Spirit, and they will prophesy.
- 19 I will show wonders in the sky above,
- and signs on the earth beneath:
- blood, and fire, and billows of smoke.
- 20 The sun will be turned into darkness,
- and the moon into blood,
- before the great and glorious day of the Lord comes.
- 21 It will be that whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ Acts 2:14-21WMB (Joel 2:28-32)
Thus, we are born again and can see the God’s Kingdom (John 3:3). We have been born of water and the Spirit and have entered God’s Kingdom (John 3:5). We have been born of the Spirit and are spirit (John 3:7). We can understand heavenly things (John 3:12).
“John 3:13 No one has ascended into heaven but he who descended out of heaven, the Son of Man, who is in heaven. 14 As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only born Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God didn’t send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through him. 18 He who believes in him is not judged. He who doesn’t believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only born Son of God.”
“For we are his workmanship, created in Messiah Yeshua (Christ Jesus) for good works, which God prepared before that we would walk in them.”
1 You were made alive when you were dead in transgressions and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the children of disobedience. 3 We also all once lived among them in the lusts of our flesh, doing the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, for his great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Messiah—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him, and made us to sit with him in the heavenly places in Messiah Yeshua, 7 that in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Messiah Yeshua; 8 for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, that no one would boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Messiah Yeshua for good works, which God prepared before that we would walk in them. Eph 2:1-10 WMB (2 Cor 5:17)