re-born royalty (or, your family lineage means nothing)

7 06 2012

There are things we get from our families we cannot choose. Physical traits  (I got the knees and nose) or mental abilities (I didn’t get the maths genes). It might be expectation and achievement; or it might be expectation of non-achievement. I’m not sure which is worse.

There are some people who trade off their family name, rather than bringing any new skill. Bruno Senna, Peaches Geldof, Charles Windsor… [**tongue in cheek**]. I’m sure you can think of others. 

When Jesus spoke to the Pharisee Nicodemus, he was speaking to someone deeply influenced by birth. Jewish society was strictly hierarchical on family lines, but more importantly, being a child of Abraham was the most important thing. God had chosen the people of Abraham, so they were blessed. A bit like the Royal family, it was all about who you were born as.

Jesus tells Nicodemus, no-one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again. “Hmph, how can you be born again?” laughs Nicodeumus. “What, can you squeeze back into your mum’s womb?!” The women wince. It was hard enough the first time.

For Nicodemus, this is who I am. For us, often we think, this is who I am. Don’t try and change me. You can’t change me. I we talking to someone  about their anger and short temper – this is who I am, they said. My dad was short-tempered, I am short-tempered. It’s just the way it is. End of.

Jesus says No! This is not who you are. Your family does not define you. Where you are now does not define you. The kingdom of God is all about new birth, re-birth, a fresh start. To enter the kingdom of God you need to be born again, of the water of baptism and also of the spirit. The spirit who is unpredictable like the wind.

Nicodemus is confused. For Nicodemus the kingdom of God was not unpredictable like the wind. It was about birthrights. Genetics. A strong wind makes neatness and predicability very hard.

That strong wind means your family lineage means nothing to God. Whether it brings you privilege or pain, your family history and your family present is irrelevant. Irrelevant! Hear that,  inherited money. Hear that, inherited poverty. Hear that, inherited achievement. Hear that, inherited non-achievement.

We are born again, born into the family of God, born of the Spirit. Born royal. 

This is a family it is good to be a part of. It is a family it is good to become like. With the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, we become more and more like our Father, shaped into his likeness. So this week as we celebrate the monarchy and the inherited family names that make this week important, let’s remember who we are in God:

Born again to new life in Christ;
Born fresh without the birthrights or birthwrongs that surround us;
Born free, free from sin, free from fear, free from our past and free to face the future with hope.

Blow, wind, blow. 

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4 responses

7 06 2012
carol

Hi Prince Kevin, being Royally related to the King of Kings is good ‘innit’, and God never writes us out of our inheritance in Him.
Unlike human Royalty over the millimiums.
So we can breathe easy in His Grace and Favour.
How good is that!

8 06 2012
Kevin

It’s good! Sit back and enjoy the carriage ride (…or is that not quite how it works with a servant king…!?)

26 03 2014
Matthew Perri

BOSS PAUL THE PHARISEE
[sing it to the tune of “Rapture” by Blondie]

I’m Boss Paul, the Pharisee
My hypocrisy’s plain for the world to see
I travel the land and travel the sea
to make a convert who is just like ME

“All have sinned” – we know that’s true
but it never means ME – it only means YOU
My sins are all theoretical
“I’m the worst of sinners”- but don’t ask where

To be more like Jesus is what some strive
except for me – I’ve already arrived
I’m the perfect model since the road to Damascus
What were Paul’s sins? Don’t ask us!

I justify everything I do
If I testify about myself it MUST be true
I’m the only man in all history
whose testimony doesn’t need two or three

If I did something it MUST be right
Don’t use the Scripture to shed any light
Don’t do as I say, do as I do
and then you can be a Pharisee too.

12 07 2014
Matthew Perri

What were Paul’s specific sins as a Christian? Here are 5 to get the discussion started:

.1) Paul’s boastful conflicting false testimonies, exaggerating and making things up about his conversion experience in Acts 22 & 26, compared to what actually happened (recorded by Luke in Acts 9).

.2) Paul lying to the Ephesian elders saying he was “compelled by the Spirit” going to Jerusalem, when in truth he was clearly disobeying God. [Acts 19:21 – 22:21]
.
3) Paul exaggerating his ministry in Ephesus claiming it was “3 years night and day with tears” when really it was 3 months in the synagogue and 2 years daily in a lecture hall.
[Acts 20:31 vs Acts 19:8-10]

.4) Paul abandoning the Church in Corinth after a year and a half for no obvious reason, and going off on another long trip, mostly on his own, without appointing anyone else in Corinth as overseer, or giving anyone else any specific authority in the Church in Corinth.
[Acts 18]

.5) Paul acting as an abusive absentee overseer / pastor to the Church in Corinth years after he abandoned them, and clinging to all power and claim to control of money and all aspects of the church ministry, while he was hundreds of miles away teaching full-time in his own school in Ephesus. [1 & 2 Corinthians.]

Paul is the “model pastor” for many modern “Pauls” like;

a)
Bob Coy, who still owns all the assets and controls all the money at his cult known as Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale, in spite of his recent resignation as “Senior Pastor” there due to adultery with multiple woman and other major sins that he still has never specifically admitted to personally.

b)
Greg Laurie, the Boss of a wide-ranging personal cult empire that generally goes by the name of “Harvest.” Greg lives in Newport Beach, commutes by helicopter, and exploits the very large church he founded in Riverside from a distance, while he does his own thing in Orange County and travels around wherever he feels like, building a personal business empire with himself as the center, not Jesus.

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