The Gift of New Life (James 1:18)

By his own choice, he gave us birth by the word of truth so that we would be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
-James 1:18

Our lives, in God, through Christ, were God's idea.  God was there first.  

God has a plan for our lives.  Not a script or a program.  But a living will.

He chose to give us new life by the word of truth,  Jesus, who is the embodiment of the gospel.

The gospel is the good news that we can be reconciled to God, beginning now, by Christ.  Through the gospel we become the premiere part of the new creation.  Everything is going to be renewed and we get to be the first, in Christ.

The transformation that God does in our lives points forward to how God is going to renew everything.

Remember that the two broad themes of James are:
  • Now that you are a Christian, you have a lot of problems.
  • How to live as a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ.
To know that saving you was God's idea and that your new life was and is designed by God, gives us encouragement when we have troubles and challenges.  We are not alone.  We are not orphans or castaways.

God is our Father now and forever.  We get to immediately have a relationship with him when we believe through Christ.  Eternal life or life everlasting begins now.  Good news.

The gospel, the word of truth, is about the new creation, from God, and in Christ.  

A change happens called repentance, and we turn from one kingdom to another kingdom and begin life as servants and children of God through King Jesus.

Your Christian life was God's idea.  God was there first.  Your authentic life in Christ is all that counts and is God's doing.

The human tendency is to live your life by and for yourself.  But that is not the Christian life.  We can try to live that way, and claim the name Christian, while not being in Christ.

But the message and purpose of the gospel is to take us from following ourselves to following Christ.  And we begin that process by both recognizing his love and his authority.  Then, we turn from ourselves to him and turn from any other kingdom, to his kingdom.

The great gift of God to us is new life through Christ.  He is the word of truth, the embodiment of who God is: perfect theology.  And His message changes lives.

And his message is, "turn from yourself and the other kingdom, all other alliances, and follow me."  He says to give up everything, even our lives, and begin new life in him.

Jesus coming into your life means that he gets to take over.  It is not myself running things in my life, but now him.  Working that out is the Christian life.  We are beloved children and servants, living a whole new life in Christ.

The great gift of God to us is the Son, his life changing ministry in us.  To live governed or animated by ourselves is not the Christian life.

James message is how to live, in Christ, with all the issues that life serves up.  Square one is Father, knowing him, and receiving his gifts.  We are not involved in the premier self-improvement program, but a new life, in and with God, through Christ.

God does not take us with crooked lives and leave us there.  He gives us a new life in Christ.

The gospel is not, "hold on and hold out down here for a while and then you go to heaven".  The real gospel is, reconciliation to God, now; and new life in the new creation, beginning now, and  continuing on.

God designed and chose the new birth, through Christ, the word of truth, through which to give us life.  And our lives become Christ's life, which is the first fruit; meaning a life offered to God.  In Christ, we become God's children and his servants, who serve God in a life of worship and service.