Begotten of His Will
James 1:18 says “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.”
From chapter one there is a recurring theme of birth; for example verse 15 which talks about “when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin”. In this verse we see another reference to birth.
The verse starts out by saying “of his own will begat he us”. As Christians we have been born again into the family of God. However, there is no way on this earth that we could ever earn or even deserve this second birth; instead God gave us this spiritual birth because of His own grace and will. It is fully the work of God. Just as we cannot generate our own human birth neither can we generate our own spiritual birth. When we put our faith in Christ, it was God who performed the miracle!
The verse continues “with the word of truth”. We are reborn through the word of God. 1 Peter 1:23 says “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.” Our first birth was from the seed of Adam which was a corruptible seed, but our second birth is from the word of God which is incorruptible and lives forever. Our first birth is physical, our second is spiritual. It is in the word of God where we find the means of salvation, and therefore the means of new birth.
Why did God give us this new birth though? “that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures”. We see from James 1:1 that he is writing to Jewish believers and therefore the phrase firstfruits would have been very prominent to them. Proverbs 3:9 says “Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase.” The Old Testament Jews brought the firstfruits to the Lord as an expression of their devotion and obedience. Therefore as a kind of firstfruits of his creatures it is our obligation to present ourselves first before anything else. Of all the creatures God has in this universe, Christians are the finest. Before salvation we had a sinful birth and therefore a sinful life but now we have a spiritual birth through the word of God so therefore we should have a spiritual life. It is this new spiritual birth that helps us overcome temptation. If we let our old nature take over we will fail; but if we yield to our new nature we will succeed through Christ.
It is important to note though that like a new born child our spiritual life needs feeding and nurturing. Our lives must be fed the word of God daily. Just like God uses the word to give us life, He also uses it to give us strength. Matthew 4:4 says “…Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God”.
If you’re struggling with sin or temptation today I pray that you will come to the realisation that your rebirth is everything. God saved you through His will and His word. It is God who gives us life; and if this is so then surely God will support this life. Realise today that you are a kind of firstfruits, the cream of the crop, and should therefore act that way. Bring yourself before God and offer yourself and surrender to His service to fulfil his will in your life which He has given you. Remember who has given you life and use it for Him. – Andrew
Posted on September 8, 2012, in Andrew's Thoughts for the Day and tagged Bible, christian youth, Christianity, First Epistle of Peter, God, James, Jesus, Old Testament, Religion and Spirituality, Sin, Temptation, Youth. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.