Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Speak Lord!

Meditation for the week of April 10, 2011

1 Samuel 3:7  Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, nor was the word of the LORD yet revealed to him.

Every person must meet the Lord Jesus personally and trust Him if they are going to be in God’s heaven.  The Bible calls this being “born again.”  Peter refers to this experience in his epistle when he says,  “having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever (1 Peter 1:23).”  The Lord emphatically says in John 3:3, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."  In John 3:7 he says, “You MUST be born again.”  The new birth brings us into a new relationship of trust with the Lord Jesus.  It fits us for heaven.  It changes us from people living for self to a people who live to please the Lord.  When we are born again, we love the Word of God.

When I study my Bible, I look for principles in the Gospels, examples in the Acts of the Apostles, teaching in the epistles, and illustrations in the old testament so that I am sure I am not taking a doctrine out of context or applying the principle of law to the day of grace in an inappropriate way.  John has given us the principle of the new birth in John 3.  The Philippian jailer in Acts 16 is an example of the new birth.  Peter has given us teaching in his epistle.  Samuel is one of the old testament illustrations of the new birth.

I notice in 1 Samuel 1:11 that Samuel was dedicated to the Lord before he was born physically.  He may have been part of the worship in the temple before he was born again (See 1 Samuel 1:28). He definitely ministered to the priest Eli in the temple before he was born again (See 1 Samuel 3: 1).  However, while the old testament life changing encounters with the Lord are not called being born again as they are in the new testament, I believe that Samuel was “born again” in this passage.  I have noticed that the new birth is through the Word of God in 1 Peter.  It is by hearing the Word of God in Romans 10:17.  Samuel had not had the Word of the Lord revealed to Him until he met the Lord on this night when the Lord called to him.  After this experience the Word of the Lord was precious to him and he spoke for the Lord as a prophet.

There was a change that occurred in Samuel’s life when the Lord called to him that night.  Since Samuel had thought Eli the priest was calling him, he kept trying to respond to Eli.  When Eli realized the Lord was calling Samuel, he told Samuel to wait for the Lord to call and then to say, “Speak LORD for your servant hears.”  However, Samuel said, “Speak for your servant hears.”  It appears that Samuel was unable or unwilling to use the term LORD or Jehovah.  Likely it was because he didn’t “know” Him yet as the passage says. 

I realize that we come to “know” the Lord in different ways.  Most of us in new testament times come to know him because we hear the Word of God and are convicted that we have never been “born again.”  We find out that we need to be born again because the Bible says we need to be.  Of course we also need to be born again because we who are sinners by nature and by practice need to become saints through faith in Christ.  Our sins need to be forgiven through trust in the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.  It is only when the Word of God becomes real to us through the power of the Holy Spirit that we will actually “know” that the Lord died for us personally.  Then we will not only “know the Lord”, we will know that we have forgiveness of sins and eternal life because the Word of God and not the word of man will assure us of that (1 John 5:13). 

Every person needs to know the Lord.  Samuel’s story doesn’t center on his deep need to know the Lord because of his sins even though he like all people was a sinner.  Before he knew the Lord he was unsaved or lost.  Afterwards, he was saved or “born again.”  Even though he was involved in the formal ceremonies of worship in the temple and even though he was dedicated to the Lord before he was born, he still needed to be “born again.”

I know I am born again.  I remember when the Word of God became “enough” to assure me that Christ had already died to save me from the penalty that I deserved because of my sins and that He didn’t need to do any more than that for me to be saved.  Of course, for that truth to do me any good, I had to trust the Lord by trusting the Word of God.  I had no trouble trusting when I finally realized that the Word of God promised me that Christ had already done the work that saves and I just simply needed to believe in or trust what God had said.  That gave me a new life with Christ.  I often wonder what life would have held for me if that important event had never occurred in my life.

The Bible says, YE MUST BE BORN AGAIN!”  There are no detours, loopholes or exceptions.  I have never met a person who is saved and sure of it that wishes he had never been “born again.”   Please make sure that you know the Lord and that you know you have eternal life.

Bruce Collins

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