Being born again…means being born of the Spirit, a new creation in Christ…the old has passed away, all things have become new.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the [a]right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: John 1:12
There’s so much to say about this…
In John 3:3 Jesus didn’t say, “Nicodemus, you might want to consider…” or “Maybe you ought to think about…” NO! He said, “Unless you are born again, you cannot see the kingdom of God.” Those words came straight from Jesus. He’s telling Nicodemus (a religious Pharisee, a man who loved God and studied the Torah-the first 5 books of the Bible) that if he wasn’t “born again” he would never go to heaven. Friends, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8) He says the same thing to us today.
Here’s the problem as I see it…
What or who do you look to to be the authority in your life? If Jesus Christ isn’t your authority you’re lost. Jesus is the Word made flesh…and His word (the Bible) is true. Everything we need is contained in His Word. If you’re getting your information from man you need to realize that men have many different opinions. The Bible tell us Jesus Himself scolded the Pharisee’s and the scribes telling them their traditions made the word of God of no effect (read Mark Chapter 7). That’s pretty powerful. If you don’t believe the Bible to be the actual God breathed, Word of God; if the Bible itself isn’t your authority, then it’s just a piece of literature and it’s words have no power for you. How do I know this? Because I’ve experienced it. I never knew what it meant to be born again until He saved me and gave me a new heart, with new desires and a new hope. My hope is found in Him; my joy is found in Him. From that day, I’ve had this desire to grow closer to Him. I let His word be a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path (Psalm 119:105). This is my testimony. I know it to be true because it happened to me. Four years ago I was in a very dark place. I wanted to die but was too chicken to take my own life. I cried out to God, “If You’re real, if You’re really true, You have to do something! Change my life!…because I don’t want to live anymore!” And He did. He truly did. I have been on the most incredible journey with Jesus ever since. It hasn’t been all roses; it’s been tough! But not because Jesus is tough, certainly not! His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matthew 11:30). It’s tough because Satan brings trouble; he wants me to be discouraged, he wants to keep me from telling others about the good news of the Gospel! That’s all he can do now; he knows he’s lost me, because I’m a child of God…born again of the Spirit of God. But if he can get me discouraged I won’t tell others. He’s been doing his best to do that. But the good news is, he’s already been defeated. Christ was victorious. I know the end of the story: Jesus wins! And I’m on His team!!! If you’re born again, you are too. Are you?
How do I know I was born again?
Well, when I said those words I didn’t have a “spiritual” experience like a bright light or goose bumps or anything like that but what I did have was a revelation of my sinfulness. A deep, deep sense of remorse came over me. Suddenly, I realized that Jesus Christ loved me. He loved me so much that He died for me. He died for my sins, all of them! Not just the big ones. He died for for all the things I never even realized were sinful, like: doubt and unbelief, bad attitudes, judgments, pride, selfishness, bad thoughts, failing to help someone when I could have…all of it! When I realized this, I knew that the Lord Himself had revealed this to me. He was real. I asked for forgiveness and repented by telling Christ I accepted Him as my Savior and wanted Him to be the Lord of my life. I said a prayer something like this, “Lord, I’m so sorry! I no longer want to live the way I’ve been living, I no longer want to hurt You. I believe that you are God. I believe that what you have for me is better than anything I could come up with. I want to want what You want! Change my heart…help me to want You above all else. Thank you for giving me new life, I now give my life back to You.” And I began seeking Him in all that I do.
I’m sad for the people who believe they are Christians simply because their family is or because they go to church, or their daddy is a preacher, or they walked an aisle once when they were 12, or whatever the reason. I’m sad because I know the difference now. I wasone of those people once. I grew up Catholic. I never knew I needed to be born again. I was under the impression that so long as I did all the “things”, jumped through all the sacramental hoops, I’d be ok. (There’s a bigger story here, but that’s for another day).
For the [a]message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18 (NKJV)
Please hear me now..I know there are many Catholic’s out there who love Jesus, my family included. But are they all saved and born again? I know I wasn’t. Loving Jesus and trying to “be good and do all the things” doesn’t get you into heaven. This is what God has revealed to me and what He has put on my heart…to share the Gospel message of salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.
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, lest anyone should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 (NKJV)
Only you know if you’re saved or not.
If you’re reading this you were already born of your mother and father…a physical birth took place when you sprang forth from your mother’s womb on the day we now call your “birthday”…but if you don’t know if you’ve been born again, then my guess is, you haven’t. A spiritual change takes place in you and you just know. Ask God to reveal Himself to you. This is between you and God. I was alone in my apartment when He saved me. I believe when you know, you know. The Bible says:
that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9 (NKJV)
What’s stopping you?
I should have added this when I first posted…Pastor Jack Hibbs (Part 1 on being Born Again)…enjoy!