C.S Lewis, a well-known Christian author wrote of Jesus, “Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
Jesus commends the Apostle Peter’s confession of Him as “the Messiah, the Son of the Living God” (Matthew 16:16), because Jesus knew that who He is – and could be to us – has the power to change our lives. Jesus is so unique because two worlds collide in him: Heaven and Earth, the Divine and the human.
Yes, His Name is the name above all names, and his star-breathing, storm-calming, miracle-working power is second to none. Yet, He is also the human Jesus, the personal friend who knows what we are going through and cares about us. That’s why the Bible also calls Him “Immanuel”, God with us.
So does Jesus care about you? Yes he does!
How do we know this?
Often we disqualify ourselves from God’s love because of our history, our failures and shortcomings. Sin has separated us from God and we can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works. So how can we accept what we have not earned? The Bible says that nothing in all of creation can separate us from the Love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. And to accept God’s love is to trust his patient, forgiving and gracious stance towards us. Only He has the power to free us from guilt, shame and condemnation to give us a life of wholeness. All we have to do is turn to Him.
SO, AM I BORN AGAIN?
What an important question to ask!
You might be thinking:
"Well, I already consider myself a Christian, but I'm just not one of those born again Christians."
Or, you might ask:
"Can I be a Christian with out being born again?"
Well, as you'll discover if you read on, being born again is not only the means of becoming a Christian, it's also the state of being a Christian. Actually, when we say "a born again Christian", we are really using a redundancy of terms.
For example: We don't say, "Look at the male bull." We would say, "Look at the bull", because the term bull already implies that it's a male. Have you ever seen a 'female bull'? No! Remember, it's not a bull, if it's not male!
In the same sense, we shouldn't have to say born again Christian. Because you can't be a Christian if you're not born again!
Because Jesus said in John 3:3
"Most assuredly I say to you, unless one is born again, he CANNOT see the kingdom of God."
In other words, what Jesus was saying was, you're not going to heaven unless you are born again!
What did He mean by "born again"? He went on to say in John 3:6:
"That which is born of flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit."
In other words, when you were born into this world, you were physically born alive! That's one birth! But when you ask Jesus to be your Lord & Saviour, the Bible tells us that God's Holy Spirit comes into you and makes your spirit alive. That's a spiritual birth! You were born once physically, but upon your confession of faith in Christ as your Lord and Saviour, you are born again spiritually!
Also in John 3:8, Jesus says,
"So is everyone who is born of the Spirit."
Why must we be born again? Well, unfortunately there's something wrong with us that we don't seem to hear, or talk about a whole lot. And that's the fact that we are flawed by sin. Simply put, sin is that which does not resemble God! It's more than just an act, it's a state of being. Sin makes us spiritually dead to God!
Listen to Rom.3:23
"For we have all sinned, (you would have to admit that's true) and come short of the glory (or nature) of God."
So what's the big deal? Well, Rom.6:23 tells us:
"For the wages or payment for sin, is death..." (eternal separation from God)
Unfortunately that means, that because we all have this state of sin, we are all destined to an eternal separation from God in a place the Bible refers to as Hell! (see 2 Thess.1:8-9; and Rev.20:11-15)
WELL, NOW WHAT?
Can't we just be good enough so that God would like us and allow us in to Heaven?
You see, it's not that God doesn't like you, as a matter of fact He loves you! But he doesn't love your sinful condition. Why? Because sin and God can't live together. It's like fire and water. They can't blend!
Can't we just be good enough to earn our way to Heaven?
Well, how good is good enough? The Bible says, if we are guilty of breaking just one commandment, we're just as guilty if we broke them all!
Listen to James 2:10:
"For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all."
As matter of fact, God isn't looking for good enough, He's looking for perfection!
"What! You've got to be kidding?" "That's gonna take a miracle!"
You're right! And that's where God comes in...literally!
Listen to Rev.3:20:
"Behold I (Jesus) stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me."
Remember Rom.6:23 "For the wages or penalty of our sin is death..."? Well the remainder of that verse says,
"...but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord."
Jesus said in John 10:10:
"...I have come to give you life and life more abundantly."
One of the most powerful verses in the Bible reveals this amazing truth. It's found in 2 Cor.5:21:
"For He (God) made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be made sin for us, that we (you & I)might be made the righteousness of God in Him."
Wow! There's the miracle we've been looking for! Jesus swaps places with us. He takes on your sin, and you take on His righteousness. It's a spiritual miracle that results in you being born again. Your spirit is changed from a sin state (death), into a righteous state (life). That's being born again!!! But you need to accept that free gift by faith. We'll talk about that in a minute!
So, whether we're talking about eternal life in Heaven, or abundant life on earth, we know that it can only happen one way...and that's through a personal faith trust in Jesus Christ!
John 14:6, Jesus said,
"I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through Me."
So what do you need to do to experience this amazing new life God has planned for you?
- Well first of all, admit that you've sinned, and admit your need for Jesus.
- Secondly, believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead to pay the price for your sin.
"But God demonstrated His own love towards us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
"For God so loved the world (that includes you), that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
- Decide to change your life around. That's called repentance. Start by asking God to forgive you of your sin, and then invite Jesus to come into your life, confessing Him as your Saviour and Lord!
"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. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation."
Now if you're ready, and you've come to the conlusion that you must be born again, perhaps you would like to become a Christian right now. You're welcome to pray a prayer similar to this one: I encourage you to pray it out loud. Ready?
"Lord God, I admit I'm a sinner. I believe that Jesus died on the cross for me. I also believe that Jesus rose from the dead, and that He is alive today. I ask you to forgive me of my sin, and exchange my sin for your righteousness. Come into my life, and make be alive spirtually. I confess the Lord Jesus Christ as my Lord & Saviour. I ask you in Jesus name! Thank you Father! Amen!
If you prayed that prayer, CONGRATULATIONS!! You are BORN AGAIN! Welcome to the family of God! The Bible says, all the angels in Heaven are celebrating your new birth as a child of God into God's family.
LET US KNOW
If you’ve just made a commitment to Jesus and prayed this prayer we would love to hear about it and help you as you embark on this purpose-filled journey!
Well, just like a new baby needs love, shelter, protection, a family, food, clothing, instruction, etc., for its healthy development and maturity, so a spiritually new baby has similar needs.
Start attending Church. The local church is God's family. You are part of the family of God now, so get connected. You need to find a good Bible believing church to plug into. This may take awhile. Check out a few churches in your area until you feel God's Spirit settle you into the right loving, Bible based church.
If you are in the Edmonton area, we would love to have you come to Champion City Church. We'll help you grow and develop in your new relationship with God.
Start reading the Bible. The Bible is called the Word of God. It's your spiritual food! You need to eat in order to grow! See if you can get ahold of a Bible that you can understand, Some suggestions are (New King James Version. New International Version, or The Living Bible). Begin reading the Bible starting in the book of John in the New testatment. You might also want to read Psalms, and Proverbs. Its all good, but start there.
Pray daily. God wants to talk to you, and you need to talk to God. Get to know your Heavenly Father. Talk to Him like you would your best friend. Don't worry about how you talk right now, just communicate to God in sincerity and respect.
Ask God to fill you with His Holy Spirit! As a matter of fact, click here to learn more about the amazing relationship you now have with the Holy Spirit and being filled with the Holy Spirit!
God Bless you!!
A final word to those who are not ready!
If you haven't decided to take this all important step in becoming born again, we understand your hesitation. It's a big step that requires faith. It's not easy to put your trust in something your not totatally sure about! The last thing you want to do is believe a lie! That's normal!
However, if you are serious about doing the right thing, then we encourage you to ask God for assurance. He'll help you. However, just a warning: the Bible states that we don't know how long we will live before we die. And if you die without making the decision to trust in Jesus for your salvation, you will miss out on Heaven, and you will experience Hell. Heb.9:27 says:
"And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment."
You see, there's no second chance after death!
We understand that it's a big step and commitment in becoming a follower of Jesus Christ. It's a choice God has given all of us to make. As parents we love when our kids willingly love us. It wouldn't mean a whole lot if they were forced to. Well it's the same thing with God, God won't make you love Him. He's given you the freedom to become born again.
Just remember, the problem is sin...the solution is Jesus! Take Him or leave Him...it's your choice, but the consequences of either choice are monumental!
We encourage you to prayerfull count the cost, weigh out your options and take a step of faith in saying yes to Jesus! It is the most important decision you will ever make. I promise, you won't regret being born again!
God loves you and so do we!!