Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Are You a Born-Again Christian?

Many people claim to be a Christian. Some say they are one because they were born into a Christian family or a Christian nation. Others say that their parents had them baptized as an infant and are, therefore, Christian. Others say that they are Christian because they joined the Church, they sung in the choir, or asked Jesus to save them because that was expected of them. Yet others say that they are Christian because they asked Jesus to save them after they realized in their heart that they were sinners, that Jesus died for them, and He was the way to eternal life.

Are all these methods legitimate pathways to becoming a Christian?

The answer is "No" according to the Word of God.

After Jesus observed the passover with His disciples before He was to be crucified, He prayed for them and for those who would believe on Him through their word. He prayed, "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth." (John 17:17)

The Word of God establishes what truth is.

The Word of God in John 1:12-13 says

John 1:12-13

12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

We see from verse 13 that a person cannot become a child of God or be born- again by

1) being born into a Christian family (of blood)

2) by deciding on his own to be saved without God convicting his heart of his need for salvation (will of the flesh)

oo examples:

-- person gives mental assent to the teachings of the Church
-- non-believer marries a believer and decides to get saved for family unity
-- person affirms a belief that was bestowed on him through infantile baptism
-- person decides for Jesus because that is what is expected of him

3) parents deciding for them (will of man)

oo example - infantile baptism

To become a child of God (a Christian) according to verse 12 you must believe on and receive the Lord Jesus Christ. This belief is not a head belief but a heart belief.

Romans 10:9-10 says

9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Man's heart is deceitful and wicked (Jeremiah 17:9). He does not know that he is a sinner. It takes God revealing to man's heart that he is a sinner.

Man's heart does not know that he is accountable to God, and will be judged for his sins, and punished by being sentenced to eternal torment (sent to hell) because of them. His heart does not know that God loves him, wants to forgive him, and to give him eternal life with Him. His heart does not know that God had His only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to take God's judgement for his sins so he would not have to be judged for them. His heart does not know that God gave Jesus victory over sin and death by raising Him from the dead. All this takes God revealing to his heart these truths.

It takes God revealing to man's heart that he is a sinner, in need of a Savior, and that Savior is Jesus Christ.

If God is dealing with you heart that you are not a child of God, and you want to be, then I encourage you to go to God in prayer and ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins, come live in your heart, and be the Lord of your life.

If you are wondering if you are saved or not, then go to God in prayer and ask Him if your are.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Gospel and How to be Born Again

Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God. It is through Him and Him alone that one can have forgiveness of sin and eternal life (Matt 16:15-17, John 14:6, Acts 13:38, John 3:16).

God, the creator of heaven and earth, is a holy God (Gen 1:1, 1 Peter 1:15-16). He is a just God and demands that sin (disobedience to Him) be judged and the one who commits sin be punished (Rom 2:11-12, Rom 6:23).

He demands that all in His presence be without sin (Heb 12:14). That, of course, is humanly impossible to achieve because as Romans 3:23 states, "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

God prepared hell, a place of torment, for Satan and his angels (Matt 25:41) because they rebelled and sinned against God. All people who die in their sins will also go there for all eternity as punishment for having rebelled (sinned) against God (Matt 25:41, Rom 6:23).

God does not desire that for you. He wants you to be with Him. God made a way for you to be forgiven of your sins so you can be with Him for all eternity. (Rom 5:8, John 3:16)

Since God is a just God and demands that sin be punished, He chose to have His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, who knew no sin, to take God's judgment for your sins. In other words, Jesus Christ paid the penalty for your sins so you would not have to (Heb 4:15,1 John 2:2, 1 John 3:5).
God did not leave Jesus dead; He rose Him from the dead (1 Cor 15:4) and He sits at the right hand of the Father.(Acts 2:32-33).

You can have forgiveness of sin and eternal life if you

1) BELIEVE that Jesus died for you and rose from the dead.(John 3:16, Rom 5:8, Rom 10:9-10).
2) RECEIVE (accept) what Jesus did for you (John 1:12).
3) CONFESS this to God in prayer (Rom 10:13) and publicly to man (Matt 10:32).
4) OBEY God [Lordship] (Heb 5:9)

Every person who has ever lived, lives now, or will live will stand before God and give an account of their life to Him (Heb 9:27, Rom 14:12).

If a person dies in his/her sins because he/she rejected Christ then he/she will be judged a sinner and cast into the Lake of Fire to suffer conscious torment day and night for all eternity (Rev 20:10,15).

If a person dies in the Jesus, meaning that he/she has believed on and received Jesus as Savior and Lord, then he/she will inherit eternal life where he/she will be in God's presence forever and will know without measure the love of God (1 Cor 2:9).

Have you been born-again? If not, do you want to be? If you do, you can be.

Do you believe in your heart that you are a sinner? That Jesus died for your sins to satisfy God's judgment for your sins? Do you believe Jesus rose from the dead? Do you want Jesus to save you from the penalty of sin (hell) and to give you eternal life? If you do, then turn to God in prayer and confess that to Him and ask Him to save you.

Here is a sample prayer:

Lord Jesus, I am a sinner deserving of God's judgment and punishment. I know that you died for my sins so I could be forgiven and that You rose from the dead. I ask that you forgive me of my sins, come live in my heart, and be the Lord of my life. Thank you for saving me and helping me live the life you would have me to live. Amen."

If you have done this from your heart, then God will come live inside of you. He will change your heart and give you a new nature (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Everyday pray and read God's Holy Word, the Bible (KJV).  Ask God to lead you to the Church He would have you be a part of.  Let the Pastor and Church congregation know that you ask Jesus to save you.  Be water baptized.  Seek God's will for your life and walk in obedience to Him.