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by Don Pedal
5/15/2011 / Christian Living
Many years ago, Jesus said to Nicodemus, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the Kingdom of God unless he is born of the water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to the flesh but the Spirit gives birth to the spirit". (John 3:5).
Two simple words, born again, yet they are two of the most profound and important words in scripture.
Born again Christians are commonly referred to as people who have made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ, confessed their sins, and accepted Jesus as their Savior. A born again Christian understands that we are saved by grace through faith and it is a gift of God, not of works. (Ephesians 2:8, 9).
As important as this message is, why have so many in our churches today never heard it preached from a pulpit or preached with the importance it deserves. Some have never heard it preached at all. How many people, in the secular world, have no idea what born again means and may never hear the message of salvation.
Jesus tells us, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few". Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into the harvest field". (Matt. 9:37, 38). What if He asks us to go . are we ready?
Where is the failure here? Who is responsible?
Surveys show that only one third of all adults believe that there is such a thing as absolute truth. Only half of all adults believe the Bible is true and accurate in all it teaches. Some born again Christians do not believe, or doubt, that Satan is a real being and not a vague force or simply humanity's evil side. How many believe there are many ways to heaven or that all faiths teach, basically, the same thing.
Why would we ignore, or, have a tendency to misinterpret, this vital call to be born again?
John 3:19 21 sheds light on this subject when Jesus says, "Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God".
Many of our seminaries and churches are failing to proclaim the Gospel in all its truth and simplicity. We thus become aware of our commission as servants and disciples of Jesus to cry out, Make way the path of the Lord! We need to let the light of the Gospel shine through us into the dark world around us. We need to shout from the housetops the message that God loves us right where we are and wants to have a personal relationship with us daily. Many who are unchurched today will never hear of that precious love unless we bring the message to them in a loving, non-judgmental way.
We all have reasons for delaying or ignoring this command. We might say, I do not know what to say so I let my light shine through my lifestyle as an example of my relationship to Christ. That is fine as far as it goes, however, the message of being "Born again" cannot be conveyed only by the example of timid Christians.
We need to put into words what it means to be born again so that the hearer clearly understands the need for, promises and conditions of God's most precious gift, freely given to the human race.
Why is Jesus statement that we must be born again so vital to our spiritual life?
Many of us feel we will go to heaven because we are good people. We may have flaws, (sins), however we do more good than bad and a loving, just, God surely will not condemn us.
Believing in God means we are saved. If that is all that is required, then Satan and his demons are saved also. Satan certainly believes in God and has access to His throne room to accuse believers all the time.
Have you ever wondered, what is the difference between a believer and a born again Christian?
Although a believer believes in the existence of God and is trying to live the best life he can, he will find he is failing because he is not empowered by the presence of the Holy Spirit in his life. If we believe that our good works will save us, we face the question, by what standard? What sins are worse than others? How many good works versus sins are sufficient to save us? Who decides these things? Do we decide for ourselves or is there another authority figure to help us?
We can not find answers to these concerns in scripture because they are not there. They are not there because they are not true.
When we are "Born again", we come before God, in humility and a repentant spirit, to acknowledge our sins and humbly ask God for forgiveness. We realize we can never earn forgiveness by works, (Ephesians 2:8, 9). We acknowledge that our Savior paid the full price for our sins already, on the cross. Forgiveness is a free gift Jesus is offering us. When we approach Him this way, and are sincere, our sins are forgiven and we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. He will reside within us and our bodies become temples of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is the "Comforter" who Jesus promised He would send.
Once the Holy Spirit indwells us, we are empowered to resist sin in our lives. We will begin the process of renewal from the inside out.
As the quality of a tree is judged by its fruit, so also the presence of The Holy Spirit may be discerned by our spirit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness and self control. (Gal. 5:22, 23). It is not long before relatives and friends notice changes in us. Our light is now beginning to shine into that dark world around us.
Each one of us will come to a point in our life where we realize something is missing. It may come as a vague feeling but it is persistent. That may be the Lord reaching out to us to take the next step of commitment. He will never force us to heed His voice --- our free will is still ours. I have never heard of anyone dragged into heaven
The free choice is ours.
He is waiting patiently to have that personal relationship with you and bless you beyond imagination.
Are you willing? Do you know someone with whom you can share this message?
Step out and take action --- Now!
As a senior citizen, I am dedicated to serving the Lord through sharing my experiences and insights with other believers. My primary focus is upon being an disciple of Jesus and, in being one, I can help others to find their spiritual way also.
This article is original and not copywrited
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