I recently had the pleasure of catching up with an old friend. We had such a good time conversing, but during our time together, the Spirit tugged on my heart. I felt compelled to witness to him about the Lord Jesus Christ. I was puzzled at first because I’ve known this person for quite some time, and I assumed he knew our wonderful Redeemer. That day, I learned a very valuable lesson. We should never assume when it comes to a person’s walk with Jesus. I came right out and asked him if he was saved. I thought he’d say, “Yes, of course I am.” Instead, he asked me, “What do you mean by ‘saved’?”
What it means to be saved
God teaches us in Romans 10:9-10(NLT), “9 If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.” Most of us hear the word ‘saved’ and think of it in very general terms. Being rescued from harm or danger immediately comes to mind. So, if a person doesn’t perceive that he or she is in immediate danger, they may not understand the staggering importance of salvation and being born again through Jesus Christ.
In truth, there is nothing more harmful or dangerous than to spend an eternity cut off from the One True Living God, and therefore being in perpetual eternal darkness and despair. It’s a fate far worse than our minds can comprehend, and this is the reality of all who are not saved through Jesus Christ.
God proclaims in Colossians 1:13-14 (NLT) that He has “rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.” Jesus Christ has made salvation from eternal darkness and damnation available to us, but he will not force anyone to accept the salvation he offers. Love never forces, it lovingly guides. Our beloved Savior is delighted to guide us into salvation and into his magnificent light if we are willing to be guided by him.
We must choose to love God
Genesis 1:26 tells us that God created humanity in His own image. Like Him, we are self-governing. We make our own decisions, and we get to decide who we are going to be. We decide whether we will be a child of God or a child of satan. An in between doesn’t exist. Jesus Christ makes it clear in Matthew 6:24 that we can’t serve two masters, we will love one and hate the other or vice versa, but we can’t serve both. We’re not built that way.
God has given each of us the gift of free-will, and Romans 11:29(NLT) says, “For God’s gifts and his call can never be withdrawn.” God is all-powerful, all-knowing, perfect and magnificent in every way. He never has to do a do-over or a take-back. He does things perfectly from the very beginning according to His divine design. He means for us to have what He wants to give us, and He is faithful to the gifts He gives. He will not override our free-will choice.
God offers us salvation and it is a free gift. We can’t do anything to earn it. Heavenly Father freely offers us the blessing of spending an eternity with Him through Jesus Christ. God loves us, and because of His great love, He offers us the extreme privilege and honor to choose to love Him back. John 3:16(NLT) says, “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” When we were at our worse, God sent His only begotten Son to save us and give us eternal life. He did this because He loves us more than we can ever know. He wants to have a relationship with every living person, and His greatest delight is loving and sharing His Kingdom with us.
We can’t save ourselves
Roman 5:11(NLT) tells us, “So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.” Through Jesus Christ, God has made us righteous because being righteous is necessary to be friends with God. Romans 3:25-26 The Message (MSG) tells us, “25-26 God sacrificed Jesus on the altar of the world to clear that world of sin. Having faith in him sets us in the clear. God decided on this course of action in full view of the public—to set the world in the clear with himself through the sacrifice of Jesus, finally taking care of the sins he had so patiently endured. This is not only clear, but it’s now—this is current history! God sets things right. He also makes it possible for us to live in his rightness.”
Because of what God accomplished through Jesus Christ, we now live in God’s “rightness”. It’s not that we are so good, God is the only One that is righteous and good. You and I don’t have any righteousness of our own. So, God gave us His righteousness through Christ. Sometimes people will say, “I’m not ready to have a relationship with God yet. I’m too worldly, too angry, too sinful, or too this or that…” Maybe they think they are enjoying themselves by doing all the things that pleasure their senses, but we were not created to live that way. We were created to walk in God’s Spirit! Only Jesus Christ can fill our cups and give us joy.
It’s a myth that we can make ourselves “okay enough” to come to God. We can’t. None of us can do this. For instance, some that have an addiction to a substance might think they’ll come to God when they give up the drugs or alcohol, but in reality, they find that the struggle never ends. They keep disappointing themselves and can’t understand why they can’t stop. Others might be very unhappy with their lives because they struggle with insecurities, anxieties, and fears. Spending most of their lives feeling lost, it’s challenging for them to believe that God wants to have a relationship with them; that He loves them in their brokenness and wants to help them. Before we come to Christ, we are all broken and in desperate need of God’s saving grace. We need to be cleansed by the blood of the lamb. We desperately need the new life that Jesus Christ offers us, and God wants to help us. All we have to do is come to Him and invite Him into our hearts.
You must be born again
In John 3:3(NLT), Jesus Christ had a conversation with a man named Nicodemus. He told him, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” Just as we are birthed from our mother’s womb and have our biological father’s seed, when we accept the Lord Jesus Christ into our hearts as our Savior, we are spiritually born again. In order to be a child of God, we must be born physically, and we must be born spiritually. Accepting God’s love through Jesus Christ causes a spiritual consummation. We receive God’s seed by faith, and the Holy Spirit comes to live inside us. So, to be saved is to be born-again. It is to come alive to God spiritually as His child.
Faith is not magic, and magic doesn’t come from God. It’s not about a ‘kid in a candy store’ attitude, where God gives us anything we want. Faith is believing that God gave His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to save all of us, and it is believing that our all-powerful, awesome God can do anything and through His resurrection power, He raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Believing this truth, repenting from our sins, and asking God for forgiveness transfers us from eternal death to eternal life in Christ.
We’re on this earth to decide who we are going to be for the rest of eternity, and if we choose God, we must remain committed to Him. We must apologize for the sins we have committed, because sin is an offense to Him. The first Adam sinned and everyone after him sinned as well. As God’s children, we must reject Adam’s disobedience and surrender ourselves to God to be guided and led by Him.
In John 14:6(NLT), Jesus Christ declared, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” The world would like us to believe that there are many paths to get to God. Well, it’s true that there are many paths, but they lead to destruction and idolatry. Jesus Christ is the only path to our Heavenly Father, the One True Living God. If we miss this, we’ve missed life entirely. Christ is the Prince of Life and through him, we can live an eternity with God. Ask Heavenly Father to forgive you for your sins. Ask Him to come into your life and accept His love in your heart by believing in what He has done for you through Jesus Christ. Confess your belief that Jesus Christ sacrificed his life for your sins, and that God resurrected him from the dead. Once you do this, you are saved and your spiritual journey in Christ has begun! ■
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright ©1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.
“How Do I Become Born Again”, written for findchristianman.wordpress.com. Copyright©2022. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord.