“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3 (ESV)
Have you ever thought that God has some type of heavenly scale and when you reached the Pearly Gates, He was going to weigh your good deeds against your bad deeds and if your good deeds somehow outweighed your bad deeds, you’d get a ticket to enter in?
Have you ever thought that because you were a good person and went to church and even believed in God that you would get some kind of free pass into heaven?
I used to think all of those things. That is until I was born again.
Lately, I’ve been really evaluating my heart, my motivation and my pursuits in light of God’s calling on my life and I’m convinced that the most important thing I can convey to others is that we all must be born again.
Many of us are Johnny on the spot to tell people about Jesus, how much He loves us and how wonderful He is…and we need to be busy doing just that. But if we don’t tell them how His death on the cross can affect their lives and how they can have a personal relationship with Him, then we are not sharing how it is that they can enter into the family of God.
Jesus didn’t die for church attendance. He didn’t die so we could fulfill some type of manmade ritualistic religious requirements. He didn’t die so we could have a certain type of music played in church that would satisfy the masses. He didn’t die so that we could be good and benevolent people. He didn’t die so we could find a denomination that suited our preferences and decide that we would identify ourselves as a specific denomination.
He died because we were already dead. He rose because our dead human spirits needed to be made alive and He alone could defeat the power of spiritual and physical death.
“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—” Ephesians 2:1-2 (ESV)
In John 3:2 Nicodemus made his way to Jesus and started telling Jesus, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.”
And he was right. Jesus was sent by God.
When Nicodemus said, WE, he was most likely referring to all of his pharisee buddies…and maybe even the community at large. But Jesus redirected the conversation to deal with the heart of one of the most religious men of his day. The problem was not that they didn’t believe that Jesus must have come from God. The problem was that they were too religious to see what was missing.
You see, we live in a culture of convenient Christianity. It’s so easy to believe that because we believe in God and because we go to church and because we are somewhat morally conscience, that we are Christians. But unless we are born again, we cannot see the Kingdom of God.
We can be very religious, but very lost. Believing in God, but not really to the saving of our souls. Saying we’re saved, yet have never been born again.
You see, believing in God does not secure eternal life. The Bible warns us in James 2:19, “You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror.”
Today, I’m writing this because I desperately want to see people come to know Christ. Not just know about Him, but really know Him. And that can only happen when we are born again. When our dead human spirit is made alive and then we can understand what the Bible says that those who worship God, must worship Him in spirit and truth.
So, how do we know if we’ve been born again or if we’re just religious?
“Therefore, if anyone isin Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
This is a TEST VERSE as well as a PROOF VERSE for salvation.
If you’ve been born again, you have had the Holy Spirit take up residence in your heart and you have been changed. You aren’t perfect, but the passion and pursuit of your heart and life is now Christ. His Spirit bears witness with your spirit that you belong to Him. (Romans 8:16), and the way Jesus described the results of the BORN AGAIN experience will be evident in your life.
“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” John 3:8
An invisible wind wisps through the trees and stirs the air. You can’t see the wind…but you definitely can see the results of the wind.
The same is true for all who have been born again.
If you have not been changed, you have not been saved. It’s really very simple but we complicate it with religiosity and requirements that find no base in Scripture.
The most important thing I could ever tell you sweet friend, is that you must be born again.
That takes place when you surrender all you are to all Jesus is accepting what He did on the cross in payment for your sin with a heart willing to repent and turn to God and make Him Lord of your life.
I LOVE how John 3:16 reads in the Amplified and gives us all the biblical meaning of ‘believe’… “For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.”
QUESTION: HAVE YOU BEEN BORN AGAIN? I’D LOVE TO HEAR YOUR TESTIMONY!