YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN
By GV Potter
The following post was written by a member of our fellowship.
The proclamation of the gospel, also known as the “Good News,” is centered on Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. Crucified, dead and buried, He arose alive on the third day, just as according to the scripture (1 Cor. 15:3-4). Paul gives a list of people to whom the risen Savior appeared after His resurrection, some of whom were the Apostles, Disciples, a group of over 500 at the same time, and Paul himself (vv. 5-8). If Christ had not risen as the gospel declared, the preaching of the Apostles would have been empty of the truth and altogether meaningless. The resurrection made it clear that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who conquered death, and reigns as Lord of all (Rom. 1:4).
The word Calvary appears only one time in the New Testament (Luke 23:33). It is also known as “Golgotha,” which is Hebrew for “the skull.” The location of Golgotha is a small hill in Jerusalem with skull-like features used for crucifying criminals. The Biblical events that happened there changed our eternal destiny. Jesus went to Calvary voluntarily. In fact, He could have chosen not to go. John 10:18 reveals that He was not coerced Him into giving up His life upon the cross. “No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself, I have power to lay it down and I have power to take it again.” Even His Father didn’t force Him. Jesus gave Himself as a ransom for all people (1 Tim. 2:6).
Christ died upon the cross only once to bear the sins of all mankind, “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment (Heb. 9:27).” This scriptural truth debunks the reincarnation theory or any other second chance at life. You have to get it right the first time, as there are no “re-do’s” on this life after you die.
Isaiah 64:5-6 tells us that sin displeases and angers God. “You are indeed angry, for we have sinned— In these ways we continue; And we need to be saved. But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags.” The entire world is “Guilty before God” (Rom. 3:19). There are no exceptions. The entire world (including you) stands guilty in God’s sight. But…He also provides a way out! “God made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21). On the cross Jesus, who was altogether sinless, was treated as if He was a sinner, so we could be considered righteous in God’s sight. Everything Jesus did, from His virgin birth, sinless life, death, resurrection, and ascension to heaven, He did to be our substitute and Savior. Thank you Jesus!
One of the clearest pictures of Christ’s purpose for coming to earth could be the two verses found in John 3:16-17. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” These two verses validate the truth that without Christ’s death and resurrection, our sins would separate us from God forever. This is our only means of salvation. There is no other. “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
Scripture tells us that we must be born again. “Most assuredly I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” That’s what Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3:1-21, therein shattering the Jewish assumption that the identity of their birth would assure them a place in God’s kingdom. Jesus made it plain that a man’s first birth does not assure him of the Kingdom of heaven. Only being spiritually born again gives this assurance of salvation because, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:6). Moral or religious reform isn’t enough. One must be born again of the spirit, and apart from God’s provision for salvation, this is something we are not able to do ourselves.
If you’re feeling led to change the direction of your life, then act upon that feeling and read Romans 10:9, which says, “…if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus Christ and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” This passage tells us how easy it is to be saved! If you take these steps, you are now born again and you’ve just received a priceless gift from God (Rom. 6:23). This gift is beyond what your mind can comprehend, and you never paid a penny for it! God now sees you clothed in righteousness (2 Cor. 5:21). “For by Grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Eph. 2:8). This may come as a surprise to some, but there will be no one in Heaven that can ever boast, “Look at all the good works and deeds I have done to enter Heaven.”
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me,” (John 14:6). That’s pretty straightforward and clear. When we line up these Biblical truths, here’s what it looks like:
(a) Christ died for our sins, was buried, rose again on the 3rd day according to scripture (1 Cor.15:1-17).
(b)There is no reincarnation or second chance at this life (Heb.9:27).
(c) We cannot receive salvation by or through any other name (Acts 4:12).
(d) Never put trust in the heritage of your physical birth as a way into heaven, (John 3:1-21).
(e) The only way we can come to God is through His Son, Jesus Christ (John 14:6).
(f) Don’t count on just doing good works or deeds for a free ticket into heaven (Eph. 2:8).
(g) By having the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, God sees us as sinless (2 Cor. 5:21).
(h) Without Christ’s death and resurrection, sin would separate us from God forever (John 3:16-17).
God loves you and calls you to turn away from sin and trust Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. If you do this, God promises to give you a new spiritual beginning and a new life that is both abundant and eternal. “You must be born again” may not seem important now, but it’s going to matter later.
Think of it like this: The shortest time you will spend anywhere is here on earth, and you’ll never know when your last day will be. Christ could return at any time. an unexpected event could suddenly happen to end your life at any moment, and if you don’t know Him, you would be lost forever. So, are you really ready to meet God? Here’s something else to think about: When you draw your last breath in this life (and you will), and you stand before God, if He were to ask you, “Why should I let you into My Heaven?” you’d better have a reason or excuse God hasn’t heard before! Praise be to God, the answer is simple: because Jesus fulfilled every requirement of God’s law on your behalf, you have been forgiven and declared righteous. Before you reach the end, you have two options: reject Him or accept Him. You must decide before it’s too late! To be born again comes down to this: Confess and believe with your heart, and you will be saved (Rom. 10:9). –Amen.
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