Where does personal Christianity begin? Some say we are born Christians, others say when we are baptised, others say obeying a creed, keeping the commandments, doing good unto others, good works. The list is endless and while many of these things may hold great truth there is only one way to become a Christian and that is the Biblical way.
Personal Christianity begins by believing in God, the creator of all things, he is absolute truth and holiness. Because we are human and are separated from him by our sin we do not have a personal relationship with him. God in his love and mercy saw our need, he was gracious to us and made a way for us to have forgiveness of sin and enter into his family. How? He sent his sinless, spotless son, the Lord Jesus to take upon himself our sins and the punishment for them in order to reconcile us to God.
This calls for a necessary decision on our part. We are to believe that the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ is the only way we can have salvation. We become aware that whatever we are trusting is not the right way, we turn from them, change our minds and put our faith in Christ alone. This is repentance.
A New Birth is Necessary.
New spiritual birth comes not by becoming religious, not by turning over a new leaf there is nothing we can do it is an act of God alone. It cannot be produced by any natural method.
Jesus said “truly, truly, I say unto you, unless one is born again [from above] he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Jn. 3:3
He went on to say “truly, truly, unless one is born of the water [washed by the word Titus 3:5] and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said unto you. “You must be born again [from above].”” Jn. 3: 5-7
Jesus explains it another way when he said “I am the door, by me if any man enter in he shall be saved.” Jn. 10:5 so, we must make a decision to enter in the door [Jesus] in order to be saved and not think the church, or works or any other thing is the door. It is by faith alone in Christ alone.
Paul said, “and you he made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins.” Eph. 2:1 The human spirit is dead towards God and God alone can give new life to the soul that is without him and without hope. God speaks the word and raises the spiritually dead person. This is the miracle of the new birth. He gives us his life in our souls and spirits, this is eternal life and not human, it is a gift we receive when we trust Christ for salvation. Jn 3:16; 1Jn. 5:12; Jn. 17:5
When we meet Christ and put our faith in his finished work we become a newborn spiritual baby and enter into an eternal relationship with Almighty God. At this point God the Holy Spirit comes into our lives and we become a child of God, we are adopted into his family. Jn.1:12; Rom.8: 7.
A person may know about Christ and his words and yet not know him personally. When you take that step of faith and receive him into your life you will then know him and be eager to learn more about him and the new life you now have.
We had missed the mark, fallen short of God’s requirements. Rom.3: 23. Actually we were in the slave market of sin but Christ redeemed us [bought us, purchased us] and set us free. Rom.6: 16-23; Gal.5: 1; 1Pet.14-19. We cannot find freedom from sin any other way. Jn.14:6, Acts 4:10-12.
We are asking you to memorize at least two portions of scripture we have mentioned that will help you in understanding the new birth.
True or False?
1. There is more than one way to God? John 14:6
2. Some people are good enough to meet God’s requirements? Rom. 3:23
3. You don’t have to receive Christ to become a child of God? John 1:12
4. The new birth is necessary? John 3: 3-7
5. The door into heaven is baptism or the church? John 10:7
6. You cannot know if you have eternal life? 1 John 5:11-12.
7. God condemns us all? Rom. 8:1; John 3:18
8. It is not possible to be justified by faith? Rom. 5:1
9. You cannot have assurance of salvation? John 1:12
10. I have to make a decision? John 3:36.