When polls are taken regarding religion, I think that more often than not, many people say that they are Christians using the process of elimination. They think “I’m not Buddhist, Muslim, Jewish or Hindu, so therefore I am Christian.
I can see how a person arrives at this logic, but the problem is that the process of elimination first shows that there is no real passion and commitment to Christianity. In essence, the person is trying to show what they are not, and then basically saying “You see? I have to be Christian, right?” Wrong.
When Nicodemus came to Jesus in the night, he first affirmed to the Lord that he acknowledged that He had been sent from God:
“There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “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.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter 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 to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Nicodemus answered and said to Him, “How can these things be?” (John 3:1-9)
This confused Nicodemus. Never before had he heard such things, and he was a teacher in the synagogue! He could not comprehend what Jesus was telling him. Asking Jesus if he was to return to his mother’s womb for a second time to be born, showed that Nicodemus had no idea of that which Jesus was speaking.
The Pharisees were going through the motions. They acted so pious and holy. They prayed long prayers so that others would hear. When they fasted, they made sure that others would see them suffering, but their hearts were far from God.
I remember in the synagogue when I was a child, that the old men would come in on Yom Kippur, and they would have messy hair and a look on their faces like “Oy, I am suffering so badly!” I never thought much about it back then, but since I became a believer, I’ve seen this in the Scriptures. Jesus told us not to act this way, because this was for man – not for God. He said to wash up and make oneself presentable. He said that He knew what a person was doing, and that was all that mattered. We are to please God, not men.
Born again. It is said so much, and sometimes I think that is has lost its meaning. Unbelievers call people who live for Jesus “Those born again freaks” or “Jesus freaks.”
When I heard that Jesus Christ loved me and that He died for me, I wanted to really know Him. I remember asking the Christian couple what I had to do. Did I have to take a course, or recite some words? I realized that I had come to the most amazing point in my life. I can remember the excitement inside of me.
John said to me “You need to agree with Jesus that you are a sinner. You need to repent (turn away) from those sins. Then you need to tell Jesus that you want Him to come into your heart and change you into what He wants you to be.” John added that it had to be genuine, because God cannot be fooled. I was so hungry to know Him, to live for Him, and to tell others about Him. That was the most amazing night of my entire life. I was born again — born from above.
I want others to know about Jesus and His love for them. I have been considered a “Jesus freak” even in a few churches. I was so naive when I was first born again. I believed that everyone in church would be on fire for Jesus.
Now, I know that we all have different personalities, and that’s a wonderful thing. But when I talk to a person in church, I can almost immediately tell if this person truly has the Spirit of God living within them. Their speech is different. Their focus is different. I am so comfortable being with them and talking.
I met another Christian writer recently. When we get on the phone, I don’t even know where the time goes. We talk about Jesus and what He has done in our lives. We talk about the Word. We have both been born again. We are sisters in Christ.
There are many people who have warmed the pews of so many churches for years and years. They do wonderful things for the community. They are always on committees. But when I would speak with them one on one, there was a large divide like a canyon between us. I love them, but my spirit does not recognize them — does that make sense?
I don’t know if it is pride that keeps a person from admitting that they are a wretch, and that they desperately need a Savior. We are all wretches. Jesus died for us because we are wretches. We were born with a sinful nature. God cannot abide sin. He sent Jesus to reconcile us back to Him.
“This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.” (1 Timothy 1:15-17)
Have you been playing church? Does working in ministries in your church make you feel worthy and accepted by God? You are doing good works to earn your salvation! NOTHING we can do can earn us a place in heaven when we die. We must come to the Father through His Son! Then our good works are the evidence that we have been born again!
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)
I pray that someone who has not repented of their sinful ways, and trusted Jesus alone to save them is reading this article right now. I pray that the Holy Spirit will draw you to Him, and truly open your eyes. I pray that you will know that you must be born again from above to be heaven bound.
If you have done this, the next time you sing this old hymn, it will truly mean something to you, and the lyrics will be your lyrics!
Jesus Paid it All by Charles R. Dunbar
I hear the Savior say,
“Thy strength indeed is small;
Child of weakness, watch and pray,
Find in Me thine all in all.”
Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.
For nothing good have I
Whereby Thy grace to claim;
I’ll wash my garments white
In the blood of Calv’ry’s Lamb.
And now complete in Him,
My robe, His righteousness,
Close sheltered ’neath His side,
I am divinely blest.
Lord, now indeed I find
Thy pow’r, and Thine alone,
Can change the leper’s spots
And melt the heart of stone.
When from my dying bed
My ransomed soul shall rise,
“Jesus died my soul to save,”
Shall rend the vaulted skies.
And when before the throne
I stand in Him complete,
I’ll lay my trophies down,
All down at Jesus’ feet.