Wednesday, November 3, 2010

FIRST THINGS FIRST!

Have YOU been born again?

I ask you this because many people who profess a faith in God do not have an experience with God. In John 3:3 Jesus said “You must be born again!”  On the back side of my testimony there are some basic verses of Scripture to help a person who wants to know more about a relationship with God. If you have not been born again, or if you are not sure that you have been born again then you will want to review those verses and if you have questions please feel free to write me and I will do my best to help you with your questions. You must be born again!


How do I know for sure if I have been born again?


When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior it is like we become brand new people. The Holy Spirit of God comes into our lives. He is a gentle and loving Being so there is nothing to fear.  Paul teaches us in Romans 8:9-11 that if we do not have the Spirit of God we do not belong to God. If we have committed our lives to Christ then we can trust that the Holy Spirit does indeed dwell in us whether we feel any different or not. It is our task to repent and accept Christ. It is the Father’s job (and joy!) to accept us and to send the Holy Spirit into our lives. The Spirit of God now lives in us! We are as it were ‘temples of God.’ (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20). We do not pretend that the Spirit dwells in us but we believe the Word of God and accept the fact that He does. This is serious business. This being born again is the most important thing that can ever happen to you and you do not want to ‘short circuit’ the process by failing to understand that you are now a brand new person. You have a new destination, heaven. You have a new Ruler, Jesus Christ. And you are to have a new lifestyle – you will be thinking differently, speaking differently and acting differently. I want to encourage you to take some time just now for prayer and Scripture reading. I want you to be sure of your new relationship with God and to understand that when you were born again the Holy Spirit came to dwell in you.  Please do not hurry through these verses but seriously consider their meaning and feel free to look them up in your own Bible to get the broader context. And always feel free to write me for clarification if needed.



Suggested Prayer

Dear God, Father of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the One Who died so that my sins could be forgiven, thank You for sending Jesus to die for me. I freely confess that until now I have rejected You and Your Son. Now I am asking You to forgive my sins because of what Jesus did on the cross and I am asking You to come into my life and make me a new person. I ask this in the name of Jesus Christ! Amen

If you could pray that prayer in all earnestness then you can be sure that you have been born again. How can I be so sure? Well, to begin with you said you were in earnest! I know that God is serious about saving those who call upon Him. The Bible tells us that no one comes to God unless God draws that person to Himself. (John 6:44) Secondly, the very fact that you called upon God is a demonstration of His working in you. God has allowed you to see that you were lost and condemned to hell. God has granted you to see and believe that you can be saved by putting your faith in His Son. Only people who have been given the Spirit of God can receive the grace of God. God called you and chose you to be His child.

Suggested readings and questions to consider

Romans 8:9

You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them are not Christians at all.)

What does this verse reveal to you about the importance of possessing the Holy Spirit?
Do ALL Christians have the Holy Spirit?



Romans 12:1,2

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will accept. When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask? 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is.

Does Paul seem concerned that commit ourselves to God?
What does he tell us to do?
What does he tell us not to do?
Do you understand the promise that God gives us in verse 2?

1 Corinthians 6:19,20

…don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.

Since the Holy Spirit now lives within us how do you think we should act?
Who owns you now?

Galatians 4:6
And because you Gentiles have become his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, and now you can call God your dear Father. 



Before you go any further I would suggest that you find a piece of paper and a pen and record the time and place where you asked Jesus Christ into your life. ( If you do not know the exact time I would do my best to record the facts as well as you can.) This will serve as a sort of spiritual birth certificate and many years down the road you will value it dearly.

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