Pastor's Column: Born-again
November 19. 2013 11:59AM
If you've been around Christianity much, you've probably heard the phrase “born-again.” It's a phrase taken right out of the Bible. In John 3, Jesus told Nicodemus that the person who wants to be saved has to be “born-again.”
A man named Chuck Colson, famous for his participation in the Watergate scandal of the 1970s, put his faith in Jesus Christ while facing prison time. He later told his story in a book title “Born-Again.”
So what does it mean to be born-again? What did Chuck Colson experience?
We are saved from eternal damnation through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. But not everyone is saved. Just because we've heard of Jesus or have a vague belief in Jesus or go to a church, doesn't mean we are saved. In order to be saved, we must believe in Jesus and repent of our sin. The way that usually goes is that we come to a point in life, where we really, really do believe in Jesus. And then we tell God that we believe in Jesus and we tell God all the sins that we are sorry for and we ask God to save us and to forgive us on the basis of the blood of Jesus Christ, and we commit to living a life that is pleasing to God.
But there's this question that haunts a lot of people: How do I know if I'm saved? And people ask questions like, “Have I believed in Jesus enough? Did I repent enough? Is there something else I need to do?”
What it means to be born-again is that God's Holy Spirit has come inside of us. And God's Holy Spirit has begun to make changes in us. God's Holy Spirit causes us to love God, to love the Bible, to love Christians and to care about those who aren't yet born-again. God's Holy Spirit causes us to hate sin and to long live righteous lives. Among other things, God's Holy Spirit gives us peace and love and joy and patience and kindness and self-control. Some of those changes happen right away when the Holy Spirit comes inside a person, and some of those changes happen slowly over time.
If we have the Holy Spirit; if we are born-again, we know that we are saved. It's an incredible thing to have God living inside of you! He changes everything. Not only have I experienced being born-again, as a pastor, I've had the privilege of seeing people come to faith in Jesus Christ and then watching the changes that happen in their lives when the Holy Spirit comes inside of them. What changes have I seen in the lives of people from Dell Rapids? Joy, freedom from addiction, overcoming depression, persevering faith in the midst of trials, stronger marriages, a desire to read the Bible, a desire to teach other family members what it means to follow Christ, a desire to overcome sins, an unusual love and concern for fellow Christians, a desire to share Jesus with others, etc., etc., etc.
Would you like to know that you are saved? Would you like to be born-again? I would love to talk and pray with you. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the church office at 605-428-4111.