NEW BIRTH IN JESUS CHRIST
Bible Memory Verses: John 3:3,5,6.
“In reply Jesus declared, I tell you the truth, unless a man is born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God… I tell you the truth, unless a man is born of water and the spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to Spirit.”
Let us see first of all why we must be ‘born again‘ as Jesus said.
God created all (Psalm 24:1). He has set standards which we must reach if we are to have fellowship with Him. As we are all sinners, both by birth and practice (Romans 3:23), none of us could ever reach that standard, yet we were made of God (Colossians 1:16).
Jesus is the Son of God (Romans 1:3-4), Himself Divine. He left the Fathers side and became a man like us (Hebrews 2:14), though without sin (Hebrews 4:15).
During His earthly life He did meet God’s standards (John 17:4). He offered himself on the cross as a sacrifice to God, taking the punishment that our sins deserved (2 Corinthians 5:21).
He was raised from the dead and ascended back to the Father (Ephesians 1:20). Now God offers salvation (a relationship with God) to all who will accept it as a free gift, purchased by the blood of Jesus, because the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23).
So we can see why Peter could say “and there is salvation in and through no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by and in which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12 Amplified Bible).
How, then, do you become a Christian?
As our picture shows and our memory verses say, we need to be born into the family of God through Faith (believing) in the sacrifice that Jesus Christ has made on our behalf. This is clearly illustrated in John 1:12-13 which says “Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God — children born not of natural descent, not of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
We can see, then, that we are NOT Christians because
- We were born in a “Christian” country. Billy Graham once said “You may be born in a garage, but it doesn’t make you into a motor car. The only spiritual kingdom we are naturally born into is Satan’s kingdom, the ‘dominion of darkness’. (Colossians 1:13).
- We have Christian parents. Spiritual life is not of flesh and blood, God has no grandchildren, only children, (John 3:6). Each generation needs to know God for itself.
- We do our best and live a good life, we don’t hurt anyone. The Bible teaches that salvation is “not because of works”, (Ephesians 2:8-9). It isn’t what we do or even what we refrain from doing that makes us Christian.
- We were Christened or baptised as a baby. Scripture knows nothing of this and scripture is our guide.
- We go through some ritual or share in a sacrament (baptism or breaking of bread). See Galatians 6:15 and Hebrews 10:11-14.
- We join a church (1 John 2:19).
None of these things are effective, we need to be “born again.” This is an inward, spiritual experience, an encounter with Jesus Christ which puts us into a right relationship with God as his children. People sometimes refer to it as “being saved”, “getting converted” or being “born again.” To have had such an experience is the most vital thing in the world for you as an individual. There are two parts to it: “repentance to God and… faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Acts 20:21). You receive this free gift when:
- You see sin as the hindrance to being right with God.
- Recognise the futility of your own efforts to win God’s favour.
- Determine with God’s help, to forsake your sin – repentance.
- Realise that Jesus is the ONLY way of salvation.
- Recognise that trusting Him means submitting your life totally to Him as your Lord.
- You receive Him personally, by faith, as your rescuer and Lord.
A salvation prayer, known by many Christians as a “Sinners Prayer,” is a prayer one would say to repent from sin, ask God for forgiveness, confess belief in Jesus Christ, and accept him as Lord and Savior. Saying a salvation prayer is the first step in your relationship with God.
You can pray by yourself, using your own words. There is no special formula. Just pray from your heart to God, and he will save you. If you feel lost and don’t know what to pray, here’s a salvation prayer that you can follow:
Prayer of Salvation
I admit that I am a sinner. I have done many things that don’t please you. I have lived my life for myself only. I am sorry, and I repent. I ask you to forgive me.
I believe that you died on the cross for me, to save me. You did what I could not do for myself. I come to you now and ask you to take control of my life; I give it to you. From this day forward, help me to live every day for you and in a way that pleases you.
I love you, Lord, and I thank you that I will spend all eternity with you.
Short Salvation Prayer
Here is another short prayer of salvation that evangelical pastors often pray with people at the altar:
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank you for dying on the cross for my sin. Please forgive me. Come into my life. I receive You as my Lord and Savior. Now, help me to live for you the rest of this life. In the name of Jesus, I pray.
Is There An Official Sinner’s Prayer?
The salvation prayers above are not official prayers. They are meant only to be used as guides or examples of how you can talk to God and ask Jesus Christ to become your Lord and Savior. You may adapt these prayers or use your own words.
There is no magic formula or prescribed pattern that has to be followed to receive salvation. Remember the criminal who hung on the cross next to Jesus? His prayer consisted of these words only: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” God knows what is in our hearts.
Some Christians call this type of prayer a “Sinner’s Prayer.” While the term is not found in the Bible, the concept is based in Scripture:
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. (Romans 10:9-10, NIV)
In Psalm 51, King David asked God for forgiveness. This is another example of a salvation prayer in the Bible:
Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. For I recognise my rebellion; it haunts me day and night. Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight … Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me— now let me rejoice.
Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt. Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you …The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.
(Excerpts from Psalm 51, NLT)
If you just prayed a sincere prayer of faith you now have ETERNAL LIFE! You are SAVED! You are BORN AGAIN! You are in GOD’S FAMILY!
By faith in what God has promised – 2 Peter 1:3-4.
Consider also these Bible verses:- John 9:16, John 5:24, Romans 10:9
What happens at the New Birth?
Here are a few of the wonderful things that happen. There are many more!
- Born of God – John 1:12-13.
- A new creation – 2 Corinthians 5:17.
- A new kingdom – Colossians 1:13.
- Passed from death to life – John 5:24.
- Redeemed (bought back) – 1 Peter 1:18-19: “You must know (recognise) that you were redeemed (ransomed) from the useless, fruitless way of living inherited by tradition from your forefathers, not with corruptible things such as silver and gold, but you were purchased with the precious blood of Christ the Messiah, like that of a sacrificial lamb without blemish or spot.” (Amplified Bible)
- Saved from sin – Matthew 1:21, Ephesians 1:7, Colossians 1:14.
- Fellowships with God and His children – 1 John 1:3 “What we have seen and ourselves heard we are also telling you, so that you too may realise and enjoy fellowship as partners and partakers with us, and this fellowship that we have, which is a distinguishing mark of Christian, is with the Father and with his son Jesus Christ, the Messiah.”
If you’re wondering what to do next as a new Christian, check out these helpful suggestions:
- Salvation is by grace, through faith. There’s nothing you did, or ever can do, to deserve it. Salvation is a free gift from God. All you have to do is receive it!
- Tell someone about your decision. It’s important that you tell someone to make it public, secure, and firm. Find a brother or sister in the Lord and tell him or her, “Hey, I made a decision to follow Jesus.” Tell someone today if you can. It’s a great way to seal the deal.
- Talk to God every day. You don’t have to use big fancy words. There are no right and wrong words. Just be yourself. Thank the Lord daily for your salvation. Pray for others in need. Seek his direction. Pray for the Lord to fill you daily with his Holy Spirit. There is no limit to prayer. You can pray with your eyes closed or open, while sitting or standing, kneeling or lying on your bed, anywhere, anytime.
- Find a church and get plugged in somewhere.