So many people call themselves Christians, but are they "born again?" The first time followers of The Way were called Christians was at Antioch and in Acts 11: 25 it says this 25 Then Barnabas went on to Tarsus to look for Saul.26 When he found him, he brought him back to Antioch. Both of them stayed there with the church for a full year, teaching large crowds of people. (It was at Antioch that the believers were first called Christians. The term Christian was used in a very derogatory way by those who were mocking those of the faith. So the disciples continued to teach and preach Jesus and they became known as those who were "like Christ." The word Christian means to be like Christ.
So the whole "Christian" term still has a very derogatory meaning when people who have never been "born again" use the term. The life change that comes with repenting and accepting Jesus by faith many times is not evident because there has been no life change. Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! If a person has not been born again in the Spirit then they are not a "Christian." Spiritual birth brings life change and a desire to seek God and grow in the grace He has so wonderfully provided. So many want to humanize this experience and put some of themselves into the mix and that is just wrong. Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:9 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.
Salvation is just that.....SALVATION.(def) a source or means of being saved from harm, ruin, or loss. When you receive Jesus and you are born again, you are now going to heaven and not going to hell!! In this new forgiven state of being saved you now have the Holy Spirit in control of your life and at your deepest level you are able to realize and converse with God and He is ready and willing to give you abundant life that is full of His direction, His perfect will, and His Word. Before your spiritual birth, your fleshly or water birth would get you nowhere but hell, but the Spiritual birth gets you eternal life with Jesus. Blessed be the name of the Lord!
Part of your faith journey begins at the time of your spiritual birth and everything begins to make more sense after that spiritual rebirth. On this side of that faith commitment, all of this seems to be a little cryptic at best. Look at how a "very" religious man reacted to the word of Jesus in John 3:9 “How are these things possible?” Nicodemus asked. On the lost side of the faith, many will doubt how all of this can be. But on the saved side of the faith it all makes perfect sense because the Spirit makes it all evident. Here is the conversation between the religious leader Nicodemus and Jesus in John 3:There was a man named Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was a Pharisee. 2 After dark one evening, he came to speak with Jesus. “Rabbi,” he said, “we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you.” 3 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” 4 “What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?” 5 Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. 6 Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. 7 So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.”
Here is your spiritual qualification. You must be born again to be a Christian. Don't blame me for that one because it was Jesus who said it. And I believe it. If you are a "lost" Christian, then you need to get "right" with Jesus today, and then your life will change to where you begin living like a Christian, a born-again Christian. Paul wrote this in 1 Corinthians 2:14 But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means. Which are you?
The Pilgrimage Continues...