What does "SAVED" or "BORN AGAIN" mean?
The answer was given to us by Jesus himself in the book of John, chapter 3, verses 1-21. Jesus was speaking to Nicodemus, a ruler among the Jews.
“I assure you and most solemnly say to you, unless a person is born again [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, sanctified], he cannot [ever] see and experience the kingdom of God.” John 3:3
Nicodemus asked Jesus…
“How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter his mother’s womb a second time and be born, can he?” John 3:4
“I assure you and most solemnly say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot [ever] enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh [the physical is merely physical], and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” John 3:5
As you can see, even the spiritual leaders of Christ's time struggled with the concept of "saved" or "born again".
So, all I must do is good works?
That's not what Christ is saying. It takes a head knowledge AND a heart knowledge with a bridge between the two. It's with true confession and a turning from the person we were to follow the leadership of Christ that brings a personal relationship.
“For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift - not from works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8
If God Knows Everything, Why do I have to confess?
Confession isn't revealing to God what He doesn't know, it's agreeing with Him to release the control of our own lives to live in the light and peace only He can give. Once we confess our "sin", He forgives us so we can be in His presence.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
So, what is sin and why do I need forgiveness?
Sin, simply stated, is just missing the mark. It ranges from the "simple little white lie" to the most horrible heinous acts. With God, it's all the same. Sin separates us from Him. For us to enter His kingdom (Heaven) we must be cleansed from all unrighteousness". This is the "gift" Christ has given through His sacrifice.
"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" Romans 3:23
"In Him (Jesus), we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins" Ephesians 1:7
What "gift" and "sacrifice?"
It is taught throughout the Bible that a savior would come and save the world from its sin, and sacrifice Himself in our place. In the days of Adam, an animal was killed and its blood would cleanse the people for a little while. It was never a permanent solution. The gift was Christ being born of a virgin, who lived the perfect life, and then became the replacement sacrifice so that His blood would set the whole world free from our slavery to sin forever not just a little while.
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16
So, let's bottom line this thing, "What must I do to be saved?"
Jesus said it back where we started in John chapter 3. Romans 10:13 gets even more basic.
“Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:13
Yes! It's a gift; but it will cost you everything. It will cost you all your lonely nights, cost you all your hopeless nightmares and all your empty pain. All you must do is accept it.
God loves you so much that he would never force Himself on you. That's right; it's your choice. It's as simple as life and death. We have the choice between heaven and hell.
The Bible tells us that Hell is a real place. But, it wasn't meant for us. It was made for Satan and his demons. We were never meant to go there. God loves us enough to allow us to choose where we spend eternity. He prepared Heaven for His people, but we must come to Him on His terms, not on ours.
So, how do I accept this gift?
That's right, all we must do is ask. It's not magic words, not some special mantra. In fact, it is simply something like this....
Dear God, I know I am a sinner and I deserve Hell. I ask you to forgive me, come into my life, be the boss of my life and save me.
Yes, it's that simple. Christ has done the hard work, all we must do is follow the path He has already set before us.
Is that it? Now I've been set free?
If you meant it, Yes. Only God and you know for sure whether you meant it. You can show that you meant it by the way you live your life from now on.
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Drop us a line if you prayed this prayer for the first time. We would absolutely love to celebrate your decision with you and start you on a road that will bring you to a full understanding of who God is and why He loves YOU so much!