It’s Personal!

What is the difference between a person who is ‘religious’ and one who is ‘born again’?

There are actually many differences.

The person who is ‘born again’ is one who has come to the place where they’ve realized that he or she is a sinner, and as a result, condemned before God…that, except for God’s grace--provided in Jesus the Messiah, he or she would have remained condemned, but now, by that same grace, he/she is saved, forgiven and free!

The ‘religious’ person knows about ‘sin’ also, but it’s more a general sense…not personal. They also may or may not know about Jesus, and why His death mattered–why God accepted His sacrifice in payment for the sins of everyone who calls on Jesus, in faith…but they haven’t made it ‘personal’.

One person takes it and applies it personally…then lives in the light of eternal life(!), while the other is unmoved by it personally, although they may give intellectual assent to it.

Paul wrote that “It is by (God’s) Grace that you have been saved, through faith (in Jesus); it is not of yourselves, it is a gift of God! This is not a result of good works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus to go good works.” (Ephesians 2:8-10)

The difference between a ‘religious’ Christian and one who has been born again, and given new life in Jesus is similar to the difference between beach-goer who appreciates the Lifeguard being present and one who was just saved by that Lifeguard.

One is ‘academic’, the other is personal!

The person who is ‘born again’ is one has been given spiritual life by the work of God–the Holy Spirit. One who’s come to understand that, unless God intervenes, I am spiritually dead, and will continue to be so.

Jesus said I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”…“I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit.  Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life.” (John 3:3-6)

As a result, the person who is ‘born again’ takes their faith very personally. After all, it’s a whole new LIFE! “Therefore if any person is ‘in Christ’, they are a new creation! The old life is gone, new Life has begun!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Once a person acknowledges and turns from their own sin and need,  acknowledges God’s provision in Jesus, reaches out and takes hold of Jesus, by faith and submits themselves to Him, they are ‘born again’. Then not only are they ‘forgiven and free’, but they are then brought into the family of God, by faith, with confident hope of eternal life!

The great news is that this doesn’t only apply to eternity!

It applies to life in the ‘here and now’ too!

Jesus said “The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy; I have come that {Believers} might have life, to the full!” (John 10:10)

The personal relationship we can have with God, through Jesus, is life-changing…and it’s open to all!

“For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 24 Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. 25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood” (Romans 3:23-25)

The GREAT news is that it’s open to you!

“If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.” (Romans 10:9-10)

No one can choose for you…it’s personal.

However, make no mistake about it: God loves you and wants You to make that choice!

He wants to give you Eternal Life, through Jesus Christ!

By God’s grace, I have come to understand this and have reached out to Him, in faith. It has completely changed my life, for the better! I look forward to eternity with Him, and I am blessed that He is leading me to experience “Life, to the Full” in the here and now!

It’s personal.

What will You choose?

Published by Pastor Dave Johnson

Follower of Jesus, Husband to Lori, Proud Father to 6 great kids, Co-Pastor of Kalamazoo Community Church. Long-suffering Detroit Lions fan.

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