Have you ever wondered what the phrase “born again” means? The Bible records that Jesus used the phrase in a conversation with a man named Nicodemus. Nicodemus approached Jesus at night (Nick at night). He was curious about Jesus and the kingdom of God.
Jesus told him: “Unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). Nicodemus responded, “But how can anyone be born when he is old?” (John 3:4).
Nicodemus was a highly moral man who obeyed God’s law. He was a respected leader of the Jewish community. No doubt he was a fine man. Yet something was lacking. Like Nicodemus, many people today confuse religion with new birth in Christ. Phrases like “I pray regularly” or “I believe there is a God” often are confused with a new real new-birth experience.
New birth begins with the Holy Spirit convicting a person that the person is a sinner. Because of sin, we are spiritually dead. For this reason, spiritual birth, as Jesus described it, is necessary. God loves us and gives us spiritual birth when we ask Him for it.
The Bible says all persons are sinners (Romans 3:23). Jesus died on a cross and was raised from the dead to save sinners. To be born again means that a person admits to God that he or she is a sinner, repents of sin, believes in or trusts Christ, and confesses faith in Christ as Savior and Lord. Jesus told Nicodemus that everyone who believes in (places faith in) Christ would not perish (john 3:16). Jesus is the only One who can save us (John 14:6).
To believe in Jesus is to be born again. Confess your sins and ask Jesus right now to save you. “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Acts 2:21). After you have received Jesus Christ into your life, share your decision with another person, and following Christ’s example, ask for baptism by immersion in your local church as a public expression of your faith (Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:6).
The main reason I love Christmas is because it reminds me of the greatest gift ever given to mankind-salvation through Jesus Christ. I know there are a lot of activities and church events to attend, but I would like to encourage you to take a different approach this December. Take time to slow down, and remember that only one thing is truly needful: to bow down and worship the Lord. When we celebrate someone’s birthday we normally will give them a present. So what are you giving to Jesus this year? I believe God wants us to help the poor, needy, widows and orphans. He also desires that we share the Good News of Jesus Christ to a lost and hurting world. Give Jesus the greatest gift, give Him yourself. What a wonderful gift it would be to know that during the Christmas season by faith you accepted the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.
I realize that I have sinned against You. And because of my sin, I have been separated from You. But I believe in my heart today that Jesus died on the cross for me and shed His blood so that the punishment of my sin would be paid in full. I confess with my mouth, “Jesus is Lord” and believe in my heart that You raised Him from the dead. I ask Jesus to come into my heart right now that I may find forgiveness and never be separated from You again. Thank You for the promise that I’ll spend all of eternity with You in heaven. I ask these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.
By faith I keep pressing on.
(Editor’s note: Milley Brewington can be reachecd at email@example.com)