What It Means To Be Newborn

Being newborn, or "born again," means that your inner spirit has been brought into a new relationship with God through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ.

When God first designed you, He intended you to be in close fellowship and friendship with Him. But when you fell into disobedience and sin, as all of us have done, the contact with God was broken.

You should not condemn yourself for your failure, but you do need to be honest and acknowledge the truth of Romans 3:12, 17, 23:

Everyone has turned away; all have gone wrong. No one anywhere has kept on doing what is right; not one...and they have never known what it is to feel secure or enjoy God's blessing...Yes, all have sinned; all fall short of God's glorious ideal.

Simply stated, God's Word is saying that none of us lives up to what God created us to be. When we understand and acknowledge that fact, we are ready to respond to the reason Jesus came. His redemptive life, death, and resurrection were specifically provided so that we could return to the Father's original plans for us—plans that had us in vital, restorative, creative touch with Him.

Now that you've decided to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, your relationship with God is established. The moment you made that decision and believed in and committed your life to Christ, God accomplished several things for you:

1. Redemption: You are forgiven of sin.

So overflowing is His kindness toward us that He took away all our sins through the blood of His Son, by whom we are saved. - Ephesians 1:7

2. Cleansing: You are washed from your sin.

He saved us—not because we were good enough to be saved, but because of His kindness and pity—by washing away our sins and giving us the new joy of the indwelling Holy Spirit. - Titus 3:5

3. Regeneration: You are born anew.

Jesus replied, "What I am telling you so earnestly is this: Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God." - John 3:5

4. Justification: You have peace with God.

So now, since we have been made right in God's sight by faith in His promises, we can have real peace with Him because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. - Romans 5:1

5. Adoption: You become one of God's children.

And so we should not be like cringing, fearful slaves, but we should behave like God's very own children, adopted into the bosom of His family, and calling to Him, "Father, Father." - Romans 8:15

6. Acceptance: You are received by the Father.

His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into His own family by sending Jesus Christ to die for us. And He did this because He wanted to! Now all praise to God for His wonderful kindness to us and His favor that He has poured out upon us, because we belong to His dearly loved Son. - Ephesians 1:5, 6

7. Eternal Life: You have an endless hope.

"I say emphatically that anyone who listens to My message and believes in God who sent Me has eternal life, and will never be damned for his sins, but has already passed out of death into life." - John 5:24

All these things are yours now, for you have received Jesus Christ, acknowledging Him as God's Son who died on the Cross for our sins and who has risen from the dead. These are the beginnings of the blessings included in the gift of salvation. They comprise what it basically means when we use the expression, "I'm saved!"

So now that you are beginning your new life through Christ, you will find God's Holy Spirit continually helping you increase your understanding of your new Father and family. The Spirit will widen your viewpoint on the greatness of our heavenly Father's love and grace.

It was through the Holy Spirit that God first spoke to your heart and called you to life with Him. When you responded, you said in essence, "I want the Lord Jesus Christ in my life. I want to know God's love and forgiveness." This decision was the first step that you and millions of others have taken, a step of faith into a family of brothers and sisters who have come to know the heavenly Father in a personal, powerful way.

From Newborn: Your New Life with Christ by Jack Hayford. Published by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois. Copyright © 1984 by Jack Hayford. All rights reserved. Scripture quotations are taken from The Living Bible, copyright © 1971.

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