What does it mean to be saved, born again, or to become a Christian?
Plain & Simple
Some of you may find my articles interesting but aren’t sure about the whole salvation thing. You may have had times when you found yourself hoping that there is more to life than what you are experiencing, but you’ve been turned off by what you’ve seen masquerading as Christianity. In this article I’ll do my best to simplify what it means to get saved, become a Christian, or be born again. These and other terms all refer to the same transaction that radically transforms a person’s life.
God created humans to have an intimate, personal loving relationship with Him. Being united with God in this way was a beautiful thing. Everything God created was for man’s enjoyment and conditions were ideal. It was paradise on earth. The only restriction God placed on the first two human beings was that they were not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the center of the beautiful garden where God had placed them. If they ate of it, they would die.
Well, they ate from it and they died, not physically but spiritually. At this point, you may be ready to stop reading. Adam and Eve? Really? Yes, really. The Bible’s account is the only logical explanation for why things (and people) are the way they are, especially now when all the rules seem to have changed. The biblical account is also the only the only reason for hope in something better, both now and in the future. So, please keep reading.
At the moment the first two humans disobeyed God, sin entered the picture. (Yes, sin is a real thing, and it’s more prevalent now than every before.) It became part of every person ever born from then on. Everyone is born with a sin nature that makes everyone rebel against God, His love, and His protective restrictions. Sin has become the problem because it is sin that now separates every single person from God. Unless something is done about sin, mankind will continue to be alienated from God, always on the outside looking in.
Through the years, man has come up with all sorts of ways to appease God, show Him how good we really are, or go through a list of rituals that will, somehow, please Him. These attempts have resulted in all the man-made religions of the world. They are all ineffective because they do nothing to remove the real problem—sin.
God, in His infinite wisdom, had the only solution. He would send His Son, Jesus, from heaven to take on human form. As the perfect God-Man, Jesus would become mankind’s representative—a substitute who would take upon Himself the sins of the entire world. He would even become sin so that when He died (on a cross), sin also died. It didn’t cease to exist, but for all those who would accept Jesus’ sacrifice on their behalf, its power over them would be broken. With their sin non longer separating them from God, they could enjoy the intimate relationship with Him that Adam and Eve once enjoyed. As a child of God, they were now part of His family and could enjoy the benefits of a family member of the God of the Universe.
Jesus Did it All
What did man do to deserve or earn this? Absolutely nothing. While the world’s population was still bearing their own sins, they were incapable of doing anything of eternal value. Help had to come from the outside. Jesus did everything that needed to be done. He died in their place…in our place…in your place. He suffered a horrible death, endured unimaginable shame and ridicule being crucified with two common criminals. Yet, He endured the pain, agony, and humiliation because He was on a mission to restore what had been torn apart—God’s relationship with those He had created.
There’s a lot more to salvation than this, but this represents its essence. Salvation (eternal life) is being saved from the sin that has kept us separated from God since the day we were born. Jesus stated the process quite simply: Whoever believes in Him (and what He did on our behalf) has eternal life (John 6:47). It’s that simple. However, it’s far more than just saying a prayer. The truly saved person is one who is truly sorry for choosing sin over Him, has repented for doing so, and desires to lead a holy life with a hatred of sin. A truly saved person has turned the controls over to Jesus, allowing Him to live out His life through this new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) that he or she has become.
Click here for a more extensive look at the riches of salvation.
For more on the assurance of salvation, check out “How to Know You’re Heaven Bound” on the Resources page of my website.
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
‘Tis better to have loved a short than never to have loved a tall.
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