#2: You Must Be Born Again
Christianity is not a self-improvement program. Each of us must come to the realization that we are impotent to change ourselves. You were not just a person who did wrong things. You were an inherently wrong person. Every person without Christ has a nature inherited from Adam, the nature of Satan, the father of all evil. You were like everyone else, controlled by your lusts. Jesus didn’t just die to forgive your bad deeds. He was raised again to provide you with a new identity. You were born again, born of the Spirit. Now you will spend the rest of your life learning who this new person is, living a life that reflects the new nature, the nature of Jesus Christ.
Three Big Ideas to Remember:
1. You were the wrong kind of being. After Adam sinned, the nature of humans changed. By Genesis Chapter 5, God said the heart to of man was “only evil continually.” That is a long way from “very good.” The bible refers to this state as being spiritually dead. It came about through Adam’s disobedience and left all of us worthy of God’s wrath. In fact, Jesus said we all had the nature of our father, the devil. Genesis 6:5 /8:21 / Ephesians 2:1-3 / John 8:44
2. Becoming a Christian requires a miracle. I can train my dog to walk on his hind legs, shake hands, and not mess in the house, but he is still a dog. Similarly, religion tries to housebreak the sinner, but His nature is still wrong. God has a better plan. When you heard the Gospel of Christ, faith came to your heart. When you confessed Jesus as the Lord of your life, a miracle took place. The old person died. The Holy Spirit transformed your heart and made you a new person on the inside, in the heart. You now have the nature of God. You are born again. John 3:1-8 / Heb 12:9 / Gal 5:22-23 / John 1:12, 13 / James 1:18 / 1 Peter 1:23 / 1 Peter 1:3-5 / Rom 10:9-10, 17 / Titus 3:5.
3. You have to learn who you are. After salvation we are like newborn babies. We have to learn who we are and how things work. Though we are new on the inside, it takes time and effort to translate that change to the outside. Our heart is changed, but our thinking, attitudes, and habits need to be re-trained to reflect our new reality. You couldn’t change yourself. God changed you. The New Testament is full of wonderful insight about the nature of this new creation. We can look to the Scripture to tell us about our new identity. 2 Cor 5:17 / Rom 5:19 / Eph 2:10 / Eph 4:20-5:2 / Col 3:10-14.
Somebody Said: Jesus came to raise the dead. He did not come to teach the teachable; He did not come to improve the improvable; He did not come to reform the reformable. None of those things works. –Robert Farrer Capon
Here’s the Point: Your sinful actions were the outgrowth of a sinful nature. You couldn’t change yourself, you had to be born again. This happens by the work of the Spirit in you when you place your faith in Jesus Christ. After the new birth, you still can’t change yourself. You allow the life of Christ that is in you to overtake you from the inside out. The New Testament tells you who you are. Read it!
Action Steps: If you haven’t done so already, turn to Romans 10:9 and make a prayer out of it: Proclaim Jesus as your Lord. Quit trying to change yourself. Go through your New Testament and find 5 scriptures with the phrase “in Him.” Write the verses down and carry them with you for a week, reading them aloud when you get the chance.
For the full video of this lesson, click on Lesson 2: You Must Be Born Again
Click HERE for the next lesson: Baptism is Not a Suggestion.
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