TODAY'S BIBLE READING: JOHN 1, 2, AND 3
Just what has happened to you? That's a good question, and an important one. Knowing what happened and what it means will help you the rest of your Christian life.
It happened in a church, in your home,or somewhere else.Someone helped you, orperhaps you were by yourself. Butwasn't itsomething like this? You felt a need, learn ed somehowthat JesusChrist could helpyou, and one way or another, asked Him to come into yourlife.
Now, what does it all mean? Let' s put it simply. Two things have happened:
- Jesus has become your Savior.
- You have become a child ofGod.
- 2. You could not save yourself.
Only Christ couldsaveyouThe Bible says, "All havesinned" (Romans 3:23). That includes you and me. The Bible also says, "The wages
of sin is death"(Romans 6:23). This kind of deathis spiritual and eternal.
We cannot save ourselves from this death by our good works, by church membership, or by trying to be good. The only way to besaved (there's that word saved) from the penalty is to get rid of oursins.
Now, how can we be saved? Jesus provided the way by dying on the Cross. In doing this, He took our place and suffered our punishment. When we ask God to forgive our sins and believe Jesus died for us, God accepts us for Jesus' sake, our sins are forgiven, and Jesus becomes our Savior.
But somethingelse has happened. You have become a child of God.
A child of God? What does that mean? look at it thisway. When you were born as a baby, youreceived natural lifefromyourparents. Becauseof thisyouarelikethem, you have m an y of theircharacteristics.
When Jesus became your Savior, He brought to younew life, spiritual life, life from God. The Bible calls this the new birth (John 3:3). By your first birth you became a child of your earthly parents; by your new, or second, birth you have become a child of God, your HeavenlyFather.
This is important' You now have two natures: (1) The old natureyou received when born the first time. This we can call the self-life. (2) The new nature you received with thesecondbirth.SinceJesusChristisnowlivinginyou byHisHolySpirit,wecallthisnewnaturetheChrist-life.
As far as your first, or natural, birth is concerned, you may be an adult, a youth,or a child. But as far as yournew, or spiritual, birth is concerned, you are a newborn. You havereceived a new life, but it's justbeginning.
During these next few days you will begin growing in your Christ-life. These will be very important days. You are establishing the pattern for the rest of yourlife. You are determining the kind of Christian you will become.As you follow each suggestion, you will begin to mature asaChristian.