Born Again – Saved By Grace, Not Works
By Dennis Huebshman
It was brought to my attention that the term Born Again needs to be explained further. Sometimes, believers have the feeling everyone knows what this means, yet we all had to learn it from the beginning at one time or another. For anyone who still questions what Born Again means, you are in good company.
In the 3rd Chapter of John, a Pharisee named Nicodemus came to Jesus at night to question Him about His beliefs. Nicodemus was not the typical religious leader that believed he knew everything, but sincerely was seeking answers. (After Jesus was crucified, Joseph of Arimathea claimed the body of Jesus, and Nicodemus helped him with the burial. John 19: 38-39)
When Jesus told Nicodemus, he must be “Born Again in John 3:3, Nicodemus’ answer was probably something I would have said the first time I heard this phrase. He asked Jesus if he had to re-enter his mother’s womb again. In the next couple verses, Jesus said one must be born of Water and Spirit or he/she could not enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus was speaking of the Baptism through the Holy Spirit that would be available after He was crucified. The water here was referring to Jesus as He mentioned He was the Living Water in several places. (example: John 4:10 with the woman at the well.)
Jesus gave the most famous verse of the Bible in John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. He then went on to explain why God had sent Him to this world. Verse 17 – For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. Verse 18 tells what happens if Jesus is not accepted – He who believes in Him is not judged, he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Going to John 14:6 (which just happens to be my life verse) – Jesus said I am the Way, the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by Me. This is the straight and narrow pathway as mentioned in Matthew 7:13.
Taking these verses all together, and numerous other ones in the Bible, we find that to be Born Again, one must believe in Jesus, accept the sacrifice He gave, and believe the sacrifice was sufficient to TOTALLY save us. If we believe anything else, we insult The Father, Son and Holy Spirit. To not accept Jesus as our Savior is the unforgivable sin. To think there is any other pathway to eternal life is part of that sin.
Romans 3:23 says we have ALL fallen short of the glory of God and Romans 6:23 says the wages of sin is death, but the FREE GIFT of GOD is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Going to Romans 8:1, Paul says there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Does this mean we never sin again? Not hardly, but we have a pathway as believers that we get straight from the Father through Jesus – 1 John 1: 8-10 – If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the TRUTH is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
How do we understand all this? John 8: 32; 36 says – You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free. (36) If the Son therefore sets you free, you shall be free indeed. In numerous places, Jesus told us He and the Father are one and the same. He made it clear we must accept that. Ephesians 2: 8-9 tells us we are saved by GRACE, and not works so that we cannot boast about our salvation.
Ok, is this just for God’s chosen – the Jews? Galatians 3: 26-28 says – For you are all sons of God through FAITH in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Note, the baptism here is referencing Holy Spirit baptism which came to us at Pentecost – I posted a message on the different types of baptism earlier.)
Probably the biggest group of people Jesus had trouble with were the religious leaders with the exception of just a few of them. From the time the law was given to Moses to give to the Israelites, man in his infinite wisdom has tried to add to and subtract from them to fit his needs. Problem is, God gave straightforward laws, and expected them to be followed without changes. If there were to be changes, God would have supplied them.
Example, God wanted His people to rest one day a week and set up ground rules for the Sabbath. Problem is, man figured it needed to be defined further and had hundreds of rules made up by them that didn’t really apply. Jesus Himself said the sabbath was made by Him, not man. Jesus said they would strain out a gnat but swallow a camel. (Matthew 23:24) He had constant conflict with them and it was they that eventually caused Him to be put on the cross, but they didn’t know He orchestrated His whole crucifixion. (John 10:18)
So, to bring this all to a conclusion, no “ritual” of any Church will do anything to get us eternal life with Jesus. There is a verse in a song that says, “Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe.” This is absolute truth. Saying phrases, being on every committee at a church, confessing our sins to a human, calling out to anyone other than Jesus to save us or anything else doesn’t work. The Church, true Church, consists of EVERYONE who puts their total Faith and Trust in Jesus to forgive our sins and to believe He is the True Son of God, and His Death on the cross took all our sins there with Him. It never gives the specific name of any religion in the Bible that we must join to be saved. We can do nothing to buy or earn our way to the Savior. Again, to think this is to insult the Father, His Son and the Holy Spirit. To reject this means you will be responsible for your own sins all the way to the White Throne Judgment.
Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:13 says that ALL who call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. When you call on Jesus, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in you, and you have a direct line to the Father. He’s available 24/7 and is always ready to listen to us. Call on Him now, please.