A NEW BIRTH! 7-5-2015

posted Jul 20, 2015, 8:37 AM by Dale Barnes

 In January 1957, I was aboard a ship returning to the United States from Japan. Just two months before I had become a Christian.  While on board I talked with the chaplain.  I shared with him what had happened to me in Japan; Christ was real to me.  He told me “you have been born again.”  I had never heard that term before. Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again…You must be born again.” (Jn.3:3,7 NIV)

Since that time, I have met people from all kinds of backgrounds; social, economic, religious and ethnic, who also have been “born again.”  The new birth is always centered on the person of Jesus Christ. It is amazing that these individuals do not have this new relationship with God because of saintly background or a pattern of good works. It stems from a real encounter with the living Christ.  They are confronted in some way about their need for a savior; Christ is presented as God’s answer for forgiveness and a new life.  They come to Christ and are changed.

The criminal hanging on a cross next to Jesus is so amazing!. (Lu.23:39-43)  After all his criminal life, in a moment of complete honesty, he admits he is getting what he deserved.  In Jesus, he saw something real and lasting.  He simply says to Jesus, “Remember me when you come into your kingdom.” He turned to Jesus in humility and Christ gave him something eternal. “Today you will be with me in paradise.”

The gospel (good news) is that God will forgive and give eternal life to those who humble themselves, honestly acknowledge their need and turn to Christ.  They become a new creation. (2 Co.5:17)  It is a free gift!  This stumbles some!  God gives us what we do not deserve.  Don’t stumble, receive God’s wonderful gift.