Just because we can agree with the “orthodox” meaning or definitions of Christianity, does not mean that you have partaken of the Lamb. Jesus proclaimed to the man Nicodemus that “Ye must be born again.” Once upon a time, I thought that going to church, singing in the choir, being confirmed, taking communion, saying the prayers equated me with being a disciple of Jesus Christ. “I’m Christian because I do these things and agree with the church’s doctrines.” But the Lord says, unequivocally, “No dear one, ‘Ye must be born again.”
When I tell friends or family who still hold to the same religious coffin that I once lived in, that they must be “born again,” the reaction is one of self-righteous indignation, “I don’t believe that Baptist stuff.” But this is not from a Baptist church or preacher, this is from the Lord Jesus Christ and it is an experience. We must not be afraid to experience the saving Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, to partake of the Lamb by faith.
In one moment, I was changed, saved and transformed by the Grace and power of God Almighty. I was one way one moment, (the person I had been born as) and in the next moment, after believing in Jesus Christ and saying in my heart and out loud, “God is real, Jesus is really His Son, and He really did die on the Cross for my sins!” I saw a very thin, almost imperceivable veil lift off of my eyes, and I saw for the first time. It was like seeing the world for the first time as it really is, like a newborn baby. I saw Truth from that moment on and praise God, had a fire in my belly to serve the Lord. I actually turned to my husband and said to him, “I just feel a fire in my belly that wasn’t there before and all I want to do is serve the Lord for the rest of my life.”
That was an experience. It was totally imperceptible by all those in my company, but I knew that something was different. I had faith. I was not in doubt anymore and I truly became a new creation in Christ Jesus. When I went to the priest and told him, “Something happened to me the other day. I don’t know what it is, but now I hear God talking to me. I hear the Holy Spirit speaking to me!” I was so excited, but wanted to know more about what had happened to me, because being “born again” was not taught in the Episcopal church. In fact, my experience is that Episcopalians shun this phrase and willingly, deliberately do not teach this fundamental doctrine of Jesus Christ.
His answer for me, was that I was converted. Which is true, but I did not think or feel that that word “converted” fully described what had happened to me. This was a complete and total change. My spirit, mind, desires, everything about me, and everything that I was, was now different. I loved the Lord Jesus Christ. I loved His Cross.
I remember the first Easter service that I attended after I was saved. In years past, I had always cried when on Good Friday during the service. This time, I sat there with a huge smile on my face and was actually gleefully joyful about Jesus dying on the Cross. I had joy in my heart, rejoicing that Jesus was crucified. This was not a day of sorrow for me anymore, it was a day of Victory. The Cross has brought me life, and I knew it and I was thankful for it. Yes, Jesus had to go to that Cross, because without that, I would die and be lost forever.
The unredeemed mind sees the Cross as a failure as an awful historical occurence, but to the saved, it is life, it is joy, it is our hope. Praise God!
1Co 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
As I said, “Ye must be born again” is an experience, not a theological theory. It is also not optional! It is essential for one to even see the Kingdom of God. Not only will the born again experience save your soul, but you will truly be able to see. And all of this only happens through faith in Jesus Christ and what He did for YOU on the Cross.
For me, I had to come to the place where I saw that all of my years of sitting there, in church, listening to sermons, praying, saying the confession, taking communion–none of that touched my heart. I realized that I believed in God, that there was a God and I believed that there was a devil, but I didn’t know about Jesus Christ. I got down on my knees and was actually sincere with God and told Him, “God, I know you are real, but I am not sure about Jesus. I need faith. God, please help me to believe in Your Son Jesus. Please give me faith.”
Shortly after that, I asked my husband to give me a bible. I didn’t even own one. I had never read the Bible. I told him that I needed a bible that I could understand and study. He bought me a study bible. That was my first bible and I still have it. I wore that thing out reading it and taped it back together when it broke. It wasn’t until a year later that I was born again. No one led me into the sinner’s prayer. It was a transaction between myself and God (more God than me). For that whole year, I began to seek God and to really pray. I had never really prayed before, but I started to get on my knees. The Lord took me and changed me. But it wasn’t even all that Bible reading or praying that saved me. I had to accept the Truth, to believe. “Ye must be born again” is the call to believe the Lord. Take Him at His Word.