What must a person believe in order to be born again?
Most would answer: He must believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that He died for our sins. And rightly so.
The very first thing we must believe in order to be born again is that Jesus is the Son of God and that He is God. The term “Son of God” can be a little confusing to some because it might make them wonder if God had a wife. No, God did not have a wife, and Jesus was not the product of a sexual relationship. The term “Son of God” signifies that Jesus came from God and had God in Him. This was why He could say to the people “Whoever has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). As a son, Jesus was also an heir to an inheritance. From Psalm 2:8, we know that the nations of this earth are His inheritance.
Then, following that, we must also believe that Jesus died (for our sins), was buried and was raised on the third day (1 Cor 15:1-4). Died. Buried. Rose again. These are the three indispensable elements of the Christian gospel. When anyone of these elements are missing, the gospel would be like a tripod with only two legs – it cannot stand.
Take Christ’s resurrection, for example. Paul says that “if Christ is no risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty” (verse 14). “And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins” (verse 17). Do you now see how important each of the elements of the gospel are?
The knowledge and understanding of what Christ has done for us – His death, burial and resurrection – is foundational to the next stage of the Normal Christian Birth, which is Baptism. I have seen that most Christians do not know the true significance of Water Baptism. I have interviewed many candidates for Water Baptism and nine out of ten, when asked “What is the significance of Water Baptism?” tell me that it is a public declaration of their faith in Jesus Christ. While Water Baptism does serve as an opportunity to let the unsaved family members know about your faith in Christ, its significance goes much deeper than that. And because many are ignorant about it, they might life their entire Christian life deprived of its benefits. They would be like a full-paying member of a country club who does not get to enjoy the privileges and benefits of that membership simply because he does not know what his entitlements are.
This article is part of my teaching The Normal Christian Birth. Contact me if you wish to receive the full teaching.
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