salvation - becoming BORN AGAIN CHRISTIAN TESTIMONIES
(By: Norm Rasmussen, Director, Precious Testimonies)
This section of the Precious Testimonies website contains true-life Christian testimonies conversion stories of HOW and WHY people became Christians. They are referred to as "born again" testimonies. "Born again" is the process of spiritual rebirth by the Holy Spirit that Jesus Christ speaks of in the New Testament Holy Bible. It is found in the Book of John, in the third chapter. Here is what God has to say about the matter:
"Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." -- (John 3:3)
Then Jesus went on to say moments later:
"Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God." -- (John 3:5)
What then, does it mean in words we can easily understand to be "born again?" Simply stated, becoming spiritually born again means: To become saved.
Saved from what? Saved from being punished by God for our sins, so that we will go to heaven when we die.
Having one's understanding made more clear of what it fully means to "be saved from punishment for our sins on the Judgment Day" becomes a bit more challenging. To do justice to the topic, it requires a little more in-depth understanding of some other truths recorded for us in the Bible.
Salvation, or becoming saved, consists of three different stages. These three stages are:
Simply stated (click on each one underlined for a more thorough and complete understanding):
Justification means: Just as if I had never sinned.
Sanctification means: To be set apart for God's purposes.
Glorification means: To be given glory from God ... which is yet to happen, but will happen in the future.
Therefore ... becoming spiritually born again is the re-birthing process of the Holy Spirit with our human spirit. (One's spirit literally becomes reborn and alive to the Creator and Biblical Truth, and delivered from Satan's kingdom of spiritual darkness.) Whether this is a one-time occurrence or whether it can happen as a process over time, only God knows.
Once a person's spirit has truly (or fully) united or connected with the Holy Spirit, (or perhaps better understood as one's willingness to submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ), there becomes a strong desire to obey God and an increased desire to stop sinning, by obeying His commandments in the New Covenant (New Testament). This is the initial evidence of when a person becomes initially "saved" -- initially "spiritually born again."
However ... our mind or soul now needs to be regenerated (Regenerated -- more fully meaning: Our way of thinking and believing needs to be changed for our actions to change) as well, (we are a three-part being: Spirit, Soul, Body. Your soul is comprised of your mind, will and emotions) and it is the responsibility of the Holy Spirit to help bring that about, but the individual who is spiritually born again must will that to happen. The individual must work diligently in cooperation with God, in fact, to wash his or her mind with Truth, seek God for understanding of that Truth, believe that Truth, and do all they can to obey that Truth. (This is what is commonly referred to as the process of sanctification, and also referred to in the Bible as "working out your salvation daily).
Being born again of the "water" primarily means that we must "wash ourselves" (wash our mind and spirit) with the truth of the Word of God (primarily New Testament, but not excluding the Old Testament completely either). God's holy Word is truth. All truth starts in God's Word, and all truth will be sustained through all eternity by God's Word. What does not line up and agree with God's Word is very temporary, opposite of truth (which is a lie and satanic deception), and will pass away. God's truth will never pass away. God's Word can be viewed as His "spiritual contract with the human race." It is also God's law book for humanity.
"Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth." -- John 17:17
Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever. -- 1 Peter 1:22-23 NKJV
Another passage of scripture confirming the above two scripture passages is found in Ephesians 5:25-27:
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it, that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish.
A secondary revelation of being born of the "water" speaks of baptism into the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. When a believer gets water baptized, they are giving a visible demonstration of obedience and faith likened to two things:
- A funeral: They are saying to God and others that they want their sinful nature to die in the "watery" grave, and ...
- A resurrection celebration: They are saying to God and others that they want to be raised to newness of spiritual life -- empowered by the Holy Spirit to help live with power over sin and obedience to the will of God on a daily basis.
Let's elaborate a bit more on Point number 1, before moving on: The 6th Chapter of Romans basically is stressing this fact: The Christian dare not feel free to “live in sin,” because he or she has “died to sin” when joined by faith to the person and work of Jesus Christ. Dying to sin is symbolized in Christian baptism. By going under the water, we proclaim in a symbolic way that we died in Christ, and were buried. By coming forth from the water, we proclaim that we have been raised from the dead, in Christ, now enabled to live an entirely new life. To continue to live in sin is to deny everything we believed when we were saved, and everything we symbolically proclaim when we were baptized.
Nevertheless ... the act of water baptism saves no one - not the act of water baptism in and of itself. It is one's believing that the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross paid full penalty for all of their sins is what saves them. This alone is what saves a person from being judged for their sins on the Judgment Day and punished for them through eternity. Never be confused by that. Furthermore, it is incredibly wise to gain full understanding of what Christ's sacrifice on the cross fully means - fully accomplished for believers who place their trust in Him. I would encourage you to read this explanation of the matter, if you haven't already, to gain a fuller understanding, because it is incredibly important:
Truly, the innocent shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross is what washes the sins away of those who have asked Him to save them from their sins, and continue to believe that He has until it is time for them to pass into glory.
Being born again of the Spirit also means to desire the Holy Spirit to be your moment-by-moment Comforter and Helper and Guide into all Truth, and the clearly revealed, accurately translated Word of God never disagrees. The Holy Spirit is also referred to by Jesus as the Spirit of Truth. When someone starts making statements that do not clearly line up with the balanced - rightly divided - correctly interpreted - wisely applied New Testament Word of God ... you want to be extremely cautious about believing what they say. (Every Christian believer will do well to understand and apply: The Eight Rules Of Bible Interpretation). The function of Holy Spirit is not to bring new and different revelations that contradicts the Word of God -- that is the function of Satan and all his demonic activity ... which is to deceive. The function of Holy Spirit is to bring illumination -- to bring revelation (understanding) of both the Old Testament and the New Testament Word of God. The function of Holy Spirit is to glorify Jesus Christ and God the Father. (Note: The omission of "the" Holy Spirit in this paragraph is wholly intentional). If the early church needed the power of the Holy Spirit to be Christ's witnesses, (See: Acts 1:8), how much more does the church today need it? The Holy Spirit also imparts spiritual gifts to believers as is spoken of in 1 Corinthians chapters 12 & 14, to help the Body of Christ stay strong and effective.
As you seek to be pleasing to God the Father and Jesus Christ by the help of the Holy Spirit, He will translate you from being a servant of God into the friend of Jesus Christ. Jesus states that if you are obeying His commands, you can be His friend. Just a few hours prior to His crucifixion, Jesus told His closest disciples that He was no longer going to call them His servants, but His friends. (See: John 15:12-15). If you are willing to die because of your love for Jesus Christ, He considers you more than just His servant -- He considers you His friend. After all ... He died on the Cross to prove His love for you every bit as much as He did for his disciples.
Dying for Jesus is painfully much more than confessing your faith in Jesus Christ just prior to the moment your heart stops beating (though better late than never to have your spirit and soul saved [sins forgiven, in other words] prior to passing over into eternity!) It is the process of "dying daily" -- dying regularly to our selfish will and purposing to obey God's will. We obey God's will by knowing (hearing - studying - meditating on) His New Covenant Word. That is to be a life-long process (though God desires that we do not postpone until tomorrow what He desires for us to do today!), which is what makes being a disciple of Jesus Christ the most painful spiritual relationship one can have with God at different times in this life, yet the one that will bring you eternal life - eternal joy with Him, and qualifies you to one day co-reign with God. (See: 2 Tim. 2:12; Rev. 20:4 & 6). Through many of the trials and testings we go through in this life -- we are being trained to co-reign with Jesus Christ upon His return.
It is the function of the Holy Spirit to not only lead you to all Truth (which is the Holy Bible), but to reveal to you what that Truth means, and to help you apply Truth to every situation you are confronted with during your lifetime. Every word Jesus spoke while on earth was and is Truth. The Bible states that Jesus Christ Himself literally is Truth! (If you ARE Truth personified, how could anything you say be anything other THAN Truth?) It is impossible to have the healthiest relationship with God without one's acknowledgment of the necessity of The Holy Spirit to draw you to God the Father and Jesus Christ, and keep you through all the storms and trials that life will hand you, and be assured, there will be many. Furthermore, the Holy Spirit is the giver of Godly gifts - and any gifts that God desires to give us so others can benefit from must never be refused if we are to be truly pleasing to Him.
Jesus again addresses what the "born again" spiritual re-birth process is in John 4:23-24:
"But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.
"God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."
One cannot be a TRUE worshiper of God ... the kind of worshiper that God finds most pleasing, in other words . . . without their spirit being first "reborn" by the Holy Spirit. Their spirit must be truly born again FIRST ... otherwise they don't even know what or who truth really IS.
Jesus Christ is truth. He is the sum total of all truth. Until a person is baptized into Jesus Christ (which importantly includes being baptized into Christ's righteousness) ... they remain incapable of satisfying the demands of our heavenly Father of being a true worshiper.
We liken this Precious Testimonies website to an art gallery:
God's art gallery. As you tour it, you can gaze at the different varieties of "art work" on display. No two people see a painting exactly the same way. In fact, the way you view a painting today may strike you much differently the next time you view it. Please keep in mind as you tour this "spiritual art gallery," God is the Master artist, and the people you will be reading about are each of His masterpieces in the making.
Jesus taught that EVERY human being born into this world is cut off from the living reality of God on a personal, intimate, meaningful level. (See: John 3:18 and John 3:36). This intimacy with God was severed because of the sin (disobedience to God) of Adam and Eve. The testimonies in this section are the facts of how OTHERS came to have intimacy restored back with God through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ (See: Romans 5:8-11), by having their sins forgiven, though that intimacy will most likely be tested time and time again. Like all believers, they are in the process of being perfected. None of us are perfect yet, this side of heaven. Yet scripture says they already have Christ's robe of righteousness covering them ... which is what really makes anyone perfect anyway. (For understanding, you might want to read: The Breastplate Of Righteousness).
If you desire to have closer intimacy with God . . .to ultimately have Jesus Christ call you His friend ... we encourage you to let Him wet your appetite by reading how it has happened in the lives of OTHERS. To live life KNOWING that God desires to have close intimacy with each and every person on this planet . . . and that it is available to each and every one of us and is FREE for the asking and subsequent trusting . . . it is part of what we desire to communicate to everyone visiting this website.
After all ... Your eternal spiritual well-being is God's highest concern for you. We can't express that enough. The end result of being healthy spiritually is to be set free to love and obey God with everything in your being. Loving and obeying God is based on our actions. Our actions come from what we believe. We either believe God's Truth, or everything else but God's Truth. Jesus Christ says, "I am the way, The truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6).
He also said, "All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is but the Father, and who the Father is but the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him."
Precious One ... God created you primarily for one purpose: to have you for all eternity as one of His special, personal friends. Believe it. It's the truth.
-- Precious Testimonies Staff
Dear Reader - are you at peace with God? If not, you can be. Do you know what awaits you when you die? You can have the assurance from God that heaven will be your home, if you would like to be certain. You can even have that assurance RIGHT NOW! Either Jesus Christ died for your sins, or He didn't (He did!). Are you prepared to stand before God on the Judgment Day and tell Him that you didn't need the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross to have your sins forgiven and get in right-standing with God? We plead with you...please don't make such a tragic mistake.
To get to know God, to be at peace with God, to have your sins forgiven, to make certain heaven will be your home for eternity, to make certain that you are in right-standing with God right now ... please click here to help you understand the importance of being reconciled to God. What you do about being reconciled to God will determine where you will spend eternity, precious one. Your decision to be reconciled to God is the most important decision you'll ever make in this life, because in Christ, it is impossible to put a value on the worth of your soul in light of eternity.
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Remember: All that we do in this life comes back to our God-given purpose which is to serve and glorify God. The money and assets we accumulate, the fame and power we've attained or seek to attain - all of the things of this nature will one day pass away, but those lives of others we impact for Jesus Christ will last for eternity, and we will be rewarded for the part we helped play by impacting those lives ... for eternity. (Matthew 6:19-20 is our assurance)