You can check out the things, which are stated on this page, in the Bible itself, by going to Bible Search. You can search about 60 different Bibles at that site. We recommend that you select the New King James Version. We believe that the NKJV is the most accurate of the popular, easy to read, Bibles.
Muslims and Jews think they know what Christians are like. They don't! There are two basic kinds of Christians,- the professing Christians and the true Christians.
Here are some of the things that the Bible says about true Christians:
" Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; Old things have passed away; Behold, all things have become new. "
2 Corinthians 5:17
" Jesus ... said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born from above ( again ) he cannot see the kingdom of God. "
Why am I saying born from above ? Because that is what it says in the Greek ! The word, which is translated as " again " in most popular Bibles, is ανωθεν. Most Greek dictionaries, lexicons, etc. tell us that this word usually means not again, but " from above ". The confusion displayed by Nicodemus in John 3:4 was because he was thinking " again ",- in other words, another physical birth. Jesus corrected this in John 3:5.
" Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born from above ( again )' The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit. " ( John 3:5-8 )
Some people believe that being " born of water " means being baptized, but if you carefully read the first 8 verses of John chapter 3, you find that being " born of water " is simply being born, as human beings are normally born, from a water environment,- the " bag of water " in their mother's womb. Jesus contrasts that natural birth, with the spiritual birth, that only God can provide.
You will note that the word " saved " is not used in this discussion. Consider Romans 13:11 " for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed ". If our salvation is nearer than when we first believed, we don't have it yet. Salvation comes at the end of our lives ( if we are going to be saved ) not at the beginning. The beginning is repenting, being born from above, and believing. It should be noted here, that in the original language, believing, trusting, and obeying, are virtually the same thing.
The following scripture verses will help you determine if you are a professing Christian, or a true Christian. Are these verses describing what you were, or what you still are?
" Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. "
1 Corinthians 6:9-11
A professing Christian is no different from anyone else. Churches are full of professing christians. The Crusaders were professing christians.
A true Christian is different from other people. A true Christian is a newly created being. Pagans and professing Christians don't understand this. Many think that they are Christians, because they attend a Christian church, or took part in a Christian ceremony. Real Christians are people, who have been changed by God from the inside out,- given new hearts, and new human spirits. Yes, they look the same as other people, on the outside, but their hearts and spirits have been changed by God. ( See Jeremiah 31:31-34, Ezekiel 11, 18, and 36. ) Once changed by God, they have different goals and desires.
To demonstrate this inner change, a person is commanded to be baptized by immersion. Baptism doesn't change the person. The act of baptism doesn't make a person born from above, or " save " a person. Baptism is a dramatization of the death, burial, and resurrection of the old self. That is why it is so essential, that a new convert be baptized by immersion. As the new convert is immersed ( buried ) in water, the death of the old self serving life is pictured. As the new convert comes up out of the water, it is a picture of him ( or her ) arising from the dead, to walk in the newness of his/her new life.
This description of conversion is consistent with the Old Testament teaching about the New Covenant. ( New Testament ) You can find it in Jeremiah 31:31-33, Ezekiel 11:19, and in other verses in Jeremiah and Ezekiel. Only God can bring about this change in the inner person. Attempts to bring about this change by human means, human acts, church ceremonies, etc. are futile. They often create an impression that people have been converted, when in fact, their hearts, and spirits, are still unchanged. Their desires are still evil, and they give Christianity a bad name.
People are not born from above, or converted, by their good works, or the works of the law. The Bible says that all our righteousness is as filthy rags, and that all of us have sinned. So much for the view, often held by those in law enforcement, that there are "good people" and "bad people".
All people have sinned. All police officers have sinned. All lawyers, and judges, and politicians, and members of the clergy have sinned. True Christians leave their sinful past behind, and always attempt to do what is right in the eyes of God. The Bible also says in Titus 3:5
" NOT BY WORKS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, WHICH WE HAVE DONE, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit. "
Good works are not what makes us born from above. Good works are a testimony to others ( and ourselves ) that something has happened within us to make us a new kind of person. When people are not living Godly lifestyles, it is a strong indication that no matter what they profess to be, they are still pagans, and living in sin.
So, you ask, how can a person be born from above, changed, converted, or whatever name you want to give it? First, you need to recognize the hopelessness of the condition you are in. You may have gone to church every time the doors were open, gone through all the ceremonies, and joined the church. But, if God hasn't changed you, you are still just as lost as the worst person on earth. If you have tried to repent, and reform yourself, and "live a better life" you know that, that doesn't work. You need help, that only God can provide. I have a friend who was a leader, and a teacher in his church for about 35 years, before realizing that he hadn't been born again. In my case it was about 40 years !
To get God to change you, you need to go to Him in prayer. He is waiting eagerly to hear from you. Talking to God, when you are alone, is best. Don't let anyone tell you that you aren't good enough to talk to God. God wants to hear from you,- just as you are! That way it is just you and Him. That way there is no pressure to walk down an aisle of a church, or from your relatives, or your friends, or anyone else. That way, there is no distraction. God knows every sin that you have ever committed, and that He is the only one who can help you. He loves you, but He doesn't love your sin. He wants you to turn away from your life of sin, and let Him change you. That change of mind is called repentance. That is why He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the penalty for your sins on that cross, many years ago.
After you have asked God to change your heart, and you know that you have been changed, it is important to tell others what God has done for you. Jesus said, "...whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven. "(Matthew 10:32-33). To confess Jesus, means to confess Him as the Messiah, and to surrender your heart to Him, making Him the Lord over your life!
God is waiting for you. He wants to give you two gifts. First of all, He wants to give you a new spiritual life. His Son, Jesus Christ died for you on the cross many years ago, otherwise, this would be impossible. That is why we call Jesus our Savior. Second, He wants to baptize you with the Holy Spirit, and give you the power to live your new life, and to be a witness for Him. You can't be a silent Christian. You must not be ashamed of what God has done for you.
If we can help, visit us, or e-mail us. Click on the " Contact Us " link below.
Our Sunday AM services are being held at the Mexico Beach Civic Center. In accordance with federal laws, we have permission to use this heated, and air conditioned, facility on Sunday mornings at 10:00 AM central time. We begin with a short time of greeting and fellowship, and then TJ leads us in worship. After the service we have holy communion, a time when people can request prayer, especially for healing, and sometimes, a pot luck luncheon.
The Mexico Beach Civic Center is located at 105 N. 31st Street. It is the white building with the dark green roof, which is just behind that new Mexico Beach restaurant, Mango Marley's. It is behind Parker Realty, and is on the northeast side of Rte 98. It is about 7/10 mile south of the Mexico Beach Welcome Center. For a map showing the location of the Mexico Beach Civic Center, click below the photo:
Mexico Beach Civic Center
Map of Civic Center Area
Have a wonderful week. May God bless you, and your family!
Would you like to know more about the return of Jesus Christ? Check out this page: Jesus Is Coming Soon!