Today's Bible Reading: John 1, 2, and 3
Just what has happened to you? That's a good question, and an important one. Knowing what happened and what it means will help you the rest of your Christian life.
It happened in a church, in your home, or somewhere else. Someone helped you, or perhaps you were by yourself. But wasn't it something like this? You felt a need, learned somehow that Jesus Christ could help you, and one way or another, asked Him to come into your life.
Now, what does it all mean? Let's put it simply. Two things have happened:
1) Jesus has become your savior.
2) You have become a child of God.
We call this salvation. Perhaps someone has already mentioned that now you are "saved." Maybe you wonder what that means. Saved from what? Why did you need to be saved?
Three things are important for you to know:
1) You were a sinner.
2) You could not save yourself.
3) Only Christ could save you.
The Bible says, "All have sinned" (Romans 3:23). That includes you and me. The Bible also says, "The wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). This kind of death is spiritual and eternal.
We cannot save ourselves from this death by our good works, by church membership, or by trying to be good. The only way to be saved (there's that word saved) from the penalty is to get rid of our sins.
Now, how can we be saved? Jesus provided the way by dying on the Cross. In doing this, He took our place and suffered our punishment. When we ask God to forgive our sins and believe Jesus died for us, God accepts us for Jesus' sake, our sins are forgiven, and Jesus becomes our Savior.
But something else has happened. You have become a child of God.
A chid of God? What does that mean? Look at it this way. When you were born a baby, you received natural life from your parents. Because of this you are like them, you have many of their characteristics.
When Jesus became your Savior, He brought to you new life, spiritual life, life from God. The Bible calls this the new birth (John 3:3). By your first birth you became a child of your earthy parents; by your new, or second, birth you have become a child of God, your Heavenly Father.
This is important! You now have two natures: (1) The old nature you received when born the first time. This we can call the self-life. (2) The new nature you received with the second birth. Since Jesus Christ is now living in you by His Holy Spirit, we call this new nature the Christ-life.
As far as your first, or natural, birth is concerned, you may be an adult, a youth, or a child. But as far as your new, or spiritual birth is concerned, you are a newborn. You have received new life, but its just the beginning.
During these next few days you will begin growing in your Christ-life. These will be very important days. You are establishing the pattern for the rest of your life. You are determining the kind of Christian you will become. As you follow each suggestion, you will begin to mature as a Christian.
Reflection Questions On John 1-3: (You can read John 1-3 here, it takes about 20 minutes)
1) John 1:12 - What happens to those who receive Christ?
2) John 1:29 - What did John the Baptist call Jesus
3) John 2:5 - What advice did Jesus' mother give to the servants?
4) John 3:3 - What is necessary in order to "see the kingdom of God"?
5) John 3:6 - What are the two kinds of birth?
6) John 3:16 - How can we keep from perishing?
7) John 3:36 - What does a person have, if he believes in Jesus?
Pray about getting Baptized. You can read our article about what Baptism is here. Jesus commands us to be water baptized publicly as a declaration of our faith! It's symbolic of our new life in Christ, just like earlier when we talked about the new nature we have with Christ. Baptism symbolizes our old life dying, and being raised to new life with Christ! Consider signing up today! If you have any questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.