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YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN


Paula Webster had been raised in a Christian home, had been given a Christian education, and was settled down in what seemed to be a Christian marriage. She was active in her church, attended Bible conferences, and even had regular times of personal Bible study. She said that if anyone had asked her if she was a Christian, she would have said yes, immediately and emphatically.


Yet something was missing. She knew about God, but she sensed that she did not actually know him. She felt frustrated and unhappy, and as far as her own spiritual life was concerned she knew she was getting nowhere. (Is that a description of you?)


As Paula studied the Bible, she was particularly attracted to David and Paul, because each man clearly had a heart for God. They knew about God. But in addition, they each loved him and wanted to obey him as an expression of that love. As she studied their lives she realized that something was wrong with her own heart, and she asked God to change her.


And God did! He taught her that she had never really trusted in Christ alone. She had never really submitted herself to God. Here, in her own words, is what happened:


"At that moment I surrendered my life entirely to God. I knew that he had heard me and accepted my surrender. I was conscious immediately that a great burden had been rolled away. I knew that I had been forgiven and cleansed. I knew that I had been changed. Peace, like a great calm following a storm at sea, and joy unspeakable filled my heart. I knew that the great war within had ceased. The sense that all had been made right replaced the agitation and restlessness I had felt only minutes before. I had finally been subdued and conquered by the Lord of Glory before whom I now gladly and gratefully bowed. And he no longer seemed distant or impersonal, nor I unclean and unsure before him. . . . I had been born again."


Paula confessed that her privileges did not save her. It was only the new birth, expressed by faith alone in Christ alone by God’s grace alone that ultimately gave her peace with God.


(From a sermon by Freddy Fritz, "Responding to Rejection of the Gospel")

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