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Summary: There can be no spiritual journey or rightful claim to Christianity without first having a personal encounter with Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

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WE DETERMINE IF CHRISTIANITY BECOMES DEFINED AS EITHER RELGION OR RELATIONSHIP. THE DEFINING FACTOR OF WHAT CHRISTIANITY BECOMES IS BASED SOLELY ON WHERE WE DECIDE TO PUT JESUS IN OUR LIFE.

SO, JUST HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A CHRISTIAN? WHAT CRITERIA WOULD YOU SAY NEEDS TO BE MET IN ORDER TO RIGHTFULLY IDENTIFY YOURSELF AS A CHRISTIAN?

SOME WOULD SAY IT IS BEING A GOOD PERSON AND DOING GOOD THINGS. OTHERS MIGHT ARGUE THAT THERE ARE STRICT RITUALS YOU MUST FIRST ACCOMPLISH IN THE CHURCH SUCH AS BEING CONFIRMED AND THEN BAPTIZED.

I WONDER IF NICODEMUS PONDERED THE SAME THOUGHTS CONCERNING HIS OWN SALVATION. NICODEMUS THOUGHT THAT SALVATION MEANT PERFORMING CERTAIN RELIGIOUS EXERCISES AND HOLDING TO PARTICULAR RELIGIOUS TEACHINGS. I THINK IT IS SAFE TO SAY THAT JESUS CHANGED HIS PERSPECTIVE.

THE DEFINING MOMENT IS WHEN WE REALIZE THAT THERE IS NOTHING THAT WE CAN DO ON OUR OWN TO MAKE OURSELVES A CHRISTIAN. THE MOMENT COMES WHEN WE ACCEPT WHAT JESUS HAS ALREADY DONE FOR US TO BECOME A CHRISTIAN.

NICODEMUS LEARNED THAT A CHANGE TAKES PLACE IN THE HEART, MIND AND SOUL WHEN JESUS ENTERS IN A PERSON’S LIFE. HE ALSO REALIZED THAT EVERYTHING BECOMES NEW. NOT JUST SOME THINGS, BUT ALL THINGS.

AFTER ALL, BECOMING A CHRISTIAN IS A LIFE CHANGING EXPERIENCE! AS 2 CORINTHIANS 5:17 SAYS, “THIS MEANS THAT ANYONE WHO BELONGS TO CHRIST HAS BECOME A NEW PERSON. THE OLD LIFE IS GONE; A NEW LIFE HAS BEGUN!”

THIS “CHANGING PROCESS” OR “BECOMING NEW” IS THE PROCESS OF SALVATION. THIS IS WHY JESUS STATED VERY PLAINLY TO NICODEMUS IN JOHN 3:3, THAT “I TELL YOU THE TRUTH, UNLESS YOU ARE BORN AGAIN, YOU CANNOT SEE THE KINGDOM OF GOD.”

SO, LET’S TALK ABOUT SALVATION, WHAT IT TRULY MEANS TO BE A CHRISTIAN, AND ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT PARTS OF BEING A CHRISTIAN, WHICH IS LEAVING EVIDENCE AS A WITNESS.

AS IT HAS BEEN SO ELOQUENTLY STATED: IF YOU WERE PUT ON TRIAL BECAUSE YOU WERE BEING ACCUSED OF BEING A CHRISTIAN WOULD THERE BE ENOUGH EVIDENCE TO CONVICT YOU OR WOULD THE JUDGE HAVE TO DISMISS THE CASE DUE TO LACK OF EVIDENCE?

WE MUST SHOW EVIDENCE OF OUR FAITH AND BEAR FRUIT THAT WE ARE WHO WE SAY WE ARE: CHRISTIANS. ARE WE TRULY EXHIBITING THE “SIGNS OF LIFE” OF BEING A CHRISTIAN? IF WE HAVE BEEN BORN AGAIN, THERE SHOULD BE SIGNS OF THAT NEW BIRTH AND EVIDENCE THAT JESUS CHRIST IS PRESENT IN US.

AS I HAVE SAID MANY TIMES BEFORE: THERE CAN BE NO CLAIM TO THE NAME “CHRISTIAN” AND THERE CAN BE NO SPIRITUAL JOURNEY WITHOUT A PERSONAL ENCOUNTER WITH JESUS CHRIST.

YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN. YOU MUST HAVE JESUS CHRIST AS YOUR LORD AND PERSONAL SAVIOR. PERIOD! A RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS MUST BE PRESENT AND EVIDENT IN YOUR LIFE.”

I STAND AMAZED AT HOW MANY PEOPLE, UNFORTUNATELY, STILL DO NOT GRASP THAT CONCEPT. JESUS IS THE WAY OF SALVATION. JOHN 14:6, “JESUS SAID TO HIM, ‘I AM THE WAY, AND THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE. NO ONE COMES TO THE FATHER EXCEPT THROUGH ME.’”

I WILL SAY IT AGAIN: JESUS IS THE ONLY WAY FOR OUR SALVATION! EPHESIANS 2:8-9, STATES “FOR IT IS BY GRACE YOU HAVE BEEN SAVED, THROUGH FAITH—AND THIS NOT FROM YOURSELVES, IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD— NOT BY WORKS, SO THAT NO ONE CAN BOAST.”


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