Summary: This sermon looks at why we need to be Born Again and what it means to be Born Again.
Title: What does it mean to be Born Again?
This sermon looks at why we need to be Born Again and what it means to be Born Again.
Grace and peace from God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit!
I want to talk to you today about what it means to be Born Again. I want to talk to you about it means to be “saved”; redeemed by the blood of Jesus.
I thought it might be interesting to see what words some people use to describe the “Born Again” experience. I was surprised by the number of words that the different dictionaries and thesauruses used to describe what it means to come to faith in Jesus Christ. They used words like:
Sanctimonious, ecclesiastical, praying, spiritual, devout, righteous, saintly, devoted, Godly, sacred, orthodox, reinvigorated, gone straight, discipleship, conversion, transformation, metamorphosis, rebirth and a host of other words.
I was even more surprised by the number of people who either think that being saved is unnecessary or that it merely happens as a result of performing some type of religious ritual or self-help spiritual program.
So, as we look at what it means to be “Born Again”, I thought it might be good to first go over what it does not mean and then look briefly at what it does mean to say that we are “Born Again”.
I. Being Born Again is more than
A. Water Baptism
First of all, the ritual of water baptism is beautiful. It is a necessary sacrament. Jesus makes it quite clear that we are to be baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
“Jesus came and told his disciples, ‘I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.’” – Matthew 28:18-19 NLT.
However, just going under a body of water or having a few drops placed on your head does not in and of itself bring about salvation. Salvation is much more than water baptism. Water baptism is an outward sign of an inward grace taking place in your life. Baptism is an outward sign that something transformational has happening and is continuing to happen in your life.
Being Born Again, being saved is a personal invitation of grace given to us by the LORD. It is an invitation that we have to personally accept and receive. No one can make or force you to make the decision to receive salvation. No one can take away your choice of being Born Again.
Years ago after certain kings conquered city states and nations they would force the people they had conquered to be baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. By doing so those kings believed that they had brought about their captives everlasting redemption. They were now Born Again Christians. While they may have thought they were doing something wonderful all they were doing was getting their captives wet. You cannot be forced into the Kingdom of Heaven.
The same thing is true of infant baptism. While it is a wonderful ritual it should not be seen as a once and for act of saving grace. Every person who has been baptized as an infant must accept Jesus Christ as their Personal Savior and LORD.
Salvation; being Born Again is more than water baptism.
It is more than:
B. Receiving Holy Communion
The Lord Supper, Holy Communion or Eucharist is a wonderful grace centered sacrament. It speaks volumes about Jesus, His Death and Resurrection. It reveals to us the power of the Incarnation, the Cross, Atonement and the Resurrection.
And while you can use the giving and partaking of Holy Communion as a means to invite someone to receive salvation (New Birth) just drinking some wine (juice) and eating a wafer does not in and of itself regenerate your soul.
Like baptism it is a wonderful sacrament that something has happened inside your heart, mind and soul. But just drinking some juice or eating a small wafer is not efficacious, it does not equate to what happens when you are Born Again.
Is there grace involved in both the sacraments of baptism and communion? Yes. But being saved, being redeemed is more than both of those sign pointing sacraments.
Salvation is more than:
C. Church Attendance
It is good for us to get together to worship and praise the LORD. It is good to get together to read God’s Word, to hear sermons, devotions and teachings. But just going to church is not the same as receiving Jesus Christ as Our Savior and LORD.
Sadly, there have been many people who have attended church faithfully who have never given their heart to the LORD Jesus Christ.