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10 Signs You have been Born Again – Part 2

Posted on June 11, 2018 By In Encouragement , Religion With no comments

if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

2 Corinthians 5:17

Today we’ll continue to examine how life changes after becoming a born again Christian. What’s new? How has the Lord changed you? What is the evidence He has been working in your life?

Yesterday, we looked at the first three signs that give evidence of the new birth.

(1) You have a second birthday.

(2) You have a living hope.

(3) You desire spiritual things.

As we continue, let’s consider that famous poem, Footprints in the Sand, by Mary Stevenson. As she recalled events from her life in a dream, she saw two sets of footprints in the sand. But sometimes, only one set of footprints could be seen, when the Lord carried her through life’s most difficult challenges.

Can you give specific examples of God’s involvement in your life?

(4) You desire to please God.

We don’t want to let down the people we respect, admire, or love the most. So it is when you have been born again. Love and admiration for the Lord grows in your heart. You want to honor Him with your life and service. Remember when Jesus prayed in the garden to be spared from the agony of the cross? Then He said, “Not my will but your will.” (Luke 22:42)

Can you identify times since coming to Christ when you have consciously acted out of a desire to please God, His will over your will?

(5) You are grieved by sin and deliberately attempt to correct behavior that displeases God.

Have you ever offended someone you care about? You said or did something that hurt their feelings or humiliated them. As a born again Christian, you view sinful behavior as offensive to God. Your sin weighs heavily upon your mind until you confess it to the Lord and then strive to get that sin under control. It is your fervent desire to go and sin no more. (John 8:11)

Since giving your life to Christ, have you ever grieved over sin and couldn’t rest until you made things right between you and God?

(6) You are grieved by wicked and evil behavior.

Born again believers experience a restlessness in their spirit when they witness evil. It can be so troubling as to cause you to leave the movie theater before the movie has ended or leave a restaurant before the meal has concluded because you are repulsed by someone’s vulgar language or behavior. Ideas and attitudes of others that conflict with God’s word trouble you and you wonder how people could think that way.

Since giving your life to Christ, has your opinion changed regarding the evil in this world? Does it grieve you to witness immoral and unruly behavior and attitudes?

(7) You see evidence of the hand of God in your life.

I could write a book on what God has done for me. How about you? And I’m not just talking about His eternal promises, but specific things He has done in your life for which there is no other explanation than, “God did it.”

We often think of God’s dwelling place as in heaven. In reality, He is everywhere, dwells within us, and has promised to never leave nor forsake us. If He’s that close and accessible then there has got to be tangible evidence of His presence.

Since coming to Christ, what can you identify as the Lord’s footprints in the sands of your life?

(8) Your value principles are shaped by God’s word.

A few days ago, my wife and I shopped at a local store to buy a birthday gift for our son. An apron caught my attention. Not as a potential gift, just as an item of curiosity. Emblazoned on the apron was a slogan, “Nothing is black and white. Everything is gray.” Although that’s a popular way of viewing today’s world, that cannot be the mindset of a born again believer. God establishes boundaries, teaches right from wrong, and those guided by His word and the Spirit aim to adhere to His value principles.

Since coming to Christ, how have your value principles changed?

(9) Your heroes are models of the Christian faith.

We all have role models, special people with qualities we admire. In pop culture, they can be entertainment personalities, sports stars, or business mentors. Unfortunately, many of the people we idolize lead lifestyles contrary to the teachings of Christ. But there are also models of Christian living we can look up to. Possibly family members, work associates, friends, or media personalities who maintain a godly Christian witness. They conduct themselves in a way that inspires you to be the best you can be for Christ.

You’ve heard me talk about her many times, but my grandmother is at the top of my list. But I also have to include Billy Graham as one of my heroes of the faith. In all his years of service for the Lord, he has walked the walk of faith and godliness.

Since coming to Christ, can you identify Christian role models who have inspired you in the faith?

(10) There is evidence of the fruit of the Spirit.

I have to include my favorite Bible verse, Galatians 5:22-23. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Fruit is not only beautiful to look at. It’s delicious and provides valuable nutrients for good health. Likewise, the fruit of the Spirit makes us more attractive and is vital to good spiritual health. If you have been born again, then you desire this fruit in your life and can see evidence of how it has grown.

Look back at the verse again and answer the following question:

Since your new birth, have you seen evidence of spiritual fruit growing and maturing in your life?

I’ve attempted to help you see evidence of the change in you since coming to Christ. Often, we get so caught up in the daily grind of living we miss the wonder of His active presence in our lives.

Think of how different you would be after six months of vigorous workouts in the gym. You would definitely have some impressive BEFORE and AFTER photos to give evidence of the change in your physical appearance. The presence and work of Christ since your new birth changes you spiritually.

Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” John 3:3

For more on this topic, check out this article: Heaven is a Choice and Not Mandatory

Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 2 (April – June) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.

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10 Signs You have been Born Again – Part 1

Posted on June 10, 2018 By In Encouragement , Religion With no comments

3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…

1 Peter 1:3

How can you know you have been born again? The Bible tells me so is a great answer. But experientially, is there evidence of your new birth since confessing and repenting of your sins, and putting your trust in Christ for your eternal salvation? Or are you pretty much the same old fellow or gal you were BEFORE you labeled yourself as a Christian?

Christianity has been a part of my life since my first birth. I was raised by a family of believers. My conscience was formed with Biblical values. I can’t recall a day when I didn’t believe in Christ. But yet, Jesus said, “You must be born again.” (John 3:7) A second birth is required for eternal life. (John 3:3)

You can be a moral person and still not be saved. A life of doing good without the second birth misses the mark.

It’s common to hear church-going Christians say they hope to live a good enough life to get into heaven. They picture Saint Peter standing at the gates to heaven with a clipboard. That’s right up there with the erroneous belief that Christians become angels when they die. To be clear, heaven is not earned, it is a gift from God that we access solely by faith. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

So, let’s look at some ways we can know we are born again and anchored in the faith.

Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. 2 Corinthians 5:17

(1) You have a second birthday.

Although the new birth is a free gift from God, it is not automatic. You must willingly accept the gift. There had to have been a specific place and time when it occurred. And you must have been old enough to make an informed decision.

How old is old enough? There is no set age. Jesus welcomes children without specifying age. (Luke 18:16) But the child must be old enough to comprehend his sin condition, the consequences of it, and his need for God’s remedy.

I was baptized as an infant, but rebirth and baptism are not the same. The seed of the gospel must first be planted and once it takes root then faith follows. “… faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.” (Romans 10:17)  The Holy Spirit gives personal meaning to the message, convicts our hearts of sin, and opens our eyes to the word of God.

Can you identify a time in your life when you consciously made a decision to confess your sins, repent, and trust in Christ for your eternal salvation? And can you look back on that event as a turning point in your walk with God?

(2) You have a living hope.

Our focus text from 1 Peter tells us that we were born into a living hope. Biblical hope differs from worldly hope; definite, sure, and guaranteed. It’s not the same as saying, “I hope I can afford a new car,” or “I hope Johnny passed his math exam.” That kind of hope is expectation with uncertainty. If you are born again, your hope is unwavering in your belief that God will remain completely faithful to His eternal promises.

Is there a confidence in your spirit that you belong to Christ and His hope is in you? Do you expect God to fulfill His promises in your life?

(3) You desire spiritual things.

Your first birth was into sin and by the flesh. But the new birth is spiritual. You have been newly created and have entered into eternal fellowship with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Although we prefer to think of ourselves as independent thinkers, we are influenced by our inner circle of relationships, our educators, and what we allow into our minds. Fellowship with the Godhead changes our perspective, causes us to be selective about what enters our minds, and leads us toward spiritual pursuits. Walking with God puts a new song in your heart, causes you to prefer godly relationships, and to process information from a Biblical perspective.

Last year I visited the eye doctor for a long overdue exam. A few days later, I returned to pick up my new glasses which caused me to see things more clearly. What had been blurred became crystal clear. Rebirth causes us to see things differently and more clearly from a heavenly perspective.

Have your desires and pursuits changed since your rebirth? Do your spiritual desires take precedence over your earthly desires? Has coming to Christ altered your entertainment choices, the things you think about, and what comes out of your mouth?

The bottom line: consider how you have changed since you gave your life to Christ. Tomorrow, we’ll continue to look at 10 Signs You have been Born Again.

For more on this topic, check out this article: Heaven is a Choice and Not Mandatory

Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 2 (April – June) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.

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