STEP ONE - R
In STEP ONE we've done some EXTREMELY SERIOUS work towards ENSURING that we are Born of God - via the First Step, which is REPENTANCE, which you can read in this Message (click) "Here Lies the Major Problem, and Solution, for Most of Us."
PLEASE NOW TAKE THE MOST CAREFUL NOTE OF THIS STRONG STATEMENT:
How can I say that so BOLDLY? Well it's NOT ME SAYING IT, it's Almighty God in the Verses I've quoted in the Message above, and in others in the Series to date. HE SAYS: "REPENT!" So we better!!! When God says it, then that settles it!
That COMPLETES Step 1. My prayer cannot possibly be MORE EARNEST: that you've worked on it, or are still working on it, and have "got" it, or are moving towards "getting" it!!!
STEP TWO - B
Moving on (yes, I know: at last!!), we now begin STEP TWO in our quest to truly BE Born Again (Born of God). Everyone knows the most well-known verse in the New Testament: JOHN 3:16 God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. In basic terms, to "believe in" means "to trust", and is the same as "having faith".
Trouble here is that if you ask a few million people in our countries, "Do you believe in God?" what will they say? Mostly, "Yes." But what do they mean by that? Well, many would simply mean that they believe there is a God. That He exists - and that's about all. JAMES 2:19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! But they are not Born Again are they?!! And neither is the person who simply believes that God exists!!
In the Amplified Bible, we get some extra help on this: JOHN 3:16 For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life. In the New Testament "believing in Jesus" means A RELATIONSHIP with Someone special to you! You are actually JOINING with Jesus, joining "His party" - just like the Disciples did!!! Eleven of them joined for LIFE, gave the WHOLE of them to Him, left home and friends and all - and ultimately gave their lives FOR Him!! NOW THAT'S "BELIEVING IN"!!!
Thus BELIEVING IN Jesus, having FAITH in Him, and TRUSTING Him -- means ALL OF YOU and all of your life belonging TOTALLY to JESUS. Not PART, not just the parts that SUIT US - but EVERYTHING!!! This is why I've written often that we don't just have a BELIEF IN Jesus, but MUST MAKE HIM our LORD over ALL of our LIFE!!! If you want CERTAINTY of where you stand with God and ASSURANCE OF A PLACE IN HEAVEN, then nothing less than this will do!!
This is NOT the "popular" Gospel that many/most of our churches teach us. And as a result a great MANY will end up in hell, not heaven LIKE THEY EXPECTED...SHOCKING!! But the Scriptures don't lie, and are there for all to read. If you think I'm exaggerating, then read the New Testament for yourself and PROVE for yourself what I'm teaching.
In 1 CORINTHIANS 6:19b and 20a God says: And you are NOT you own, for you are bought with a price. You KNOW what the "price" was, and so I am NO WAY my own. I do NOT belong to ME any more: Jesus bought me at Calvary, and I now belong TOTALLY to God. BUT... is that how we all live today? Is that our mindset? It's NOT, is it!! SO IT'S IMPERATIVE THAT WE CHANGE!!!
The GOOD NEWS is that if you are seriously doing the REPENTANCE of STEP 1, then you're already CHANGING YOUR ATTITUDE TO, and your RELATIONSHIP with Almighty God!! That is, you're already well on the way!!! READING this is of no value - only DOING it is. JAMES 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. Please DON'T BE DECEIVING YOURSELF. Very easy to do in our self-centered societies!!
Finally, WHY EXACTLY are we believing in Jesus? I'll tell you the regular answer, the one evangelists and pastors teach us all the time: it's in order to get forgiven of our sins so that we can go to heaven, not to hell. But wait! - doesn't that sound awfully SELF-CENTERED to you? Isn't wanting Salvation just for ME self-centered and SELFISH? IT MOST CERTAINLY IS!! And it's NOT the Scriptural way.
BUT THIS IS: we will believe UNSELFISHLY, ONLY AFTER experiencing GODLY SORROW that all of our SIN WAS/IS not just something bad, but WAS/IS AGAINST A HOLY GOD - and REPENTING OF IT BEFORE HIM. THEN you'll BELIEVE out of SHEER GRATITUDE (AND ASTONISHMENT) -- that despite all thewrong you've done against Him, STILL He sent Jesus.. STILL He forgives all your sin.. and STILL He loves you!!!
We've now completed TWO Steps out of FOUR. We've done R for Repentance and B for Believe. So we're at RB - with just two to go!
Continued in Part 7, "Truths You Need to Know About Step 3" ...
- BM, with his Lady-Love