How to Be Born Again

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Because of my story of freedom from same-sex attraction due to my relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ, I have many people tell me they long to know God intimately…long to be forgiven…long to be healed of past wounds…long to be free from whatever…long to be made brand new. For too long I believe the church has made knowing God more about jumping through religious hoops than about connecting people to a real and present God Who desires an intimate relationship with them. Knowing God intimately in a real-life relationship is as simple as a step of faith.

Why do we need God? Simple: we were created for fellowship with Him…but something about God’s love led Him to never force us to love Him. He gave us a choice in the matter. And what did we do with that choice? Turned from God and gave in to sin. One sin was all it took to separate you and I from relationship with a holy God. One sin separates us from holy God. Make no mistakes. God is a God of love. He does not send a man to hell. A man’s sin sends him to hell. Every man…every woman…every single child…has sinned. Can’t be helped because we are born into a sinful world.

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God…Romans 3:23 KJV

Does it seem that the world just keeps growing darker and darker and that people aren’t as good as you would have hoped? Does your life seem like you are simply going from one difficult circumstance to another? Have you ever wondered why things are never perfect? Why is there war? Why is there poverty? Why does the world seem to be riddled with so much pain? Sin sees to it that death comes. God intended us to live but sin ushered death into the world.

For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23 KJV

So what are we to do to remedy our sin-separation from God?

Jesus answered…, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." John 3:3 NKJV

What does it mean to be born again? What does it mean to be saved from our sin? We were created by God for fellowship with Him. Sin came into the world by our own choosing and death is the result. Since God is perfect and cannot fellowship with sin, a way had to be made to restore us to God. That way? Jesus Christ.

Jesus was perfect. In His perfection He was tempted in every manner just as we are, yet He never sinned. This made Him the perfect candidate to save us from our sin. How did that happen? Simple. Jesus Christ took your sin and my sin upon Himself. He suffered the punishment for that sin by being put to death on the cross. He died with our sin upon Him and our sin was buried with Him.

But Good News! Jesus did not stay dead! He rose to life and left sin in the grave and conquered death for us! If we place our faith in Him, he will give us a brand new identity. How do we do that?

…if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10:9-10 NKJV

Simply put, confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (which means He is Master of all life and Lord over your own life) and then believe – a step of faith – that God has raised Him from the dead…and you will be saved. You will be born again!

…if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV

When I got tired of being homosexual, I decided I had played god with my own life long enough. I gave up to the real and true God. I realized Jesus Christ took my homosexuality upon Himself. I realized that the blood Jesus gave up for me paid the debt of sin I could not pay. I realized that the old ‘me’ was crucified with Christ and buried with Him. I realized that Jesus had risen and was calling me to new life in Him. I walked out of my old life and have been pursuing my new one ever since. I became someone brand new – a new creation!

Did the temptations stop right away? No. But temptations no longer defined me. Temptation gives me the opportunity to become intimate and transparent and honest with Christ through faith. I no longer had to perform for anyone’s love or approval. I suddenly found myself completely accepted by Him. All I ever have to do is to believe and receive His love for me in any situation. Jesus understands. Sin will always be in the world until Jesus returns. But Jesus understands.

…we do not have a high priest [Jesus] who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet was without sin.  Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:15-16 NIV

Would you like to be saved? To be born again? Are you tired of being so alone against the temptations of life? Would you like to have a Faithful Friend Who walks through each and every day – each and every trial – with you? Then pray (prayer is simply talking with God just as you would talk with a person you could see) this simply prayer in faith:

“Lord Jesus. I have sinned and I need a Savior. I confess out loud, here and now, that You are Lord. I believe, by placing my faith in You, that God has raised You from the dead. Save me, Lord.”

If you prayed that prayer, it’s a ‘done deal’. You are signed, sealed, and delivered ‘His’! Now what do you do? Go to His Word and learn more about His ways. Find other believers of Jesus and build relationships with them. Build a deep and ever-growing relationship with Jesus by including Him in every aspect of your life. He can handle your junk…your rants and ravings. He is kind and patient and will never betray you. Trust Him to teach you how to hear His voice.

God saved you by his special favor when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God.  Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.  For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:8-10 NLT

Now go and simply be his child!


Blessings,

Dennis Jernigan


PS The most asked question of my life is ‘Was your healing instant or a process?’ the answer is ‘both’!

When I was born again I was given a brand new identity. I just decided to believe it in faith, putting off the old thoughts about myself and putting on the new ones I learned from God and His Word. The old temptations did not stop right away but I soon learned that temptations do not define me. I have a choice in how I respond to my temptations.

The process is like a journey of being healed...like constantly being saved from my old life…and I LOVE the journey! It is like the old ‘me’ died and Jesus called me back to life – a new life. But once I was alive in Him I realized I was still wrapped up in a lot of my old life – like a mummy walking around alive yet bound up in the wrappings of death. For the past 27 years I have simply been allowing the Lord to unwrap the old lies and clothe me in the truth. Actually, it is more like unwrapping the old lies and revealing the true nature of who He called me to be.

He will speak to my heart when I respond in anger and say, “Dennis, you do not look good clothed in that rage and anger. That is not who you are. Let’s rip that away and see what is exposed now. See that heart of peace and love I planted in you? Be that! That is who you truly are.”

I was saved…I am being saved…and I will be saved! That’s truly good news!

 

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