When speaking about salvation with others I’ve noticed there’s a lot of confusion, most don’t understand what the following these words salvation, saved, converted or conversion, born again truly mean. Sure they’re words but when brought up in the context of an individual professing to be a Christian these words couldn’t be more important! My hopes are to shed a little light on the confusion while helping you to see which side of the road you’re on in regards to salvation (Matthew 7:13 – 7:14).
John 3:7 “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.”
A man named Nicodemus who was a ruler of the Jews and Pharisee visited the Lord Jesus at night came to ask a question, “Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him”. Nicodemus acknowledged that Christ was not only a teacher but the word Rabbi means Master or great one. In doing this he missed that while the Lord Jesus is all of this He’s also the Son of God. In answering Nicodemus’s question He said: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God”.
Being a religious man he didn’t understand what the Lord Jesus was meant, asking the question “How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?”. At this time the Lord Jesus said: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.”.
The question remains how is one born again? First, we need to go over some of the misconceptions about what being born again is not.
Misconception #1 Church attendance
“I’ve attended church and Sunday school as a child.” This is a common belief among many people today, they’re under the impression that church attendance automatically places a person in right standing with God. This couldn’t be further from the truth as church attendance doesn’t save anyone. Sure going to church is wonderful but it’s not what saves a soul from total separation from God for all eternity. In addition, the word church is not the name for a building as many come to know it.
In fact, the word church means ekklēsia and is used in the following manner: church, assembly; the word refers to a people, not a building.
In a Christian sense:
1.) An assembly of Christians gathered for worship in a religious meeting.
2.) A company of Christian, or of those who, hoping for eternal salvation through Jesus Christ, observe their own religious rites, hold their own religious meetings, and manage their own affairs, according to regulations prescribed for the body for order’s sake.
3.) Those who anywhere, in a city, village, constitute such a company and are united into one body.
4.) The whole body of Christians scattered throughout the earth.
5.) The assembly of faithful Christians already dead and received into heaven.
Misconception #2 Baptism
“When I was a child my parents had me baptised.” Nowhere in the God’s word will you find any babies being baptised, the only individuals who are baptised must first be converted believers (saved) and in obedience to the Lord Jesus command mentioned in (Matthew 28:19, Mark 16:16, John 3:5).
Water baptism doesn’t save you friend the apostle Peter wrote in his epistle
1 Peter 3:21 “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:”
Baptism signifies a person being identified with Christ in His death burial and resurrection. The following verses make this clear that it’s not baptism which saves a soul.
Colossians 2:12 “Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with [him] through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.”
Romans 6:3 “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?”
Acts 10:47 “Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?”
Acts 2:41 “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added [unto them] about three thousand souls.”
Misconception #3 My father is a pastor
“My dad is the pastor of the church we attend.” Just because you may have a father who’s a pastor will not save you also. Your dad is just as responsible for his own sins as you are of yours. Pastors need forgiveness of sin jas as much as you do. A possible illustration would be if you had a sibling and they did something wrong would you expect for your parents to blame you for it of course not.
Ezekiel 18:20 “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.”
Misconception #4 Christian family
“I was born a Christian” Being born into a Christian family won’t save anyone just because you’re parent’s or other family members are saved doesn’t automatically mean you’re saved. Just like the pastor above no one can make the decision for you to have salvation, no one but you! It’s a very personal thing salvation is and you have to be converted. The Lord Jesus did not say your dad or mom needs to be born again, He said you must be born again the emphasis is on you.
You may be asking so how is one saved, if it’s not by church attendance, baptism, pastors or families? Every individual who has been born again has had a moment in their life when they’ve trusted Christ as their Saviour. They’ve come to the understanding that they’re a lost sinner and is not right with God. Only by trusting in the finish work of Christ on the cross is when a person is saved, they have peace with God and are converted being made a new creature in Christ.
Titus 3:5 – Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Ephesians 2:8 – 2:9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Romans 10:9 – That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
John 14:6 – Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Acts 4:12 – Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
John 6:44 – No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
John 15:1 – I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
Psalms 3:8 – Salvation [belongeth] unto the LORD: thy blessing [is] upon thy people. Selah.
Psalms 37:39 – But the salvation of the righteous [is] of the LORD: [he is] their strength in the time of trouble.
John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
I trust this will be a help to you if you’re seeking salvation, may the grace of God be with you all.
Written by Jason