Unborn Christian

What does it mean to be “born again?”  Does it take the mere act of professing faith, or more than that?  I have been taught that Salvation comes through faith alone. But what many people don’t realized is that faith itself requires action.  Paul taught that faith without works is dead, and he was exactly right.  But, what does this mean?    Jesus talked to Nicodemus about this, but the teacher of the law did not fully understand what Jesus meant.    Jesus always tried to use physical examples to explain the spiritual.  Since I believe that the real teachings of Jesus entailed the genuine care and service of others, being born again then signifies the revolutionary act of ceasing to serve the self alone. You see, we humans are experts in serving the self, it is easy, natural, automatic.  But when it comes to reaching out and serving others, the same way we would serve ourselves, then it becomes difficult (Love your neighbor as yourself).  Jesus taught us to turn the other cheek, meaning, don’t retaliate and be humble.  That is difficult.  Jesus taught us to walk the extra mile, meaning, do more than what is asked from us.  That is also difficult.  Jesus taught us to not be angry at each other, forgive 70 x 7, love our enemies, never swear, not lust, and “hate our families” (meaning that living the Kingdom of Heaven is more important than living our selfish traditional lives).  These are extremely difficult.  Why do we have to do these things? Because they are required in order to live the Kingdom of Heaven.  It takes a lot to do these things, but we have to be born again, we have to be new beings.   We have to be free from ourselves.  We have to be saved from our own hell.  Our enemy is not the devil, but our own selfish desires.  Hell is not under the earth, but in the lives of people when they suffer the consequences of their selfish lifestyles.  We are all selfish beings, which is what makes us sinful.  If we don’t practice these qualities and stop serving the self alone, and start the genuine care and service of others, then no matter how many times we go to church, read the Bible, and pray, we are still Unborn Christians.

Advertisements

About Noel

I am a person who has realized that the teachings of Jesus are centralized in the genuine care and service of others. I have evolved from fundamentalism to a moderate spiritual approach. I am a reflecting person who has grown to not fear doubt but to embrace it as a means to growth and increasing closeness to God. View all posts by Noel

4 responses to “Unborn Christian

  • Carol Ann Hoel

    I guess it’s all in the way you look at it. I read the scriptures and see this: Jesus died for me. I like believing that Jesus died for me. I like knowing that He did it all. He saved me. He keeps me saved. He is the faithful one. My good works testify of my relationship with Him. I like praising God for His goodness reflected in me.

    So, you don’t need a savior? You must save yourself by your actions, which demonstrate your faith? Faith in what you do? Not faith in who Jesus is and what He did? So when you get to Heaven, you will have truly earned your way there? No redemption necessary? Or will you and Jesus share in the glory? Jesus died and you did your part by serving. How much serving must you do? How perfect must you be? How do you know how much service is enough?

    We don’t believe the same way, but I respect you, and I think I understand your feelings. Surely, the redeemed who serve God and love others will be richly rewarded, and those that fail to serve and love will suffer loss. Blessings to you, Noel…

  • Noel

    Carol, Thank you for your sincere response. I too respect you and appreciate your comment. I want to reassure that my intention is not to engage in a debate or criticize your opinion. I simply want to share and learn from each other. You started your comment saying that “you like to believe that Jesus died for me” I also like to believe this, but wishing something and liking a particular belief does not make it true for me. Let me clarify that I consider myself a reflective Christian, meaning I believe in Jesus as the primary example of living the Kingdom of Heaven, and still welcome my doubts as a way to learn more about God. You can read more about my experience from the other posts in my blog if you haven’t yet. I identify with the verse that says that Jesus’ disciplies doubted even after they saw him resurrected. If they doubted seeing Jesus and were still forgiven, how about me who have never seen Him?
    I need a Savior, which is God, through living the teachings of Jesus. Saved from what? From my own selfish tendencies that will ultimately lead me to separation from God, who is Love, which is the opposite of selfishness.
    Paul said, and I think most Christians agree, that faith without works is dead, which is my main point. Faith in the fact that God sent Jesus to show us the reason why we are here, to love our neighbors as we love ourselves (the greatest commandment , Isaiah 58 ) which is the Kingdom of Heaven. Salvation to me is not a single event, but a lifelong process through service (“Not everyone who says “Lord, Lord!” enters the Kingdom of Heaven). I don’t think I have to be perfect, which only God is, but strive towards perfection (“be perfect as my Father in Heaven is perfect”). This does not mean that I earn my way to heaven or share Jesus’ glory. I am familiar with this accusation against those of other faiths, I’ve used it myself. But I need to live as if I really believe in Jesus’ message. If I believe in work ethic but sleep at work, do I really believe in work ethic? I would be a hypocrite. Service is not enough until I die. As long as I give God the glory when I serve ( see? It’s not about my efforts alone) then I am pleasing God. This is why Jesus stressed that the first commandment is to love God, and then my neighbor as myself. God bless you too.

  • Cindy Holman

    I understand what you are saying Noel. You believe what the rest of us believe and some things are just ‘splitting hairs’ theologically speaking. I too don’t believe it’s just enough to have said the ‘sinner’s prayer’ and then live any way I want to. Faith without works is indeed dead – and what draws people to Christ is the way in which I live. If I claim to be a ‘Christian’ but do anything I want – I can still stick to my claim – Jesus said it – I believe it and that settles it. But with faith comes a responsibility of how to live my life – and if I am not conformed to His image with how I live – my faith is dead and everyone around me knows it. Jesus came to radically transform the way we live. He didn’t say it would be easy – in fact he said the opposite. Yes Jesus came – He died and I believe the only way to Heaven is through a relationship based in that absolute fact. But I have a responsibility to ‘work out my salvation’ and live as I believe so that others will know and also believe.

What are your thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: