The terms new birth, born again, receive Christ, accept Jesus, get saved, receive salvation, come to Christ, and becoming a new creature in Christ all point to the same event. They speak to fact that an individual has allowed Jesus Christ to be the Lord of their lives according to Romans 10:9-10.
The new birth experience is a life changing event. New birth means we’ve moved from spiritual death and being cut off from God to spiritual life and eternal fellowship with God. The new birth experience can be very emotional for some.
At the new birth, our lives were changed from the inside. Life was breathed into our spirits and God through His Holy Spirit took up residence on the inside of us.
As a new Christian, it’s normal to want as many family and friends to experience the new birth as possible. The zealousness and radical witnessing of the new Christian is sometimes called “Being on Fire” for God.
I’m absolutely an advocate of seeing as many people come to Christ as possible. However, I want to caution new Christians not to act in ways that would cause those around them to reject Christ as opposed to attracting them to Christ.
We Can’t Receive the New Birth Message without Judging the Messenger
What if you heard a knock at the door. Upon opening the door, you find a man standing on your porch barefoot. His cloths are tattered and torn. He is unshaven and he hasn’t had a haircut in 12 months. As he greets you, the man says that he is here to deliver your tax refund check from last year, he simply needs your signature.
Upon first impression, what would you think of this man? More than likely you would question whether he was a credible postal employee and if the letter he was delivering was real. You may even chase him off your porch without even taking a look at the letter he said he was delivering.
The above scenario is how the world looks at us right after we go through the new birth and are attempting to deliver the message of Christ to others. For most of us, when we received Christ our lives were a mess. Some of us lived sinful lives for many years prior to our new birth.
At the new birth, our lives were changed from the inside. Life was breathed into our spirits and God through His Holy Spirit took up residence on the inside of us. We received life on the inside, however the life we lived on the outside will have to be changed over time.
Just as a baby grows and develops, as new Christians we begin to learn about God and our Savior, Jesus Christ. And as we allow the Holy Spirit to transform us from the inside out, our lives will begin to reflect Christ outwardly to the world and to those closest to us. To be convincing, our Christianity needs credibility. Credibility takes time to build.
Years ago I applied for a car loan. I was turned down because I had no credit, meaning I had no past history to be judged by. So since I had no credit for the finance company to judge my past payment history, they were under no obligation to take the risk that I would pay them back, even though I was honest, sincere and had every intention of paying back the loan.
The only thing those around you have to judge your life by is what they see. They can’t see your heart. They have no idea if your Christianity is credible or not. All they have to go on is what you’ve shown them in the past.
New Birth Instantly on the Inside, A Work in Progress on the Outside
It’s going to take some time for you to turn things around in your life to the point where people can see Christ in your life and in your lifestyle. Until that time, I encourage you to pray that God would send someone into the lives of those you love to minister to them.
Be a smart fisherman and draw the fish to God instead of scaring the fish away from God. Work as a laborer together with Him, and it won’t be long before your loved ones will be able to see the life transforming power of God at work in you.