Our theme for this month: “Understanding Salvation”
Our Bible verse for today: “Jesus answered, “Truly I tell you, unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. Whatever is born of the flesh is flesh, and whatever is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I told you that you must be born again.” John 3:6-7 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Salvation occurs in a moment when a decision is made.”
Nicodemus was intrigued and confused. He was a trained religious professional, a Pharisee who had spent years upon years studying the Old Testament Scriptures and he knew his stuff. Or so he thought.
But along came Jesus and Nicodemus realized there was an important element in his relationship with God that he had somehow missed. He knew that somehow, in some way, Jesus was the answer. So he came to Jesus secretly, at night so nobody would see him, and he asked Jesus to help him discover what he was missing in his relationship with God.
John 3:7 was the answer. “You must be born again”.
All of us are born once, physically. But in order to be alive spiritually we must be born again. At the time He creates us God breathes a living spirit into us and gives us the breath of life (Genesis 2:7; Job 33:4). But in the spiritual sense that Jesus was teaching about in John 3:6-7, that spirit is actually not alive in a relationship with God. Paul teaches this in Ephesians 2:1 when he writes that before salvation “… you were dead in your trespasses and sins …”
The spirit within you was a dead thing that could never be allowed into heaven. It was contaminated with sin and it was dead to God. Thus, the new birth Jesus spoke of. The dead spirit must be born again with new life. Jesus then went on in John 3:16-18 to explain that the new birth occurs in a moment of time when a decision is made to place your faith in Him for the forgiveness of your sins. “For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life …”
The Apostle Paul expanded on this teaching about the new birth when he wrote in Romans 10:9, “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” And also in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come.”
When it comes to being “born again”, salvation is a one-time event. It happens in a moment of time because of a decision you make to place your faith in Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins – and you never need to repeat the experience. Salvation is permanent. You cannot lose it and you never need to repeat it. This is often referred to as “once saved always saved” or, “the security of the believer.”
Tomorrow we will consider the doctrine of “the security of the believer” and I will help you to see that once you are saved, you are always saved.