Born Again—Are You?
By David Brandt Berg
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The Bible tells us that “God is love.”1 And what did God do to prove that He is love, that He loves us? “God so loved the world”—you and me—“that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”2 God loved you so much that He gave Jesus to suffer for your sins, to take the punishment and the judgment that you deserve. “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.”3 Jesus is the manifestation of the love of God.
Some people ask, “Why can’t you just leave Jesus out of it? Why do you have to use that name? Why does He always have to be the symbol? Why can’t you just say God and speak of God only? Then we could accept it much easier, if you wouldn’t insist on using that name of Jesus.”
“Well,” I usually replied, “why not?” If He really is God’s Son, and God has chosen Jesus to reveal Himself to the world and to show His love, then God Himself has insisted on it. “Love Me, love My Son!” These are God’s conditions, not ours. “Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: But he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.”4 God has insisted that we recognize and love His Son, and Jesus Himself said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.”5
So all you need for salvation is Jesus. We can’t even comprehend God the Father; He’s too great a concept for us. “As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are His ways above our ways and His thoughts above our thoughts; and even the heaven of heavens cannot contain Him.”6 None of us can really grasp how great and how marvelous and how wonderful God our Father is. He is far beyond the mind of man and our wildest imaginations, for He and His Spirit surpass the whole universe. But He has stooped to send us His Son, Jesus Christ, to show us what He Himself is like.
This, then, is the most important will of God for you: that you recognize Jesus as the Son of God and believe on Him as your Savior and receive His love from God manifested in His death on the cross, when He took the punishment demanded by God’s perfect laws for your sins, so that you could be forgiven, so that you could be saved.
Why do you need to be forgiven? Because we are all sinners. The Bible says, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God,”7 and “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ, His Son.”8
So we must first confess that we know we’re sinners. But some folks say, “I’m pretty good. God will surely give me credit for being pretty good, at least a lot better than many others.” No, I’m sorry; that’s not enough. Because you can’t go to heaven unless you’re perfect, and nobody is perfect. Everybody makes mistakes, and everybody has sinned.
That’s why Jesus died, because we’re all sinners and it is impossible for us to be perfect. It was impossible for us to keep God’s perfect laws like the laws of Moses. No man can keep the Ten Commandments; it’s just impossible! Only Jesus was perfect, and that’s why He could pay the price of our sins and God could forgive us, because Jesus took our punishment for us. He was the only one who was perfect, and that’s why He could give us salvation as a gift, because we could never earn it. We could never be perfect; we always make mistakes and commit sins.
It’s just like a pardon: God has offered pardon to the guilty, and it doesn’t matter how bad you are, how wicked you are, or what you’ve done—it doesn’t matter to God! If you’ll just confess your sins to Him, ask Him to forgive you and take Jesus into your heart, He’ll save you.
You couldn’t lift yourself up by your own bootstraps; you couldn’t save yourself. You couldn’t be good enough, it’s impossible! If you were good enough to be saved, you’d be God Himself! But you’re not God, and neither am I. We’re all sinners. We have all sinned, we all need His love and mercy to be saved, and we find that love and mercy in Jesus Christ.
“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.”9 You cannot save yourself no matter how good you try to be. You can’t be good enough to earn, merit, or deserve the heavenly perfection of His holy salvation by His grace, love, and mercy.
We receive salvation as a pure gift, not because we’re good enough or because we deserve it or earn it, and not by any works we have done or any works of the law or law-keeping. We receive salvation just because God loves us and He gives it, and all we have to do is believe and receive. It is the gift of God.
But many people are too proud to accept a gift. They want to work for everything they receive. But no amount of churchgoing or masses or prayers or anything else is going to save you; only Jesus saves. “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,”10 and, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”11
Only Jesus can free us from sin and its power and its condemnation. “For if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” “The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.”12—No matter what you’ve done.
He’ll forgive you for every sin in the book, except one, and that’s rejecting Jesus. For that is “blasphemy against the Holy Ghost,” the Spirit of truth.13 The only unpardonable sin is the sin of rejecting the Holy Ghost, of refusing to heed the voice of God and of spurning His love and His salvation in Christ. He says that it won’t be forgiven in this life, nor even in the world to come.14
So the great condemnation is not that men are already sinful, which God can forgive and does forgive if we receive His pardon through His Son. But the great condemnation is rejecting Jesus Christ. “This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”15
But if you come to the light—Jesus, “the light of the world”16—“there is no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus,”17 to them that have received Christ and His forgiveness. The Lord says, “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will abundantly pardon. Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. Though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”18
You can start from scratch with the Lord, for when you receive Jesus as your Savior you are spiritually “born again” and are a “new creature in Christ Jesus.”19 God says He will “blot out thy sins as a cloud, and as a thick cloud, He’ll put them behind His back, and will remember them against you no more.”20
And once you have received Jesus, you cannot lose Him. He will never cast you out! “All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.”21 If you have Jesus, if you have the Lord, then you have life, eternal life, and you cannot lose eternal life. You can lose your physical life, but never your eternal life!
Salvation is forever. Once saved, you are always saved, because God cannot lie or go back on His Word or on Himself. God doesn’t change His mind! Once you’ve received Jesus Christ and you let Him into your heart and you love Him and you know Him and you believe in Him as your Savior, you are a saved child of God and you’re going to live forever. Once you are “born again” as His child, you will always be His child.
It’s just that simple. All you have to do is receive Jesus, God’s Son, as your Savior by asking Him into your heart. You can do it right now, if you want God’s answer to all of your problems and His love and happiness to fill your heart and life with joy and with a new plan and purpose in living. He’s just that wonderful, and it’s all just that simple. Why not try Him?
Jesus said, “I am the door”—into His Father’s house, the kingdom of God—“by Me, if any man enter in, he shall be saved.”22 Therefore, if you want to get to heaven, you have to walk through Jesus, the open door. All you have to do is believe in the door, walk through it by faith, receive Jesus, and you’re saved. You’ve entered the heavenly sphere of salvation, the kingdom of God, just by walking through the open door, Jesus.
Compiled from the writings of David Brandt Berg, originally published March 1984. Adapted and republished June 2015. Read by Gabriel Garcia Valdivieso.
1 1 John 4:8.
2 John 3:16.
3 1 John 4:9.
4 1 John 2:23.
5 John 14:6.
6 Isaiah 55:9; 1 Kings 8:27.
7 Romans 3:23.
8 Romans 6:23.
9 Ephesians 2:8–9.
10 1 Timothy 2:5.
11 Acts 4:12.
12 1 John 1:9, 7.
13 Mark 3:28–29.
14 Matthew 12:32.
15 John 3:19.
16 John 8:12.
17 Romans 8:1.
18 Isaiah 55:7, 1:18.
19 John 3:3; 2 Corinthians 5:17.
20 Isaiah 44:22, 38:17; Hebrews 8:12.
21 John 6:37.
22 John 10:9.