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How to Become a member in God's FamilyBy Sheela Isaac
If we read in John chapter 3 : There we see about a person called Nicodemus. Bible says about him that he was a ruler of the Jews, a Pharisee, (John 3:1), a Teacher of Israel (3: 10)
What does it means by Pharisee : " A member of a strict Jewish sect, holding the Mosaic law & their own tradition as binding.
So here we can understand that, what kind of a man he was. A man who was knowing all Mosaic laws ( Laws of Moses ), who was strictly following those laws, not only that he was teaching the laws to others. A man who was highly spiritual according to Jewish customs.
But when one night he came to see Lord Jesus. What the Lord said to him? (John 3:3) Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." Then Nicodemus asked the Lord " how can it be? Can a person take second birth , how can these things be "? What Lord said to him ( John 3 : 10) Jesus answered and said to him, "Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things? And the Lord said to him in ( John 3: 7) "Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.'
Lord Jesus said to Nicodemus ( who was a spiritual leader of Israel ) " You must be born again" ( 3: 7) & in verse (3:3) "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
From this we understand that entering into the kingdom of God or heaven is another thing, but far from it what the Lord said to him was that he can not even see it if he is not born again.
Yes my friends, it is the first step of Christian life. Several times we forget it. Don't we ? Several times I see people ignore the basic thing of Christianity on which Bible is based. People can talk on every topic of the Bible, but when the basic things like " Born again" "Saved or Salvation" " Forgiveness of sin" " Repentance" come they ignore it. They feel bad to talk about it. What a sad thing. Lord Jesus said to Nicodemus the same thing " Unless & until you are born again, you will not see the kingdom of God."
Have you ever thought of it ? Have you ever come to that experience ? Has your life been changed? Have you been born in God's family ? If not, you need this experience to get a place in heaven.
I was born & brought up in a Christian family. As a child I never knew how to miss Sunday School & Church though I did not like it very much. Because it was a very strict rule in our home. I learned lot of Bible stories, heard lot of messages, but nothing happened till 1981. One side I was thinking I am so good, because I have made my own boundaries of self righteousness. I was doing things that looked good in the sight of my Parents & neighbors. I got lot of appreciation because there was nothing wrong in my life. So I thought I am very good & holy, but not in the sight of God. One day I read some Testimonies of people, they wrote about how they come to know the Lord as their personal Lord & Savior & how their life was changed.
A thought came into my heart, though I am a born Christian, but I do not have such experience, my life was never changed, I do not know what it is to have personal relationship with God. That day I prayed, " Lord I do not understand what it is to get saved & how to ? But I really want this experience. I want to reach heaven in any case. Lord heard that simple prayer. And it was on 3rd Nov 1981, I received a letter from my cousin Suganthi Johnson. That brought me to the saving knowledge of Christ. Reading that letter I cried for more than 2 hours & repented from my sins & past life. And something happened that day, a great peace & joy filled my heart. And my life started changing. Now 17 years have passed, but I never forget the day which brought me to saving knowledge of Christ. The joy of salvation which I received that day is still bubbling in my soul. What a great joy when a person gets a place in God's family. What a joy when a person gets birth in God's kingdom.
Do you have that experience. If not, you need this experience. Remember Christianity is not a religion, but a personal experience with Lord Jesus Christ, Where you can say, "He is my Lord, my father."
Let us see what we have to do to get this experience.
We have to receive Him as Lord & savior. (John 1:12) But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: Now the question is, how to receive Him?
1) To Believing that He is Lord & Savior :-
For receiving Him we have to believe that He is Lord. He came to save sinners. His precious blood shed on Calvary's Cross can cleanse me (1 John 1:7) and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
2) To accepting that I am a sinner :-
Second step for receiving Him, we have to accept that I am a sinner. And God is Holy, so to reach holy God we need to get rid of sin. Bible says in (Romans 3:23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Romans 6:23) For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. & again in (Ezekiel 18:20) "The soul who sins shall die."
Bible says, no one is holy, nobody can say I am holy, or I have never sinned. (Romans 3:10) As it is written: "There is none righteous, no, not one; (Romans 3:11 ) There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. (Romans 3:12 ) They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one."
Several times I heard people saying I've never sinned. I never did anything wrong. This is the thought that keeps a person away from God & they never want to come to the saving knowledge of Christ.
3) Repentance from sin :-
When a person accepts that he or she is sinner, then only repentance comes. Repentance means " To feel regret or to change ones mind about, to feel really sorry. When a person wants to leave his or her evil ways & wants to walk in the ways of the Lord is Repentance.
When these three things come in the life of a person, when a person believes in the Lord Jesus that He can save him/her from eternal death. And accepts that he/she is a sinner needing salvation & eternal life. And if he truly & really repents, then the process of forgiveness starts.
It is free from God, any body can get this experience by doing the above three things. My dear friends if you are not born in God's family till today, if you are not sure whether you will reach heaven or not, you can have this great experience by praying a simple prayer with your whole heart. Jesus is always ready to accept you in His family.
Let us pray :- Loving heavenly father I believe in you Lord. I believe that you have sent your one & only begotten son Jesus to this earth to save me. I believe that Lord Jesus died for me & for my sins, just to save me from eternal destruction. I believe that you have shed your precious blood to save me from eternal hell. Forgive my sins O Lord, wash me with your precious blood. Save my soul. Receive me as your child. Today onwards I will follow you. I will do the things which is pleasing to you. In Jesus name I pray Amen.