Summary: What does it mean to be a “born again Christian” or “saved”? It doesn’t simply mean being religious or going to church. This free online Bible study explains these terms, as well as “salvation” (“regeneration”) and “new birth” It includes Doug Britton’s testimony of becoming a Christian.
Summary: Bible study on salvation — what it means to be a “born again Christian” or “saved.”
Doug Britton Books
Practical • Biblical • Cross-Cultural
What does it mean to be “saved” or “born again”?
What is “salvation” and becoming a Christian all about?
Doug Britton, MFT
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
Introduction — What does “saved” or “born again” mean?
What does it mean to be a Christian, or to be “born again”? When I grew up, I thought being a Christian meant joining an organization or going to church, but I discovered that’s not the real answer (although it’s good to go to church). The real answer has to do with accepting God’s love for us and the gift of a full life he offers through Jesus Christ.
Something is wrong with human nature
As I grew up, I could see that something was drastically wrong with almost everyone I knew. I rarely saw the quality of love and trust between people that I felt should be there. I did not observe this lack in others only. I knew that something was missing in me.
I explored different philosophies, schools of psychology, sociological approaches, metaphysical ideas and religions. Many sounded reasonable at first, but as I evaluated their reality in my life and in the lives of those who embraced them, they seemed hollow. They obviously didn’t work.
God provided a solution
I thought there was a spiritual element to life, but couldn’t figure out what it was. But God drew my wife Skeeter and me to him. Following a series of unexpected events, we surrendered our lives to Jesus Christ and prayed, inviting him to be our Savior and Lord. According to Jesus’ words, we were “born again” (John 3:3-7).
As I grew in my Christian walk, I learned about “original sin,” the fact that we all inherit a sinful nature because of Adam and Eve’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden. This cripples us all. Here, finally, was an explanation that rang true, a reason for the “something wrong” I had observed and experienced.
To my delight, I finally began to see this “something wrong” in me changing for the better. I still have a long way to go, but I am thankful for the work God has done so far.
Jesus offers us a fullness of life
Jesus offers each of us a walk with God and a fullness of life that is not possible without him. He said, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again” (John 3:3). He also said, “I am the bread of life” (John 6:35), and “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
How does one become a Christian?
Do not assume you are a Christian because of your background or church membership. Being raised by Christians does not automatically make you a Christian, nor does going to church, seeking to live a moral life, serving as an elder or leading as a pastor. What counts is whether you have given your life to Jesus Christ.
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. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. (Romans 10:9-10)
“Believe” means to “adhere to, trust in, and rely on the truth” (Amplified Bible). Becoming a Christian is surrendering your life to Christ and allowing his Spirit to dwell within you.
Personal application — Pray to accept Christ’s love
If you have never done so, I invite you to present yourself to him now, for “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13). Surrender your life to God by accepting Jesus as your Savior and Lord. Then allow God to begin the process of transforming you into the best man or woman you can be.
Have you surrendered your life to Christ? If not, read the following as a prayer:
Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God, and I need your help. I confess I have sinned and failed you in many ways. I invite you to be my Savior and Lord, and I ask you to help me follow you the rest of my life. Thank you for loving me, forgiving me, and accepting me as your child.
If you prayed with sincerity, Christ accepted you into his kingdom and you are now a Christian. Welcome to the family of God!
I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord today. Thank you, Jesus!
You have an exciting life ahead of you. As you grow in your knowledge of God, he will transform your life. These suggestions will help you get started in your Christian walk:
- Read the Bible daily, starting with the Gospel of John (n the New Testament)
- Join a Bible-believing church.
- Pray regularly.
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Copyright © 2006, 2016 Doug Britton. (Permission granted to print for personal use.)
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible verses are from the 1984 New International Version.