How Can I Know God?
Do being saved, born again, and becoming a Christian all mean the same thing?
Doug Britton, MFT
Introduction — 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 didn’t 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.
Related: God’s Spirit lives in you
God provided a solution in Jesus
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)
I am the bread of life. (John 6:35)
I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)
How can you become a Christian?
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).
Don’t 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.
The real answer is to accept God’s love for you and the gift of a full life he offers through Jesus Christ. What counts is whether you have given your life to Jesus Christ.
Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. (John 1:12-13)
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 live 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!
You may want to print and sign this page. 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:
1. Read the Bible daily, starting with the Gospel of John (n the New Testament)
2. Join a Bible-believing church.
3. Pray regularly.
Related: How to grow closer to God
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About Doug Britton, MFT
Doug Britton, Bible-based Marriage and Family Therapist, has helped hundreds of thousands of people as a therapist, clinical director of a treatment center, seminar speaker, radio cohost, and author of over twenty books that show how to apply God's truths in your daily life. (Visit www.dougbrittonbooks.com.)
Copyright © 2020 Doug Britton. Permission granted to print for personal use. (Scripture verses are from the New International Version, copyright © 1984.) See reprint policy.