A person writes: “I pray every day. I go regularly to church. I think I am a Christian but some times I have questions. Am I truly a born again Christian?”
The Bible is clear, saying prayers and going to church are not what make a person a Christian. Luke 18:10-14 tells of Jesus being told about two different men that prayed.
“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed this with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men — extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector …’ And the tax collector standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven. But beat his breast saying, ‘God be merciful to me a sinner!’ I tell you this man went down to his house justified rather than the other.”
The Bible makes clear that salvation from sin is only through the cross of Christ. Sad to say, but all persons are born sinners (Psalm 51:5). And if we are to become children of God and enter His kingdom, we must be born again by God’s Spirit (John 3:3-8). Contrary to what most people think, men and women are not naturally good. Just the opposite is true. And good appearing as saying prayers, going to church and being baptized — these do not wash away sin.
Jesus commended the tax gatherer rather than rebuke him for his low self-esteem when the man pounded his chest and pleaded, “God, be merciful to me, the sinner!” (Luke 18:13). The man had come to the point where he saw himself for what he was. Ridden of his pride and pretense, he now saw there was nothing he could ever do to earn God’s favor.
Instead, he pleaded with God for mercy. Therefore he went down to his house justified (verse 14). For the first time ever, he was now in a position to realize true joy and peace with God.
We read of another Bible person, Abraham in the book of Romans chapter four. The Bible says Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness.” Belief in God is belief the Bible in its entirety — that includes everything from Genesis to Revelation. As we read the Bible, we examine ourselves, and whether we are in the faith
If you have a Bible question write to Pastor Lenard Huebscher, Grace Baptist Church, 12721 75th St. North, Stillwater MN, 55082 or call 651-430-3132. www.stillwaterbaptist.net