Website owner: James Miller
ON BECOMING A NEW CREATURE IN CHRIST 6/98 There is a false idea in connection with becoming a born-again Christian. It is the idea that when you give your heart to Christ, accept him as your personal Savior, etc. you will then miraculously become a new creature in Christ. God does everything you are told. You don't do anything. That is a falsehood and a deception. It is not true. The truth is you must effect the change yourself (with, probably, a lot of help from God). You must depart from your sins, give them up, turn away from them. You must leave your old ways and follow new ways. You can ask God for help but you must do it. When you give your heart to Christ, in one way, you are instantly transformed. You have just done an about-face in your life. You have just made the most important decision of your life. You are going in a different direction now, the right direction, and you know it. There is a happiness, peace and exuberance from the decision that you have just made. There is a new spirit within you from that moment. You are God's child and servant now. You are going God's way now. When you give your heart to Christ what you really do is to make a covenant with God (make an agreement with him) that you will follow in his ways, in both letter and spirit, and, in return, he will save you through the blood of his son, Jesus. Once you make this agreement you are bound to keep up your side by living a life of honesty, integrity, honor, morality, chastity, justness, humility, goodness, virtue, etc. (i.e. live in conformity with his commandments and principles). You are now his servant, his representative on this earth. He knows all that you do and the thoughts of your heart. You cannot deceive God. To walk in his way requires courage and character in this bad, Satan-ruled world. It is a hard path but you always have him to turn to and to help you. He is your ever- present companion. What happened to me after I gave my heart to Christ? I immediately started enthusiastically thinking about what steps and actions I was going to take in implementing my decision. I started asking myself what things I ought to do and ought not to do as a Christian. In the years afterward, as I attempted to go God's way, I set up habits and policies for my life, restructured the way I did things, changed the way I responded to things. I examined myself, looking for sin, ferreting out sin. And then I struggled to overcome it, get rid of it. I struggled to remake myself into the kind of person God would want me to be. I set wisdom and spiritual understanding as my highest objective. I determined within myself that I would always be faithful to God and a true Christian. I struggled with the temptations of this life and all the voices of this ungodly world. The road was not easy and the way was lonely. I had to find the courage to resist the ways, customs, practices, outlooks, values and attitudes of the world around me. And all this was done out of love of God, an allegiance to him, my commitment to him. True Christianity is about a love of God, an allegiance to God, that shapes, molds and regulates one's life. To be a true follower of God you must be a serious person, a responsible person, a person willing to live up to commitments.