The Voice Of One Transcript

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So You Were Born Religious?

Not very many of us can boast of what a few others can: being born into religious homes! That is to say, these special people were born into devout homes: perhaps, grandpa or grandma or dad or mum, were worshippers at Jumat or church goers, or religious leaders of whatever religion. On the basis of being born religious, they believe that they are children of God; and therefore, morally upright, and entitled to the kingdom of God.

It is indeed very interesting to hear some people assert that they were born Christians, or that they are Christians because they were born into a Christian home. Nothing can be farther from the truth because no one is ever born a Christian! You can only become one! This is a very important aspect of the Christian faith, which incidentally is not a religion or a set of beliefs that people follow dogmatically. No! The Christian faith is one that involves having a relationship with God, the Father Who then confers on a person the right to be called a child of God! This relational aspect of the Christian faith is all-inclusive and does not exclude anyone, regardless of their present religion or station in life. And provided a person is willing to live according to Gods word, he is accepted into Gods kingdom. It is not hereditary, and is not passed on from parents to children.

There was a man, named Nicodemus, who was a Jew, of the heritage of Abraham, and a Pharisee (a religious leader). By every standard, he believed (and justifiably so in his eyes), that he was a citizen of the Kingdom of God. One night, he visited Jesus (the Author and Finisher of the Christian faith), and Jesus confronted him about his claim to the Kingdom of God by virtue of his ancestry, because he had thought that all he needed to enter into the kingdom of God was to be Jewish.

The truth friend is that everyone born on earth, is born with sin in him, and so cannot enter into the kingdom of God just by being born into the world. For instance, no one teaches children to tell lies, but they do, and that is because of the sin nature they are born with! To be fit to enter into the kingdom of God therefore, a person must first have his sins eliminated. By virtue of our natural birth, we are creations of God, but not children of God! Being a child of God is not like being a citizen of a nation, which is based on your being born there. For example, in the United States of America, their law stipulates that every child born in that country is a citizen by birth; and so many people wanting citizenship of the most powerful nation in the world for their children, opt to give birth there regardless of the cost of that venture.

Being a child of God, however, works differently. You must be born of the Spirit of Godyou must be born again! This was the assertion that Jesus made to Nicodemus, which got him so confused he asked, How can an old man go back into [or re-enter] his mothers womb and be born again [or be born a second time]? Jesus response was that the second birth is really a spiritual birth, and not a natural birth. He further explained that all that a natural birth does is to produce sinful people who can only live sinful lives. To live a morally upright life which many people would like for themselves and others around them, you must be born of the Spirit of God!

To explain a little bit more, when a child is born, he inherits the genes of his parents. Thus a child looks like his parents, by virtue of being born by them. In the same way, when a person is born of the Spirit of God or born again, he takes on the genes of God. He therefore possesses the traits of God because he is born of God. Since God is holy, he will be holy; since God is good, that person will be good; and since God is kind, that person will be kind. Therefore, a person cannot live a life that is different from the nature of God, and claim to be a child of God. By now, it should be clear that the new birth does not have anything to do with religion or religious affiliations. Rather, it has everything to do with God. Being morally upright does not necessarily come from attending religious meetings; rather, it comes from being born of the Spirit of God, and then it is developed by heeding the authentic word of God!

Everyone therefore who desires a relationship with God must be born again! You cannot hold on to a religious belief that is against all that God stands for and still lay claim to being a child of God. It is not in the laying of claims, it is in God recognizing you as Hisare you recognized by God as His? Hens recognize their own chicks, as tiny and undistinguishable as they may seem to us. Thus, mother hens peck at chicks that are not of their brood. Therefore, merely saying that you belong to God or that God recognizes you is just thatmere words! The final verdict on who is Gods is Gods alone!

God has made a provision for as many as want to become born of His Spirit, to do so through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, His Son. And this is not a very difficult thing to do. All that you need to do is to repent of your sins, and ask God for forgiveness, and then ask Him to give you the new birth, which confers on you citizenship of the kingdom of God, and all the rights and privileges that go with it. And this is made possible because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Let us explain this issue of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He did not die and resurrect because He wanted to show us that He is superman; No! He died and resurrected to take away sin from man, and to give us the assurance that having become children of God, we shall also be resurrected though we may die naturally, just as He was resurrected though He was crucified. I know that this may be difficult to comprehend, just as it was difficult for Nicodemus to comprehend, but if you can only believe, and repent of your sins before God, all will be revealed in due season.

Admittance into the Kingdom of God involves taking a personal decision to allow God to produce in you, His life. You can indeed be born again this minute even as you are listening to this broadcast. But you must first let go of your religious ancestry, and, turn to God in repentance and surrender. And even if you are an atheist or have no claim to any religious ancestry, you can still be born again. The process is the same: admit that you are a sinner who needs a Saviour, and that, that Saviour, is Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God. Then go to God, and ask for forgiveness of your sins. You will be forgiven and you will receive the joy of the Lordthe first sign of the new birth.

The good news for you today is that, irrespective of your background and sins, if you turn to God in truthful repentance, you will be forgiven, saved, and you will become a child of God! It does not matter whether you are rich or poor, famous or unknown, renowned or notorious, high or low in status, living in a palace or living on the streets; a member of any religion whatsoever; or even an atheist; whoever you are, and whatever your estate in life, you can become a child of God!

Salvation is not about going to a place of religious worship, nor is it about reading the scriptures of your religion every day. Salvation is all about sinful man receiving Gods pardon for his sin through grace, which is the redemptive work of Jesus Christ on the cross given freely to all who repent and believe the gospel. And because salvation primarily involves repentance from sin, one of the very first fruits of being a child of God, is a changed life; and the demonstration of a truly morally upright lifestyle!

Let us pray!