Does Sinning After Being Saved Mean Being Born Again?

Does Sinning After Being Saved Mean Being Born Again?

By Miaomiao Editor’s Notes: Most Christians believe that since we have been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ we have been reborn, and that when the Lord returns we will be able to enter into the kingdom of heaven. But the fact is that we always live in a situation of sinning in the day and confessing at night, so is it true that we have been reborn? What is the rebirth really? When I first started believing in the Lord, I heard the pastor say, “When we believers are baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we are then reborn. So from that day, we will be different from our old self and formally become the Lord’s children. And we will be raptured into the kingdom of heaven when the Lord returns. Just as the Lord Jesus says in the Bible: ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said to you, You must be born again’ (John 3:5-7).” Hearing these words, I got extremely excited and was then baptized. Thereafter, I always followed the Lord’s words, and preached the Lord’s gospel with full confidence. When I saw that so many people accepted the gospel and were baptized, I felt so happy, believing that we were all reborn, and that in the future, we would definitely attain that which the Lord has promised and enter into the kingdom of heaven. In the twinkling of an eye, I have believed in the Lord for over 10 years. But somehow, my original faith and love gradually lessened and I was increasingly unable to keep the Lord’s way. I began to covet wealth, became selfish, self-interested, and haggled over every penny. Even when interacting with my brothers and sisters, I also had no patience or tolerance for them and was unable to live in harmony with them. Moreover, I would always reveal my arrogant disposition and put others down to raise myself up, and would even often lie and deceive God, deceive other people. Unknowingly, some questions came into my mind: With such a living out, have I truly been reborn? Why do I feel that my living out today is no different from that of unbelievers? Can I, who often sin, really enter into the kingdom of heaven? Once, I left a message online to Sister Xiaodong, whom I got acquainted with on Facebook, and told her about my confusion. Before long, she replied: “Hello, sister! I also used to have this kind of confusion. Until one day I read these words in the Bible: ‘You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy’ (Leviticus 11:45). ‘Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord’ (Hebrews 12:14). ‘Jesus answered them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Whoever commits sin is the servant of sin. And the servant stays not in the house for ever: but the son stays ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed’ (John 8:34-36). I couldn’t help but think: ‘Since God Himself is pure and holy, His kingdom is then holy; as God hates sin, He requires us to be cleansed. So how could we who still commit sins frequently and who are covered in filth be qualified to enter God’s kingdom?’ “Afterward, I read a passage in a book: ‘A sinner such as you, who has just been redeemed, and has not been changed, or been perfected by God, can you be after God’s heart? For you, you who are still of your old self, it is true that you were saved by Jesus, and that you are not counted as a sinner because of the salvation of God, but this does not prove that you are not sinful, and are not impure. How can you be saintly if you have not been changed? Within, you are beset by impurity, selfish and mean, yet you still wish to descend with Jesus—you should be so lucky! You have missed a step in your belief in God: You have merely been redeemed, but have not been changed. For you to be after God’s heart, God must personally do the work of changing and cleansing you; if you are only redeemed, you will be incapable of attaining sanctity. In this way you will be unqualified to share in the good blessings of God, for you have missed out a step in God’s work of managing man, which is the key step of changing and perfecting. And so you, a sinner who has just been redeemed, are incapable of directly inheriting God’s inheritance.’ From this passage, I knew that the Lord Jesus’ work was limited to redemption alone. He brought us the way of repentance, taught us to be tolerant and patient, to love others as ourselves and to love the Lord with all our heart, soul and mind, etc. As long as we are baptized, accept the Lord Jesus’ salvation and come before the Lord to repent and confess our sins, then we can gain His pardon, and enjoy the grace as well as blessings that He bestows upon man. But this doesn’t mean that we do not have sins. Although we outwardly have some good behaviors, such as having tolerance and patience toward others, not assaulting others and not cursing others, our sinful natures remain deeply rooted within us. So, we often reveal our corrupt dispositions—arrogance, conceit, crookedness, cunningness, selfishness, despicableness, and so on. What is even more serious is that we often sin and resist God. Especially when encountering something that does not accord with our notions, we can judge and complain against God; when faced with trials and refinements, we can become full of resentment toward God. We…

flowers in snow

How Can Christians Get Reborn?

All along I kept thinking: Why does the Bible say “mount up with wings as eagles” (Isaiah 40:31) and “your youth is renewed like the eagle’s” (Psalms 103:5)? Today I finally understood the meaning of these words … “The lifespan of eagles is the longest among the birds in the world. They can live more than 70 years. However, in order to reach this age, when they are 40, they have to make a serious and difficult choice. At that age, their claws are no longer sharp or agile and they even can’t catch prey; due to the aging process, their beaks become curly and long, to the extent that they can almost touch the breast feather; and their feathers become heavy as a result of calcification, which makes them no longer agile and have difficulty in flying. At this time, they only have two choices: Wait to die or experience a 150-day painful metamorphosis and then spread their wings once again. If they choose the latter, they would fly to the summit of a high mountain, nest on a rock and perch there, and temporarily stop flying. After that, they would peck the rock with their aging beaks despite of bleeding until the beaks fall out. Then they would wait for the growth of a new beak. After a long period of 50 days, eagles would begin entering a new phase of metamorphosis. They would pull their aging and hard nails one by one out of their claws with the new beaks. After regenerating new nails, they would pull out the calcified feathers one by one. This is a process of repeated bleeding, a process of experiencing the taste of death. While their blood is bleeding drop by drop, their life is revived day by day. The first flight after the metamorphosis shows that the only one transformation of eagles in their lifetime comes to an end. They again soar freely and the boundless sky again becomes their paradise. The metamorphosis enables them to live another 30 years. The rebirth of the eagles gives the old saying ‘Put the troops in death ground and they will live’ a true explanation!” (“How Do Christians Experience Transformation Like Eagles” on Gospel Website of Christianity). After reading this story, I felt shocked in my heart. Eagles are valued as the king of birds, and according to their boldness and spirit they deserve this title. But who has ever thought that what eagles experience in gaining a new life is such a bloody test, and that it is just the metamorphosis that gives them a second life. They choose to give up the beaks, pull out the nails and feathers, and shed blood, because they clearly know that only after the pain of death, can they gain a new life, and that sharp beaks and claws and strong feathers will allow them to spread their wings again. We can’t imagine what eagles have experienced in that 150 days. But it must be a process full of battles between flesh and will, a combination of danger and rebirth, and even more an experience of pursuing a new life. Only after they have fully experienced such tribulations, can they once again spread their wings and fly in the sky. The eagles’ second life gives me an inspiration: The path we Christians walk is the path of being born again. What we experience is a process from knowing sins to confessing sins, and at last removing sins. The Lord Jesus said: “Truly, truly, I say to you, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). The Lord’s words tell us that if our old life doesn’t die, we cannot gain a new life, much less enter into God’s kingdom. If we want to be born again and changed into new people and enter into God’s kingdom, we can’t be satisfied with standing still, keeping those outmoded rules and laws in our life, or having some outward changes and good behaviors. Instead, we must step forward and attain transformation in our sinful nature. For we, though having been redeemed by the grace of the Lord Jesus and enjoying abundant grace from Him, still live in the situation of sinning each day and confessing each night, and are still caked in grime. The Bible says: “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrew 12:14). “But as he which has called you is holy, so be you holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be you holy; for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:15-16). From these verses, I came to understand that God is holy and righteous, and thus He absolutely doesn’t allow filthy and corrupt people to enter into His kingdom. So, how can we get reborn as new people and achieve purification? This question had puzzled me for years until one day I read two passages of words from a gospel website. “A sinner such as you, who has just been redeemed, and has not been changed, or been perfected by God, can you be after God’s heart? For you, you who are still of your old self, it is true that you were saved by Jesus, and that you are not counted as a sinner because of the salvation of God, but this does not prove that you are not sinful, and are not impure. How can you be saintly if you have not been changed? Within, you are beset by impurity, selfish and mean, yet you still wish to descend with Jesus—you should be so lucky! You have missed a step in your belief in God: You have merely been redeemed, but have not been changed. For you to be after God’s heart, God must personally do the work of changing and cleansing you; if you are only redeemed, you will be incapable of attaining sanctity. In this way you will be unqualified to share in…

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