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The Day I Was Born Again  September 8, 2021

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Uncategorized.
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I can remember when I was born-again.  I came up from me knees a new creature living in a new creation, old things had passed away and everything had become new.  I had this life changing experience in a church where that kind of thing was not supposed to happen.   

In this church they shared the Lord’s Supper at every service.  This was the first time I felt I was ready to partake of the bread and wine.  While kneeling at the altar rail I reflected upon my recent study of the four Gospels.  I had come to a place where I thought this Gospel is either the truth or it’s a lie.  If it’s the truth it is undoubtedly the most important message ever delivered.  If it was a lie, it was just one among many. 

As a person who had studied History daily for many years, I knew that all of the writers of the Gospels had been martyred.  This led me to reflect, “If these men had written a lie, they would have known it was a lie and that Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, there is no salvation, and the whole thing was a hoax.” 

I also knew that before they were martyred, they were given a choice, say what they’d written was a lie and worship the emperor or stand by what they’d written and die.  All of them chose to die.   The thought that four men would all choose to die to promote or perpetuate a hoax didn’t sound or feel believable to me. 

All this had been running round and round in my mind for weeks.  Finally, as I knelt at that altar I decided, “It has to be true.”  Right then and there I prayed, “Jesus, I want you to be the Lord of my life.  I want to give my life to you.  I repent of my sins, and I ask you to save me.”  That was it.  I believed God had raised Jesus from the grave and I accepted Him as my Lord. 

Instantly I was translated into an ecstasy of joy.  I raised my hands and I praised God for hearing my prayer and for saving me.  From that moment on I knew beyond all doubt that Jesus is God, that He came to earth to save the lost, and that He will meet us wherever we are and accept us no matter what we’ve done.  From that moment to this I have known the intimacies of the new birth and no one nor no thing can ever separate me from my Savior. 

That was what happened on the inside deep within my being as my spirit which had been dead to God came alive.  On the outside I stayed at the altar after everyone else left and returned to their seats.  I stayed there throughout the rest of the service and for about another half hour after everyone left the sanctuary and moved into the fellowship hall. 

I was completely oblivious to any sound or movement around me.  I had no awareness of the passage of time.  I was bathed in the joy of God, surrounded by His presence, communing with my Savior, wrapped in His love. 

When I returned to normal consciousness I got up, I looked around dumbfounded at the empty sanctuary.  To me I had only been at the altar for a few moments.  I followed the sound of people talking into the fellowship hall.  As I entered, I began praising God.  I told them all, “I’ve just been born again!” 

Everyone, the pastor included looked at me as if I was crazy.  You would have thought I had just said, “A unicorn jumped over a rainbow and gave me some candy.”  The President of the Church Council told me, “We don’t go for any of that Born-Again nonsense here.  If you’re going to act like that drag it down the street someplace else.” 

I was confused.  From my reading of the scriptures everyone must be born again if they want to see God and His kingdom and here was a leader in the Church telling me this life changing experience was somehow out of place in this particular church.   

But I knew what I had just experienced, and no one was going to convince me that God hadn’t just touched me, that He hadn’t wiped away my guilt, and made me new.  No one could convince me that I hadn’t just been born again. 

The Pastor seeing my look of confusion took me aside and asked me what had happened.  When I described the miracle as clearly as I could he told me it was probably an emotional response to a thought-provoking sermon. 

Imagine if you lived on an island where everyone crawls instead of walks.  It has always been this way, and this is the only way anyone can ever remember it being.  Then one day a person stands up and starts to walk.  Everyone is shocked.  They are scandalized.  The leaders of the community express the thoughts of the majority, “I mean whoever heard of such a thing, someone walking instead of crawling.”  Turning on the lone walker they cry in unison, “Get back down here and crawl like you’re supposed to!  What if others start this walking business?  Do you want to destroy our traditions?  What if the children see you and start walking instead of crawling?” 

It’s not that crawling is better than walking.  We all know that it isn’t.  It’s just that this is the way things have always been so that is seen as the way they should be.  Anything different is rejected out of hand, no consideration, no inner reflection, no comparison of two different options just instantaneous and total rejection. 

This is just how it seems when people who have never experienced the new birth, have never experienced the unrivaled intimacies of a loving God bringing life to the dead spirit we inherited from Adam try to tell us who have, to settle down and follow traditions. 

Instead of the eternal everlasting death we all deserve due to our Adamic inheritance and our own sin God in His infinite mercy and love gives us eternal life.  And He has not only given us life He gives us the very life of Christ the life that defeated death.  In a foreshadowing of the life-giving power of Christ once some Israelites were about to burry a man when a sudden attack of the enemy forced them to forego using a new grave and they placed the body in the tomb of Elisha the prophet.  As soon as the body of the dead man touched the bones of the prophet the man came back to life.  And so it is with every spiritually dead person who comes to the cross of Christ who surrenders themselves and accepts Jesus as Lord. 

We must never let anyone convince us that humanity can be perfected outside of God’s plan of salvation and through Jesus Christ.  Nothing, not education, politics, economics, genetic engineering, theology, philosophy, or psychology can forge a way to life for the spiritually dead except through Christ.  All of these things can be helpful tools.  They can all help us make sense of a fallen and disordered world.  But they cannot save us.  They cannot change us from fallen and lost people into what we were created to be: children of the Most High God. 

And it is purely through grace that this is even possible.  We cannot earn our way.  There is no twelve-step plan to salvation.  There is no self-help program that will deliver us from evil.  In His great love for humanity God opened the way through Christ’s sacrifice and His resurrection for the dead to live, the fallen to rise, the blind to see, and the lost to be found.   

May every one of us, descendants of Adam, the lost and the spiritually dead repent of our sins, turn from the world, and accept the glorious gift God offers us.  Let’s embrace the life Christ has won for us. 

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, Global Studies, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2021 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com   Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook, Twitter, Gab, or MeWe @ Drrobertowens, or visit Dr. Owens’ Amazon Page / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens 

Comments»

1. Charles Stephens - September 8, 2021

I like you! I like you alot! But this one is a little off base for me. The 12 Step program is a discipleship plan not a salvation plan. Since few churches offer discipleship as prescribed by Jesus, people fall away from the church and return to sin. America, the world needs a discipleship program and the 12 steps are as good as any. The 12 Steps are far far from self-help. But you would not know it. The 12 steps are a Small group, Grow group atmosphere that never encourages self-help in any form. As I said, I like you. I read your stuff weekly but this is a wee bit off base and may stand in the way of someone else ” getting it “


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