~ Ray E Horton
[After reading a hungry persons sincere desire to somehow reach God and go to heaven by his own efforts, I realized that sometimes they simply need an introduction to the faith, scriptural, yet not using scripture references and Christianese that might put them off. That can come later after the seeds of truth have been planted. So, here is an introductory message that the Lord inspired concerning our faith. Feel free to use it or draw on this content when first witnessing to others. Then, when their interest is peaked, and they start asking questions, you can point them to the scriptures.]
So many people who are involved in the Eastern religions and other non-believers in Jesus, even some works-oriented Christians, depend on their own performance in the hopes of getting to heaven. They sometimes seek to meditate in order to experience light and energy in hopes of purifying themselves enough to go to heaven. But, if they don’t have a living Truth to meditate on, it is of no avail. God has said, and our lives testify to the fact that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God“. We would be hopelessly lost … but … God is Love, and it is He who made a way out for us.
So many in the world need that living Truth, which is Jesus, light of the world, who came to deliver us from weakness and sin, ransom us from darkness, and cleanse us so that we can be whole. God came into the world as a man, Jesus, and shed His blood on the cross of crucifixion, taking our punishment, rising from the dead, sending us His Spirit, and now living at the right hand of the Father God; yes, alive even today and forever.
For all who will put their trust in His redeeming sacrifice, believing in our hearts, we become Born Again, with a real, personal relationship with the living God. He then lives within us via the Holy Spirit, having transformed us, giving us that new spirit. Our old, sinful self couldn’t be cleaned up or improved. It had to be replaced as we were made into new creations by being Born Again. What an exchange, our sin for His righteousness, being totally forgiven and put in right standing with God, and guaranteed heaven for eternity with Him. You can know our God and commune with Him today.
What’s more, we experience that eternal life even now, in this life. Yes, we still miss it and don’t always live godly lives. But, our transformed spirit is different than our soul, which is our mind, will and emotions, which are still in process. And one’s spirit is their true identity. Knowing one’s spirit has been perfected gives us the confidence to go on with the Lord, even when our souls often still miss it, being influenced by old attitudes and wrong teaching, by the influence of the world, the flesh and the devil.
Once Born Again, we no longer just give up and get discouraged and fall deeper into sin. Knowing who we are in Christ, that we are a part of the family of the redeemed, we simply repent, that is, turn back, get up and go on with Him with a clear conscience, forgiven and cleansed, and continue to run the race.
Once you are Born Again, just remember, even if it doesn’t seem so, that the Word of God tells us our Old Man is dead, and we are new creations in Christ. So we run the race and are gradually transformed from glory to glory to become more and more like who we really are, who we have been made to be, holy vessels, temples of the Holy Spirit, with the light of Jesus within.
What are the marvelous implications of that? That we are now empowered to grow stronger day by day and to be used by God to touch the lives of others. We have purpose in life and can be used for His plans and purposes in this world. We no longer accept and speak negative things over our lives. We see sickness and lack try to steal from us, but we speak the greater truth to our hearts, that our God is bigger than every circumstance, and by faith we overcome, because He Who lives within us overcame for us.
So, we can live just as we were saved, by the grace of God in Jesus, through faith, not our own feeble works which will never ultimately succeed. Our success is in the confidence and faith of knowing who we know are in Christ, and stepping out in the power of the Holy Spirit into our destiny for victory, joy and peace in life, loving our God and the world, and being used by Him as His hands and feet and mouthpiece.
It is He Who is our light, our energy, our purity, our source, and we now meditate on Him and His Word alone. Nothing else is needed! Nothing else matters! He did the work on the cross. “It is finished,” as Jesus said, and we now live in the newness of life, allowing His light and goodness to overflow from us to all those around us, so that they too can experience this new life.