Born christian or born-again christian?

Some people believe that being born into a christian family automatically makes you a christian.

I tend to think otherwise.

Whilst not having been born to christian parents, my mom became a christian when i was 10 and I started attending sunday school then.  I attended church fairly regularly till i came to melbourne some 11 years later.  In some ways i considered myself a christian and I do remember praying the sinners prayer back when i was 13 years old.

But did i subject myself to the Lordship of Christ?  I’m not entirely sure.  I understood who Christ was and I did believe (somewhat) that He was the Son of God, that He did die on the cross for my sins and that He rose from the dead 3 days later. All that had been hammered into me from an early age as i’d been attending a mission school since i was 5 years old.  But somehow while all that was head knowledge, it never really affected my heart and I continued to live quite a sinful life.

(What shocked me years later is the realization that the demons themselves know that Christ is Lord and that never caused them to surrender their lives to him, but i digress)

It wasn’t until i got to melbourne and was confronted by the awesome power of God’s word and the amazing promise of God’s love that i finally acknowledged myself as a sinner, unworthy of God’s love but so in need of His saving grace.  It was with that understanding that I finally let go of all my foolish pride and surrendered my life to Christ.

Now what’s the point of telling all that when i’m supposed to be talking about born christians vs. born-again christians?

Jesus himself said that for a man (or woman) to see the kingdom of God he has to be born again (John 3:3).  This is not a normal human birth but one by the Spirit.  

“Flesh gives birth to flesh, but Spirit gives birth to spirit” John 3:6

Therefore no one can say that just by being born into a christian family they are christian.  Being christian is such a rich and amazing life decision that it can never be so casually addressed!

In fact by saying that you’re already a christian just because your mom or dad is one, robs you of the most wonderful and life changing decision that you could ever make for yourself in this lifetime.  To choose Christ instead of this world is to set yourself against everything that this world holds dear and say that God’s son Jesus is the one true treasure of this life.  That’s so profound and mystifying that I can’t even come close to describing it no matter how beautiful the language i could muster.

So i cannot accept that people can just say that they’re christian so mindlessly, so blindly so carelessly.  It’s almost insulting!  Do they not know the cost of being a christian?  The dangers of being one? Or the hardships to be faced on this earth for choosing to side with Christ?

Or can they appreciate the depths of the love that the Christ, God’s holy lamb, displayed on the cross through the sacrifice of His own life so that we could be made right with God? Such grace, such mercy, such generosity, all for the sake of who?  Worthless, sinners like me… who couldn’t even hope to put a dent in the great debt of my sin even through the giving of every drop of blood from my frail body.  

No, there is no such thing as a born christian, you have to choose to be one. you can’t be forced to be one, nor can you force another.  And through that simple act of faith, the belief that what you’re reading is not madness but rather the simple truth of how we are in relation to God, the Spirit melts the heart, convicts it of sin and you become…

…born-again.

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