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Several members of Bethany Baptist Church got together, Friday morning to put together packets for the Christmas Parade. Each packet has a small candy cane in it. A lot of people turned out to help and the work was done in short order.
The Jubilee Singers sang in the morning service and the Youth sang in the evening. Pastor Bob Sorensen brought a message he called, “Ye Must Be Born Again.”
When Nicodemus came to see Jesus to ask questions of him, Jesus told him, “Ye must be born again.” Even though Nicodemus was a sincere and highly regarded teacher in Israel, Jesus told him that he would not even see the kingdom of God if he were not born again. It is possible to be the most respected member of a congregation, active in the church, generous in giving, religious in appearance, and still not be “born again.”
What is the new birth? It is also referred to as regeneration, salvation, conversion, being saved, and justification. The first birth is the physical birth. We are born with a sin nature handed down from Adam. The new birth is the beginning of spiritual life. This new birth happens in an instant similar to having a light turned on. It is not the result of a long process of growth. It is not baptism, not religion, not the result of the successful completion of a system of moral practices, but it is the acceptance of Jesus Christ.
Being born again is a simple act of faith, but not a shallow, easy, “repeat after me,” event that can happen without Holy Spirit conviction. The spiritual birth is necessary because the natural man is contaminated by sin. He is shaped in iniquity, ruled by a sin nature, and if nothing is done he will die and go to Hell.
In order to be born again, one must hear the gospel. One must be convicted by the Holy Spirit and hate his own sins. Repentance is necessary, as is a belief in Jesus, that he is the Son of God who came to seek and save sinners. Jesus died for sinners to pay their sin debt. Jesus was buried and arose the third day to show that He had power over death to give eternal life.
What is the proof of the “New Birth” in a believer? The Bible says that a believer becomes a new creature. He will have a new way of thinking. Some things that he used to love, he now hates and some things he used to hate, he now loves. Now he will have a desire to be baptized, to be in church, to read God’s Book, and to live godly. The change will be obvious to his family and friends and may offend some of them. The new Christian will want to see his family and friends saved as well.
Sunday, November 21 Bethany Baptist Church will have its annual Thanksgiving Dinner after the morning service. There will be a service following at 1:00 p.m. with guest missionaries, Joe and Iona Gammon, representing Light House Baptist Ministries