Sometimes, when I hear the phrase “I am a Christrian” or “I am born again”, it bothers me. It bothers me because I think that it doesnâ€™t make any sense to those who donâ€™t know what being a Christian really means.
So when someone says they are a Christian or â€œborn againâ€ what does it really mean? Actually, a better translation of what Jesus was saying about being born again in the bible is to be “born from above”.
For those of you who are very new to this subject, this probably doesnâ€™t make any more sense than saying born again, so let me explain what this really means. Every person is born with something that no other animal has, a spirit. To become a Christian is to bring that spirit to life.
Often the spirit is confused with the soul, but actually the soul of an animal or human is its emotions, thoughts and feelings. When we die or when an animal dies, its soul doesnâ€™t really exist anymore. What does continue to exist is your spirit. That is the part of you that will take on the soul and live forever. As a Christian, we call that being made in the image of God.
When God blew life into Adam, He was filling him with His Spirit, unlike how he created the animals. All of us humans have a spirit in us, what we donâ€™t all do is awaken it. What true Christians call becoming a Christian is when we accept the gift that Jesus enabled us to have by dying on the cross. When we do this, our spirit is touched or awakened by the touch of Godâ€™s Spirit, hence being “born from above”.
Here is where it gets a little sticky, at least to me. Many people say they are a Christian, but they donâ€™t really have that spirit awakened. It is not for me to judge that. The bible says that God is the only one who can judge the heart or spirit condition. A “Christian” can have accepted the gift of Jesus and awakened their spirit, yet never grow that spirit or show any outward signs of that inner change.
So to be a Christian is not necessarily something that you can tell by looking at someones life. I am not saying that it should be that way, I am saying that is the way it is. What a person should do is change how they live and try to live by that spirit that is now awakened in them. If they do that, they will be able to see a difference between them and those in the mainstream.
There are so many things that you or a person that has just newly awakened that spirit will feel. They will feel what is called a check or a flag in their spirit when they are doing something that is morally wrong, like lying, getting drunk, or abusing someone else, either physically or emotionally. These are things that this person may have done many times without feeling anything negative. Now that they are a Christian, it will feel wrong. That is your awakened spirit trying to tell you not to do those things anymore.
Other than the individuals who just plain lie about ever being a Christian in the first place, this is where another decision comes into play for every person who does birth that spirit. You can choose to listen to that spirit and stop doing the things that are not good, sins. This doesnâ€™t mean that you will never sin. It means that you try your best not to sin. You try to follow the direction of your spirit and live a cleaner life. If you do this you will be amazed at how good you will feel. You will start to feel healthier, more alive and have more joy in your life.
There is another way to go and that is to ignore what the spirit is now telling you. That some of the things you enjoyed doing so much for years, you should no longer do. The newly awakened spirit will not grow in this situation and it will eventually become deadened or dulled to the sin that you are committing until it is very easy to ignore it. The checks in your spirit have been overridden.
Does this second type of spirit mean that you cannot get to heaven if you are not following the leading of your spirit? I donâ€™t think so, accept in an extreme case where that person makes a direct decision to reject what they had before embraced. Notice that I didnâ€™t say that I knew that they are still a Christian if they are in this condition, but I think they still are.
To me it doesnâ€™t make sense to take that chance. Also Jesus was very clear in his direction that we should stand out as followers of Him. This doesnâ€™t mean that we have to wear a goatskin hat to be a Christian, but we need to lead clean lives. Donâ€™t go out and drink with your buddies, donâ€™t cheat people, and treat people how you would like to be treated and you will stand out.
If you want to be a true Christian, donâ€™t play games. Listen to your spirit and check it with what the bible says as much as you can and you will be the Christian that Jesus wanted you to be.