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So to become a child of God, all you have to do is to believe what Jesus said. When you do this, you will receive a revolutionary new life. Your whole personality will be miraculously transformed.
You will become children of God... heirs to everything that God has for you.
BB1 01The change is so dramatic that it often surprises friends and loved ones. Jesus called it being "born again".
Peter said we are "born again by the Word of God". (1 Peter 1:23)  Paul called it the "new birth, in which old things are passed away and all things become new." (2 Corinthians 5:17) He compares it to the death of our old life and resurrection into a new life. (Romans 6:6)

It is eternal!

The best part is that this revolutionary new life is eternal. It does not stop when you die. Jesus has promised that we will live on after death... eternally. (John 3:16) What greater wish could anyone have?

Jesus and the eternal life that he offers us are God's gifts to us. Jesus alone has the words of eternal life. Everything that he tells us to do is an expression of God's grace or love. And our response to what he says shows whether or not we have faith in his love.

BB1 02The Bible says "You are saved by grace, through faith, and it did not come from your own efforts. It is a gift from God, not earned through works, so that no one can boast of having earned it." (Ephesians 2:8-9)

If someone tells you that you are in danger where you are standing now, and you move to avoid the danger, you do not boast about having moved. This is because your movement is based on a more or less selfish survival instinct and on your belief that the person giving the warning was trying to help you.  In the same way, when we obey Jesus, we are not "buying" eternal life, because we are acting more or less selfishly, based on our belief that he really is going to give eternal life to everyone who believes what he says. 

Obviously if you refuse to move out of danger when a friend warns you, you are saying that you do not have much faith in your friend; you will not be "saved" from danger as a result of your lack of obedience (or faith).

BB1 03In the same way, people who claim to believe in Jesus, but who do not obey his teachings are not changed. Their lives are not transformed; they are not "born again"; and any hope of eternal life that they might have is, tragically, a false hope, built on faith in someone besides Jesus Christ.

You cannot be saved without faith in God.

If you don't believe he loves you; if you don't believe he is speaking through Christ; if you don't believe that he can offer eternal life; in short, if you don't take his word for it when he says something, you will miss out on this revolutionary new life.

There are millions of so-called Christians who don't really believe in Jesus enough to take him seriously, but they think that they can take his name or say a little prayer, or perform some other ritual and inherit eternal life as a result. They are all secretly frustrated because they are trying to live a lie, trying to bluff their way into heaven. Nothing but genuine faith will do it.

Works, a response to grace!

BB1 04In the Bible, faith and obedience are used more or less interchangeably. Modern translations of John 3:36 say, "Whoever believes in the Son (Jesus) has eternal life; but whoever disobeys the Son will not have life, but will remain under God's punishment." In other words, disobeying Christ is the same as not believing him.

Peter and Paul both talk about obeying the good news about this revolutionary new life. (1 Peter 4:17, Romans 10:16)  James writes about faith being useless if it doesn't lead to obedience. (James 2:14-26)  But will our efforts to obey Jesus cause us to become proud, as happens to people in other religions? They will if we think they somehow earned us eternal life.

Jesus told of a man who sold all that he had to buy a field, because he knew a treasure was buried in it. (Matthew 13:44) The man did not "buy" the treasure as such, because it came for free with the field. But the field cost him everything that he had.  In the same way, Christ asks us to give him everything we have (even our very lives) to prove our faith in him and to receive this revolutionary new life; but doing this does not "pay for" eternal life.BB1 05  The man who bought the field did not boast about how much he paid for the treasure. Instead, his boast was about how he got the treasure for nothing just by buying the field.  The field represents being in the right place at the right time to get the free gift. 

Every religion teaches that you must do something to put yourself in a position to receive God's gift of eternal life.  Many teach that saying a little prayer to "accept" Jesus will give you eternal life.  But what we should ask ourselves is whether this is what Jesus taught.  If our faith must be in him to be saved, then we must look to him for the rules.  Jesus said, "If you do not give up everything you own, you cannot be my follower." (Luke 14:33) And he said that just calling him Lord means nothing if we don't obey him. (Luke 6:46)

Saying a prayer may be a genuine response to Christ... the first step in a life of commitment to him. But if you don't do anything more about obeying Christ than that, then you don't have real faith in Christ; your faith is in a meaningless ritual. Real faith motivates works, so don't hand us any of that stuff about a no-works religion!

Man's rules vs God's rules

The most raging religious controversy the world has ever known has always been between people who want to follow religious rules and people who want to follow God. In fact, this was the biggest church fight amongst the Early Christians: whether you had to keep the Old Testament rules to be saved, or whether you could just believe Jesus to make it.

BB1 06This obnoxious mixture of faith in Jesus and faith in the Jewish religion so nauseated Paul that he bawled Peter out publicly for it and spent most of his years fighting it in epistle after epistle. You can't get any better religion than Judaism; and yet when a person comes to Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, even Judaism must go.

Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one can come to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)

Paul said, "There is only one God, and only one mediator between God and people, and that is the man Jesus Christ." (1 Timothy 2:5)BB1 07

Is your faith in Jesus, or is it in the Old Testament? Is your faith in Jesus or is it in the apostles... Peter, Paul, John, or James? Is your faith in Jesus or in your pastor, pope, or some other religious authority?

Paul summed up the dispute about Jesus vs the Old Testament by saying, "If righteousness could have come through religious rules, then Christ must have died in vain." (Galatians 2:21)

Being a Jew does not entitle you to eternal life. Being a Catholic or a Protestant does not entitle you to eternal life. Only being a follower of Jesus Christ does. Jesus died for you, and by doing this he bought the exclusive right to give you eternal life. And he will give it to you if you will put your faith in him and in him alone.

Is church necessary?

Many religions are scared to death to teach people what Jesus said about salvation, BB1 08because he said the way was strait and the gate narrow, and very few people would find it. They can't make money out of that kind of teaching, so they make merchandise out of our souls by telling us that we can do whatever we like and still be saved. People lap it up because they love to be told such a lie. 
Since they're not willing to forsake all and follow Jesus, to live together and share in order to become fishers of men, they have to do something to make people think they're Christians, so they cooked up church buildings and church attendance as a substitute... just enough religion to put people to sleep spiritually.

We call this Churchianity.

If you find a church that is teaching you to obey Christ, then go for it; but our experience has been that they teach everything else except obedience to Christ.


How to receive this new life

Just read the teachings of Jesus Christ in the first four books of the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke, & John) and obey him.  He is the Son of God.  He died a horrible death to make this new life possible.  His willingness to suffer such a death was an expression of his love for us.  And then, as proof that he really has God's authority to offer people eternal life, he was raised to life three days after his own execution, just as he himself had predicted would happen. 

No other religious leader in history can match that!  So this is not just religious jargon and double-talk.  This is the real thing.  Try him and see.  
And if you would like to know more about how to put the teachings of Christ into practice, or if you'd like to live and work with others who are exeriencing this revolutionary new life seven days a week, then write to us today.

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