PEOPLE . I the n A i v e r : !
First in a Series of Informal Chats with Young People on Their Perplexing Problems
By William W . Orr, D.D.
Christians Are Born . . . T HAT’S right, Christians are not self - developed, not home-grown, not manufactured—but born from Heaven (John 3:1-8). This cardinal fact must be realized be fore you can begin to understand the Christian life. God alone makes Christians (Rom. 3:24-26). The new birth is a mir acle. The Christian is entirely and completely a divine under taking. I mean, you can’t make yourself one. This fact needs emphasis because of the satanically-inspired confusion in the mind of the average person on this important subject. Too many good people think that a Christian is every one who is not a pagan or a fool. The term Christian is wrongly applied to every organization that even slightly dis penses the milk of human kindness. And becoming a Chris tian is universally thought to be a process of self-develop ment, cultivated by good works and watered by high ideals. Listen, my friend, if you never listened before. Good works, even in prodigious amounts, will never, never make one a Christian (Eph. 2:8, 9). Not charity, benevolences, penance, church attendance, abstinence from evil habits, keeping the law, good citizenship, baptism, community service, burning of candles, prayers. Not doing the best one can or a hundred and one other things, nor them all together, can accomplish this miracle. Salvation simply is not obtained by what you do or do not do (Titus 3 :5). If you understand this, you know more than millions of your neighbors. God.’s one and only basis of saving sinners like you and me is by the sacrificial death of His Son (John 3:36). If we could have been saved any other way, there would have been no rea son for Christ to die. There is no other way (John 14:6). However, thank God, this way is sufficient to save every last person who desires to be saved (Acts 16:31). S E P T E M B E R , 1 9 4 9
You see, God’s salvation has to start with our condition as lost and condemned sinners (Rom. 3:9-23). It is not a very happy condition, but nevertheless a fact. Before we met Christ, we were dead in trespasses and sins, utterly unable to help ourselves, enemies of God and alienated from Him. To such creatures God offers a marvelous salvation on one condi tion, if condition it be, that the sinner accept (Acts 16:31). Such acceptance includes receiving Jesus Christ as Saviour, trusting Him, relying upon Him, depending upon Him for time and for eternity. Quite naturally Christians are different. They’re born again. They have new life, the life of God. New aims are theirs; they seek to live for Christ. New strength and wisdom are theirs from Heaven. New pleasures they enjoy; they love the things of God. New friends too are made by those who have this precious faith. Everything is changed because the Chris tian is a new creation in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17). Please don’t expect the Christian to look and act like the rest of the world ly crowd. He can’t. A happy heart comes from the realization of this truth. The born-again Christian who attempts to continue going with the worldly set experiences intense dissatisfaction and even misery. True and unadulterated joy comes only when one cuts clean (2 Cor. 6:16, 17) from the world, the flesh and the devil, and walks (Heb. 13:5) daily by the side of his wonderful Companion. I believe that we ought to pause here a moment to inquire if you are a real, born-again Christian. Are you? There’s no use reading the rest of this article unless you are. It simply doesn’t apply to you. However if you’re not, you can be right this very minute. Just get on your knees, look up into the face Page Eleven
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