"Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’" (John 3:7)
Sometimes, there’re those who are described by others as “godly” or “god-fearing,” even though they’re not born again. But being godly or god-fearing isn’t the same as being born again. In Acts 10, we find a most interesting case of conversion, the conversion of Cornelius, a very “godly” man.
"...a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always."
What an amazing description of Cornelius!
He was benevolent, liberal and “god-fearing”; consistent and persistent in his prayer life. He was a just man (Acts 10:22). And he even saw visions:
"...he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him..."
Yet, he wasn’t saved; he wasn’t born again. An angel had to tell him, “And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter… he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do” (Acts 10:5-6).
In our opening verse, Jesus didn’t mince words when He spoke to Nicodemus. He said, “Ye must be born again.” He didn’t say if you’re “god-fearing,” it’s okay. He used the term, “born again” to express the necessity for man’s spiritual rebirth. Sometimes we encounter such people as Cornelius. They have a good reputation and moral character; but being well-spoken of by others doesn’t merit God’s salvation.
This is why we preach the Gospel. The Gospel is about Jesus Christ; it’s not about what you have done, or what you haven’t done. It’s about Christ and what He’s done for you, which if you’d accept was enough, then salvation is yours.
"And by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses."
In case you’re like Cornelius today reading this, you need to receive words by which you can be saved.
"...if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."
This is the Bible way to receive salvation.
Dear Heavenly Father, I'm forever grateful for the salvation of my soul, having confessed with my mouth the Lord Jesus, and believed in my heart that You raised Him from the dead. And today, I pray for the unsaved around the world, that the light of this glorious Gospel will shine in their hearts, for salvation, in Jesus' Name. Amen.
Further Study: Mark 8:36-37; John 3:3; Acts 13:38-39