I was 4 years old when my family began attending a denominational church. No one talked about being born again, so I never gave my life to Christ—I didn’t know you were supposed to! We thought if we were in church, we were Christians.
During junior high and high school, I went to a basketball camp every year for seven years at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. When I was in college, Ted Owens, the KU coach at the time, asked me to coach the camp, so I did.
When I was away, I called and talked to my dad. He sounded different. He had gotten “saved” when I was gone! “When you get back,” he said, “I have a book I want you to read.” After returning from coaching, Dad handed me The New Birth by Kenneth E. Hagin.
I read the small book with interest. There was nothing in it that was against what I had been taught, but neither did it contain anything I had been taught! At my church, we learned about the Passion Week, the Crucifixion, and the Resurrection. But that was about it.
The following Monday night, my parents and I attended a charismatic Bible study in someone’s home. People were there from every kind of church in our town. After we sang some songs, someone asked, “Does anyone have anything to say?”
I don’t know what possessed me to share, but I said, “I just read the book, The New Birth, by Kenneth E. Hagin. I want everyone to know that I believe God raised Jesus from the dead and that He is my Lord and Savior.” At that moment, I knew something happened.
No one talked about being born again, so I never gave my life to Christ—I didn’t know you were supposed to!
Romans 10:9–10 (NKJV)
9 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.
10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
I had never heard that if I confessed with my mouth the Lord Jesus, I would be saved. My church didn’t teach us that. I never acted on Romans 10:9 when I first read it. But that night when I confessed Christ as my Savior, I felt something change inside me.
Those folks got excited and started singing again. A little Catholic lady from the Philippines walked up to me and said, “I’ll hold your hand, and you will speak in tongues.” She did, and I did!
I credit The New Birth with teaching me the doctrine I needed to act and receive Jesus as my Lord and Savior.
Faith IN ACTION
A Fresh Start
Jesus taught that you must be born again to have a right relationship with God. Great benefits belong to Christians, but before you can claim any of them, you must experience the new birth. You don’t have to have a feeling like Tad did, you just need to act on Romans 10:9–10. If you would like to receive God’s gift of salvation, pray the following prayer:
I realize that no one is righteous and all have sinned (Rom. 3:10, 23).
I believe that Jesus came to bring righteousness by dying in my place, and I receive His gift of salvation (Rom. 5:15–17).
I believe in my heart that You raised Jesus from the dead, and I accept Him now as my Savior and my Lord (Rom. 10:9–10).
I ask You to fill me with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in an unknown tongue, enabling me to speak in a heavenly language (Acts 2:4).
Thank You, Father, for accepting me into Your family and giving me a new start in life!
If you prayed this prayer for the first time, welcome to God’s family! Please email [email protected] or call 1-800-54-FAITH (543-2484). We want to celebrate with you and send free resources to help you get started in your new life as God’s child.
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