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     A twelve-year-old was chatting with her pastor about her wish to be baptized. Desirous of ascertaining exactly how much she understood about the solemnity of the step she intended to take, the man of God asked his youthful parishioner, "Mary, have you been born again?"

     "Yes, Pastor, I have," she replied without hesitation.

     "Mary, before you were born again, were you a sinner?"

     "Yes, indeed I was," she answered with equal lack of hesitation.

     "And, Mary, now that you've been born again, are you no longer a sinner?"

     This time she was thoughtful for a few moments. She knew that she often made mistakes, she did and said things she wished she hadn't, and had weaknesses in her life that she longed to overcome. Finally she said with admirable candor, "Pastor, I'm still a sinner!"

     "Well, now, Mary," asked the minister, "what is the difference? You say you were a sinner. Then you were born again. Now you're still a sinner."

     Then Mary gave a reply that was the most eloquent sermon on the new birth he had ever heard:

     "You see, Pastor, it's like this. Before I was born again I was a sinner running after sin. Now I'm a sinner running away from sin."

     That child had a simple, yet profound understanding of a profound, yet simple truth.-Unknown, These Times, July 1972.

Quote: "The devil is not afraid of the Bible that has dust on it."-Unknown, These Times, July 1972.


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