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Born Again - revisted

Born Again - It's a phrase that you frequently hear from Christians.

But it seems many do not know what it means to be born again.

The phrase "born again" only appears in 2 chapetrs in the Bible.

John 3; and 1 Pet 1;

So what do these say about being "born again"? John tells of Jesus meeting Nicodemus.

John 3:1; Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews;
John 3:2 this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”
John 3:3; Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
John 3:4; Nicodemus *said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?”
John 3:5; Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
John 3:6; That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
John 3:7; Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’
John 3:8; The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
John 3:9; Nicodemus said to Him, “How can these things be?”
John 3:10; Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and do not understand these things?

There has been debate over what the water is... some say this just means a natural birth, and this signifies
the water breaking before birth. Other say this means water baptism. But aside from the water here...

We need to be born of the Spirit. Being born again means being born of the Spirit.
Unless we are born of the Spirit we cannot enter the kingdom of God.

Peter tells about the "outcome of your faith".

1 Pet 1:1; Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen
1 Pet 1:2; according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.
1 Pet 1:3; Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
1 Pet 1:4; to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,
1 Pet 1:5; who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
1 Pet 1:6; In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials,
1 Pet 1:7; so that the proof of your faith
, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
1 Pet 1:8; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,
1 Pet 1:9; obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.

For a while you have distressed by various trials... so that the "PROOF" of your faith .... "MAY" be found...
Notice it doesn't say your faith is already proven. It doesn't say your faith is already found.
It says these trials are what determine your faith... and the "OUTCOME" of that tested faith results in "the salvation
of your souls".

Peter continues this thought ...
1 Pet 1:14; As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance,
1 Pet 1:15; but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior;
1 Pet 1:16; because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
1 Pet 1:17; If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth;

"Obedient" Children. It's true some children are not obedient to their fathers.

Hebrews 12:8; But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.

1 Pet 1:22; Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart,
1 Pet 1:23; for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.
1 Pet 1:24; For, “All flesh is like grass, And all its glory like the flower of grass.
The grass withers, And the flower falls off,
1 Pet 1:25; But the word of the Lord endures forever.”And this is the word which was preached to you.

It is "obedience to the truth" that purifies our souls. The fact that we are "born again" doesn't mean our rebirth
is "imperishable" born that we are born again... through the seed that is imperishable. What is that seed?
"The living and enduring word of God"... it is "the word of the Lord" that endures forever.

Hebrews 12:7 It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
Hebrews 12:8; But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.
Hebrews 12:9; Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live?
Hebrews 12:10; For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness.
Hebrews 12:11; All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.

Being born again means moving away from your biological fleshly earthly birth as a son (or daughter) of your earthly
father into becoming "born again" as a son (or daughter) of your heavenly Father. He wants us to obdeient. He disciplines
us when we aren't. In fact if we aren't obedient... "we are illegitimate children"... and not sons (or daughters) of
the Father at all.

B - orn
A - gain
C - hristian

... to be continued ...
Born Again - Jesus said this requires being born of the Spirit. ( John 3:5; John 3:8; )

Isn't everyone who is a Christian .. "born of the Spirit"?
I've heard people say... even some preachers say... "Born again Christian" is a redundant phrase.
Everyone who is a Christian is born again. But is that really true? Has everyone who
claims to be Christian been "born of the Spirit"?

Well.. first.. those "who claim" to be Christians. There are those who claim to be...
There are even those who claim to be "born of the Spirit" but... frankly they show little
if any evidence of it.

Do we receive the Holy Spirit immediately when we get saved? Some think so.
Other divide the Holy Spirit into two parts. This is a difficult concept....
Some believe you get the Holy Spirit immediately when you get saved.... but yet
you get something called the "baptism" of the Holy Spirit later. It is this 'baptism'
of the Holy Spirit that gives us power. The power to overcome sin. It is this baptism
that lets us speak in tongues, prophesy, heal people, and see visions.

John the Baptists baptized people with water (for the repentance of their sins).
But Jesus came to baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire. ( Matt 3:11; mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; John 1:33; etc... )

Maybe you have only been patized by John the Baptist... but I sincerely ask you right now...
Have you been baptized by Jesus? (baptized in the Holy Spirit).

many of you will simply say "yes", "of course I am". I believe in Jesus so I must (by default)
automatically be baptized in the Holy Spirit.

... and yet ... it never happened that way in the Bible.

... to be continued ...
Never mentioned by those exact words in scripture (KJV version) other than those two chapters, perhaps, but certainly referred to, or anticipated, or predicted, or alluded to in many other places:

"Wilt thou shew wonders to the dead? shall the dead arise and praise thee?" Psalm 88:10

We were once dead, but now have we not arisen to praise Him?

"Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivereth from death." Prov 10:2

We were once in death, but now the righteousness of God in us has brought out of death into Life: a new birth.

And then recall also Jesus' words for John the Baptist:

"Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached." Luke 7:22

Do we suppose that Jesus was not also speaking here of being "born again"?

God seemingly has filled up the scripture with His promises, if we can only see them and understand them.
The disciples believed in Jesus - for some it took a little while. But eventually they came
to know who Jesus was.

John 16:13; Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
John 16:14; And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.”
John 16:15; He *said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
John 16:16; Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
John 16:17; And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.

Peter believed in Jesus... but did he have the Holy Spirit?

In Acts chapter 9 we see the conversion of the Pharisee named Saul into the disciple named Paul.
Saul found out who Jesus was in Acts 9:4-9; Saul remained blind for three days after this time.

But did he have the Holy Spirit?

In Acts 10:1-2; we see a man named Cornelius... he was a Gentile. A centurion of the Roman Army.
He was a God fearing man, who gave many alms to the Jews... and prayed to God continually,

But did he have the Holy Spirit?

In Acts 19:1-7; Paul runs across some disciples from Ephesus. They had been baptized into
John the Baptist's water baptism of repentance.

But did they have the Holy Spirit?

You might be surprised to hear the answer in all of the cases above... is "No".
No they had not received the baptism of the Holy Spirit yet.

Even though the disciples had followed Jesus around for 3 years, and seen all of His miracles,
and had even even seen Him rise from the dead... they had not yet received the Holy Spirit.
Jesus was on the earth for 40 days after He rose from the dead. Then He ascended up to
heaven. About 10 days after this, there was a place called the upper room.
All of the disciples and Mary the mother of Jesus was there. There were about 120 people in this room.
(This is all recorded in Acts 1; ) but in Acts 2 something called "the day of Pentecost" comes,
and the disciples who had been following Jesus all this time... received the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Three days after Saul was blinded by Jesus on the road to Damascus... Paul runs into Ananias. ( Acts 9; )
In Acts 9:17; Ananias prays for Paul... that (he would regain his sight) ... and be filled with the Holy

In Acts 10; two days after we first hear of Cornelius... Cornelius and his friends and family visit Peter.
Peter start telling Cornelius about how Jesus was prophesied in the old testament.
And while he was speaking these words... the Holy Spirit fell upon Cornelius and his friends and
family ( Acts 10:44; )

In Acts 19; after Paul asks the disciples if they were baptized by the Holy Spirit...
their answer is "no, we didn't even know there was a Holy Spirit". ( Acts 19:2; )
So in verse 6, Paul baptizes them with the Holy Spirit (well it's actually Jesus, but Paul
is interceding here).

So if being born again... requires being born of the Spirit. I ask you again...
are you born of the Spirit? Have you been baptized in the Spirit?

If the answer to this question is "no". Then can you really say you are "born again"?


Ephesians 1:13-14 teaches us that the Holy Spirit is the seal of salvation for all those who believe: “Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession—to the praise of his glory.”
The very moment that I believed, God put his Holy Spirit in me as a deposit for what is to come. And , he did this before the foundation of the world!