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Jesus says, "you can't explain how people are born of the Spirit"

Discussion in 'Bible Chat' started by Matthew17, Oct 9, 2017.

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  1. So why do pastors always try & explain how people are born again?
  2. Just curious. Where does Jesus say this?
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  3. John 3:8 NLT was the quotation.
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  4. Uh...I dont know I havent heard any pastor trying to explain would be like trying to explain to a child how babies are the flesh...that is TMI.
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  5. I wonder if Jesus was criticizing him for not knowing?

    Joh 3:9; “How are these things possible?” Nicodemus asked.
    Joh 3:10; Jesus replied, “You are a respected Jewish teacher, and yet you don’t understand these things?
    Joh 3:11; I assure you, we tell you what we know and have seen, and yet you won’t believe our testimony.
    Joh 3:12; But if you don’t believe me when I tell you about earthly things, how can you possibly believe if I tell you about heavenly things?
    KingJ and Matthew17 like this.
  6. So for example, on Kenneth Copeland Ministries - Prayer for Salvation and Baptism in the Holy Spirit ... Kenneth Copeland tells people to pray this ... "Heavenly Father, I come to You in the Name of Jesus. Your Word says, "Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Acts 2:21). I am calling on You. I pray and ask Jesus to come into my heart and be Lord over my life according to Romans 10:9-10: "If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God has raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." I do that now. I confess that Jesus is Lord, and I believe in my heart that God raised Him from the dead.

    I am now reborn! I am a Christian—a child of Almighty God!" ...

    He explains that a person is reborn by the prayer above via human efforts which is also contrary to what Jesus says in John 6:63, "The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing." ... if my effort accomplishes nothing, then all I can do is plead to God the Father through Jesus Christ to ask for forgiveness, mercy and His Holy Spirit (and keep on asking) until the Father & Son decide to give me the Holy Spirit, correct?
  7. In Context: 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?” 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. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 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.”

    Nicodemus did not understand what Jesus was saying about being "born again" because he was thinking with a natural mind, not a spiritual mind. So, his thinking was that Jesus was saying that he had to go back into his mother's womb and be born again physically, although that made no sense to him. So, Jesus answered him by telling him he had to be born physically (which he was, by water, the first time), but that he also had to be born spiritually, which was different from physical birth. This is clear by his next statement in which he says that which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Again, he was showing him that he had to have 2 births - one physically, via the womb of his mother, and one spiritually, via the Holy Spirit, and that they were completely different, one from the other.

    In that context was the next statement. Spiritual birth is not something we can see, like we can see a baby being born from his or her mother. It is something supernatural, not natural (of the flesh). It is not something we can see with physical eyes or touch with physical hands, but we can see the results of it in a person's life, and we do know the source.

    Now, regarding pastors trying to explain how people are born again, if you mean by that, that they try to explain the physics of spiritual birth, then I can understand the confusion, for not one of us can explain exactly how that takes place. Yet, that does not mean we cannot know or understand what takes place and who causes it to happen. We know that spiritual birth is the working of the Spirit of God in turning a person from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that he or she may be forgiven their sin and have a place among those sanctified by faith in Jesus Christ. We know that Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness, and that when we believe in Jesus we are crucified with him in death to sin and we are resurrected with him to newness of life (new birth), so when we are "born again" of the Spirit of God we first die with Christ to sin, which is the working of the Spirit in our hearts, and then we are reborn of the Spirit to a new life in Christ to be lived to his righteousness in his power and strength. It is a heart transformation away from living for sin and self to walking with Christ in his holiness. It is a birthing to new life in Christ Jesus, which is not like our old fleshly lives, and in which we are empowered of the Spirit of God to live holy lives, pleasing to God.
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  8. You are confusing two separate issues.

    1. Pleasing God.
    2. Being worthy of God.

    Human effort such as abstaining from mortal sins, fighting venial sins, helping the needy and saying the Lord's prayer or even reciting Kenneth's one are not in vain. James 4:8 is clear on this. We need to hate what is evil and cling to what is good Rom 12:9.

    Being worthy of God involves being washed by the blood of Jesus. This only happens after God judges our hearts Jer 17:9-12. The Holy Spirit gives us a revelation of Jesus 1 Cor 12:3 and Matt 16:16-17.

    If Jesus never died for any of us, we need to properly understand that there would still be a separation between those that hate what is evil and those that love it. As there was in the OT with Abrahams bosom in Hades.
  9. If we can't define what being "Born again" means. How do we know if someone is born-again? For that matter, how do we know if "we" (me, myself) is born again.
    Some people answer... you just know that you know that you know.

    ..and yet the Mormons, Jehovah's witnesses, and others would say that they know they are saved.
    I would guess the people in Matt 7:21-23; "knew" they were saved. They were doing things in the name of Jesus.

    Being "born again" is obviously important.

    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 3:5; 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.

    That second verse id always controversial... some take it to mean simply a natural birth... others take it to mean water baptism. But it's the other half of that verse that is
    the topic here. "Born again". I go by the name B-A-C. My real name is Ray. What does BAC mean? Born-Again-Christian.

    Hmmm... aren't all Christians "born again"? Many would say being "born again" and being a Christian are the same thing. Jesus Himself does make a distinction.

    Here are a few interesting translations of John 3:6;

    (GNB) A person is born physically of human parents, but is born spiritually of the Spirit.
    (MSG) When you look at a baby, it's just that: a body you can look at and touch. But the person who takes shape within is formed by something you can't see and touch—the Spirit—and becomes a living spirit.
    (NIrV) People give birth to people. But the Spirit gives birth to spirit.
    (NLT) Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life.

    Most Bibles translate it similar to this.

    (NASB) "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

    So it seems... it takes the Spirit to be born of the Spirit. What Spirit? It seems many churches today are reluctant to talk about the Holy Spirit.

    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 1:22; 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.

    Peter says .."you are born again"... "through the living and enduring word of God".

    1 Cor 15:36; You fool! That which you sow does not come to life unless it dies;
    1 Cor 15:44; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.

    Jesus could not be resurrected until He "died". Can we be resurrected if we haven't "died" yet?
    If there is a physical death, and a spiritual death can we die spiritually but not physically?
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  10. Well thats good to know. Its not you go to church one day, say one prayer and suddenly you are a christian. Lol something needs to happen...yes there is a birthing process. Its called baptism.

    There are actually three baptisms that a christian undergoes but the first one by water teaches us what the second one, by spirit, does. The last one, by fire, is what gets us going.

    You ask any christian how they know they are christian and they can tell you they have repented (i.e: died to self, identified with Jesus crucifixtion) and were baptised. (buried by going under water and raised to new life) They have received Jesus via the Holy spirit. You cant see the holy spirit but once you have recieved you will know! There is no mistaking it.

    Born again, while we obviously cant see in the flesh on earth that we are in our spirit. The resurrection promises that all those believing will rise from the dead JUST LIKE JESUS was raised.

    Search the scriptures and see that this is so. Like Nicodemus, we can be asking Jesus to explain something we cant comprehend in the natural when really it is very simple..but its supernatural, so you need to be thinking not earthly thoughts but heavenly thoughts. Many people are only concerned what is on this earth that they can see right now in the world.. But Jesus invites us into the KIngdom of Heaven.
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  11. #12 B-A-C, Oct 12, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 8, 2018
    Some people would say the three are defined differently... but then there is a fourth one.

    Acts 19:1; It happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the upper country and came to Ephesus, and found some disciples.
    Acts 19:2; He said to them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" And they said to him, "No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit."
    Acts 19:3; And he said, "Into what then were you baptized?" And they said, "Into John's baptism."
    Acts 19:4; Paul said, "John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus."
    Acts 19:5; When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
    Acts 19:6; And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying.
    Acts 19:7; There were in all about twelve men.

    verse 3 mentions "John's baptism". John the baptist of course baptized in water. (for repentance)
    verse 5 mentions being baptized in the name of Jesus... (which isn't water baptism, they already got that from John)
    verse 6 mentions receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

    The baptism in Jesus's name is usually taken as baptism in water... yet the Bible distinctly separates them in some places.
    Being baptized in Jesus's name is mentioned in Acts 2:38; Acts 8:16; Acts 10:48; Acts 19:5;

    It "usually" happens in that order... but not always. For example Cornelius was baptized in water .... after ... receiving the Holy Spirit. Acts 10:44-48;

    You mention being baptized in fire.... that means different things to people at different times.

    John the baptist says Jesus will baptize with the Holy Spirit... and... fire. Matt 3:11; Luke 3:16; are they the same thing?
    In Acts 2, the people who were baptized with the Holy Spirit had "tongues of fire" resting above their heads. ( Acts 2:3; )

    Being baptized in water seems to be a sore subject for some people...
    Mark 16:16; says you have to be baptized to be saved. But some people point to the thief on the cross.

    I've heard a lot of different ideas about the thief on the cross.
    It may simply be that grace covered him... he never had a chance to be baptized. But will grace cover everyone who has had plenty of opportunity to be baptized?
    Some believe he died before Jesus died, so he wasn't under the new covenant yet.. so he didn't have a chance to be baptized. A verse that may support this
    is when Jesus says "today you will be with me in paradise" Luke 23:43; in the old covenant people didn't go directly to heaven... they went to paradise or Abraham's bosom.

    The thought here is when Jesus descended into the earth to "lead the captives free" ( Eph 4:8-9; ) he was taking the people in paradise or Abrahams bosom to heaven.

    Being baptized in fire could mean ... simply the Holy Spirit.... but...

    As many of you know... I used to be a fireman... we had a phrase about being "baptized in fire". It had very little to do with Jesus.
    You weren't really considered a fireman, until you faced your first big fire.

    It could mean 1 Peter 1:7; which talks about being "tested by fire". I don't think that means you have to be a fireman.
    But we are all tested by fire. Just the trials of life. Mark 4:17; and Luke 8:13; talks about those fall away when the heat gets turned up.

    ... maybe... the fire just means... we will be tested in our faith. Peter was. Job was. I think we all are at some point. (probably several times)
  12. Something else comes to mind regarding this prayer and manner of preaching.

    Those who will be saved now know exactly what to say and do. They can grasp the importance of repenting. Not doubt they are saved in that they can truly believe / have real faith in Jesus being Lord. Those who wont be saved now have no excuse for not knowing what to do.

    This is how we are to teach the gospel. We cannot preach a separate message to those who are faithful and isolate those whom we know do not want to be at church. Paul called all in attendance, brethren. Only when they left did he say they did not belong.

    One issue that I just noticed that does bug me however on this prayer is that there is no clarity on repentance. There is pray, confess and believe. There is other scripture from Paul that must accompany this, like Phil 2:12 and Rom 12:9. IE Repent truthfully!
  13. #14 Lanolin, Oct 12, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 8, 2018
    Yea there could be issues if following Kenneth Copeland to the letter. He left out some important points...i.e repentence and baptism. Yes confess and believe, yet repentence can involve more than just repenting of unbelief.

    Then theres deliverance, which is a whole nother side to being a christian.

    We all going to be tested at some stage. Its the refiners fire. We come out stronger.

    Really am tired of people pointing to thief on cross and bleating oh but he wasnt water baptised. Well how do they know, plus he was REPENTANT. Ugh. That is not an excuse not to follow Jesus and avoid being baptised.
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  14. #15 Br. Bear, Jun 6, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2018

    Does this mean one must first die and if so, how?

    I suppose another way to see this is, what's the point of being "Born Again'?

    and getting back to the OP etc,
    what does that mean? (asking anyone and everyone)

    I thought believing was part of it all?
    and is 'pleading' necessary?

    And this is His commandment, That we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as He gave us commandment. And he that keepeth His commandments dwelleth in Him, and He in Him. And hereby we know that He abideth in us, by the Spirit which He hath given us. 1John 3:23-24

    Bless you ....><>

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