BORN AGAIN? WHAT”S THAT?
Rev Gary L Evensen
@2005 NJUPC INC
The topic of this bible study is: “Born Again, What’s That”
As we look into the topic “Born Again, What’s That” we find that often times we hear terms like "Born Again", and it can sound like so much religious jargon. Sometimes we hear it from the mouth of people who make us wonder and say to ourselves if that’s what it means to be born again I really don’t want any part of it.
It seems that some who profess they are born again are insincere in claiming they are born again by the way they live and some others who profess they are born again just don’t seem like they are all there
There is some fuss because people claim they are being invited to feel as if they were spiritually second-rate and incomplete without a born-again experience and a second baptism.
Which brings us to a couple of questions:
1) Just where did the term “born again” come from and what does it really mean?
2) Is there a real born again experience, and if so what does it entail
3) Is it really necessary to be born again
It's interesting to note that 20th century Christians didn't invent this term. We find it used by Jesus Christ Himself, found in the Word of God in the 3rd chapter of the book of John.
1There was a man of the Pharisees named
Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we
know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one
can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” 3Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he
cannot see the
Jesus spoke of the need to be reborn completely of the water and spirit and that there would be a sound that accompanied the new birth of every believer.
You see all of us were nurtured in a sack of amniotic fluid and before we could be born we had to come thru that water and receive the breath of life, if we had not received that breath of life and were not born with a spirit, we would be stillborn. So man is naturally born of the water and spirit.
Some may mock this concept but Nicodemus asked Jesus in verse 4 -“How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” - Jesus did not correct him but rather told him - That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I say unto you that you must be born again!
So we find that this is where the term born again comes from, from the record of the words of Christ himself!
So now that we found where the term born again came from, we need to look at just what the born again experience entails
Your first birth is a natural birth and the second birth is a supernatural birth
The second birth, or the born again experience brings about a new spiritual life inside of you that was not there before, but it is an experience received only by faith in the working of God
Let’s compare the 1st and second births:
The natural birth
starts w/conception – the spiritual birth starts w/hearing the word and it
taking hold in a persons heart
The natural birth continues experience continues when the baby leaves the womb – the spiritual continues when a person is baptized in water, the birth of the water which Jesus spoke about
The natural birth culminates w/the baby taking its 1st breath – the spiritual birth culminates when a person if filled w/the baptism of the holy spirit.
When a child is naturally born they have never before sinned – when you are baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, your new birth of the water, your sins are remitted and just like that natural born child, it becomes just as if you had never sinned in God’s eyes.
The natural birth is accompanied by a sound, the babies 1st cry – the spiritual birth is also accompanied by a sound when the person who has received the baptism of the holy spirit begins to speak w/other tongues as the spirit gives the utterance.
Some mock at this supernatural occurrence but remember what Jesus said in the 8th verse of John chapter 3 “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
In the book of the prophet Ezekiel, a prophetical utterance comes forth concerning a new spirit that the Lord would put inside of us one day.
26I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.
Here we have a prophetical foreshadowing of the new birth of the spirit. For what the prophet Ezekiel prophesied would so drastically change a person that we could look at it as a new beginning, or a new birth.
It was prophesied in several Old Testament writings about the giving of Gods spirit into the life of the believer. Some other prophetical writings are found in Isaiah chapters 28:11 and 44:3, Joel chapter 2:28-29
Is it really necessary to be born again?
I will leave that answer to the words of Christ in
“unless one is born
of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the
You may ask: Does the new birth make you perfect?
To that I must respond no. His spirit gives us the power to live free from sin but we exists with a dual nature, our human part, which never ceases to exist, and the spiritual part which then has been born again. This dual nature is kept in spiritual control through prayer, bible study, uniting yourself w/a body of believers who worship the Lord in spirit and in truth. You grow strong when you gather together with God’s people in what we call a church.
The sin problem arises when a person allows themselves to be led of that fleshly nature instead of the spirit nature, or when they grow cold to the things of God by neglecting the spiritual practices which keep you in tune w/the spirit of God.
Some say the born again experience is false because
Allow me if you would to quote
People conceived and brought into life by God don't make a practice of sin. How could they? God's seed is deep within them, making them who they are. It's not in the nature of the God-begotten to practice and parade sin.
While it can be said that born again people have sinned, the thought of the scripture is not that you will never sin again, but your not going to make a practice of it and parade sin. For every person who has been born again there, every time they knowingly sin, there is that feeling they have done something wrong. The spirit inside of you will let you know you have done wrong but being the free willed individual you are you have the choice to override the spirit and eventually drown out that still small voice of right and wrong inside of you do the point where you spiritually die.
This is why the scripture says in
8If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
Born again believers are not perfect but have faults and sins just like everyone else but the spirit of God inside them helps them to grow and mature and like the new born child what they are when they are born is not what they will be years down the road. They are not born mature Christians but are born as babes in Christ as the scripture says. As babes in Christ they will do things wrong, make messes, have to be corrected and as they grow into a mature Christian those issues should become less and less.
When someone is not what they should be it does not mean God is any less powerful, it just means God gives them a free will choice to live for him or no. Unfortunately there are some who no longer live for God but retain the claim to be born again even though they have spiritually died some time ago.
God will be there judge in due time if they do not restore themselves from where they have fallen from.
Don’t let the failures of some keep you from what God has in store for you. In the born again life I have found great peace and happiness for 25 years now. Am I perfect, no, but I am sure not what I was 25 years ago and that’s what really counts. I have grown in him and I continually strive to be more like my savior as the years go by.