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Just what does it mean to be born again?

Discussion in 'Doctrinal Discussions' started by Complete, Aug 6, 2016.

  1. Hello there,

    Having read recent threads, I would be interested to know how members perceive just what it means to be 'born again'. Below are the New Testament references to the words, 'Born again' or 'Begotten', to see what is actually written concerning it.

    ‘Jesus answered and said unto him,
    Verily, verily, I say unto thee,
    Except a man be born again,
    he cannot see the kingdom of God.’

    (John 3:3)

    ‘Marvel not that I said unto thee,
    Ye must be born again.’

    (John 3:7)

    ‘Being born again,
    not of corruptible seed,
    but of incorruptible,
    by the word of God,
    which liveth and abideth for ever.’

    (1Peter 1:23)

    ‘Whosoever believeth
    that Jesus is the Christ
    is born of God:
    and every one that loveth Him that begat
    loveth Him also that is begotten of Him.’’

    (1 John 5:1)

    ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
    which according to His abundant mercy
    hath begotten us again
    unto a lively hope
    by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
    To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled,
    and that fadeth not away,
    reserved in heaven for you,
    Who are kept by the power of God
    through faith unto salvation
    ‘ready to be revealed in the last time.'

    (1 Peter 1:3-5)

    John 3:3,7 - Born (G1080) again (G509)
    1 Peter 1:23 - Born again (G313)
    1 John 5:1 - Born of God (G1080)
    1 Peter 1:3-5 - Begotten us again (G313)

    From these verses alone we can see that man must be, ‘born again‘, or, ‘born from above’, or, born of God, otherwise he cannot see the Kingdom of God. That those who are born from above are born by the Word of God, and by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead: and that whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God.

    Do you agree?
    Is there anything you would add, or take away?

    In Christ Jesus
  2. For me, one critical part of being born again is the resulting product: a new creation (2Cor 5:17 & Gal 6:15). And this ties into repentance which I consider more to be turning to Christ and away from sin (as opposed to the other emphasis of turning away from sin and turning to Christ). For turning to Christ changes me because I find Christ before me and the world behind me. And the person in that position is not the same as they were before.

    Now I would also point out that not everyone who believes Jesus is the Christ, born of God is born again. I'm picking on the semantics because there is a difference between believing a fact and acting on that fact to change your life. Accepting Christ as your savior does not require more or less than believing He can save you (which follows though in believe that He is the Son of God). However, in James 2:19 we are told that even the demons believe in the One True God and tremble (though I take it to mean they reject Him). The difference we must cover is accepting Christ as our personal savior, not just acknowledging that he is a Savior. And it is in that acceptance that we are born again into the Body of Christ.
    Major, David Crosby, Siloam and 3 others say Amen and like this.
  3. Being born again mean that we are reborn and our nature is changed. We go from being children of the devil to being children of God. I just heard this today; when we are children of the devil we don't have to get up each morning and say "oh father Satan, lead us to do your will today." No, we just did his will because it was our nature to do so. The same with Father God. When we are born again into Jesus we will just naturally begin to do what is right because our nature is changed. We will desire the milk of the word of God. The sinful desires we had before will lose their appeal. We will want to know the Lord more intimately and will want to obey him It will all be one natural to us. I am so thankful Jesus made the way possible!!
    Fish Catcher Jim, Major, David Crosby and 1 other person say Amen and like this.
  4. Hello @Ferg5000,

    Impressive headgear there, in your avatar Ferg! :)
    Thank you for responding to my question, as you can see I like what you have said.

    However, looking at the verses quoted in the OP, I believe that there is much more to be considered in relation to this subject. By asking questions such as, 'to whom was this addressed?' and 'with what intent?' and so on, which I hope to do soon, taking into account the context of each one.

    Within the love of Christ our Saviour, Lord and Head.
  5. Hello @loriT,

    Thank you for your reply to my OP. Both you and Ferg5000 have given good responses. Describing what being born from above means in practice in the believer.

    As I said to Ferg, I feel that there is more to be found in regard to the term. 'Born again', and what for example it would have meant to such as Nicodemus, and those to whom Peter wrote his epistle, that the OP references highlight. I hope to come back on this as soon as I can.

    With love in Christ Jesus
  6. Hi Chris,
    Not sure what there is to look at as far as who being born again is for.

    All people born of a woman after the cross must be born again.
    Exceptions would be
    Under the age of accountability
    The mentally challenged

    If I missed what you mean then please explain it to me again. :)
    Thank you
    David Crosby and loriT say Amen and like this.
  7. Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren,
    what shall we do?
    2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins,
    and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
    2:39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
    2:40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
    2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
    2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

    Acts 10:44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
    10:45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles
    also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.
    10:46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,
    10:47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
    10:48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

    Acts 19:1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus:
    and finding certain disciples,
    19:2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard
    whether there be any Holy Ghost.
    19:3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism.
    19:4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which
    should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.
    19:5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
    19:6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.
    19:7 And all the men were about twelve.

    Romans 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
    6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father,
    even so we also should walk in newness of life.
    6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
    6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

    Romans 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ,
    he is none of his.
    8:10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
    8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies
    by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
    8:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
    8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
    8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

    Jude 1:20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,
    1:21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
    Fish Catcher Jim and David Crosby say Amen and like this.
  8. Just an added thought of context to the question, that Jesus also said in the Sermon on the Mount, "Except your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and the Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven" (Mat 5:20). Which also backs up some of the answers already posted here with the fact of a genuine birth of conversion in being born again. Yeah, there's a difference between being born-again and being still-born. With an added note, the Pharisees made the law their god instead of God their law... Definitely a new birth into the Way, the Truth, and Life was needed here for ol' Nic.
    Waggles and Fish Catcher Jim say Amen and like this.
  9. I would love to talk with you about this Chris, but I think you are going to have to post what your are thinking so that we can discuss what you are looking for.

    IMO, this is one of the most important Bible doctrines there is, maybe the "most" important one. in God's holy Word and there are many interpretations to of it.

    Example........"Except a man be born of water". This is the only time this statement is found in the Word of God. Many religious denominations have placed their whole faith in that they say a person must be baptized in water in order to be saved. BUT is that what the Scriptures say or is that what some man or men have said and tradition have made it a church doctrine instead of the Bible itself????

    This is the well-known practice of "water regeneration". Now, if that is actually true then we can not be saved by grace through faith. They have added water baptism to salvation, however that is not what Jesus said to Nicodemus. Water does not wash away sins. Only the shed blood of Jesus does that.

    Ephesisans 5:25-26 says.........
    "Husbands, love your wives even as Christ also loved the church and have Himself for it, that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word".

    1 Peter then settles it.......
    "Being born again not of corruptible seed, but incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth forever".

    So then we see by the Scriptures that "the water" Jesus said was needed to Nicobemus was the Word of God. It is by the blood which began to flow in the Garden of Eden that flowed all the way to Calvary where the Lamb of God laid down His life giving His own blood for everyone through which we are saved, and not by water baptism.

    Water baptism does nothing but get us wet, BUT the blood of Jesus Christ cleanes us from all sin and apart from the shedding of the blood, there is no remission of our sins.

    I look forward to your thoughts on this question as always.
  10. Hi @David Crosby, @Fish Catcher Jim, and @Waggles,

    I acknowledge your entries with thanks, and will be back to respond to them soon (GW)

    Within the love of Christ Jesus
    Our Saviour, Lord and Head.


    David Crosby and Fish Catcher Jim say Amen and like this.
  11. Hi Major,
    If its ok i would like to add to your post :)....I know that you believe that every part of the Bible is important, and I do believe the point you are making is in regards to salvation.....I just thought I would add for clarification, that water baptism is an act of obedience in response to accepting Jesus as savior.

    I fully agree with what you said above. Just don't want anyone to think that water baptism is not important. I struggled for years with this question and even people I trusted told me that it was not necessary. However when talking to the Lord about it He gave me a peace in regards to it being an act of obedience.

    God bless
    Fish Catcher Jim likes this.
  12. Hello again,

    Being born from above is the experience all who have believed God's testimony concerning His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, and have placed their trust in His all-sufficient sacrifice for sin on their behalf.

    My desire to look at the references in the OP, and their context, was to understand more fully what being 'born again' would have meant to those being addressed at the time: such as Nicodemus and those of the dispersion to whom Peter wrote. If this is a problem to you I will make it a personal study and not share it here. No problem.:)

    I thank you for giving me your individual understanding concerning this subject, which is what I asked for.

    In Christ Jesus

  13. Hi @Complete
    As I read your post all I could think of how once Jesus went to the cross and raised from the dead, how being born again would have began to make sense to those Jesus spoke of this prior to going to the cross.

  14. I know it's just my 2¢ and no, baptism can't save us. But I can't help but thinking that it does have some significance with our salvation (I think more spiritual than anything)... Whereby baptism is being in Communion with Christ's death and resurrection (Rom chapter 6). Or even so as the believer is emersed (baptized) into the Body of Christ (1 Cor 12:13), where as Christ is the Baptizer, and the Holy Spirit is doing the baptizing.
    Cturtle, Fish Catcher Jim and loriT says Amen and like this.
  15. I agree David. I have heard many testimonies of people coming up out of the water speaking in tongues (baptized in the Holy Spirit), others having demons manifesting and then leaving them, and others being physically healed just from being baptized. There is something spiritually significant to baptism.
    Waggles, Cturtle, Fish Catcher Jim and 1 other person say Amen and like this.
  16. Amen Lori. As with you, it isn't a big issue, but yes, I think it's a little more than a word. Have a blessed night my sister in and with His love.
    loriT likes this.
  17. I am one of those.
    Cturtle and loriT say Amen and like this.
  18. No problem at all as I agree completely with your comment. I was indeed only talking about salvation and it coming through grace and nothing else.
    You feel free to add anything you wish my sister. I always enjoy and learn from your wisdom.
    Cturtle and Fish Catcher Jim say Amen and like this.
  19. Brother that is an attitude of the heart we all can learn from!!
    Thank You!!
    Major and Cturtle say Amen and like this.

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