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Being Born Again
There are numerous divisions and denominations
in Christianity. One of these divisions regards the understanding of the
statement Jesus made to Nicodemus that he must be “born again”. We can
read in John chapter three that this was both perplexing to Nicodemus as
well as the statement of Jesus that it was expected that Nicodemus as a
teacher of Israel should already understand this concept.
To better understand the second birth we should first consider the warning God gave to Adam and Eve regarding the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. - Genesis 2:17
When Adam and Eve ate, they did not physically die that day but hundreds of years later. What did happen was that they were cut off from their relationship with God. This indicates that something within them no longer worked the way that it used to. That was their spiritual component. Mankind has since existed for millenia without the ability to be reconnected to God. This is what “died” on the day that Adam and Eve sinned.
Nicodemus was supposed to have understood that without a spiritual regeneration (new life or what could be called “new birth”) it would be impossible to obtain a regained relationship with God. This is what Jesus came to offer.
But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. - John 20:31
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. - 2 Corinthians 5:17
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. - Romans 10:13
It is this living vital connection to Christ that is meant by being “born again”. Many feel that since they acknowledge that Jesus existed (belief) that this is the same thing. However this sort of belief is not sufficient (James 2:19). It can be a little confusing because the Greek word (pisteo) which often translated “believe” might be better translated trust. It is important to get this understanding correct because many are going to discover that they were mistaken about their faith.
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. - Matthew 7:22-23
For this reason we should urgently seek to verify if we have accepted a false or substitute second birth or if we actually have new and eternal life in Christ.
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