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Our Lord Jesus Christ loves you.
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| | |-+  DISCUSSING WHAT IT MEANS TO BE BORN AGAIN
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Author Topic: DISCUSSING WHAT IT MEANS TO BE BORN AGAIN  (Read 1473 times)
Amisk
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« on: January 13, 2006, 12:02:30 PM »

A little uninvited paper finds its way to my desk every once in a while. I don’t usually spend a lot of time reading it, but one column catches my eye from time to time. It is entitled, "God Talk".
Folks send in religious questions and ministers of different churches set out to answer their concerns.
The question in the last issue was "Must I be born again to be a Christian?"
The answer had some good points, but I greatly fear that it missed a lot of truth. As I gave the question and answer some thought, it dawned on me that a good percentage of today’s preaching gets a passing grade only because we live in a society of Bible-illiterate people.
Too many laymen go to church on Sunday morning and never check what comes over the pulpit with what the Bible actually says.
We are told in Acts 17:11 that the Christians in "Berea were more noble than those at
Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether these things were so."
The fact of the matter is, no person is a Christian and no person will enter Heaven unless they are born again.
Jesus told Nicodemus, "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God." John 3:3.
Luke wrote in Acts 4:12, "Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is none other name under Heaven, given among men, where by we must be saved."
We are living in an age when many in the pulpit are advocating all kinds of makeshift salvation. They stand behind funeral caskets and send both Christians and Non-Christians to Heaven. This in spite of the fact that those who actually arrive there must be born again. These ministers give us a lot of fine talk, but it merely paves the road to Hell.
Many are saying that infant baptism is salvation. Can a six-week-old child make a commitment on anything?
Infant baptism had nothing to do with my salvation beyond a commitment by parents to God that they would set a good example and give me every opportunity to learn of salvation.
Others are saying that if I live a good life, if I join the church, if I’m a good neighbour, I will sail through Heaven’s gates. If my works would have saved me, would Jesus have died at Calvary?
Paul tells us, "There is none righteous, no not one." Romans 3:10. The prophet Isaiah goes on to say "…all our righteousness’ are as filthy rags…" Isaiah 64:6.
Picking up Paul’s letter to the Romans again, we read "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus…(not my works)…Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law." Romans 3.
How do we become Born Again Christians? Paul tells us in Romans 10:9-10, "…if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."
I don’t ask you to believe this because I penned it, rather check the scriptures for yourself.

-30-

used here by permission of the author, Len Colp and the publisher Setting Sun Publishing.
 
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Soldier4Christ
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« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2006, 12:30:03 PM »

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The fact of the matter is, no person is a Christian and no person will enter Heaven unless they are born again.

Amen brother. The Bible says it so it is.

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Joh 9:4  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
Frederic Dalton
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« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2006, 06:07:19 PM »

You have raised some very good points, thanks for that. I'm very much in agreement with you, if you haven't made a practical decision to believe in the Lord and ask forgiveness for your sins, then no, you haven't been born again and you're not saved.

That said - if you think you made that decision a while ago, that doesn't mean you can think "oh well it's alright now, I don't need to bother asking for forgiveness any more for any new sins, because I've been born again once already." No! Because, without wishing to sound dramatic, that would make you an apostate.

Then again - it can be hard to maintain faith at all times, we go through low points, and God understands that.

And like you say - don't believe it just because I say it. Check it out in the Bible. Maybe I'm wrong. Smiley

Thing is, though, I think a lot of people still find the Bible somewhat inaccessible for whatever reason. So we must continue to study the Bible, and I don't believe you ever reach a stage where your Bible study is complete. Being able to memorise and quote verses from the KJV does not make you an authority on the Bible or its interpretation, and I personally don't believe that any one translation into any one language has any more authority than any other translation. I defy anyone who thinks that a particular translation is more authoritative to find something in the Bible that backs their view up.
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Butterflies
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« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2006, 08:24:52 PM »

yes, I went to church all my life and believed in Jesus and the Bible, BUT I hadn't asked Jesus into my heart, asked for forgiveness, and accepted His gift on the cross.  It's not enough to go to church and believe.  I didn't really become a Christian until I was in college. 
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Soldier4Christ
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« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2006, 08:33:23 PM »

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So we must continue to study the Bible, and I don't believe you ever reach a stage where your Bible study is complete.

Amen. The study of the Bible is a life long activity and no matter how long one may live it can never be completed. We are all human and as such we will never understand the depth nor the width of it all, if we continue our studies though we will understand much more than if we give up and do none at all.

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Joh 9:4  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
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« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2006, 11:54:56 PM »

Amen brother. The Bible says it so it is.


Hello pastor Roger,
That is a very good question which I find we must all ask ourselves.
To be born again is to be born from above. You must receive Jesus Christ as your Savior, and trust in him alone for salvation.(Jn.1:12)
The subject of baptism is other matter.

God bless,
bluelake
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Pilgrim
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« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2006, 03:32:13 PM »

http://www.nlbchapel.org/Religious2.htm

In the Image of Christ
Colossians 3:8-11


“Are you a child of God, or are you just religious?”
(Part Two)

    “There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. 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. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.”    John 3:1-7

         “What an amazing conversation!”  On one side we have a religious ruler and teacher of Israel named Nicodemus.  On the other side we have the greatest teacher that ever walked in this world, Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  The amazing thing is not only the conversation itself, but the person to whom Jesus directs His words, Nicodemus.  It would be one thing to speak these words to a vile wicked sinner who does not even know God, whose only desire in life is to pursue the pleasures of sin, but to speak these words to Nicodemus!  Here was a man born of the seed of Abraham and duly circumcised (a covenant child).  He was a pious man who devoted his life to his religion.  He most likely couldn’t remember the first time he attended synagogue, the first time he prayed, the first time he read the Word of God or any number of spiritual activities that had become the focus of his life.  Not only was Nicodemus a very religious man, he also was knowledgeable, a spiritual teacher and leader of the Jews, one who sought to help others.  Stop and think about it! Jesus was telling one of the most devout religious people in the world that he would neither see nor enter the kingdom of God unless he was born again.

        If someone else said these words to Nicodemus, he would probably have just laughed it off and gone on his merry way, but this wasn’t just someone else speaking to him, it was God Himself.  Nicodemus already accepted Jesus as a teacher who came from God; how terrifying then these words must have been to him. Here was a divinely sent teacher telling him that with all that he had achieved and become, with all that he knew and all those he had taught, he was still outside the kingdom of God. Religious, yes, but lost!

        There are many in this world that are just like Nicodemus. I’ve asked many pastors in the last couple of years how a person becomes a child of God.  This is a very simple question with a simple answer that anyone who teaches the Word of God should know.  Yet, I was amazed at the answers I received.  I asked one pastor, “when did you become a child of God?” His answer was, “I was born of covenant parents and baptized as an infant.” (Yet the Bible teaches that genealogy and baptism have nothing to do with salvation.)  I asked another pastor about being born again and he told me that his born again experience was when he was two years old (quite young to believe in your heart and profess with your mouth). He said his Sunday school teacher would stand each child on a chair next to a light switch and have them turn the light on as they quoted the verse that says, “God is light”.  He said when his turn came something more than just the light went on, and this was his “born again experience”. (God does not turn something on inside of us; He sends His own Spirit to dwell in us.) Another told me that he was always a child of God even before creation, yet he could not tell me when he had been a child of wrath as the Word of God declares all saints once were (Ephesians 2:1-3).  A pastor’s wife told a friend of mine that she became a child of God while in her mother’s womb (again, when she did not even know the Gospel nor was capable of believing in the heart and confessing with the mouth).

        I was not only amazed at the answers I received from these pastors, but also saddened.  If these men, who are supposed to be shepherds of the flock, do not have a clue as to how a person can become a child of God, what hope is there for those who sit under their ministry?  Many of today’s spiritual leaders are committing spiritual malpractice of the worst kind, simply because they do not understand God’s plan of salvation which requires that a person be born again in order to see and enter the kingdom of heaven.

        Some day these spiritual leaders will have to give an account to God for all the souls under their care that they have misled, and I am afraid that day will not be a pleasant one for them.  Matthew 23 records some of the strongest rebukes that the Lord Jesus ever spoke.  One important point to notice in this chapter is that those who are being rebuked are not the common people, not sinners who have no knowledge of God, but rather they are the religious leaders who should have known God.  In verses 13 & 15 we read:

    “But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in [yourselves], neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.”   Matthew 23:13

    “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.”   Matthew 23:15

        Dear friend, regardless of whether you are a religious leader or not, perhaps you have a lot in common with Nicodemus.  It could be that you also cannot remember the first time you went to church,  the first time you prayed or read the Word of God.  Maybe you are very active in religion and spiritual things like Nicodemus was, maybe you are even a teacher. Perhaps you’ve been a good church member all your life. You may even claim to be born of covenant parents and baptized.  Yet, if you have never been born again you will never see, nor enter the kingdom of God. Be not dismayed, there is still hope for you.  Being born again is a spiritual birth that takes place in a person when, having heard the Gospel, he repents and believes, and in faith calls on the name of the Lord to be saved (Rom. 10:9-13). The Lord Jesus summed it up to Nicodemus in John 3:16.

    “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”   John 3:16

        Friend, if you have never been born again, all the church membership and religious activity in the world will not help you in the day of judgement.  In fact, it will further condemn you before God (Rom. 4:4) God’s Word declares, “Now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2).  Don’t count on the luxury of tomorrow. Repent and believe the Gospel. Call on the name of the Lord now, while there is still time to be saved.

Visit our web site for more articles and information at  http://nlbchapel.org

Pilgrim
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