| | Re: Ye must be born again !
Many believe that the expression “born again” refers to someone who makes a solemn promise to serve God and Christ and, as a result, is changed from being spiritually dead to being spiritually alive. Consider what the Bible says.
The expression “born again” is mainly discussed at John 3:1-12. In this account, Jesus highlights several aspect of the “new birth,” and emphasized that it is of great importance. Compare 1 Peter 1:3, 23. Considering this, Christians should make sure that they understand this subject and the following vital questions accurately.
· How important is the new birth?
· Is it up to us to decide to experience the new birth?
· What is its purpose?
· By what means does it take place?
· What change of relationship does it bring about?
Jesus stated: “Unless anyone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3) The words “unless” and “cannot” highlight the necessity of the new birth. In other words, he was stating that being born again is absolutely necessary for seeing God’s Kingdom.
Some teach/believe that it is up to each believer to obey Jesus and take the necessary steps to undergo the new birth-a personal choice. The Greek expression “is born again” can also be rendered “should be born from above.” Thus, according to that alternate rendering, the new birth originates “from above”-that is, “from heaven,” or “from the Father.” (James 1:17) Yes, it is caused by God. (John 1:13; 1 Peter 1:3; 1 John 3:9) It is rendered in the form of a statement. Jesus was stating a fact or requirement-not giving a command. The account shows that Jesus’ words did not teach that it is up to us to choose whether to experience the new birth or not.
Many believe that one needs to be born again to receive eternal salvation also; and, that the two expression-entering into God’s kingdom and receiving salvation-refer to the same reward. A kingdom is a form of a government and this specific government is of God. (Daniel 7:13, 14) This same kingdom is also called “the kingdom of the heavens.” (Mathew 13:11; Luke 8:10) When Jesus stated that one must be born again to “enter into the kingdom of God,” he meant that one needs to be born again in order to become a ruler with him in heaven. Simply put, the purpose of the new birth is to prepare a limited group of humans for heavenly rulership. This shows that Jesus and his fellow kings will rule from heaven over the earth.-Revelations 5:9, 10; 20:6.
This new birth takes place by means of a twofold process. It is accomplished by a person being born again of “water and spirit.” In other words, of first being baptized in water-for a public witness; and, then by means of God’s Holy Spirit, being baptized of spirit-only if He chooses certain ones to serve as a co-ruler in his kingdom.-Mark 1:9-11; John 3:22; 4:1-3; Acts 1:5; 2:1-4. Compare Romans 6:3-5.
When a person undergoes both baptisms, they experience the new birth, a remarkable change, a new beginning in the relationship with God. Through this preparation, those specially favored would experience an “adoption as sons” and that God, therefore, could deal with them “as with sons.” (Romans 8:15, 16; Galatians 4:5) His spirit implants in those “adopted as sons” the conviction that they would live with Christ in Heaven.-2 Corinthians 1:21, 22; 6:18.
God’s word also states that others-besides those who are born again-will receive everlasting salvation. In the Bible, it mentions that God purposed to save two groups of people-a comparatively small group of rulers living in heaven and a large group of subjects living on earth. (Luke 12:32; John 10:16; 14:2, 3; 1 John 2:2) Their privilege of being restored to God’s favor and enjoying life without end on paradise earth.-Psalms 37:9, 11, 22, 29, 34; Proverbs 2:21; Isaiah 45:18; Revelations 7:9, 13, 14. Compare Psalms 104:5; Ecclesiastes 1:4; Isaiah 45:18.