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6 years ago  ::  Feb 27, 2009 - 10:14PM #1
koolpoi
Posts: 6,520

What exactly does this term mean?Why aren't all Christians considered reborn?

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6 years ago  ::  Feb 28, 2009 - 6:27AM #2
miami-ted
Posts: 981

Hello Koolpoi,


Another good question and one I feel deserves much attention.  Jesus said that no one would enter the kingdom of God unless he is born again and it is worth noting that he said that to a pharisee, Nicodemus.


Most people consider those who go to 'church' as Christians.  Polling data done across the US show that some 70% of people identify themselves as Christian.  However, I think it painfully obvious that those same people are not born again.  To be labeled a 'Christian' requires nothing more than getting up once in a while and going to a worship service on Sunday or Saturday that claims to worship the God of the bible.  To be labeled a 'Christian' in the polls requires nothing more than saying so.


The difference is in the fruit!  People who call themselves 'Christians' but are not born again do not live out the commands of the Lord.  People who are born again 'Christians' love Jesus and my best interpretation from Scripture is that they live out Psalm 1. 


If you are a 'Christian' and you don't use any discernment in your entertainment and will go with your friends to movies or watch shows that glorify immoral sexual relations, gore, foul language, etc. Jesus probably isn't sitting next to you.  If you are a 'Christian' and your only time of thinking about him is on Sunday morning in worship, Jesus probably doesn't know you.  If your life reflects pretty much the life of most everyone else and you spend little time in conversation with God and Jesus and His Spirit and consider the Sunday worship service your 'sacrifice' for God or a great place to meet and greet your friends, then Jesus probably hasn't written your name in the Lamb's book of Life. 


For those who are born again, they see the world differently.  They see the wickedness and filth that surrounds them.  They see the need to tell others what Jesus has done for them and that they too can enjoy that same kind of constant relationship.  Psalm 1 says, 'blessed is the man who meditate on His law night and day.'  In other words when you are born again, Jesus is always first and foremost in your thoughts and loving him and keeping his commands is of the utmost importance in what you do from day to day and when you fall, and you will, you go to him and seek the forgiveness freely given by his Father.  Jesus becomes, truly your Lord and loving master.  You share a real relationship and have a conversational relationship just like you might have with your best friend. 


Why? You might ask.  Because when you are born again you are born with the Spirit of the living God who is also in Jesus and this bond of God's Spirit in all that are His causes us to live as one just as Jesus and the Father are one.  We do not live in this world, but rather as the Scriptures note, we are sojourners passing through.  We live in the hope and expectaion daily of his soon return and our being saved from the coming wrath of God upon all the wickedness and depravity of this world and the people, many of whom have claimed the name 'Christian'.


Jesus makes it fairly clear that not all Christians are born again of the Spirit to be saved from the flames.  "Not everyone who says to me 'Lord, Lord' shall be saved.  Only those who love me and do the will of my Father."  So be careful because the Scriptures are clear that many will be among us, even as teachers and leaders, who are merely wolves in sheeps clothing.  While these people will identify themselves as Christians and may even claim the new birth, look for their fruit.  You will know the born again because they live differently than the other children, those of Satan.  Their eyes will shine with the promise of hope and their words will give comfort and solace.  There will be no malice or hate in their hearts or their thoughts and above all they will proclaima and sing praises to the Lord for the mercy he has had on them.


God bless.


In Christ, Ted.

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6 years ago  ::  Mar 01, 2009 - 6:15PM #3
Goyboy
Posts: 232

Being born again means that one has experienced a spiritual birth.  This spiritual birth is the result of one turning one's life over to Jesus by accepting Jesus as the resurrected Savior, Lord and God-in-the-flesh. 

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6 years ago  ::  Mar 07, 2009 - 3:31AM #4
koolpoi
Posts: 6,520

So Catholics and Orthodox can be born again too if their lives show the fruit you spoke of?Does one even need to go to church to live the kind of life you describe?


 

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6 years ago  ::  Mar 07, 2009 - 9:43AM #5
Anesis
Posts: 1,543

We won't comment on specific other faith persuasions, but I will say that anyone can be born again...God's will is that all come to him through Christ. All.

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6 years ago  ::  Mar 08, 2009 - 4:35PM #6
miami-ted
Posts: 981

Hello Koolpoi,


Anyone of any denomination that holds Jesus as God's one and only sacrifice for their sin and upon realizing this turns their life over to the leading of the indwelling Holy Spirit and strives to know and keep the Lord's commands is born again.  Sadly, Satan has done a fine job of dividing up the people of God through denominationalism and has thus made it even more difficult to receive the new birth.


I mentioned in the first post reply that it was important to note that Jesus spoke to Nicodemus, a pharisee, regarding the new birth.  The one important point that I think a believer or even one who claims to be a believer should see is that Nicodemus was a grown man and had spent his entire adult life and very possibly even his teen years studying God's word and thinking that he was on the right path that God has set for him, but Jesus clearly infers that he wasn't by his claim that Nicodemus obviously didn't understand what he was talking about.


Similarly, there are grown men and women who have adopted this attitude that going to church and being friendly with their neighbors and saying so many 'Hail Marys' or reciting some liturgy such as the apostles creed and following some handed down line of tradition of worship as being what it means to be a Christian.  Sadly, our culture has encouraged that line of thinking with many shepherds preaching the easy believe theology.  Just say this prayer and presto-chango you're a child of God.  Not so and this is why Jesus spoke then of the fruit.


After we say that little prayer and ask Jesus into our heart, if it is a sincere request, and God alone knows, then Jesus says we will then begin to see fruit of the life of one who has now been born again.  That fruit will be represented by a sincere and loving relationship with God and with Jesus.  As Psalm one mentions the born again believer will meditate on God's law day and night.  Now this doesn't mean that he will walk around reading the Scriptures 24/7, but rather that God's law, God's love, God's blessing, God's desires will always be at the forefront of that man's mind.  Always!


Jesus goes to great lengths to impress upon Nicodemus the good fruit/bad fruit challenge.  Now, bad fruit doesn't mean that suddenly they are a murderer or child rapist.  Bad fruit is pretty much what we were doing before we said that little prayer and if there doesn't soon follow a change in the fruit, then the new birth was not received.  If we say the little prayer and nothing changes regarding our relationship with Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit and nothing changes in how we see the world, then what has probably happened is we've heard a message teaching how the 'unsaved' will wind up in hell and we don't want to go there.  So let me hold my hand up and say the prayer so I won't wind up in hell.  But there is more to it than that.  Then we should begin to see the 'good fruit'.


You bring up denominationalism and I will say that while there may well be some of every denomination who's names are written in the Lamb's book of Life, some denominations make it harder than others to develop that relationship where Jesus calls you friend and gladly sits down to write your name in His book.


God bless.


In Christ, Ted.

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6 years ago  ::  Mar 08, 2009 - 9:15PM #7
koolpoi
Posts: 6,520

Do the writings of St.Augustine and Thomas Aquinas indicate the kind of mindset you describe?Do Evangelicals read and find value in their books?

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