What Does It Mean To Be Born-Again? Should All Christians Be Born-Again?

//What Does It Mean To Be Born-Again? Should All Christians Be Born-Again?
What Does It Mean To Be Born-Again? Should All Christians Be Born-Again? 2018-01-24T01:24:12+00:00

Jehovah’s Witnesses watchman Forums Watchman Forum What Does It Mean To Be Born-Again? Should All Christians Be Born-Again?

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    What Does It Mean To Be Born-Again? Should All Christians Be Born-Again, and Why?

    To be born again means to receive the Holy Spirit and thus have a new nature created in us; a nature that is not prone to sin but prone to love & righteousness:

    “In response Jesus said to him: “Most truly I say to you, unless anyone is born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him: “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter into the womb of his mother a second time and be born, can he?” Jesus answered: “Most truly I say to you, unless anyone is born from water and spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.” John 3:3-5 NWT

    “Everyone who has been born from God does not practice sin, for His seed remains in such one, and he cannot practice sin, for he has been born from God.” 1 John 3:9 NWT

    Compare:

    “But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn — not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.” John 1:12,13 NLT

    Notice that those in the New Covenant are not merely forgiven of their sins (which the Old Covenant already did), they are actually set free from their bondage to such sins (which the Old Covenant could not do):

    “For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance — now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.” Heb 9:15 NIV

    Compare:

    “Then Jesus shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” And the dead man came out, his hands and feet bound in graveclothes, his face wrapped in a headcloth. Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him go!” John 11:43,44 NIV

    (We, like Lazarus, “die and are resurrected” when we are baptised (Rom 6:2-7, Col 2:11-14), but we are still bound by our “graveclothes”, the sinful nature in our flesh; these must be “unwrapped” and removed.)

    This does not happen immediately; it’s a process – a growth. Babies are not born adults; they grow into adulthood. In like manner, when we are born again we “grow-up” into the image of Jesus Christ:

    “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.” Rom 8:29 NIV

    “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Cor 3:18 NIV

    “Oh, my dear children! I feel as if I’m going through labor pains for you again, and they will continue until Christ is fully developed in your lives.” Gal 4:19 NLT

    Compare:

    “Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly – mere infants in Christ.” 1 Cor 3:1 NIV

    “Beloved ones, we are now children of God, but it has not yet been made manifest what we will be. We do know that when he is made manifest we will be like him, because we will see him just as he is.” 1 John 3:2 NWT

    ALL humans who wish to live in the Kingdom of God will need to be born again with Holy Spirit because we are unable to fulfil God’s righteous law without it:

    “What the Law was incapable of doing because it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and concerning sin, condemning sin in the flesh, so that the righteous requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us who walk, not according to the flesh, but according to the spirit.” Rom 8:3,4 NWT

    Compare:

    “Jesus answered: “Most truly I say to you, unless anyone is born from water and spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. What has been born from the flesh is flesh, and what has been born from the spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed because I told you: You people must be born again.” John 3:5-7 NWT

    The Jews had, and knew, God’s Law but were unable to fulfil it in their own strength:

    “So why are you now making a test of God by imposing on the neck of the disciples a yoke that neither our forefathers nor we were capable of bearing?” Acts 15:10 NWT

    Furthermore, Law never made anyone perfect:

    “So, then, the former commandment is set aside because it is weak and ineffective. For the Law made nothing perfect, but the introduction of a better hope did, through which we are drawing near to God.” Heb 7:18,19 NWT

    6000 years have amply proven that man cannot obey God perfectly in his own strength and effort:

    “[J]ust as it is written: “There is not a righteous man, not even one”. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” Rom 3:10,23 NWT

    Notice that it is the SPIRIT that gives life, NOT Law:

    “who has indeed adequately qualified us to be ministers of a new covenant, not of a written code, but of spirit; for the written code condemns to death, but the spirit makes alive.” 2 Cor 3:6 NWT

    “But if Christ is in union with you, the body is dead because of sin, but the spirit is life because of righteousness. If, now, the spirit of him who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, the one who raised up Christ Jesus from the dead will also make your mortal bodies alive through his spirit that resides in you.” Rom 8:10,11 NWT

    If we now reject Jehovah’s plan of salvation by trying to keep His Law in our own strength, we actually fall away from Jehovah’s favour:

    “So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law. Listen! I, Paul, tell you this: If you are counting on circumcision to make you right with God, then Christ will be of no benefit to you. I’ll say it again. If you are trying to find favor with God by being circumcised, you must obey every regulation in the whole law of Moses. For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace. But we who live by the Spirit eagerly wait to receive by faith the righteousness God has promised to us. For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, there is no benefit in being circumcised or being uncircumcised. What is important is faith expressing itself in love.” Gal 1:1-5 NLT

    Jehovah intends to write His laws on our hearts so that we act righteously by nature, a NEW nature:

    “For you are shown to be a letter of Christ written by us as ministers, inscribed not with ink but with the spirit of a living God, not on stone tablets but on fleshly tablets, on hearts.” 2 Cor 3:3 NWT

    Compare:

    ““Look! The days are coming,” declares Jehovah, “when I will make with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah a new covenant. It will not be like the covenant that I made with their forefathers on the day I took hold of their hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, ‘my covenant that they broke, although I was their true master,’ declares Jehovah. “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares Jehovah. “I will put my law within them, and in their heart I will write it. And I will become their God, and they will become my people. And they will no longer teach each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know Jehovah!’ for they will all know me, from the least to the greatest of them,” declares Jehovah. “For I will forgive their error, and I will no longer remember their sin.” Jer 31:31-34 NWT

    “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Rom 12:2 NLT

    “However, when the kindness of our Savior, God, and his love for mankind were manifested (not because of any righteous works we had done, but because of his own mercy), he saved us by means of the bath that brought us to life and by making us new by holy spirit. He poured this spirit out richly on us through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that after being declared righteous through the undeserved kindness of that one, we might become heirs according to a hope of everlasting life.” Titus 3:4-7 NWT

    Notice that it is ONLY the “fruitage of the Spirit” that produces characteristics of a Godly nature:

    “On the other hand, the fruitage of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, mildness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Gal 5:22,23 NWT

    One CANNOT bring forth the fruitage of the Spirit… …without the Spirit!

    Neither can anyone truly understand spiritual matters without the Spirit:

    “[T]hese are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.” 1 Cor 2:10-14 NIV

    If you remain WITHOUT Spirit, your only option is to remain “in the flesh”, and:

    “Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.” Rom 8:8 NIV

    “Now the works of the flesh are plainly seen, and they are sexual immorality, uncleanness, brazen conduct, idolatry, spiritism, hostility, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, dissensions, divisions, sects, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and things like these. I am forewarning you about these things, the same way I already warned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit God’s Kingdom.” Gal 5:19-21 NWT

    Finally:

    “[F]or if you live according to the flesh, you are sure to die; but if you put the practices of the body to death by the spirit, you will live. For all who are led by God’s spirit are indeed God’s sons.” Rom 8:13,14 NWT

    (It’s important to understand that the Holy Spirit will not automatically cause a believer to obey God. The Spirit-filled believer has a choice to obey either the Spirit of God or their own sinful, fleshly desires. The Holy Spirit will, amongst many other gifts, provide strength & wisdom beyond one’s natural ability to obey God ONLY IF the believer chooses to obey God. If the believer continually chooses to obey their sinful desires, they will receive no benefit from having the Spirit and will die just like those who do not have the Holy Spirit and who live continually in sin. Compare Deut 30:15,19, James 1:14,15, 1 Cor 13:5 ESV, John 15:1-6.))

    If you, dear reader, are baptised and wish to truly overcome your weaknesses, enjoy a truly personal relationship with Jehovah unlike any you’ve had before, have true peace & joy and receive many other wonderful blessings: ASK JEHOVAH FOR HIS HOLY SPIRIT NOW.

    “Therefore, if you, although being wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more so will the Father in heaven give holy spirit to those asking him!”” Luke 11:13 NWT

    “Peter said to them: “Repent, and let each one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the free gift of the holy spirit. For the promise is to you and your children, and to all those who are far away, to all those whom Jehovah* our God may call to himself.”” Acts 2:38,39 NWT

    ““And in the last days,” God says, “I will pour out some of my spirit on every sort of flesh, and your sons and your daughters will prophesy and your young men will see visions and your old men will dream dreams, and even on my male slaves and on my female slaves I will pour out some of my spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.” Acts 2:17,18 NWT

    (The scriptures show that people sometimes received the Holy Spirit by means of the “laying on of hands” of other believers (Acts 8:17-19, Acts 19:6; compare Acts 9:17, 2 Tim 1:6, Deut 34:9), but since the Watchtower Society does not teach that all Christians may receive the indwelling Holy Spirit (and especially in this manner), it would be impossible to expect any JWs to perform the “laying on of hands”, which Jehovah is undoubtedly aware of. In this instance, it’s my belief that one may simply ask Jehovah in prayer for it.)

    One question that may arise might be: “Isn’t it only the 144000 that receive the Holy Spirit?”

    The answer is: the 144000 certainly do have the Holy Spirit, but receiving the Holy Spirit is not limited to them.

    All who are baptised in the name of the Father, the Son & the Holy Spirit (Matt 28:19) are baptised INTO Christ and thus become members of Spiritual Israel. (See Gal 3:7,26-29, Gal 4:6,7,26-31, Gal 6:16, Eph 2:11-22, 1 Pet 2:9,10, Rom 2:28,29, Phil 3:3; compare Rom 9:6-8, Heb 12:22.)

    It is from the entire nation of Spiritual Israel that the 144000 are chosen:

    “And I heard the number of those who were sealed, 144,000, sealed out of every tribe of the sons of Israel” Rev 7:4 NWT

    (Compare Judges 7:3-8. All 32300 men were Israelites, yet only 300 were chosen for the battle. See also Matt 22:14.)

    Do not believe the lie that “only 144000 receive the Holy Spirit”. The Holy Spirit is available to all who desire and ask for it (compare Rev 22:17). Furthermore, YOU, dear reader, may actually become one of those chosen for the 144000. (How they are chosen is beyond the scope of this piece, but a large part of the selection has to do with “conquering” as outlined in Rev 2 & 3.)

    It’s my prayer that these scriptures will bless you, dear reader.

    (For the record, in case any are wondering: I do not believe in the Trinity nor that “all go to heaven”.)

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    disqus_WLkvBH7kBJ
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    Post count: 12

    (Sorry, my mathematical skills are obviously lacking: there were 32000 Israelites in Judges 7, not 32300.)

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