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Born again... what exactly does this mean?!

The subject of Born again is grossly misunderstood. Traditional Christian religion believes being Born again is something that occurs once you "accept Christ." This is a very cheap and disrespectful approach toward God. If you've been reading the previous related material on God's Family you will realize that to be of the family of God, being formed as His very nature and Holiness, you will realize that the cheap grace the Christian world teaches is a shame to God.

Born again... born a SECOND time!

How many of you would like to have Charles Manson as your son? How about any of the other mass murders? How about any of the many criminals that walk the earth? Would you like to have them living right next door to you... forever?

Would you want any of your children to have a mind and nature that practiced theft, adultery, rape? Would you like to spend eternity with them like that? We tend to view only the real bad things as "wrong," but God doesn't ultimately distinguish between lesser sins and greater sins. ANY sin, any wrong that a person does or thinks condemns them to death, not eternal life burning in fire.

YES, Christ's death, the death of the only being like God himself, is what reconciles us to God and we are forgiven of all sins (wrong actions and thoughts) that are PAST! This in NO way changes who and what we are, our natures or the evil that we do. Everyone sins. That nature is NOT of God and WILL not be resurrected to eternal life without some sort of PERMANENT (Born again) change. THAT is what this website is all about and what God Himself is doing through Christ. It is Christ's nature we must be conformed to and this isn't done through a simple, "I believe."

God has a plan, and yes that plan requires forgiveness, but it also requires being "born again" (or "born from above" which is the more accurate rendering of these words), as a new creature. Consider these things. How does the sacrifice of Christ, a very valuable and vital thing, change your heart? God doesn't, as most traditional Christians believe, simply wipe away sins, and then overlooks the very nature (what we actually ARE) that causes us to sin. It is ridiculous to believe a Holy, just, righteous God would consider bringing into His family someone whose nature is that of Satan, the spirit that influences this whole world. Christ's sacrifice enables the forgiveness of sin but there is another step in the process as you will read in this website, that actually results in being born again... a NEW birth into the nature and kingdom of God. If you don't know what that process is, then how can you possibly expect to be a part of God's family?

Being "born again (born from above)" is that moment when, just like our first birth, we are given a new life. Let's look at John 3:

John 3:3 "Jesus answered and said to him, truly, truly I say to you, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4 Nicodemus says to 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? 5 Jesus answered, Truly, truly, I say to you, Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Marvel not that I said to you, you must be born again. 8 The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound thereof, but can not tell where it comes from, and where it goes: so is every one that is born of the Spirit."

Let's notice a few things that most people overlook:

  • Unless you are born again, you can't see the kingdom of God.
  • You must be born of water (physical birth) and spirit (birth as a spiritual being) or you can't enter into the kingdom of God.
  • That which is born of the flesh (physical birth) IS flesh.
  • That which is born of the spirit (born as a spirit being) IS spirit.
  • That which is born of the spirit is like the wind that no one can see coming or going.
Most believe that this is referring to when someone receives the spirit of God and is "saved" . . . believe that being saved is the same as being "born again." This simply is not true.

Notice the contrast between being born of the flesh and that being the same as flesh, and then being born of the spirit, and how THAT is the same as being spirit. You can't use two different interpretations of these two scriptures. That which is born of flesh, is naturally flesh and blood. It can't be anything else. The same is true for being born of the spirit. If one is born of the spirit, that means they are born SPIRIT. NO one on this earth, except Jesus Christ, has EVER been born of the spirit. That comes at the resurrection of God's children, those who have been called, who made the commitment to be changed, received God's spirit, and have obeyed God laws to death. There simply is no other way.

Here's an analogy of this second birth. We are all flesh and blood and have been born, but only after the egg and sperm of our parents united, and there was 9 months of growth. THEN we were born into the world as a flesh and blood human being. Spiritually, the same "begettal" takes place when we repent, are baptized, and have hands laid on us to receive the Holy Spirit. This is our spiritual begettal, which begins our development from a carnal human being toward that of the image of Christ...

Eph 4:11 "And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head — Christ — 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love." NKJV

Rom 8:29 "For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son , that He might be the firstborn among many brethren."

Gal 4:19 "My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you..."

Notice this is a process. The members of the church of God grow, over time, and develop toward the time when we will be in the same image and likeness of Christ. This does not happen when we accept Christ. Christ's sacrifice is the beginning, not the end, as many believe. To think that the Father thinks so little of His son's sacrifice that He would simply overlook the true nature of mankind and grant them eternal life as they are is a shame. Christ walked the path that WE are to walk. His death paid the death penalty for us, but it doesn't blind God's eyes to the truth. His death gives us grace, imputes righteousness because of our responding to His molding and shaping. God does NOT impute "character" to us.

God simply isn't going to resurrect people who have the same nature as Satan. Christ's sacrifice removed the sin, when we repented. If we sin again, we need to repent. Grace covers us as we have a repentant attitude and accept the sacrifice through obedience and submission to the spirit of Christ. If we don't repent and submit, even though we believe in Christ, the death penalty is again on our heads. Think about it. Sin is so bad and evil, it took the death of a God being to pay the penalty for it.

On the other hand, this penalty, now being paid by this death, does nothing to change our minds and character. That takes the LIFE of Christ to change us. His resurrection - His being born from above - is what gives us life and is what, over time, changes our character, conforming it to that of His own. If we do not become a part of that mind-altering, life-long experience, we are NOT ultimately saved.

If you study God's word, you will see much about "repentance." You will realize that repentance actually means to "change direction." It means we are to actively turn away from sin and submit to God's molding of our spiritual lives and nature to be like His sons. That doesn't come from some sleight of hand by the Father. If you look carefully, you will see that it is CHRIST that is doing the work of transforming us for a future purpose... but ONLY as we respond in obedience to His laws and submit to His word

Add up the context and all the references to spirit Christ made in John 3:

  • Can anyone who believes they are "born again" see God's kingdom? Christ's suggests that when one IS born again, they CAN "see" (perceive-experience) God's kingdom.
  • Have they entered into God's Kingdom? (I realize many presume this to mean that you have to be "saved" to enter His kingdom at a later time, which IS true, but are they really "born from above" NOW?
  • Have any who believe they are "born again" been turned to spirit beings?
  • Can any "born again" Christians be seen, heard or otherwise noticed, unlike the wind? On the contrary, Christ says to let our light shine so ALL can notice us and see fruits of our relationship with God. Being born again means physical humans cannot see or notice us until we manifest ourselves to them from spirit to flesh.

The begettal by receiving that ernest payment of God's Holy Spirit, His power and what He actually IS, BEGINS our spiritual life, but that life can be aborted just as a human fetus can be...

Heb 6:4 "For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame." NKJV

Matt 10:21 "Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. 22 And you will be hated by all for My name's sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved." NKJV

Matt 24:12 "And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved." NKJV

1 Tim 6:12 "Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses." NKJV

2 Tim 4:7 "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing." NKJV

Rom 8:17 "Therefore, brethren, we are debtors — not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body , you will live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out,"Abba, Father." 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs — heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together." NKJV

Notice through just those few scriptures (and there are dozens more...) that salvation is not simply accepting Christ, but consists of a lifetime of overcoming, enduring, growth, repentence, TILL we die, and are resurrected... or "born a second time" but this time as spirit, with a spirit body...

1 Cor 15:42 "So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. 43 It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 45 And so it is written, "The first man Adam became a living being." The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly. 49 And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man." NKJV

What of Christ Himself? What are we taught about Him and His being the FIRST "born" of all?

1 Corinthians 15:20 "But now is Christ risen from the dead, [and] become the firstfruits. . ."

Rom 8:29 "For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the "first born among many brethren."

Col 1:15 "He is the image of the invisible God, the "first born" over all creation."

Col 1:18 "And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence."

Rev 1:5 "...and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth."

Notice that even Christ Himself is stated to be the "firstborn FROM THE DEAD." Christ is the first, and only, to ever be resurrected to a new life... first "born again" to spirit life. If "born again" means receiving the spirit, or being saved, then how is Christ "born again" or "saved?" He was sinless, and had the spirit from birth. This is further proof that to be "born again," you must reach the level of the image of Christ.

This truth isn't a threat to anyone's salvation who believe that they have already been born from above. It just means that there is MORE to the process. We have to work out our OWN salvation, with fear and trembling...

Phil 2:12 "Wherefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."

That truth is what Satan, the spirit on this earth, wants you to miss and overlook. It makes his job easier.

Godkind web pages created and material written by Jeffrey T. Maehr. Copyright © 2014. All rights reserved. Reproduction allowed if credit to thegodkind.org is listed with material. All other authors or copyrights listed accordingly.