The human need to be born again is the most important need that anyone can ever hope to be met, over all material, religious, social, hedonistic need and beyond this is what we were created to be, in past weeks I have looked at our seperation from God as well as our need being met only in Christ . Being born again is a one time event that happens when you give yourself to Christ. This does not occur in a church service or through any kind of ritual or work of any kind but it is between us and God. Whether you are brought up in a nice Christian family or you come to it later in life from any kind of background your sinfulness, need for Christ and therefore need to be born again is the same.
As this blog goes on people will see that I have many issues with the teachings of the Mormon church, however no matter what I think of the LDS church teachings or the teachings of any church, I cannot say that a regular member of one of those faiths is not born again just because they may believe other things that are unbiblical. Being born again can be something anyone from any background can experience, regardless of their faith background, however it comes from nothing but faith in Christ, even a works loving Mormon can be born again, but they have to cast those works aside and the belief that they make them any more saved than whoever you may consider to be the worst of humanity.
So where does this teaching come from? It comes from a conversation between Jesus and a religious man called Nicodemus, quoted below.
Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews;
this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”
Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one 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 a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?”
Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into
“That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
“Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’
“The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
Nicodemus said to Him, “How can these things be?”…………………………
So we must be born of water, this means being born of our mother, and be born of the Spirit this means be born again (water being the first birth) in Christ.
As quoted above this makes us a new creation the old has gone the new has come.
From personal experience I was amazed at how when I became a Christian my desires simply changed, I didnt think right I have found religion must be a good boy, I thought actually I just dont want to do those old things anymore, I want to do things Gods way, this does not mean I think I am better than anyone, if anything most of the time I feel worse about my behaviour as I am so aware whenever I do sin of the fact that there is a better way to live, however due to being born again I know that I am loved, secure and accepted eternally and this is nothing of my works, and is never at risk because of my mistakes.
In the talk Ye must be born again by Elder David A. Bednar Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
in the Mormon church (http://lds.org/conference/talk/display/0,5232,23-1-690-8,00.html) we see a different view.
He says this
The difference to some will be obvious and to some it will be subtle, however in this section we see that faith in Christ is a necessary ingredient, however being born again ceases to be a one time event and instead becomes a process dependant on your observance of commandments, how strongly will you serve God determines whether you will eventually be born again, and at the end it talks about walking in the newness of life, however the killer problem here is that this asks people to walk in the newness of life without having actually recieved the newness of life, this says live Gods commandments in your own stregth, this is impossible and throughout the old testament we see people trying to live Gods ways and constantly failing which is why we see this in
Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
Being born again is having a new heart and a new spirit within you, it is literally God taking someone stone cold to His ways and His love and making them alive and new and righteouss, not weighed down by the pressure of performance but lifted up by the new life God has put in them.
Just like being born is a one time event that does not go on over a long period of time (you can see I havent gone through hours of labour :) being born again is not something you earn it is something you recieve.
People have asked how do you know if someone is born again? I will quote one of my great influences Shawn Mccraney and say, you will simply not be able to stop yourself worshipping Jesus, you will not be able to help but be overawed just at the mention of His name, the person of Jesus will become a totally new unexplainable passion for you, because He has changed you, can you agree with the apostle Paul in this statement?
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
Thanks for reading please comment.