Are you Born Again? What does it mean?...


#1

Everyone.

I’m curious to know how many on this discussion board is baptized with the Holy Spirit and can pray in tongues?

Also, I’m very curious on what your understanding of being “born again”. What is it? Look forward to your responses. :wink:


#2

I was baptized in the Holy Spirit at age 4, with evidence of the gifts of the Spirit, pray in tongues and speak in genus tongues (supernaturally speaking other languages which is understood by the hearer but not a native tongue of the speaker). I have cast out demons, healed the sick. I fed the poor, gave them clothing, food and a place to live; I sacrificed my personal life to bring others out of poverty, both physically, mentally and spiritually. The signs and wonders followed and have continued to follow. However, the gift of the Holy Spirit is not necessary when reflecting what it means to be born again.

As Peter states:
1 Peter 2:22-23 Your souls having purified in the obedience of the truth through the Spirit to brotherly love unfeigned, out of a pure heart one another love ye earnestly, being born again, not out of seed corruptible, but incorruptible, through a word of God – living and remaining – to the age.

As the gifts, including speaking in tongues, is by the choice of the Spirit.

Hebrews 2:4
God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to His choice.

**1 Corinthians 12:11 **
All the gifts of the Spirit are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines them so.

So BA, you may not want to respond to me, or answer my questions; however, that won’t stop me from responding to you and answering your questions.


#3

Craig.

Since you are the first to respond…I will break not responding to your comments. Thank you for your response. Do you have a Pentecostal background?

you said: However, the gift of the Holy Spirit is not necessary when reflecting what it means to be born again.

Born Again: Please explain.


#4

Yes, I am from an Pentecostal-Evangelical background. However, I was baptized in the Spirit before we even knew what Pentecostalism; was and we weren’t going to church. We came to Christ not through church denominations but by the Spirit.

You may not like this answer but the Scriptures (especially the words of Jesus) are very clear that it is not based on any decision a person makes but based on a decision the Spirit makes.

John 3:6-8
Flesh gives birth to flesh, but** the Spirit** gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."

The requirement of being born-again is that the Spirit chooses. Just as we have no choice in our physical births, it was the decision of our parents; so too we have no choice in our spiritual re-birth, it is the decision of the Spirit.

John 1:12-13 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,* who were born*, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God [chioce].

Hebrews 2:4
God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed** according to His choice.**

This may sound like a Calvinistic belief, but to simplify everything to a Calvinistic or a Armenian belief system is a fallacy. Salvation is the milk, and almost every church I have seen has yet to go beyond the milk; it is the things which accompany Salvation which is what we are actually supposed to be addressing. Some people suffer loss, while others suffer reward.

1 Peter 2:22-23
Since by your obedience to the Truth through the Holy Spirit you have purified your hearts for the sincere affection of the brethren, [see that you] love one another fervently from a pure heart. You have been regenerated (born again), not from a mortal origin (seed, sperm), but from one that is immortal by the ever living and lasting Word of God.

1 John 4:19
We love because He first loved us.

John 6:44
"No one can come to me unless** the Father who sent me draws him**, and I will raise him up at the last day.

We do have free-will, only on the things we are in control of. Salvation, being born-again, is not based on our control but on the Spirit; the things which accompany salvation whether or not we choose to live by the Spirit is in our control.


#5

Craig.
Thanks for sharing… I disagree with your view.


#6

You disagree based on what verse, BA? Surely your disagreement is not based on the humanistic opinion that our destiny must ultimately be determined by our own will! :open_mouth:


#7

Aaron.

Please feel free to add your response to the topic, Aaron. I’m very interested of your understanding of what being born again means to you from scripture. Also, are you baptized with the Holy Spirit and pray in tongues?


#8

My view? Hmmm…I just posted what the Scripture said, not sure what ‘view’ you disagree with.

So you disagree with Jesus who said, “The Spirit gives birth to spirit?” Or was it when Paul said, “just as he determines them so.” or was it John who said, “who were born [again], not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”? Or again Jesus who said, "“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him”?

Since you are disagreeing with Scripture, and not my view, let us correct your response to accurately reflect reality:.

**Born Again: **Thanks for sharing… My view disagrees with you.

StudentoftheWord: I understand, what is your view?


#9

and you all wonder why outsiders don’t believe a word of any of it as the ‘Spirit’ seems to be telling you all different things… hmm… perhaps you are just interpreting scripture all alone in your head BA - just like me :laughing:


#10

Hmmm, this definitely has a Calvinistic tone to it. Is there anything we can do for God to chose us? Or is it an arbitrary decision on His part (that is no input from us)? Or, to follow UR leanings, does He chose everybody?


#11

Not a Calvinistic tone, as I said before this is oversimplification, Calvinism has nothing to do with what Scripture says, it is just a doctrine like anything else. According to Calvinism, you also have to believe that we are a fallen race with the inability to do good when Scripture says that we were created for the very purpose to do good and God called us very good.

Ephesians 2:8-10
For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, not by your faith; a gift of God, not a reward or wage as a result of your work that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

So a person can stay stuck seeing things through Calvinist lenses or Armenian lenses, or even Universalist lenses, and they will miss the truth, because the truth is neither Calvinist, Armenian or Universalist.

2 Corinthians 10:5
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

All of humanity is in the process of being born again, and we have been given His Spirit as a guarantee as what is to come.

2 Corinthians 1:21-23
Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

Acts 2:17-18
" 'In the last days, God says,** I will pour out my Spirit on all people**…Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.

Now pay attention:

2 Corinthians 5:14-19
For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that [all] who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, anyone who is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God has reconciled the world to himself in Christ, not counting [all] men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.

Who is excluded from being born-again? None.

We can only exercise our Freedom of Will within the habitation and boundary we are placed in. We have no Freedom of Will over that which was not in our control to begin with.

Now, submitting to the baptism in the Holy Spirit and operating out of the gifts of the Spirit, is completely based on your Freedom of Will. Whether or not you follow the Spirit or the Flesh, is your choice: Some choices have a reward, other choices suffer loss. It is a difficult understanding to discontinue thinking in terms of ‘saved’ and ‘unsaved’ because that was what you were erroneously taught to believe. However, since all are in Christ, so from now on we must view them in Christ! There is Salvation and then there are things that accompany Salvation; the Gospel is that simple.


#12

Not so, BA. I am fully aware that, as long as I am in Christ by faith in him, I am in a reconciled relationship with God and am what Paul calls a “new creation/creature” (which, of course, is not literal language but is to be understood figuratively). I understand being a “new creation” to mean I have begun moving in a different direction than I was before; my values are different, my priorities are different, etc. It doesn’t mean I’ve been mystically imparted with a sinless nature or that God sees me as sinlessly perfect, and I deny that Paul intended this.

Now, I understand the expressions “born again” and “born of God” to be figurative language that denotes the ongoing, dynamic (not static) status of those who, by faith in Christ, have begun to resemble God in character, and are progressively becoming more and more like him. This “family resemblance,” so to speak, is manifested by one’s love for others (including one’s enemies). Christ speaks of this privileged status in Matt 5:44-45: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.” To be a “son” of our Father in heaven is to be “born” of him, and we are “born of God” only to the extent that we are keeping his command to love others as he loves. Those who are “born of God” are not “making a practice of sinning” but are “practicing righteousness” (1 John 3:7-10, ESV). Moreover, it appears that John understood being “born of God” and “abiding in Christ” to be identical experiences for the believer (1 John 3:6, 9).


#13

As a Lutheran, we believe that one is born again at baptism. We don’t re-baptize Catholics or any other Christian properly baptized and wanting to become a Lutheran.

I never use the phrase ‘born again’ myself - not because I’m not - but because the phrase carries with it certain doctrines and political stances that I do not hold. The Lutheran liturgy is a thing of beauty.

You asked what the phrase means. It clearly means and is pointing to the resurrection - we are in Christ now - the first born - but so is all of humanity. As Aaron mentioned, it’s a figurative term.

But to use the phrase ‘born again’ to equal some mental lock-down in terms doctrine or understanding is the common use of the term and that doctrine is decidedly anti-church and anti-christian for the most part. It has become a label for that sort of thinking of people arrogantly believing that they are above teaching. They alone have the magic to understand all things.

Your question is a loaded as the phrase is.


#14

Yes and we are “born again” with each new revelation of Christ birthed in us. Such also is the measure of our on going resurrection.


#15

Amen! :smiley:


#16

Everyone.

Thank you for your responses. Very interesting answers. How many on this board are baptized in the Holy Spirit and can pray in the tongues?


#17

pray in tongues … guilty as charged

this ought to be interesting :mrgreen:


#18

You mean pray in Welsh? BUBBA can!


#19

Me! Me! Me! Me! Jumping up and down in giddy delight


#20

Everyone.

John, Craig…yes…Ranran…no. anyone else.