Are Believers Necessarily Born Again?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Tom Butler, Aug 18, 2007.

  1. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    In the thread "Casting Out Demons, steaver responded to a comment with this post:

    So, is he right? The context is that of the time during Jesus' earthly ministry.

    Here's the problem I see. Jesus told Nicodemus that he had to be born again, born from above. We have evidence that Nicodemus became a believer. Are they not the same? Why would Jesus say that to Nicodemus if it were not immediately possible for him to be born again?

    Were Jesus disciples not born from above, not saved, even though they (eleven, anyway) were believers?

    Also, is steaver correct by saying that the "regeneration phase of the bride of Christ had not yet begun." I don't think so, but I'd like to hear more. Steaver, please elaborate with the appropriate scripture. Others, have at it.
     
  2. standingfirminChrist

    standingfirminChrist
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    In answer to the question in the OP, it depends on what one means by 'believer'.

    For instance, my oldest brother died on the 16th of last month of cirrhosis of the liver from years of drinking alcohol.

    Supposedly, he made a profession of faith on his deathbed in the VA hospital where he died. I am not sure of his sincerity for a few reasons.

    1. He professed Christ whenever he was drunk. As a matter of fact, most drunks will tell you they know who Jesus is and how he died on a cross. They believe the Bible story of Christ's death, yet remain drunkards.

    2. Even after his so-called profession, he would not answer his phone in his room for the reason that he 'did not want to hear his mother or myself talking about the Lord'. This was told to me personally by another brother who was by his bedside the last two weeks of his life.

    If he truly believed in the Lord, he would joyfully hear of His love. He would want to hear of Christ's forgiveness.

    Melvin had no desire to talk about Christ except when he was drunk. This is not a true belief in Christ.

    When one believes in Christ, one will change and welcome a change. No longer desiring that which the Word of God condemns.
     
  3. Mr.M

    Mr.M
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    Ever since Adam, those trusting in the gospel were "born again". Being born again refers to the resurrection of the human spirit that is dead until a man is born again.

    The problem the poster was having is that he is mixing the unique church age indwelling ministry of all believers with that of being born again.

    While it is true that during the church age all believers are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, that has nothing to do with the nature of being born again. Rather, the unique indwelling of the Holy Spirit for all believers during the church age has to do with the fact that the Shekinah Glory now resides in the believer, meaning the believer's body is the temple of God now, hence the Spirit's indwelling is necessitated to sanctify the body as an appropriate temple for the Godhead.

    But being born again itself happened and happens to all believers at all times in all ages. Man's spirit is resurrected upon faith in the gospel, whether it be the gospel of Christ in the form of prophecy as Adam and many received, the gospel as witnessed by those living during Christ's time or as completed work that has become full revelation of the gospel we receive.

    Being a believer and being born again are synonymous. One refers to what you believe, the gospel and the other refers to what occurs when you believe, being born again. Believers are born again and those born again are believers.

    The unique indwelling of the Holy Spirit forming the human body into the temple of God is an issue related to the unique ministry of the Holy Spirit during the church age and unfortunately many people are not taught such elementary doctrines thoroughly and are easily confused and understandably so.

    Adam was born again but was not indwelt by the Holy Spirit. Abraham was born again but not indwelt by the Holy Spirit. These men and all believers during all times, when they believed the gospel were born again, their human spirits were resurrected and they were made alive spiritually. And while there are special occasions some people were indwelt by the Holy Spirit before the church age it was not for the same purpose as today, to make the human body the temple of God, instead it was to perform a specific task.

    Hope that helps a bit.
     
  4. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    SFIC and Mr. M, thanks.

    SFIC, I, too, would have some skepticism about such a deathbed profession as you described it.

    Mr. M, since I am not a dispensationalist, I would quibble somewhat with the "church age" question, but that aside, I agree with much of what you posted.

    My understanding of the "church age" is that it began at Pentecost. Of course, I hold that Jesus himself founded his church during his earthly ministry. I also hold that his true followers during that period were saved--born of the Spirit, born from above, if you will.

    Seems to me that Steaver drew a distinction between being saved and being born of God during Jesus' ministry. Is this consistent with the dispy view that everything up to Pentecost was basically Old Testament?

    I disagree with that view, of course. I also hold that the HS was active and present during Jesus' ministry.

    SFIC, Mr. M and others, please feel free to add more to the discussion.

    I'm through for the night and will check in tomorrow.
     
  5. steaver

    steaver
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    It all sounds nice, but we need some scriptures to support your views.

    God Bless!
     
  6. steaver

    steaver
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    "But as many as received him (Jesus), to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God". (Jn 1:12-13)

    God Bless!
     
  7. steaver

    steaver
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    1Cr 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.

    Jesus "was made" a quickening spirit. He came to sacrifice and begin His ministry of quickening souls.

    Eph 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

    Eph 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, by grace ye are saved;

    Col 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

    1Pe 3:18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

    God Bless!
     
  8. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
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    I know a lot of people who 'believe' in God, but they are not born again.

    Even Satan believes in God, so the answer to your question would have to be no.
     
  9. Don

    Don
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    steaver - you started off your responses with the verse that says "as many as received Him."

    Do you deny that people say they believe in God, but they haven't received him? See James 2:19.

    As for Mr. M's response, and your request for him to provide scripture: Read Hebrews.
     
  10. BobRyan

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    There is only one problem "the sin problem" the total depravity of the human soul apart from the Holy Spirit.

    There is only one solution - Forgiveness and the new birth granted by Grace through Christ.

    that is THE GOSPEL -- the one and ONLY gospel.

    It was the only Gospel available to transform the OT saints of HEb 11 and it is the only Gospel available today.

    The Holy Spirit WAS given in ALL ages to accomplish the New Birth - but God the Holy Spirit did not take on the Acts 1 general outpouring role until after the cross.

    The Disciples received the Holy Spirit and were sent out to heal and to perform miracles in Matt 10.

    But they were told to WAIT for it in Acts 2. This is not because in Matt 10 i was a "fake Holy Spirit" or the Holy Spirit did not exist - or they were doing miracles without it -- it is because the general church-wide function for spiritual gifts at the Acts 1 and 2 level had not yet started.

    There is only ONE Gospel according to Gal 1 and the New Birth is a key part of that ONE Gospel. Otherwise there can be NO Heb 11 CHANGED lives for depraved sinners.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  11. BobRyan

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    Well said.

    In John 3 Christ condemns a Jewish teacher for NOT knowing that the new-birth indwelling Holy Spirit is an OT requirement for ALL who would enter heaven.

    In Matt 10 Christ shows the LIVING ACTIVE work of the Holy Spirit pre-cross to do miracles through the disciples.

    In Heb 11 we SEE the changed lives of OT saints -- the new birth - new creation in OT saints accomplished by the Holy Spirit.

    ONE Gospel in ALL ages - not two.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  12. Mr.M

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    Tell me of which part of my post you are unfamiliar with and the related Scriptures or ignorant all together and I gladly will post relevant Scriptures.

    In other words, what part of it did you not understand? With what part of it are you contending?

    Hopefully this isn't a case of one being illuminated but resisting because it involves having to correct themselves. Nevertheless, I gladly will provide Scripture for each if you will clearly provide an itemized list of things you either do not understand in the previous post I posted or object to. If no list is provided, I will understand you to be dishonest in your request.
     
  13. BobRyan

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    That happens all the time here.

    1. Christian Believers in atheist darwinism come here to reject the Genesis account.

    2. RC members come here to cling to stories about purgatory no matter what the Bible says to the contrary.

    3. Both Calvinists and Arminians come here to cling to OSAS no matter what warnings they find in scripture to the contrary.

    4. Some Christians even come here to proclaim that they reject the OT as valid authorotative Scripture for NT saints though it is the only Bible the NT authors had -- no matter what the Bible says to the contrary.

    It happens all the time.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  14. Mr.M

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    First, I do agree that the Holy Spirit was active and present during the ministry of Christ as He was from Adam onward. My point on the matter for anyone reading is that the permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit (and the baptism for that matter) for all believers at the moment of salvation is a unique ministry and protocol of the Holy Spirit only during the church age. As you noticed earlier I made reference to the work of the Holy Spirit in and through believers during other times, all other times but not per the unique mode, method and protocol for church age believers as referenced above.

    As far as the exact timing of the establishment of the church, I tend not to make that an area of significant debate but I hold to the belief that "church age" during the Christocentric phase of human history began after the death, burial and resurrection of Christ commencing at Pentecost (this is not to ignore the weight of those holding to other positions but I believe, nevertheless, that they are not correct but I do not arrogantly dismiss anyone else with a cavalier arrogance).

    The view you are referring to regarding differentiating between being born again and saved is not a dispensational view that I hold to. I do realize that there are all kinds of churches that hold to some form or fashion of specific dispensationalism (as opposed to all churches that recognized dispensations or eras or time with unique protocols for those eras like the OT Theocracy of Israel and the Church but do not use the term dispensational to identify such distinctions) and within those churches there are those eager to be the smartest guy in the room, the one with the Best and Most INSIGHT. So maybe somewhere that is part of some sect of dispensationalists but I have generally not found a distinction between being saved and being born again. I will say this, dispensationalism does not require such a view nor is it a necessary conclusion in the application of a dispensational scheme by ANY stretch.

    I think that the biggest misconception people have is equating being indwelt with the Holy Spirit as being born again and they conclude that because OT believers were not indwelt by the Holy Spirit seeing that the temple was not the human body but a building, then they were not born again.

    And this is where the error lies. Believers today are indeed permanently indwelt by God the Holy Spirit. The Godhead takes up residence in the believer and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit sanctifies the body that the temple/human body is made holy and acceptable for such residence. But it is NOT the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that qualifies a person as being "born again".

    When a person believes the gospel, and all men from all ages were given the gospel in varying forms, either prophetically, as a witness or historically, that person's human spirit is what is born again. They are resurrected spiritually so that they can understand spiritual phenomena. It is the spiritual death of a man that makes a man spiritually dead. He is made alive spiritually. His human spirit is resurrected and while it may indeed be the function of the Holy Spirit in all ages at all times to be the proprietor of this function with respect to the Trinity and the varying ministries of the Godhead, this does not necessitate his performing the unique church age function of permanently indwelling to form a temple for the Godhead in order to resurrect the human spirit in each believer during all ages, from Adam onward.

    How else could men understand spiritual truths during any other time? They had to be born again and made alive spiritually and illuminated just as we are. That again does not necessitate the unique church age ministry of permanent indwelling to form a residence for the Godhead.
     
  15. Mr.M

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    P.S. For anyone, whether you take issue with dispensational distinctives or anything else my hope is that ultimately it is understood that there is one gospel and that all believers, from Adam onward, were saved by faith in that gospel.
     
  16. BobRyan

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    The work of the Holy Spirit in all ages -

    1. John 3 - the New Birth
    2. john 16 - convicting of sin
    3. John 16 - leading into all truth
    4. Dwelling IN the People of God as long as they remain saved.

    In addition to these unchanging roles of the Holy Spirit we have the additional fact in OT times there was ALSO an external literal physical temple.

    In every age there has been a reduction in the presence of God until the coming of Christ. After He went to heaven - we have gone to successive stages of less and less of the presence of God even than what was available in the OT.

    1. Adam and Eve walked with God in the cool of the day in the Garden of Eden.

    2. God answered by fire in the sacrifices outside the Garden of Eden and Angels appeared there - guarding the way into the Garden for over 1500 years.

    3. God dwelt with Israel - pillar of fire by night, pillar of cloud by day AND visible presence in the Most Holy Place.

    4. Christ dwelt pysically on earth.

    But after the cross these close visible representations of God ceased. We STILL have the indwelling Holy Spirit as the saints of the OT had -- in addition we have the promise that the special "gifts" of the Holy Spirit are to be more common today than in OT times.

    But the New Birth, Salvation, Gospel etc still works the same way.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  17. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    This I agree with completely. Thanks for your clarifications.
     
  18. Tom Butler

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    My sentiments as well. Thanks, Bob
     
  19. ByGracethroughFaith

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    Answer to the orignal question is a resounding NO.

    The devils (demons for some) are believers.

    James 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe , and tremble .

    Saving faith includes all three of Knowlege-Belief-Trust, even the demons can believe, but saving faith is evidenced by trust.


    BGTF
     
  20. steaver

    steaver
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    No.

    God Bless!
     

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