"born again" revisited

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Isaiah40:28, Mar 4, 2008.

  1. Isaiah40:28

    Isaiah40:28
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    Many will say that "born again" means the moment a sinner freely chooses Christ and receives salvation. They are said to be "born again".
    These verses speak about being a person being "born" or "born again" and attribute the birth to the Spirit of God.
    That is the Spirit who gives birth to man's spirit.
    That is the Spirit who gives birth to God's children.

    And verse 13 is clear about what are not the causes or reasons for this birth.
    Why is "human decision" listed as not one of the causes or reasons?
    We all agree that you can't be birthed spiritually by your parents or husband(ie. spouse).
    Why then do many believe that you can be birthed by your own decision?
    If the Bible teaches that man's spirit is birthed by the Holy Spirit, then why is man's free decision or choice held up as the reason one is born of God or not?
     
  2. skypair

    skypair
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    Psa 40:28,

    I appreciate your determination to get to the bottom of an opposing belief. I hope I am worthy of the task you set before us.

    The first point I would make is John 1:13 (KJV) -- "Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." The passage describes 3 ways that are NOT effecacious: 1) not by birth into the right family, 2) not by the will of your own FLESH (clearly the flesh is disposed to the "world," not the "word"), 3) nor by the will of other men (think of the Spaniards who, in conquoring the "new world" "converted" the Indians).

    Yes, #2 disallows our flesh from choosing. It does NOT disallow our spirit from choosing. Nor does that the rebirth is of God disallow our spiritual choosing. You see, God doesn't give us rebirth (the indwelling Holy Spirit) until we are "dead" in Christ which is the decision we DO spiritually make first. Remember what baptism signifies? So God can't "give" us death but He can give us "new life in Christ."

    Think about it -- by whose power and choice did Christ die? Himself, right? "No man taketh My life but I lay it down..." That is what YOU have to do and then God will give you new life.

    BTW, not sure what Bible uses the terms "human decision" but it sounds like a Bible "with an agenda." Personally, I've never seen those words in that scripture.

    skypair
     
    #2 skypair, Mar 4, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 4, 2008
  3. Isaiah40:28

    Isaiah40:28
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    That would be the NIV.
     
  4. psalms109:31

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    Baptized by Holy spirit

    You do not have to be born again to believe or to trust in God through Jesus Christ.

    There is many who believed not being born again.

    We believe and trust in Him as a child, then wait on God to baptize us with the Fire and the Holy Spirit.

    John 7:39
    By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

    Acts 19:1While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples 2and asked them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when[Or after ] you believed?"
    They answered, "No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit."
    3So Paul asked, "Then what baptism did you receive?"
    "John's baptism," they replied.

    4Paul said, "John's baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus." 5On hearing this, they were baptized into[Or in ] the name of the Lord Jesus. 6When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues[Or other languages ] and prophesied. 7There were about twelve men in all.
     
  5. Isaiah40:28

    Isaiah40:28
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    So in the KJV we have:
    The word "flesh" here cannot mean something that is disposed to the "world" otherwise verse 14 would be proclaiming that Jesus became (in your words), "disposed to the 'world'".

    Also I noticed that you added a word to the phrase, "nor of the will of man". You've added, "other" men.
    "nor of the will of man" is what it says. Man's will.

    So the argument John appears to be making is against the Jewishnes of the Jews as the reason for why they can claim that they are God's children.
    John is saying, no, it has nothing to do with man, his family or his will.
    It has to do with being born of God.
     
  6. canadyjd

    canadyjd
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    As long as we are pointing out the words not found in scripture (particularly, this verse), please add....

    The word "other" is not in the text. The "will of man" does not cause someone to be born again. And....
    Please note the text doesn't say they were born by "our spirit choosing". The text says they were born of God.

    I agree that someone has an agenda that keeps them from seeing and believing the plain words of scripture.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  7. canadyjd

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    Looks like Isaiah 40:28 beat me to it.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  8. skypair

    skypair
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    I believe you are misconstruing my thought. Yes, Jesus came in the flesh. But the flesh is exactly the part that does not save us unless we could live a perfect life like Jesus did. And that is exactly the part of us that the verse says DOES NOT will to be saved. Our flesh neither wants to live a perfect life nor can it.

    The verse is silent about the will of our "spirit." Yet that IS the part of us that can will to be saved.

    That was a bit of interpretation. "Nor of the will of man" -- "nor of the will of other men." It looks to the fact that we can't be saved by the will of our family ("blood") nor any other outside will (our pastor, say). Personally, our own flesh cannot save us. It is only by the will of God but we must do that will -- believing and receiving (1:11) -- in order to be saved. I believe that the gospel teaches we must believe -- not just be "elect" of God's will -- in order to be saved. You can think you are "elect" all day and all night but if you don't "believe and receive," you're lost, right?

    IOW, that it is "God's will" does not exempt one from believing and RECEIVING, does it? We can ALWAYS know it is God's will for us, "on our own" and without any doubts, to believe and receive. He is "NOT willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance," right?

    This brings up a good point. You see, the Jews thought it was by the "will of the flesh" -- by keeping the commandments -- that they were saved, right? John is here pointing out that salvation has nothing to do with the "motions of the flesh" which you also believe, right? Perhaps you have given an even more satisfactory answer than I did regarding "will of the flesh." :jesus:

    skypair
     
    #8 skypair, Mar 4, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 4, 2008
  9. Allan

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    One problem is your presumption that being born-again or regeneration is 'before' salvation and secondly your taking the NIV as being properly translated here. I would honestly say get a better translation, almost anything is better (IMO) than the NIV for study.

    Just look at verse 12 for your answer.
    "Yet to all who received him, (1) to those who believed in his name, (2) he gave the right to become children of God"
    Do you see an order here? The text even reiterates this is done (becoming a child of God) because they 'beleived on His name".

    Notice they must first believe BEFORE they are given the right to become His children. Yet they do not make themselves His children, but simply believe Him. God is the one who makes them 'born-again' but it is after they have believed.

    I will use the NASB since the NIV is not (IMO) a very good translation regarding many passages (including this one). I don't mind most others either.
    Thus when a man believes, it is God who makes man to be born-again (regenerate) because man can not do so of or by himself. He can not do so by any of his own means such as through a bloodlineage, good deeds, nor of shear determination. All these are attempts at doing something through mans strengths of which the bible consistantly calls 'works'. Yet, 'belief' is not a 'work' (Rom 4:3-6)

    Being born again IS salvation because to be regenerate is to be alive and scripture states we are only alive IN Chrst. We can only be IN Christ if we have been cleansed from all sin (justified) and so we are sanctified. Being sanctified is done through the indwelling of the Holy Spirt and is also what makes us to be IN Christ. Therefore because NONE of these thing transpire without faith first we know that this is why regeneration is at salvation and not before. Notice that vs 13 explains what vs 12 is speaking to with regard to 'becoming children of God' and not about them believing. In conclusion it is apparent according to scripture that - 'they believed' (first) to which God (then) gave them the right to become children (born-agian). And yet no one believes who has not been ordained to eternal life :)
     
    #9 Allan, Mar 4, 2008
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  10. charles_creech78

    charles_creech78
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    amen to that
     
  11. skypair

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    Allan,

    Thanks for coming to the rescue! :laugh: I knew I shoulda got that formal education in theology instead of accounting!

    skypair
     
  12. reformedbeliever

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    Hello brother. Long time no see. :)
    Seems we have been here before huh? :)
    Is belief an exercise of the will?
     
  13. The Archangel

    The Archangel
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    Allan,

    First off, excellent post, my friend. Your argument is well-thought and easy to understand (as we have come to expect from you!). And, if it were not for the rest of the New Testament, you would have easily persuaded me to agree with you.

    Your excellent post, it would seem to me, does not take into account other passages of Scripture where we are told (because of sin) we do not or cannot seek God (ie. Romans 3)

    The proverbial "Sticky-Wicket" here is this: Other parts of the New Testament show what you are saying arguing for must be brought about by something other than man's will.

    Certainly we must believe, certainly we must actively accept Christ (Calvinists believe this, despite Skypair's best efforts to mis-characterize us). However, how we get to that point, is not something we can do--according to other areas of scripture.

    By the way, I agree with your assessment of the NIV. While it is good for reading, serious study is hindered by its incessant lapses in translating Greek particles. This is why some of my friends and I call it the "Nearly Inspired Version." No offense to you NIV people....just a story!

    Blessings,

    The Archangel
     
  14. webdog

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    Then how about the many Scriptures telling man to do just that (seek HIm)? :)

    When I see "as it is written"...I go back to the source to put the quote in context. Doing that, Romans 3 cannot be about mankind, but the "fool"...the one who has had the truth and rejected it.
     
  15. Isaiah40:28

    Isaiah40:28
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    Allan,
    Underpining your whole argument is the necessity of prevenient grace.
    Man's sinful nature is neutralized by grace which then brings him to the choice to accept or reject. Many reject this work of grace and thus are lost. Those who accept and believe are rewarded by being made children of God.

    Problems with this view? Quite a bit it seems.

    Why do I need God to make me one of his children, when my belief in Him did just that? My belief took me out of the kingdom of darkness and brought me into the kingdom of light. I don't need to be born again. I believe and I instantly am given new life. God doesn't need to make me anything. My belief caused me to be born again.
    God gave me a measure of grace before, but I was the one who took his offer and believed. And now I am born again and saved as the following verses teach.
    So I responded favorably to God's work of prevenient grace and now I am saved.
    Wonder why everyone doesn't respond equally well? Does God give more grace to some?
    So at the moment of my belief, I was alive in Christ.
    Sounds like salvation by belief occurs before God makes a person "born again". Is that order you are proposing?
    So in conclusion you are arguing that man can believe by his own neutralized will, he just can't make himself a child of God. He needs God to make him His child and be born again, thus giving him the salvation that the Bible teaches comes by believing.
     
  16. Isaiah40:28

    Isaiah40:28
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    Both you and Allan consistently quote passages where God commands people to seek Him, choose Him, etc. Yet you never post any passage where it says that man CAN do what God commands him to do.
    When I pushed Allan on another thread about this lack of phrasing in the Bible, he just acted like the "choosing and seeking" passages do state that man CAN do it. All they state is that man is commanded to do it. Those passages do not ever state anything about man's ability to do it. You read into those commands that man CAN do it when in fact it does not address man's abilities.

    And everyone is given the truth, creation and conscience both speak to the truth of God, yet the natural man denies what is before him, thus playing the fool.
     
    #16 Isaiah40:28, Mar 5, 2008
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  17. webdog

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    It lacks any kind of common sense and reasoning whatsoever to come to the conclusion that God is giving specific commands to man that man cannot keep. That is the calvinistic presupposition that is NEEDED to interpret those passages. The burden of proof is on the calvinist to prove that when God tells man to do something, He has not given that man what is needed to obey His specific commands.
    That's a leap in logic. You have taken a passage of Scripture speaking of sanctification, and morphed it into a quasi-justification model. The "natural man" in Scripture is used to speak of the sin nature and man subject to is, not the unregenerate. Scripture plainly teaches that those lost EXCHANGED the truth for a lie.
     
    #17 webdog, Mar 5, 2008
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  18. The Archangel

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    Hi Web!

    Paul certainly has the context correct. The "source" passage, in its entirety, says:

    Psalm 14
    14:1 The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”
    They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds,
    there is none who does good.

    2 The Lord looks down from heaven on the children of man,
    to see if there are any who understand, [1]
    who seek after God.

    3 They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt;
    there is none who does good,
    not even one.

    4 Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers
    who eat up my people as they eat bread
    and do not call upon the Lord?

    5 There they are in great terror,
    for God is with the generation of the righteous.
    6 You would shame the plans of the poor,
    but [2] the Lord is his refuge.

    7 Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!
    When the Lord restores the fortunes of his people,
    let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad.


    Certainly, verse 2 shows this to be a universal condemnation, not limited to the "fool." Contextually, this Psalm indicates, to some extent, all mankind is foolish in that there is none who seeks God and there is none who does good.

    So, Paul uses this which fits his context perfectly.

    Blessings,

    The Archangel
     
  19. Isaiah40:28

    Isaiah40:28
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    See, you back off from saying that the passages do state man's ability and instead go to defending from a philosophical standpoint.
    Do the passages state man's ability?
    Yes or no?

    Calvinists point to passages where ability is clearly discussed and is said to be absent in the natural man.
    Non-Calvinists point to passages where commands are given and then argue that must mean ability.
     
  20. Isaiah40:28

    Isaiah40:28
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    What passage did I take that speaks of sanctification?
    I have no idea what the rest of your post is even arguing.
     

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