Does a Person Have to Have a Born-Again Experience?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by righteousdude2, Feb 7, 2014.

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  1. righteousdude2

    righteousdude2
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    I have a sister who is the best servant a pastor could ever hope to have on volunteer staff! And her testimony is next to none!

    So what is the problem? She doesn't seem to grasp the concept of having that born-again experience. You know, that come to Jesus moment, when you realize you have sinned; he died for that sin; the repentance of the sin; and asking Him to be your Savior!

    How do I approach the born-again experience, and is it all that important? In my way of thinking, it is, but how do the rest of you see this glitch in her testimony? I don't want to "Bruise the fruit" so to speak, or quash her zeal and fervor, but I have a concern that when she shares her love for Jesus with others, and continues to omit a come to Jesus moment, others will feel as me, and wonder if she is basing her relationship on some experiences she had during a crisis, or on accepting Jesus.

    I have never run up against this particular problem, and would appreciate your input as to whether I should share with the need to include that come to Jesus moment in her testimony, or if it is something that isn't necessary?

    Thanks for your feedback! :thumbs:
     
  2. Judith

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    What born again experience? I know of no passage in the scripture that teaches such a thing or dscribes any such experience. Such a teaching is VERY dangerous.
    The proof of our salvation is not some experience. That is one of the number one falsehoods that the pentacostal movement teach, have an experience. The thing that proves we are born again is old things pass away and all things become new. We no longer or ever again practice sinning as a way of life because we have come to repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, not asking Jesus to be our Savior.
     
  3. righteousdude2

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    Yes. BUT....

    ...didn't you have a point or time in your life when you accepted Jesus as Savior? I don't think that is non scriptural! We all have a point in our life where we came to Jesus. A spiritual rebirth. Jesus told Nicodemus that he must be born-again, and when he realized what Jesus was toalking about, he made that conscious decision to give his life to Jesus! That is what I am asking about!

    This sister is caliming that she had an out of body experience that took her to heaven and hell, and that changed her heart and she started believing! She bases her testimony on those EXPERIENCES, and that concerns me. Do we base our salvation on EXPERIENCES, or a time in our life when we make a choice to stop following the flesh and to follow Jesus. Even the disciples had that turning point! Paul had that point, when he met Jesus on the road to Damascus.

    I'm asking, and you gave your opinion, which I respect, but I am asking if we base our salvation on an EXPERIENCE [emotional] or a fundamental, choice where we join our words with our actions and make a change of heart and spiritual direction?
     
  4. Judith

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    No, there was not at least not unto being saved. Accepting Jesus as Savior will not save you! The bible NEVER says to accept Him as Savior and we will be saved. All that is, is intellectual acknowledgement with momentary and passing joy, and empty hope with an almost absolute expectation of what today is called backsliding (returning to sin) which proves no salvation at all took place. Fortunately in God's patients and grace some of those do finally come to be saved when they finally come to repentace toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus, but not all.

    I played those prayer and Savior games before I was saved with the backslidings and people saying you are saved when you are not, (by the way I did not mean it or intend it as a game as I was sincere as far as I was understanding or intending, but it was still a game) but there was finally a point in my life where I came to repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and from that point we are kept in both the positional and experiential. We may sin from time to time after that but we do not return to the practice of sinning as a way of life or practice. Our daily life, practice will be one of seeking no sin.

    I agree that basing our salvation on an experience is dangerous and looking back at some point in time when we asked Jesus into our hearts" is looking at or seeking an experience. No one ever got saved by asking Jesus into their heart or by accepting Him as Savior.

    As for Paul, while he did explain his experience. ONE TIME, he and NEVER relied on it as proof of the new birth. His life, how he lived, and Who he lived it for was the proof, not some experience in time past. Your sister, based on what you said, had an experience that caused her to turn to God, (repent) and come to faith in Jesus. Her life is the living experience that proves or disproves her conversion, new birth, not some point in time or experience. If her life is one that is based on the confessing Jesus as Lord, (Romans 10:9) and she evidences the confession by keeping the commandments (1 John 2:3, 3:2,3:24,5:3) that is her living experience and testimony and proof that she is saved.

    So back to your question.
    "Does a Person Have to Have a Born-Again Experience?"
    NO! We have a born again life. If she is confessing Jesus as Lord, and her life bears witness to that proven by her keeping the commandments you really need to leave her alone.
     
    #4 Judith, Feb 7, 2014
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  5. pinoybaptist

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    all due respects, I'd like to put in my worthless hyper-Calvinist two-bits.:smilewinkgrin:

    that point, or time, in one' life comes BECAUSE one IS born from above, not in order to be born from above. that was what Jesus told Nicodemus. paraphrase: unless you're born from above, you cannot understand these things EVEN IF YOU'RE A TEACHER in Israel, Nicodemus.


    I must've missed this bolded part in Scripture. can you name book, chapter and verse, please ?
    I see where Nicodemus spoke in defense of Jesus in John 7, yes, but none where it says that Nicodemus declared he accepted Christ, or he is giving his life to Jesus.

    Whether out of body or a conscious profession of faith like you require, both are EXPERIENTIAL and something to look back on and hold on to when asked 'when were you born again"?
    what exactly is the difference between the two ?
    if she were pentecostal who demands speaking in tongues as an experience of salvation, she would also likely be asking and wondering same thing from those who say a conscious profession of faith is enough.
     
  6. salzer mtn

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    The experience I had was not when I accepted the Lord but when he accepted me. this is the day God revealed his son in me. This is the day I looked and lived. This is the day I passed from death unto life. This is the day I realized God could damn me or saved me, he owed me nothing. This was the moment I realized God was truly sovereign, and I looked into heaven and said, God I know you can save me, if you will and he did.
     
    #6 salzer mtn, Feb 7, 2014
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  7. HAMel

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    rd2, I understand what you're asking and specifically remember the evening my wife and I asked the Lord to save us. There were no shooting stars or earth tremors but I can assure you that our way of life changed, the result of...

    Between you and me, "we" live by and possess simple faith in the Lord that He will keep His promise.

    ...sho' 'nuf I'sa glad I'sa ain't got no super edumacation. Elsewise I'd be tryin' to figgure out God.

    In reality, His ways are not our ways. Hence, all we can rely upon is faith in Him. What He allows us to understand along the way is a benefit.
     
  8. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    You're kidding me, right? Good grief!!
    John 3, NASB
    3 Jesus answered and said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God."
    4 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?"
    5 Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and 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 "Do not be amazed that I said to you, 'You must be born again' ."
    How could you possibly ask "what born again experience?" It's one of the most basic tenets of faith!
    "Dangerous" to teach that someone must be born again? Are you getting hung up on the word "experience"? If you are, that's ludicrous. Being born again is an experience. Even if there aren't "flashing lights, bells and whistles, angels heard on high" we still know at least the approximate time that we first believed in Jesus as Savior.

    Maybe we can't pin it down to a day or an an hour or even a week or month, but we know when our life change began with some proximation. We know when we realized, at least, that we were thinking differently, actin differently, seeing a change in our attitude and our priorities. If we don't see such changes, then it is doubtful anyone else does either, and if others don't see it, then we have to wonder, "Is there really a Presence within me that I can know is the Holy Spirit?" If we can't answer that question affirmatively, we haven't had the experience.
    He also said, as I quoted here, 'Your must be born again,' and in the Greek, that is a personal action verb. It is a declaration we make based on the Holy Spirit drawing, calling and enabling our faith, but we have that small assenting piece in the process. No, it does not come from us, because left aside to ourselves, we would never seek Christ. But when the Holy Spirit's power draws us to the truth, opens our minds to it, our inner spirit must see that truth for what it is, and that is the moment of belief, the moment we are "born again." We are not "born again" until we acknowledge, through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, that we are a sinner in need of a Savior who is Christ the Lord.
     
    #8 thisnumbersdisconnected, Feb 7, 2014
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  9. JohnDeereFan

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    The Bible gives us four primary criteria by which we may know that we are saved:

    1. Our testimony
    2. Our doctrine
    3. Our fruit
    4. Our sanctification

    Whenever I see this question, I'm always reminded of when I was a kid and we would spend the weekend in Gulf Shores. We owned a house there (still do, but I live too far away to use it now) and every Friday night, I would wait for my dad to get home so we could pile in the car and go.

    But because it was so late, I was often asleep when he got home. I don't remember him picking me up and putting me in the car, putting a pillow under me, the long drive, him taking me out of the car or carrying me up to my bed and tucking me in, still asleep. All I know is that I fell asleep in Hueytown, trusting my dad to get me to Gulf Shores and woke up in Gulf Shores.

    Not a great analogy, but to put it in Biblical terms, "All I know is that I was blind and now I see".

    The Bible gives us four primary criteria by which we may know that we are saved:

    1. Our testimony
    2. Our doctrine
    3. Our fruit
    4. Our sanctification

    I would ask your sister what she believes now about her sin and about her standing with God now. What is her attitude toward her sin? Is she grieved by it? Is she warring against it? Has she repented?

    I would ask her a couple of questions about her doctrine and I'd explain to her that the Bible tells us to examine ourselves and to make our calling and election sure from time to time, so that she doesn't feel like she's on trial.

    The other two (fruit and sanctification) are something you'll have to observe for yourself. I trust your judgement.
     
  10. saturneptune

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    So how is #3 and #4 working for you?
     
  11. Iconoclast

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    thisnumbersdisconnected



    No....Judith is correct

    [/FONT][/SIZE]


    Only as you and others seek to re-fine it.


    Words are important

    Completely wrong..a fabrication on your part...here is the fact of the matter;
    From W.E. Best-
     
    #11 Iconoclast, Feb 7, 2014
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  12. Deacon

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    I listen to confessions of faith prior to baptism or during membership interviews and have heard some atypical testimonies like that described in the opening post.

    Some people can’t remember any particular time in their life where they made a confession of faith,
    ...yet they profess faith in Jesus work of salvation and exhibit works demonstrating a changed life.

    Who are we to deny they have been born again?

    Do you remember the experience of your first birth?
    Yet you celebrate it.

    Rob
     
  13. Judith

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    The new birth is a fact. An experience it is not as in having an experience. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
     
    #13 Judith, Feb 7, 2014
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  14. saturneptune

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    Welcome to BB. You seem like a solid poster, and we may not always agree, but know I speak from my heart. I am not sure what your definition of "born again experience" is, so I want to be careful what I say. As some background, know that I have always opposed a "sinner's prayer" at our local church, and am generally against sales gimmicks at the altar to bring people forward during an invitation. However, when you say "no born again experience," and I am just asking, what do you call the conversation between Christ and Nicodemus. What do you call Paul's experience on the road to Damascus? What do you call Peter's question when asked "whom do you say I AM?"

    Yes, I do agree that all things become new and we produce things that give evidence of that salvation. (not going to get into the Christian sinning debate here). I also agree at the moment of salvation there did not have to be a feeling, or rush, or mystical experience. But I do believe one can recall a general time and place. When I was a Presbyterian, it was more of a "becoming aware I am one of the elect."

    Again, welcome to BB
     
  15. saturneptune

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    Icon, I believe I understand you position. The point about the passive verb is very good. The wind blows where it will, according to the Lord, and nothing of us, just like salvation. I have always wondered how we as Baptists, being so strict about Scripture ever came up with the Sinners Prayer, and in certain respects, the invitation.
     
  16. Judith

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    Thank you for the kind welcome.
    I cannot put an exact date as in a day on my salvation. It does not even interest me. I do not look back for some experience or date. My experience is the present based on scripture. You mentioned the Nicodemus account. Jesus said;

    Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
    In other words do not get all spiritual or caught up over the new birth.

    The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

    There is no experience that comes with the new birth. There is evidence that comes because of it, but no experience. Repentance and faith do not require a physical action. Both are done in spirit. I realize that most churches today lean on experience as in coming forward, praying a prayer, and so forth, but it is not required for salvation which is given at the new birth with no particular experience in regards to the OP question.

    You mentioned Paul and Peter. Paul never points to the new birth when telling the story. His salvation could have happend after that while he was waiting on Ananias to speak to him. Neither does Peter claim an experience at salvation. There is no experience associated with the new birth. Such teachings are an error of the charismatic movement. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
    The new birth is evidenced in our daily living, not in an experience.
     
    #16 Judith, Feb 7, 2014
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  17. Iconoclast

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    righteousdude2
    .

    Dude.....how can you possibly question her experience, when you yourself claim an outer body experience yourself? This is the reason your declaration was given a negative response. We are to be scripture based at all times.
     
  18. saturneptune

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    Thank you for the clarification, and think we are on the same page. I think the major reason for the invitation is for the person to be able to express to the local body what Christ has done in their lives. To the credit of the leadership in my church, the sales gimmics, and other such antics are not done. We basically sing a couple of verses while the pastor stands up front waiting to talk to anyone who feels lead.

    Your point about evidence of salvation is very good. I think the book of James does an excellent explaining the relationship between works and faith.
     
  19. Iconoclast

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    The reason is we are people and emotional beings.Emotions are part of a balanced Christian life.They should not rule our theology however.

    The command to a husband to love our wives,,,is not...based on emotion.

    What if your wife is crabby and hormonal,and you need to escape the house till she settles down?? Does the command to love her a dwell with her according to knowledge change because she goes into a tirade???

    There are times when the command is easy to obey,and there is joy in performing the duties of a husband. those are great times however we are to love our wives even if...we are emotionally stressed out.

    With biblical themes........we all want people to be saved.That is a correct desire. When we read and understand biblical truth that moves us emotionally.....if we are not biblically disciplined we will attempt to....

    HELP GOD OUT???? We invent other ways that the scripture does not say ,thereby we become pragmatic instead of scripture based.

    Charles Finney was sincere.He thought if he could move people to do some outward fleshly thing he could enable them to move their will to God.

    Most cults start with a sincere emotional desire for some new thing...but quickly unravels
     
  20. Yeshua1

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    I can remember to this day how and when the Holy spirit suddenly turned on my 'light bulb" to finally realise I was a sinner, and Only Kesus could save me, but have no calendar date for that!

    IF she is walking with the ord now, and knows that Jesus died for her sins and is her Lord, then she has had the 'born again experience!"

    Danger is when we say "you MUST know the time and date"

    Like what CS lewis Wrote, that one day walked into Oxford unsaved, and walked abck out saved!
     
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