The New Birth

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by JSM17, Mar 15, 2009.

  1. JSM17

    JSM17
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    John 3:3-7
    3 Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, 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? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?"

    5 Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter 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 marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.'
    NKJV

    I have heard many arguments about these verses, but I would like to hear what many of you say that this new birth is and what "water and Spirit" refer to.
     
  2. Amy.G

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    Why? You know that there is no Baptist on this board that agrees with you that baptism saves. It has been discussed ad nauseam.

    There are basically 3 views regarding being born of 'water'.

    1. The water represents the birth water in the womb.

    2 It represents baptismal water.

    3. It represents the cleansing of the Holy Spirit. (Titus 3-5, Ez 36:25-26)


    I hold to #3 personally.
     
  3. OldRegular

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    Following is John Gill's comments on verse 5:

    Ver. 5. Jesus answered, verily, verily, I say unto thee, &c.] Explaining somewhat more clearly, what he before said:

    except a man be born of water and of the Spirit: these are, "two words", which express the same thing, as Kimchi observes in many places in his commentaries, and signify the grace of the Spirit of God. The Vulgate Latin and Ethiopic versions read, "the Holy Spirit", and so Nonnus; and who doubtless is intended: by "water", is not meant material water, or baptismal water; for water baptism is never expressed by water only, without some additional word, which shows, that the ordinance of water baptism is intended: nor has baptism any regenerating influence in it; a person may be baptized, as Simon Magus was, and yet not born again; and it is so far from having any such virtue, that a person ought to be born again, before he is admitted to that ordinance: and though submission to it is necessary, in order to a person's entrance into a Gospel church state; yet it is not necessary to the kingdom of heaven, or to eternal life and salvation: such a mistaken sense of this text, seems to have given the first birth and rise to infant baptism in the African churches; who taking the words in this bad sense, concluded their children must be baptized, or they could not be saved; whereas by "water" is meant, in a figurative and metaphorical sense, the grace of God, as it is elsewhere; see Eze 36:25 Joh 4:14. Which is the moving cause of this new birth, and according to which God begets men again to, a lively hope, and that by which it is effected; for it is by the grace of God, and not by the power of man's free will, that any are regenerated, or made new creatures: and if Nicodemus was an officer in the temple, that took care to provide water at the feasts, as Dr. Lightfoot thinks, and as it should seem Nicodemon ben Gorion was, by the story before related of him; see Gill on "Joh 3:1"; very pertinently does our Lord make mention of water, it being his own element: regeneration is sometimes ascribed to God the Father, as in 1Pe 1:3 Jas 1:18, and sometimes to the Son, 1Jo 2:29 and here to the Spirit, as in Tit 3:5, who convinces of sin, sanctifies, renews, works faith, and every other grace; begins and carries on the work of grace, unto perfection;

    he cannot enter into the kingdom of God; and unless a man has this work of his wrought on his soul, as he will never understand divine and spiritual things, so he can have no right to Gospel ordinances, or things appertaining to the kingdom of God; nor can he be thought to have passed from death to life, and to have entered into an open state of grace, and the kingdom of it; or that living and dying so, he shall ever enter into the kingdom of heaven; for unless a man is regenerated, he is not born heir apparent to it; and without internal holiness, shall not enter into it, enjoy it, or see God.


    Sadly a lot of people fall under the category of the last comment.
     
  4. OldRegular

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    Heh! Amy G. I believe John Gill agrees with you.

    But, as you said, this water baptismal regeneration thing is getting old.
     
  5. Marcia

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    There's a 4th view - that the water represents the washing of God's word.

    Number 3 above is backed up by Titus 3:5:
    5He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,
     
  6. TCGreek

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    For COC, the water refers to water baptism

    But a passage like Ezekiel 36:24-27 and so on.

    Water is often used with the Spirit as a metaphor (John 7:37-40).
     
  7. JSM17

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    I know you already know my stance and its unfortunate that I am a burden on your forum with my same old questions I guess when you debate the same book for several years you run into some repetivness, but then at least the answers will be easy since you have dealt with them so many times.

    It is strange that you as group (baptist) do not even agree on the elements of the new birth.

    So far I see water as meaning, spirit; water as meaning as God's grace metephorically of course.

    So here Jesus is really is saying one must be born of Spirit and Spirit?

    That makes no sense, then why not just say "One must be born of Spirit"?

    If spirit means spirit, then why wouldn't water mean water?

    So Jesus really says one must be born of the cleansing of the Holy Spirit and Spirit? Would that not still be redundant?
     
  8. TCGreek

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    Here's a possible translation: "Born of the water even the Spirit."

    Notice what Jesus repeats in v. 6 - no mention of water.

    Even though we differ as Baptists, we have not given into baptismal regeneration.
     
  9. Tom Butler

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    And Ephesians 5;27 refers to the "washing of water of the word." I take this to mean that when Paul said it pleased God to save through the foolishness of preaching (I Cor 1:21), this is what he meant. The Holy Spirit and the word of God are instruments in God's salvation.
     
  10. DHK

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    I also agree that this is the most Scriptural position.
    There are only two agents involved in the new birth:
    1. The Holy Spirit, and,
    2. The Word of God.

    Jesus said:
    John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
    --Here he references the Holy Spirit. One must be born again of the Holy Spirit. We all agree on that. The Holy Spirit is a necessary agent of the New Birth. The question remains then, what does the water mean? What is the other agent of the New Birth. The Scripture makes this very clear:

    1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
    --Without the Word of God it is impossible to be born again. Without the gospel message it is impossible to be born again. God uses the Holy Spirit working through the Holy Spirit to draw people unto Himself.

    Jesus said: "You are clean through the Word which I have spoken unto you.
    Water is a cleansing agent. Jesus compares the Word to a cleansing agent. It is the Word that cleanses us. It is the Word that saves us.
    Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.
     
  11. JSM17

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    TCGreek wrote:


    1.) There are some groups who teach “baptismal regeneration” in the sense that baptism has some wondrous power in the water itself. Subjects of this baptism are usually infants and these groups also teach the false doctrine of “original sin”. Subjects of this baptism are usually void of the Scriptural pre-requisites of FAITH and REPENTANCE. These groups teach baptism alone, excluding the essential “elements” of faith and repentance as prerequisites, is valid for salvation. The Catholic Church is the most well known and recognized of all the groups who teach this view. But it should be obvious that unless the individual being “baptized” has any kind of understanding or awareness, that this kind of “baptism” can be nothing more than a man-made tradition. It is merely “getting wet.”



    2.) Then there is the New Testament teaching on baptism. The New Testament teaching on baptism requires the “elements” of FAITH and REPENTANCE to be present in the heart and mind of the candidate seeking baptism at time of immersion. It is when faith and repentance are combined in baptism that conversion occurs. It is not faith alone. It is not repentance alone. It is not baptism alone. Biblical conversion consists of faith, repentance and baptism, together. It could be said that faith and repentance are the “active ingredients” in baptism.

    Jesus said water, what element of the New Testament as a command has to do with water. If Jesus wanted to say something else then He would have done so. Instead of accepting that water means water and spirit means spirit, we have people saying water does not mean water yet spirit means spirit.

    Just as you have in Acts 2:38 there is repentance and baptism in the name of Jesus for the remission of sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

    DHK Wrote:
    According to the context of John 3:5 the two elements are "WATER AND SPIRIT"
    If water does not mean water then spirit does not mean spirit!



    TCGreek Wrote:
    Metaphor: A figure of speech in which a term or phrase is applied to something to which it is not literally applicable in order to suggest a resemblance.

    If Ezekiel is metaphoric in talking about the sprinkling of water, is it also metaphoric when he says that he will put a new spirit in us and put His spirit in us?

    If water in John 3:5 in metaphoric then that would mean that spirit is as well metaphoric.

    I do agree with you that John 7:37-39 refers to a metaphor of The Spririt in reference to living water, but I do not see the same language in John 3:5.
     
  12. DHK

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    This is the position of JSM17--Baptismal Regeneration.

    Of course if water, in this passage, refers to baptism, then Christianity is no better than Hinduism. Go and baptize yourself like the Hindu in the holy waters of the Ganges River (as dirty as it may be), and have your sins washed away (according to their religion). Water may get you wet, but it will not wash away your sins. Even the prophet Jeremiah was wise enough to know that 600 years before Christ was born:

    Jeremiah 2:22 For though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before me, saith the Lord GOD.
    --Not even the soap would help.

    It is a foolish superstition of the COC.
     
  13. JSM17

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    Acts 22:16

    16 And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.'
    NKJV
     
  14. DHK

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    JSM17
    There is no need to "yell", and "sound" as if you are very angry. Using large and bolded text comes across that way.

    Now, let me ask you: When was Paul saved? Was he saved when he called upon the name of the Lord, asking the Lord "What wilt thou have me to do?" or at some later point in his testimony? Was he saved on the road to Damascus or not?
     
  15. OldRegular

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    Teaching baptismal regeneration is teaching baptismal regeneration whether by the RC or the COC. RC's don't require rebaptism after losing salvation just like the COC.
     
  16. JSM17

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    I do not see how this passage has anything to do with the topic, is it implied that I believe that I soaked myself in water to I could save myself.

    This is not so, I like Paul submitted to God's will for me by obeying Him (God) in being baptized in water and having my sins forgiven by God, as Luke stated in Acts 22:16 washing away your sins; calling upon the Lord.

    I received the gift of the Holy Spirit from Jesus when I was raised from death to a new life in Christ.

    Born again of water and Spirit.
     
  17. DHK

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    Saying that you were born again by "baptism" is the equivalent of saying that the blood of Christ was not sufficient enough to atone for our sins, and when he said "It is finished," he said it in vain.
    Is that what you believe?
     
    #17 DHK, Mar 16, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 16, 2009
  18. TCGreek

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    So your position on baptismal regeneration is distinguished from other? Ok.

    By the way, whenever "faith and repentance" are used together, "repentance" always precedes "faith."

    I know you COC folks like to talk about "Speaking where Scripture speaks and remain silent where it is silent."

    Well, according to Scripture, "repentance" always precedes "faith" when both of them are used together (Mark 1:15; Acts 20:21; Heb 6:2).

    It is "repentance" followed by "faith," so says Scripture.

    Your order is out of sync.

    How was Nicodemus to submit to Christian baptism when it wasn't even in effect as yet?

    It is not necessary to interpret the text like that.

    You can't have it both ways.
     
  19. TCGreek

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    In a didactic letter like Romans, Paul tells us that people call upon the name of the Lord to be saved by their faith alone (10:11-17).

    If Paul wanted to mention water baptism, he could have.

    Water baptism is rite, a ritual. As a rite, it never points to itself. It finds its meaning in what it symbolizes.

    So it is no strange thing to find baptism linked closely with what it symbolizes.

    Baptism is often used as a metonymy.
     
  20. JSM17

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    I thought that was what these were for!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I was not yelling, I just figured it was a way to make a very short verses response seem very big.

    I am not angry, I am very happy.

    Now to your question: To answer your question directly I would certainly say No that he was not saved on the road to Damacus.

    If he was saved on the road to Damascus then he was one miserable convert for three days. But that is not the reason why I think he was not saved.

    Why would the Lord make him blind for three days? Why would he be in fasting and prayer for three days until Ananias came, and still this is not the reason why I think he was not saved on the roaud to Damscus?

    If Paul was saved on the road to Damascus then he was saved while still having his sins, because it was not until three days later that he is told:
    Acts 22:16 And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.'NKJV

    If his sins were forgiven of him three days before then why is he asked why is he waiting?
    Calling upon the name of the Lord is shown in this passage to mean being baptized.
    Where ones sins are forgiven, as you have in Acts 2:38.

    Now I have a few questions for you:

    When were Pauls sins forgiven according to Acts 22:16, on the road, where there is no indication of such in the three accounts of this event.

    Or three days later as when Luke and Paul and Ananias tells us when they were washed away?


    What does wash away your sins mean to you and why is it written here and not on the road to Damacus?

    All the inspired had to do was say that when you believed Paul you were saved and now I ask you why do you wait arise and show us that you are saved by being baptized to show us that you have already had your sins washed away, but this is not the case.
     
    #20 JSM17, Mar 17, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 17, 2009

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