Were Men Born Again Before Pentecost?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Darrell C, Sep 25, 2015.

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Were Men Born Again Before Pentecost?

  1. 1. No

    3 vote(s)
    23.1%
  2. 2. Yes

    10 vote(s)
    76.9%
  3. 3. Not sure, have never really thought about it

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    Okay, a simple question...or is it?

    And just to clarify, by Born Again I mean regenerated.

    This is a thread I usually run on forums and didn't realize I had not done one here, so, here it is, and it is a great discussion. Give it some thought before responding.

    And if possible, I would like to know if you have ever really given any serious thought to the question before.


    God bless.
     
  2. JamesL

    JamesL
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    I voted no, but with qualification. Pentecost was several weeks after Christ died. And that is the delineating event.
     
  3. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    Thanks for the response, James. I am going to wait until after there might be a little more participation before commenting on my own position, but did want to say thanks for yours.


    God bless.
     
  4. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
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    The weird doctrines that show up on this board are incredible.
     
  5. wpe3bql

    wpe3bql
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    If no one was born again before Pentecost, then it would follow that the HS fell on lost people such as the 120 gathered together, right?

    This would also imply that none of Jesus's Disciples were saved. Moreover, if no one was saved prior to Pentecost, then The Great Commission of Matthew 28:18 - 20 would had to been given to lost, dying, hell-bound sinners.

    Right?
     
  6. JamesL

    JamesL
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    Not at all. There's a difference between being credited as righteous and being made righteous.

    There's a difference between having sins covered and having sins removed.

    Hebrews 9 & 10 say that the New Covenant was inaugurated with blood. And in that context, it is stated plainly that the blood of bulls and goats could never remove sins or make the comer perfect, but that the blood of Christ does.

    Why did Jesus correlate a healing with forgiveness? Because being cleansed of sin is a healing. And by His stripes we are healed.
     
  7. wpe3bql

    wpe3bql
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    I guess I'm a little confused over what the OP means when it uses the term "regenerated," i.e., "born again" and the way JamesL uses it.

    Granted, prior to the cross & resurrection, the people who received their regeneration were, in a sense, not "fully regenerated" since Christ's death and resurrection hadn't taken place yet, OTOH they were still "believers" because they were trusting in the finished work of Christ--even though His finished work was still something that would occur in the near future.

    Anyway, they were still believers in Christ as opposed to those who never believed in Christ, and, as such, IMHO, they would have been "born again."
     
  8. SovereignGrace

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    David cried "restore unto me the joy of Your salvation." Can any be saved, yet not be regenerated by the Spirit of God? Remember, those w/o the Spirit are not His.
     
  9. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    Why would you think this question is a "weird doctrine?"

    We know men are born again, but, are we, as individuals...100% sure as to when that began?

    This is possibly one of the most important questions a believer will ever answer, so give the thread a little time to develop.

    By the way, the results have been pretty much as they always are on most forums: some will say it is a stupid question (for different reasons), most will answer no, and it is rare for someone to answer yes immediately.


    God bless.
     
  10. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    No, W, it was on that day that the Comforter came.

    The disciples gathered were not lost, but presumably "saved" according to Old Covenant standard, meaning most, if not all, were among the just.

    However, we can say that they were not Baptized with the Holy Spirit prior to that day, as per our Lord's teaching here:


    Acts 1

    King James Version (KJV)


    4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.

    5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.



    Now when we contrast the Ministry of the Comforter with that of the Holy Ghost in the Old Testament, and also understand that Eternal Redemption was purchased only through Christ (and not before), we can say that while we would view men like Noah, Abraham, and David as "saved" according to a divine declaration, we cannot say their salvation was "finished" in regards to Atonement for sin, as well as the eternal indwelling of the Comforter.

    We are given insight to the remaining carnal nature, or, natural nature of the disciples, who still have an earthly kingdom as their hope:


    6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?


    Consider that the Lord has been revealed as the One Who would take away sins, He has just told them they are going to receive the Comforter they had heard of Him about...and they ask if the earthly Kingdom will be restored at this time.

    They still do not understand Christ's Eternal Work, nor what that means.

    We then see that once they are Baptized with the Holy Ghost, which in the next verse is synonymously spoken of as equated to their receiving the Holy Spirit (which is what takes place at salvation), they will then be witnesses of Christ, for at this time they will have had the Mystery of the GOspel revealed to them by that same Spirit (Who begins a unique ministry unknown in the Old Testament):


    7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

    8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.



    Many Christian groups consider the Baptism with the Holy Ghost a subsequent event from salvation, but we see here that the empowering occurs only after they have received the Comforter. Empowerment after salvation is called filling, and while men were filled (empowered) with the Holy Ghost in the Old Testament, they were not eternally indwelt, because before that could happen...their sins had to be atoned for.


    I would agree, not one of the disciples were "saved" according to New Covenant standard, though they were saved positionally.


    All men were lost, dead (not dying, but dead, having no life as not one man believed on the Lord Jesus Christ in regards to His Death), Hell bound sinners...

    ...that is why Christ came to die to atone for their sins.

    There is much instruction given to lost men in the Gospels.

    In fact, Christ makes it clear that He had come specifically and exclusively to...


    Matthew 10:5-7

    King James Version (KJV)

    5 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:

    6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

    7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.


    Matthew 15:23-25

    King James Version (KJV)

    23 But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.

    24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.




    The Gospel of Christ is not what the disciples were sent out to preach, that would remain a Mystery until the Comforter came. Here is an occasion when Christ gave the disciples the Gospel of Christ:


    Matthew 16:21-23

    King James Version (KJV)

    21 From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.

    22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.

    23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.



    Had Peter understood the Gospel, he would not have had the carnal presumption to rebuke Christ...for saying He was going to die.

    Peter would go on to try again to keep Christ from the Cross by drawing a sword with a willingness to fight to keep Christ from dying, and when that failed, would deny, with cursing...that he even knew Christ or was associated with him.

    Not really what we would expect from a Christian, is it?

    But, give the topic a little time, as it is a good discussion. In looking at the objections to this "weird" doctrine, lol, we will see how it is impossible to see men receive that which Christ came to provide. That is eternal life through eternal indwelling and eternal redemption.


    God bless.
     
  11. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    Excellent response.


    God bless.
     
  12. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    "Regeneration" in the New Testament simply means "born again," and while we usually have someone make the statement "'Born Again' in John 3 simply means born from above," and that is true, it also remains true that when one is born again it is a given that they are born from above, or, as we see in many places, Born of God:


    John 1:12-13

    King James Version (KJV)

    12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

    13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.


    Here we see that receiving Christ (which is contrasted with "receiving Him not," which is rejection) makes it possible for men to be made sons of God, that is accomplished by believing on His Name, and the result is they are born of God at that time.

    Here...

    1 John 5:1-5

    King James Version (KJV)

    1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.

    2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.

    3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

    4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

    5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?


    ...we see again faith and belief in Christ is the means of overcoming, which is synonymous with salvation. To overcome means one has had faith in Christ, and is born of God.

    "Overcoming" is through faith in Christ, and that...alone.

    Now we will look at another statement concerning New Birth:

    James 1:18

    King James Version (KJV)

    18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.


    This reiterates John's statement in his Gospel that we are born of God according to His will, not of blood (natural birth, or natural disposition), not of the will of the flesh (we cannot effect regeneration through any natural effort on our part), and not of the will of man.

    This last "will" speaks of God's intervention on behalf of fallen man, and it is a basic pattern for all who have ever been declared just that God first intervenes through revealing Himself and His will to men, then they are saved.

    1 Peter 1:18-23

    King James Version (KJV)

    18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;

    19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:


    Hebrews 9 (as was pointed out by JamesL) teaches about eternal redemption through Christ's blood (death). While the Old Testament Saint received atonement through the prescribed method God allowed (vicarious death, and animals dying instead of the sinner), that atonement was temporary and temporal, which is why the Writer points out they were offered continually...for the same sins.

    But we, as well as the Old Testament Saints, have been eternally redeemed through the Atonement provided in and through Christ.


    20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,


    Removes all controversy as to whether the "Blood was applied" prior to His death. The Old Testament Saint was declared just, but, had to be made perfect (complete) by the Sacrifice of Christ, contrasted many times with the temporary provision of the Law and the sacrifices that preceded the Law.


    21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

    22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:

    23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.



    The "Word" in view is the Gospel of Christ. That is how we are saved. That is how one is born again. Not one Old Testament Saint can be said to have trusted in Christ's death (required according to Christ in John 6), though He was prophesied. Again, the expectation in Christ was carnal, because that was how they understood the revelation provided them.

    And key to regeneration is the Baptism with the Holy Ghost, for salvation in Christ is made complete in regards to sin and reconciliation.

    Consider:


    Titus 3:4-5

    King James Version (KJV)

    4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,

    5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;


    We are saved by...

    ...the washing of regeneration, which speaks of the promised cleansing which takes place when one is made a "new creature," which itself effected by...

    ...the renewing of the Holy Ghost, which is the "reunion" of God with man. Rather than the Holy Ghost renewing us, which is already pointed out in the washing of regeneration.

    Man was separated from God through Adam's sin, and the means of reunion of God and man is Christ our Lord and the Work on the Cross. That union which was lost in Adam is restored, renewed in salvation according to New Covennat standard.


    Scripture does not teach a partial "new birth." While men effect "partial births," and we can see the abomination that is, God does not recreate men partially, but completely.

    We are made new creatures, and what is taking place is a spiritual resurrection, which as Christ taught, is like the wind: we can see the effect, but not what effects that affect.

    But you are correct in saying they were believers, but, keep in mind that they believed only the revelation they had at that time. Probably most in Israel in Christ's Day longed for Christ, and were aware of the prophecy, but, that expectation was limited by the fact that the Gospel of Christ was not yet revealed to them.


    Consider the passages provided, and give them some thought. I view this as one of the most important issues we will ever consider, and we owe it to the Lord to do our due diligence in regards to it.

    The Lord questions the "belief" of the disciples here...


    John 16:28-32

    King James Version (KJV)

    28 I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.

    29 His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb.

    30 Now are we sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that thou camest forth from God.

    31 Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe?

    32 Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.



    Their "belief" was not enough for them to maintain loyalty to the Lord, but they to the man abandoned Him.

    We do not negate the fact that they were "saved" according to Old Testament standard, and their salvation as secure as any born again believer post-Cross, but, that does not disannul their need for eternal redemption through Christ, nor grant them a spiritual, rather than natural state. These men were not eternally indwelt, though the Spirit of God ministered to them:


    John 14:16-17

    King James Version (KJV)

    16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

    17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.



    Understanding the distinction between ministries of God and the progressive nature of revelation and the unfolding of the Redemptive Plan through that progression will unlock what many see to be inconsistencies in Scripture. It will help balance the Word of God as we begin to see that Salvation through Christ is not Plan B, but God's intention from before the world was formed:


    Romans 16:24-26

    King James Version (KJV)

    24 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

    25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,

    26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:



    God bless.
     
  13. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    "Salvation" in the Old Testament is in stark contrast to salvation through Christ. This is made clear by all of the Apostles and Bible Writers.

    Christ presents the contrast between the physical/temporal and the spiritual/Eternal in John 6 in discussing the Bread of Life (Himself, Who had come from Heaven) with manna, which was a provision for, not eternal life on a par with the Life of Christ, but physical life only.

    And those who received this provision?


    John 6:47-49

    King James Version (KJV)

    47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.

    48 I am that bread of life.

    49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.



    The "death" in view is contrasted with the Life of Christ, as seen here:


    John 11:25

    King James Version (KJV)

    25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:



    David also cried out something else:


    Psalm 51:11-13

    King James Version (KJV)

    11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.

    12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.

    13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.



    Can we, as born again believers...echo David's plea?

    No, for Christ will not cast out His Own, and the indwelling of God is, under New Covenant standard...eternal.


    John 6:37

    King James Version (KJV)

    37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.


    Ephesians 1:13-14

    King James Version (KJV)

    13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

    14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.



    But, give the discussion a little time, and we can look at these distinctive differences between the Old and the New. In that day the Holy Ghost came upon men, and this for the purpose of empowerment (and He still does that in those He indwells, we call this the filling of the Spirit), but, as with King Saul, that coming upon was not the eternal indwelling promised.

    There is no New (or Old) Testament justification for regeneration being reversed or the Spirit of God, Who is the earnest of our redemption (culmination being glorification and the Eternal State), leaving those who are born again. Many will misconstrue texts to try to proof-text that belief, but, what they all, to the teacher, lack is an understanding of this one distinctive difference.


    God bless.
     
  14. wpe3bql

    wpe3bql
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    Far from being a "weird doctrine," I find this interesting because I've found very little helpful information about what exactly the Holy Spirit's activities with regard to mortal humans during the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ.

    One of the more perplexing passages to me about this subject is found in John 20:19-22 where Jesus, in John 20:22, apparently sends the Holy Ghost on the remaining 10 disciples ("Receive ye the Holy Ghost").

    Since Jesus was still with at least 10 of His original disciples when He made this statement, this would seem to be a contradiction to what He told this same group of disciples in John 16:4-7 when essentially He told them that they couldn't receive the Holy Ghost until Jesus left this world.

    If He essentially gave them the Third Person of the Trinity in John 20:22, did these disciples not already have the Holy Ghost before Pentecost?
     
  15. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    It is one of the most fascinating and rewarding studies available to us, in my view.

    We see the ministry of God among men in the Old Testament, which is, again, an empowering which still continues in the lives of believers (and we call this the filling and most make a distinction between that ministry and the indwelling which takes place at salvation).

    I would ask the question, if I make a promise to you, do you see that promise fulfilled until I actually do what is promised?

    Now in light of the question, consider the clearest description of the New Birth seen in the Old Testament:


    Ezekiel 36:21-27

    King James Version (KJV)

    21 But I had pity for mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither they went.

    22 Therefore say unto the house of Israel, thus saith the Lord God; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went.

    23 And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, saith the Lord God, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.

    24 For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.

    25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.

    26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

    27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.



    Now we know from Paul's teaching that Gentile Inclusion was a mystery, summed up in the statement "...there is neither Jew nor Greek." The promise above is made to Israel in her divided state, but we can now see the harmony and progressive revelation of the Redemptive Plan of God through Christ beginning from the Garden. That truth is highlighted in the Abrahamic Covenant where it is promised that the Seed (made distinctly singular in Galatians 3 and exclusive to Christ Himself) of Abraham will bless all families of the earth.

    Now again, was that promise fulfilled prior to the New Covenant? That is in view. There is no Scriptural support to see these promises fulfilled prior to the establishment of the New Covenant, and in fact Christ states He was sent to "the lost sheep of Israel only." When He sent out His disciples He forbad them from going to Samaritans and Gentiles.

    So we see a fulfillment of Prophecy concerning Christ which has an exclusive Israel intent. Israel was, as when the promise was given...lost. And take a look at the Greek, and you will see that word "lost" presents a state of destruction, though it does not imply cessation of existence or physical life. Those lost sheep were physically alive, but spiritually...they were still separated from God, and only the Atonement Christ accomplished could remedy that lost (destroyed) state.

    We see the Promises of God spoken of here:


    Acts 1

    King James Version (KJV)


    4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.

    5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.



    The context has a focus on that which the disciples "heard of Christ" in John 14-16, which is...the coming of the Comforter. That is what happens when they are Baptized with the Holy Ghost.


    Continued...
     
  16. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    That comes up every time, and is a legitimate point to be addressed.

    The question asked is does this...


    John 20:22

    King James Version (KJV)

    22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:



    ...speak of Christ giving them the Holy Ghost at this time, which would indicate the indwelling of the Comforter before Pentecost?

    The answer is it couldn't possibly be stating that, as would bring conflict to one singular truth: Christ was still present with them and the Comforter could not come until He returned to Heaven. Then would the Comforter be sent, and not a minute before:


    John 16:7

    King James Version (KJV)

    7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.



    Secondly, and more conclusively, we see that realized in Scripture as a truth that is without controversy here...


    Acts 1

    King James Version (KJV)


    4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.

    5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.



    We know the Lord returns to Heaven just after making this statement, and He states it will be "not many days hence."

    That precludes fulfillment of the sending of the Comforter at the time of John 20:22.

    So what do we make of it? It isn't that difficult, really, it is simply viewed in the prophetic, as many of Christ's teachings and statement are.

    For example...


    John 15

    King James Version (KJV)

    1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

    2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

    3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

    4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.



    Many who read this see this (abiding in Christ) as something the disciples could accomplish at the time of the teaching.

    We know that is not the case because the disciples, to the man...would abandon Christ in just a few short hours, Peter cursing and denying he even knew Christ.

    Kind of hard to impose an "abiding" on the disciples in fulfillment of a command that looks to the future, as most of John 14-16 does. If we understand that in the same context we understand the teaching of the coming of the Comforter, we do not erroneously impose fulfillment in that day.

    And the Lord knew that in that day they would not abode:


    John 16:31-32

    King James Version (KJV)

    31 Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe?

    32 Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.



    That is correct, but the "contradiction" is cleared rather easily if we maintain the proper context.

    And that is not the only point of division in the Body of Christ concerning Scripture which is cleared up. Take the Free Will controversy that has resulted in not only division in the Body, but hatred and murder. This too is easily cleared up if we apply Christ's teaching in it's proper context:


    John 16:7-9

    King James Version (KJV)

    7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

    8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

    9 Of sin, because they believe not on me;



    We see that when He is come He will convict unbelievers. Simple as that.

    And that is in accordance with how all men have been ministered to by God throughout the various Ages. We see that here:


    Acts 7:51

    King James Version (KJV)

    51 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.



    God has always ministered in the hearts of men by His Spirit, and the distinction we see in the various Ages is the revelation provided to men in those various Ages. In this Age it is the Gospel. And when we couple this with the fact that the Gospel of Christ was a Mystery, a previously unrevealed truth, we can see that there is a difference in God's Ministry in regards to man's Redemption.


    We already know the answer to that...not at all. The Comforter could not come, and we see He did not come, until "not many days" after the Lord's Ascension.

    The controversy and seeming contradiction is cleared up in maintain Christ's teaching as He gave it to His disciples.

    And I would just throw this in, which has relevance to a Trinitarian belief (of which I affirm adamantly): when we are indwelt by God we are indwelt by the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

    We already know that the Spirit is said to be the One Christ and the Father would send, but have you considered...


    John 14:23

    King James Version (KJV)

    23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.



    The Son once again testifies of the unity of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.


    God bless.
     
  17. JamesL

    JamesL
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    This is the crux of the matter - what does "born again" mean? What is it?

    Given that 2Cor 5:17 says we are a new creation, what are the "all things" which become new?

    Then Paul followed that by saying we "become" the righteousness of God (2Cor 5:21). How so?

    Titus 3:5 says we are saved by the "washing" of regeneration. Literally, the washing of "born again"

    How does this fit with the new heart and new spirit prophesied in Ezekiel 36?

    How does this this fit with the difference between the blood of animals and that of Christ?

    How are we perfected for all time (Heb. 10:14) ?


    Heb 12:18-24
    18 For you have not come to a mountain that can be touched and to a blazing fire, and to darkness and gloom and whirlwind,

    19 and to the blast of a trumpet and the sound of words which sound was such that those who heard begged that no further word be spoken to them.

    20 For they could not bear the command, “If even a beast touches the mountain, it will be stoned.”

    21 And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, “I am full of fear and trembling.”

    22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels,

    23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect,

    24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.



    It will be impossible to answer the OP from the mindset of "positional righteousness only" view.

    If your righteousness goes no further than "credited", then you are not born again. That's a biblical fact.


    There is a literal cleansing of the inner man, a removal of sin, a literal new creation. We are literally made perfect and sinless - our spirit. The disease of sin is healed on the inside. We become righteousness, not merely "viewed" as righteous. Washed, cleansed, made spotless, forever perfected by the blood of Christ - something that animal blood could never do

    All that pertains to the inner man when we become born again.

    Titus 3:5 Paul said saved by the washing of "palingenesia" or the washing of "born again"

    And the same will be done to our body in the resurrection - Matt 19:28 "in the renewal of all things". Jesus said in the "palingenesia" or in the "born again".


    Then the whole man will be presented complete at His coming - 1Thess 5:23
     
  18. kyredneck

    kyredneck
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    John the Baptist filled with the Spirit from his mother's womb, David made to hope while on his mother's breast, Isaac born after the Spirit by the time of his weaning, Paul separated from his mother's womb to preach Christ among the Gentiles.
     
  19. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    Excellent post, James, and you mention an issue that seems to be a stumbling block for many:



    That is just one issue that arises in this discussion, and I like how you respond to it...



    We see people in the Old Testament declared just and righteous, but you hit the nail on the head in regards to the perfection, or completion that Christ brought to redemption. The Writer of Hebrews distinguishes between the (Covenant of) Law and the New Covenant often, and when he does it here (and I contrast Old/red with the New/green)...



    Hebrews 12:18-24

    King James Version (KJV)

    18 For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest,

    19 And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more:

    20 (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart:

    21 And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake)


    22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,

    23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

    24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.





    ...that the just were made perfect, or complete...through Christ and the New Covenant.

    Thanks for the contributions.


    God bless.
     
  20. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    Yet John the Baptist died not knowing whether Christ was the One Israel looked for:


    Matthew 11

    King James Version (KJV)

    1 And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities.

    2 Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples,

    3 And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?



    Here...


    Galatians 4:29

    King James Version (KJV)

    29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.



    ...Paul is not saying that Isaac was born again or eternally indwelt by God or had been Baptized with the Holy Ghost, he simply points out that one child was born after the flesh (Sarah's attempt to help the Lord out by producing an heir) and the other, Isaac, was born after the Spirit (according to God's will).

    We do not see Isaac trusting in the resurrected Christ, and no matter how we try to impose understanding of the Gospel Mystery into the Old Testament, we are not going to be able to find anyone trusting in that Death.

    Isaac would have offered up animal sacrifices like every man who obeyed that provision did before Christ died.

    The Law was not made obsolete until after Christ died, and it was mandatory to make offerings for sin until that time.

    As for Paul...


    Galatians 1:15-16

    King James Version (KJV)

    15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace,

    16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:



    ...we cannot deny the Record of Scripture and deny we know the time of his salvation, which was on the Road to Damascus.

    Secondly, we know that men are not born...born again. That is an event that takes place when men come to understand the Gospel and receive Christ.

    Third, no-one would imply that Paul was saved prior to that conversion experience, simply because Paul was a zealous Judaizer, not a Christian, and was in fact in opposition to the Gospel of Christ to the point where he sought to have Christians put to death.

    These are good arguments, though, and that is one of the reasons for the thread: to look at this in detail and see the basis for both sides. Some are better than others, and there is one that has not yet been offered (at least I don't think it has), so I will offer it now:

    "The New Birth had to be in operation in that day because the Lord would not demand that men 'must be born again' to see and enter into the Kingdom of God."

    That is probably the best argument (in my view) those who feel the New Birth was in operation offer, so I will throw it out there to see if anyone cares to address that point. And if it has been offered already, apologies.


    God bless.
     

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