Were Men Born Again Before Pentecost?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Darrell C, Feb 18, 2016.

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Were Men Born Again Before Pentecost

  1. Yes

    71.4%
  2. No

    28.6%
  3. Have no idea

    0 vote(s)
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  1. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    For the benefit of the new members who might like to discuss this question, the question is asked again.

    God bless.
     
  2. John of Japan

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    Yes, since Jesus told Nicodemus to be born again. Seems pretty plain to me.
     
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  3. Baptist Believer

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    Not men, but women and children were. ;)

    It all depends on what you mean by "born again."

    Does "born again" or my preferred interpretation of John 3, "born from above," mean someone who has the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit?

    If so, then no.

    If you are asking if persons knew God, were empowered to obedience, experienced grace, and received eternal life, then yes.
     
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  4. Pastor_Bob

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    Ezekiel 36:25 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.


    If God could do this nationally, I see no reason why He could not do this individually as well.
     
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  5. Van

    Van
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    This question has been kicked around several times. When was the person born anew? Before or after Jesus arose from the dead? After.

    When did Jesus send the Holy Spirit, before or after He ascended? After

    When did the thief enter Paradise? On the day Jesus died, Friday.

    Since no one enters heaven until born anew, then we have the first person being born anew after Jesus died. But was anyone born anew while still physically alive before Pentecost? If we assume when a physically alive person is born anew, made alive by being united with Christ, they are immediately indwelt, then it is possible no physically living person was born anew until Pentecost. But it is speculation.
     
  6. JamesL

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    Where are you looking to see that Jesus told Nicodemus "to be" born again? I have never seen that.
     
  7. JamesL

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    "I will...."
    When? is the question, though.

    It seems I read that this would be part of a New Covenant to come at a later time.
    I think it's written that the New Covenant was inaugurated in Jesus' blood
     
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  8. John of Japan

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    John 3:7--"Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again."
     
  9. TCassidy

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    John 3:3 απεκριθη ο ιησους και ειπεν αυτω αμην αμην λεγω σοι εαν (Conditional participle) μη (Negative participle) (together = "unless") τις γεννηθη (Verb, aorist, passive, subjunctive, third person, singular "be born") ανωθεν ου δυναται ιδειν την βασιλειαν του θεου. :)

    John 3:7 μὴ θαυμάσῃς ὅτι εἶπόν σοι, δεῖ (Verb, present, active, indicative, third person, singular "must") ὑμᾶς γεννηθῆναι ἄνωθεν.
     
  10. JamesL

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    He said "you must be"

    Then added "unless you are ______, then you cannot _____."

    Jesus never said "be born again", this was all in response to Nicodemus' initial statement. Maybe some paraphrasing might help drive my point.

    Nic: We know you're from God, we saw your miracles

    Jesus: you can't perceive the Kingdom of God unless you're born again.


    Then that begs a few questions:
    What has "Kingdom of God" anything to do with the miracles Nic saw?

    Or does "Kingdom of God" relate to "we know you're from God" ?

    What is "Kingdom of God" anyway? Sounds like Jesus came out of left field.

    But it's not out of left field if Paul is to be believed as to what is "Kingdom of God" (Romans 14:17)
     
  11. JamesL

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    I don't believe either of those would be accurate.

    The new heart and new spirit, quoted earlier by pastor Bob, almost universally acknowledged as the New Covenant. The writer of Hebrews defined the scope of the New Covenant in chapters 7-10, and particularly in 9-10 for this issue.

    The blood of bulls and goats could never remove sins, or make the comer perfect. But the blood of Jesus does remove sins (John said it cleanses us) and has forever perfected those who are sanctified.

    This "born again" thing is something that happens to us by the Holy Spirit, whereby He cleanses our inner man of all sin - not behavior, but the disease of sin.

    Just like when Jesus went around healing people of physical infirmity, our spirit is healed of infirmity by the cleansing in His blood.

    Titus 3:5 - the washing of "born again"

    By His stripes we are healed.

    If the blood of an animal could do all that, Christ died for nothing
     
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  12. JonC

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    It seems to me that Old Testament passages indicating an inclination towards God (for example David as a man after God’s own heart - Acts 13:22; 1 Samuel 13:14) is a good indicator that OT saints were born again.

    To people who were living before the Cross Jesus said, “He who believes in Me has everlasting life” (John 6:47). The object of faith has always been the same. OT saints believed in God’s faithfulness, the coming Messiah, for everlasting life. I believe confusion exists today because of the systematic theories of the Cross that we have developed to reconcile the Atonement to our post-Enlightenment understanding. We tend to describe the Cross as anything but God reconciling the world to Himself. Instead we often seem to look for individual sin debts paid, a spiritual death/separation experienced so that men can have spiritual life, etc. Perhaps Scripture also focuses on the New Covenant as something else. Perhaps it is the long awaited deliverance of humanity from the bondage of sin and death; maybe even the inauguration of the Kingdom as this reconciliation realized in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. But as far as I know there is no passage in Scripture which presents the new birth as a New Covenant distinctive. Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus seems to indicate that he should have known about this new birth through the Old Testament (and given the explanation of Paul and the identity of "true Israel," the children of the Promise, he probably should have).
     
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  13. JamesL

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    I think 98% of the last thread on this issue of "born again prior to Pentecost" was everybody talking past everybody, and almost everybody taking for granted that everyone was defining the terms the same way.

    This one may be no different.

    I'm firmly convinced that if "born again" is defined biblically, there can be no way to misunderstand that Hebrews 9-10 absolutely portray it as a New Covenant distinctive
     
  14. JonC

    JonC
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    Good point, James. Regardless of whether or not we agree on definitions, for any communication to take place we need to know how we are defining terms.

    I am defining "born again" as being born a child of the Promise (being born by faith into the covenant God made with Abraham). I do recognize a difference between OT and NT saints - not necessarily positional but as indwelt by the Holy Spirit and therefore freed from sin in a manner than may have eluded OT saints....or not.....maybe more present than anticipated....I have to think about this a bit more. (Sorry for the poorly defined and articulated reply....I'm a work in progress and unfortunately more a Picasso than a Rembrandt).

    If it helps to understand my position, think of an Old Testament people of God via faith who are "spiritually alive" through faith in the comming Christ (who genuinely seek God and are forgiven by God through faithful obedience) but who are also awaiting the Kingdom and a freedom from sin and death.

    What is your definition?
     
  15. TCassidy

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    I believe regeneration is being alive spiritually. There can be no doubt the New Covenant bestows greater benefits than the Old Covenant, but both Old and New Covenant saints were/are spiritually alive. :)
     
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  16. JamesL

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    my understanding is that born again is a cleansing. A removal of the infirmity of sin. Washed, purified, forever perfected. Without spot or wrinkle. Unblemished. Healed. A holy bath, if you will.

    a new creation, not just a new demeanor.

    And the new creation comes about in two stages, inner man and outer man. Spirit and Body

    The spirit is cleansed upon enlightenment and faith, conversion

    The body will be cleansed in the resurrection.

    Born again is an issue of our substance being made anew without sin.
     
  17. JonC

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    There are similarities in our definitions, James. I understand God to have forgiven sins in the OT outside of the atonement of Christ based on obedience in faith looking towards that atonement (that perfect sacrifice). The OT sacrificial system was perfect in that it accomplished its goal (foreshadowing Christ), but it was not a complete cleansing, so to speak. God’s forgiveness in the OT covered sins but did not account for man’s sinfulness (the curse, fallen nature). This reconciliation (of humanity) is accomplished through the work of redemption (from the Incarnation to the Resurrection as a whole). With the Resurrection came the reconciliation of mankind as Jesus became the Firstborn of many brethren.

    I agree with you that there is a marked difference between the covenants. The Old Covenant dealt with man’s sins and the New with man’s sinfulness. The Old Testament saints did not experience the same communion with God those under the New Covenant - they were not a “priesthood of believers.” They were, however, God’s covenant people and in a right standing under that covenant (the Abrahamic covenant) by God’s grace through faith. So I also see a difference between believers under the Old and New Covenants, but I believe that these are both under the covenant God made with Abraham.

    If you view my understanding of Old Testament saints being born again as an overstatement (or perhaps understatement) of the rebirth then I understand your reasoning. From what I can tell our main differences here are, as you indicated, a matter of definitions.
     
  18. John of Japan

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    Jesus used the Greek verb dei, as Tom Cassidy has pointed out: "It is necessary...." Then He used the aorist passive infinitive of "born," so "to be born," followed by anothen, "again." So you are wrong, Jesus did say "be born again."

    Drive home your point all you want, but it will be in vain--the Greek is clear.

    Come on, this is not rocket science. It wasn't out of left field at all to Nicodemus, because John preached the Kingdom of God and then Jesus did (Matt. 3:2, Mark 1:15, etc.). Nicodemus would have known this with no problems or confusion about it.
     
  19. JamesL

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    I see these as the highlights of your post, and I agree there is a substantial amount of agreement.

    I abolutely love the distinction you proposed, that the Old dealt with man's sins while the New deals with man's sinfulness. That's a succinct way of expressing it

    And I agree that both relate directly to Abraham. My pastor asked me if I believe there's a distinction between Israel and the Church, and it took me a week of pondering to put it into words. Israel relates to the outer man - lineage, posterity, nationality, geography. Church relates to the inner man - faith, hope, love, eternal

    The Old was an external temporal regiment that, in its entirety, looked to a future eternal realization in the New
     
  20. Darrell C

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    The Lord also told the disciples to abide in Him in John 15, yet not one of them did.

    The Lord gave instruction that they were to be witnesses of Him, yet they were not empowered until Pentecost.

    Here is a question John, did the Old Testament Saints have everlasting life?


    John 7:37-39

    King James Version (KJV)


    37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.

    38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

    39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)


    God bless.
     

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