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Featured Could the New Birth Have Been Known About Pre-Incarnation?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by SGO, Aug 25, 2020.

  1. SGO

    SGO Well-Known Member

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    The "gospel" was preached pre-incarnation:

    Galatians 3:8 "And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed."

    Hebrews 4:2 "For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it."

    Today I was reading Jesus' conversation with Nicodemus in John 3 and at verse 10 it just struck me of the possibility that perhaps our Lord expected that the new birth could have been already known about. Obviously Nicodemus didn't know about it but did some other "master(s)"?

    John 3:10 "Jesus answered and said unto him. 'Art thou a master of Israel and knowest not these things?'"
     
  2. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946 Well-Known Member
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    SGO... Interesting thought... And from John Gill... Brother Glen:)

    and knowest not these things?

    which were so plainly to be suggested in the sacred writings, with which he was; or ought to have been conversant: for the same things Christ had been speaking of, are there expressed by a circumcision of the heart; by a birth, a nation's being born at once; by sanctification; by the grace of God signified under the metaphor of water; and by quickening persons, comparable to dry bones, through the wind blowing, and breathing into them.
     
    #2 tyndale1946, Aug 25, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2020
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  3. SGO

    SGO Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. I can sort of see it but not "plainly" (skepticism has caused me to lose my gill) without the Holy Spirit stringing them together authoritatively it would be hard to say from those "pictures" a new birth teaching from a "master". Crossing the water out of Egypt might be another or into the promised land with God leading.
    Found this article. Probably should have gone here first but, oh well, wanted to make a good impression.

    Is the New Birth in the Old Testament? or Why Was Christ So Hard On Nicodemus in John 3:10? - Credo House Ministries

    Is the New Birth in the Old Testament? or Why Was Christ So Hard On Nicodemus in John 3:10?
    2011-01-1344COMMENTS [​IMG] BY C MICHAEL PATTON
    John 3:1-10
    Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” 3 Jesus answered 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? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, 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.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” 9 Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” 10 Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things?

    One of the most difficult issues in Bible interpretation is to understand how the New Testament uses the Old. I have in front of me a massive commentary called Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament edited by C.K. Beale and D.A. Carson. It is a great work which seeks to give answers about how New Testament writers used the Old Testament. Sometimes it is very difficult to determine how the Old Testament is being used in the New. When it comes to Christ’s rebuke of Nicodemus in John 3, even the best of New Testament scholars are often perplexed, wondering what Christ meant when he rebuked Nicodemus concerning his ignorance.

    In the above passage, Christ is talking about the new birth. To make things as simple as I can, Christ tells Nicodemus that no one can enter God’s kingdom unless he has been born again. This idea of being born again can also mean “born from above.” Nicodemus, though desirous to go against the grain of Jewish leadership and follow Christ, is confused by Christ’s teaching. He takes him quite literally believing that Christ is saying that we must pass through the birth canal twice. He responds with what seems to be a valid question to Christ’s confusing and, seemingly, radical statement. “How can these things be?”

    Christ does not miss a beat in lowing the hammer on Nicodemus’ ignorance. “Are you the teacher of Israel and you don’t know these things?” In other words, Nicodemus was the theology professor of the day. He was a leader of the congregation of Israel. He was supposed to know these things! How could he lead without know this basic truth?

    Concerning this John Calvin adds to the rebuke:

    As Christ sees that he is spending his time and pains to no purpose in teaching so proud a man, he begins to reprove him sharply. And certainly such persons will never make any progress, until the wicked confidence, with which they are puffed up, be removed. . . But still Nicodemus, with all his magisterial haughtiness, exposes himself to ridicule by more than childish hesitation about the first principles. Such hesitation, certainly, is base and shameful. For what religion have we, what knowledge of God, what rule of living well, what hope of eternal life, if we do not believe that man is renewed by the Spirit of God? (Calvin’s Commentaries: John 3:10).

    But how was Nicodemus supposed to know these things? Why does Christ come down so hard on him? Was the new birth taught in the Old Testament? If so, where?

    These are good questions. The first thing we may try to do is find some parallel with such teaching explicitly taught in the Old Testament. New Testament scholars have offered some possibilities:

    Jeremiah 31:33
    But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” (Jer 31:33 ESV)

    Ezekiel 11:19
    And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, 20 that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God. (Eze 11:19 ESV)

    If, indeed, these are the passages that Christ was speaking of then the process of being “born again/from above” would carry the connotation of a “new beginning” (Kostenberger, John, ECNT, 123). However, while I certainly see the redemptive theme present in both these passages, I don’t see the radical idea of being “birthed” again being explicit enough to bring about Christ’s rebuke.

    Other passages proposed by scholars include Isa. 29:10, Deut. 30:6, Ps. 51: 6, and Ps. 51:10. I even heard a message from a prominent Old Testament professor who linked this text to Psalm 87:4-7, believing that the new birth is explicitly alluded to there. However, I think it is a bit of a stretch to attempt to find explicit reference to the new birth in any one Old Testament passage. Nevertheless, I am not arguing against Jesus. Nicodemus should have known about the new birth. Nicodemus should not have been surprised. As the “teacher of Israel” his hope and teaching should have been grounded here.

    So where do we find the new birth in the Old Testament? I am glad you asked. While I don’t believe that there is any one passage of Scripture we can point to, I do believe there is a theological theme throughout the entire Old Testament that necessitates Christ’s new birth theology. It goes all the way back to the fall. The first time that death is mentioned in the Bible is in Gen. 2:17 where God warns Adam not to eat from the tree of knowledge: “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” The consequence of eating the tree was death. Just one chapter later, Adam and Eve both ate from the tree, but they did not die. In fact, Adam lived 930 years! How is it that he died “the day” he ate of it?

    Theologians have wrestled with this question for some time. It would seem that the best answer we can give is that death entered into the human condition on that day in two ways: 1) Man was forced out of the Garden and no longer had access to the tree of life (Gen. 3:22-23). In this sense, that day they were prevented from eternal life and therefore that day death began. 2) Most importantly for our purpose here, the day they ate of the tree of life they died spiritually. Let me state the obvious: spiritual death is the opposite of spiritual life. Throughout the Scriptures humanity is shown to be in its natural condition spiritually dead. “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,” “But God . . . made us alive together in Christ” (Eph. 2:4). Since the spiritual death of the first man, Adam, every human ever born has been still-born spiritually. This is what theologians refer to as “imputed sin.” Because of our connection with the sin and death of Adam, we too have inherited sin and death (Rom. 5:17-19).

    Being born again is nothing less that a complete restoration of spiritual life. All of humanity was separated from God in Eden. Through the cross that separation was bridged. In Adam we have the imputation of sin and death. Through Christ we have the imputation of righteousness and life. We are either found death in Adam or alive in Christ.

    Nicodemus was rebuked not because there was a particular passage in the Old Testament that escaped his notice, but because he was unaware of humanities spiritual condition since Gen. 3. Nicodemus should have known that people must be born again in order to inherit eternal life and enter the Kingdom precisely because he should have know that they were dead. The only hope for a dead man is resurrection. The only hope for spiritually dead people is to be born again or “from above.”
    Continued below
     
  4. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    I'm not sure why this is a question of course it was known
     
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  5. SGO

    SGO Well-Known Member

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    Nicodemus was rebuked not because there was a particular passage in the Old Testament that escaped his notice, but because he was unaware of humanities spiritual condition since Gen. 3. Nicodemus should have known that people must be born again in order to inherit eternal life and enter the Kingdom precisely because he should have know that they were dead. The only hope for a dead man is resurrection. The only hope for spiritually dead people is to be born again or “from above.”

    While Christ’s rebuke of Nicodemus was harsh, it is nothing less than a rebuke for a failure to acknowledge the utter helpless condition that all of humanity faces outside of Christ. The new birth was just as necessary for people in the Old Testament is it is for all people.

    If I am right and Christ’s rebuke of Nicodemus is due to his theological ignorance, this should serve as a stern warning for many of those out there who see our identification with Adam as something that can be sacrificed. Imputed sin is the reason why we are dead. Our deadness is the reason why we need to be born again. The sad thing is that I believe there are many prominent leaders in the church today who would say to Christ “How can these things be?” due to their neglect of the reality of humanities still-born condition.


    I didn't know it.
    Can you site a passage where a "master of Israel" talked about it in similar terms to a new birth?
     
    #5 SGO, Aug 26, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2020
  6. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    Got scripture to back that statement up? Or is this just another of your knee jerk quips?
     
  7. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    Could the [Birth From Above] Have Been Known About Pre-Incarnation?

    Unless it was divinely revealed, I doubt it. I think it was one of the many mysteries yet to be revealed by the coming 'Prophet':

    34 All these things spake Jesus in parables unto the multitudes; and without a parable spake he nothing unto them:
    35 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things hidden from the foundation of the world. Mt 13

    I think Christ was yanking Nicodemus's string with, "Art thou the teacher of Israel, and understandest not these things?"

    [add]

    Nick: "How can these things be?"

    Christ: "Art thou the teacher of Israel, and understandest not these things?"

    Seems the issue could be about 'understanding', not 'knowing'.
     
    #7 kyredneck, Aug 26, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2020
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  8. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    Lets begin with John 3:10
     
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  9. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    There are a few hints that prior to the Incarnation more was known than we would necessarily expect (Hebrews 11:19 comes to mind). But it was more a matter of faith, I think, in God than the specifics involving the Promise.
     
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  10. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    Good point.

    Agree!
     
  11. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh,
    Ezekiel 11:19 NKJV
     
  12. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.
    Deuteronomy 30:6 NKJV
     
  13. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946 Well-Known Member
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    And what is that called Mitchell?... Sounds like the new birth to me... God does not birth every man, only his own... And he alone births them by the Holy Spirit, not the preacher?... And no man births himself, it is work of the Godhead 100%... Its I WILL, not my will!... Brother Glen:)
     
  14. Sai

    Sai Well-Known Member

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    First century Pharisaic Judaism taught new birth was achieved in the following ways (1) at bar mitzvah, (2) at marriage, (3) becoming a Pharisee, (4) becoming a teacher of the Pharisees, (5) gentile conversion to Judaism, and (6) a descendant of David ascending to the throne of Israel in Jerusalem.

    Jesus used a Pharisaic method of teaching common to Jews. First the teacher begins on a subject known to the student followed by a subject unknown. What was known was the concept of new birth. However, nick’s soteriology taught that all Jews were saved by Jewish nationality. The fact that Nick asked if he needed to go back in the womb signifies that he already experienced 4 new births. Nick did not understand the need for spiritual birth nor did any of the Jewish leadership.
     
  15. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    ???

    4 Nicodemus saith unto 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? Jn 3
     
  16. SGO

    SGO Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Mr. Sai,

    Please provide a source for this info.
     
  17. SGO

    SGO Well-Known Member

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    My Brothers and Sisters,

    I appreciate the comments provided, especially the OT passages.
     
    #17 SGO, Aug 26, 2020
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 26, 2020
  18. Sai

    Sai Well-Known Member

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    I learned this from Dr Fruchtenbaum who along with Alfred Edersheim have written extensively on the sudject.
     
  19. SGO

    SGO Well-Known Member

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    Thank you.
     
  20. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946 Well-Known Member
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    Sai... Where in Edersheim?... I have Bible History Old Testament and The Life and Times Of Jesus The Messiah... Brother Glen:)
     
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