What is Born Again?
You hear the term born again when talking about certain Christians (usually the radical ones.) But not many know what it means. Where does the term come from, and what does it really mean? For any who continue on, the meaning should become clear, as on a clear day, without clouds.
The phrase comes from the Gospel of John, chapter three. There was a man named Nicodemus. He was a ruler of the Jews, or religious people in those days, like a priest in the catholic church in these days, or a pastor or reverend in protestant circles. Like most of these leaders, he came by night to Jesus because he didnt want to be seen by his religious peers, and it also represents him being in the dark. So he approached the Light to ask questions, being that his religion did not satisfy. The man he approached was making astounding claims about Himself, but He was also backing the claims up with miracles that had never been seen up unto that day.
When he found Jesus he said, Rabbi (Teacher), we know that you are a Teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that youre doing, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Truly, truly, I say unto you, except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God. This is where the term Born Again arose. But it is not just a term. It is something that happens, or must happen (according to Jesus) to a person in order for him/her to see (understand the principles of) the Kingdom of God. Oh, I SEE! Do you SEE? Not yet? Keep listening! Seeing comes by hearing; really hearing. As I have heard, so have I seen in the City of God (Psalm 48:8)
When Nick (Nicodemus) heard this statement, he didnt understand it. He said How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mothers womb and be born? Legitimate questions, dont you think? Among the answers that Jesus gave was this one. That which is born of flesh is flesh; and that which is born again of Spirit is Spirit. This is the answer I want to use to answer the question, What is Born Again?
Each of us has been born of the seed of flesh. It is a corruptible seed, and begins to corrupt the moment it is conceived, though the corruption goes through a process. We all know that the seed of man is deposited into a woman (womb-man) and a baby is formed and deposited onto the earth from that womb. The baby hopefully grows into adulthood, and eventually dies. I make it sound pretty harsh, I know. But this is the way it is, is it not? The process is: seed, conception, birth, growth, maturity, and then death. Its not a pretty picture really, but thats why Jesus came and brought us the Good News of the Gospel. The Good News is that you can be born again through a new and Living Way; through the Spirit. How?
One must first of all recognize the need for this new birth by seeing that the first birth is a dead end, literally. Why would one continue onto a dead end, without first trying to find directions to a better route? Right? Once the need for a solution is recognized, the answer can be found. Ask, and it shall be given. Seek, and you shall find. Knock, and the door will be opened unto you. The new birth, or birth of the Spirit is an Eternal, Immortal Birth, that also goes through a process of: Seed, Conception, Birth, Growth, and then Maturity. But there is No Death! Wow!
Thats the Good News! But what do we have to do to get this new, Eternal Life. You have to surrender the old life. Ah, I knew there was a catch. Yeh, and its HUGE! But like as in any story that leads to fame or heroism, our hero must lay their life on the line in order to reach the goal or the treasure or the fame. None have ever reached heroic destinations by following the crowd; even, or especially the religious crowd. This surrender, or step of faith must be taken by you. Its similar to the step Indiana Jones took when he was on the ledge in that fiery cavern, and there was nothing but space and a fall into volcanic fire one step off that precipice. But he took the step and found solid ground underneath his feet. Im presuming that you saw the movie. In another epic movie, the Lord of the Rings, the good guys were being pursued by a huge, fierce dragon, when they were inside of a cavern of sorts. Gandolf the Grey told his friends to Get Away, Get Out, to leave him there alone! He did this in order to save them. He fought the dragon (His own will) and seemingly died. But later on in the journey he was seen again, but this time he was Gandolf the White, and helped the others to finish their course. There are many things in life that point you to go the course of the few in order to save the many, but we just pass them off as good stories and go on our way towards the grave following the many, thinking that were our own person, but were just part of the crowd who lives for themselves and their own, in the end losing themselves and finding that what they called their own is gone.
Greater love has no man than this; that a man lay down his life for his friends. If a person tries to find his life, he will lose it. If a person loses his life for the sake of following the Resurrected Gandolf (Jesus Christ), then he will find it, and everyone and everything that pertains to it. Matthew 10:39 Decisions! I decide to follow myself-the grave. I decide to follow Christ-Eternal Life!
The Eternal Seed
The seed that produces the first birth is made of flesh and that is what it produces, temporary flesh. But the Seed of the Spirit is the Word of God, found in 1Peter 1:23. It is an Incorruptible Seed. It lasts Forever. Everything that we are exposing here must be received by faith, because these are things that are not seen. The just shall live by Faith, not by sight. We dont look at the things which are seen, for the things which are seen are temporary. We look at the things which are not seen, for these are the things that are Eternal. 2Corinthians 4:18 Words are invisible, but they sure make an impact on lives. The Word of God is Truth, but it can only be understood when one has the Spirit of God, Who wrote it.
The Seed is in Itself
Inside the seed of your natural grandfather were your natural father, and you. Do you see? Stop, look, and listen!! You cant race through writing like this and grasp what is being said. Its the difference of riding in a car through a city, and walking. If you walk, youll be able to get a much better idea of what the city is like. Eat, but chew, or it wont digest properly. Inside of a peach seed is a tree which will produce much fruit, which will produce many seeds, which will produce many trees, etc. Its the same with humans. Its the same with the Word (Seed) of God, or Truth. Did you ever say some things just to plant some seeds in a person? Im sure you have. Did you ever say, Im not swallowing what he/she said? Im sure you have. Its that way with the Word of God. You dont have to understand it first. But you have to swallow it, or receive it into your soul (your womb) where it can conceive, grow, be birthed, and mature into a full grown son/daughter of God (a process). The Seed is in itself-Genesis 1:11.
The seed will produce after its kind. A peach seed produces a peach, a dark-skinned couple will produce a seed that will come forth with dark skin. A science teacher will plant mental seeds that will produce a scientist like himself, yet different like a son is different yet similar in many features and characteristics. A religious traditional teacher will produce a traditionalist. But one who follows the teachings of Jesus, and unashamedly proclaims His Word like He did, and who lives separate from the world system, and dies to his own wants and needs, and spends time with God in order to transform his mind from the conformity of the worldly way of living, will in his teaching produce seeds that will grow into a man of God like himself who will like Jesus win people to Eternal things, with persecutions. There are only a few that follow this route. Are you one of these? Are you willing to be? Are you willing to die to who you are now in order to live; or will you live your own life and die. Thats not the normal slick, sugar coated, greasy gospel that you get from most pulpits, is it? But its the cold, hard facts laid on the line for you to decide. Any who come to God in prayer with this sacrifice of self to Him will be heard. This I can guarantee. There are only a few. The rest are playing church, and living a so-called religious life for themselves. The judgment for these is much greater than for the so-called sinner who is living for themselves, and not trying to win people to their organization in the Name of God, which is truly taking the Name of the Lord in vain. Give me the sinners of the world to deal with anytime, before a self-righteous religious person who thinks he has it together.
Heres the crux of the matter. You have been born of the flesh. Its a temporary existence that has been marred by the original seed, Adam; hence the need for a new birth.
You must be born of the Spirit by the Word of God. Like me you may have to come to the end of yourself in order to want something else bad enough. Or you may just realize that living the first birth is a dead-end street, and you realize that you must have something else, a second birth. This is an Eternal birth, but only comes from the death of the first which can happen while you live, and thats what you would strive for; the excellence of this. Either way, none can come to the Father unless he is being drawn by the Spirit. I would venture to say that if youre reading this and grasping it, or parts of it, that you truly are being drawn by the Spirit of God. I pray for Wisdom for you, and a bold, courageous heart.
There are multitudes in the valley of decision. Once the decision is made, youre out of the valley! Love and peace and grace are found in the right decision. Love, Tom 1-310-676-6708
This site was last updated 05/28/08