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What does it mean to be born again?

JLB

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John 3:6, 8 (LEB) What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. ... The wind blows wherever it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from and where it is going. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

The verb tenses in these verses are ALL present tense and/or perfect participle (used of completed action), not future. For what you say about them to be true (born of the spirit occurs at a future resurrection) Jesus would have used a future tense of these verbs. He didn't.


I believe Jocor is referring to 1 Peter 1:3 that says -

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 1 Peter 1:3

This word in the Greek for "begotten" is unique, and is used in only two verse's in the bible, verse 23 being the other.

having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever,
1 Peter 1:23

  • So it's conceivable why a person would think of this as in the future.

Born again - begotten again - Strong's G313 - anagennaō -
  1. to produce again, be born again, born anew
  2. metaph. to have one's mind changed so that he lives a new life and one conformed to the will of God
It's interesting to note that both begotten and again are both [Strong's G313] anagennaō , in 1 Peter 1:3, not just begotten.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten G313 us again G313 unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 1 Peter 1:3

[Strong's Number G313 (anagennaō), occurs 3 times in 2 verses in the Greek concordance of the KJV.]


JLB

 

chessman

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http://biblehub.com/interlinear/john/3.htm

Yeshua is simply stating facts. Therefore, the main verbs are in the indicative mood which can refer to action occurring in past, present, or future time.

As I said, the fact is, their tense is present tense and perfect (speaks of completed action). There is no ambiguity in their tense as you imply. There is no way Jesus was speaking of a future/incompleted birth. That's contradictory to what He said in these verses.
 
J

jocor

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No, this isn't about trying to be justified by a return to the works of the law. It's about the inability for the required repentance back to the righteousness of the law--signified in water baptism--to produce the spiritual man. That produces a natural, fleshly man. That's the point.
I understand what you are saying/believing. My problem is you bringing water baptism into this. "Born of water" is a confirmation by Yeshua of Nicodemus' question about the womb. In essence he is saying, "You are correct that a person is born of the womb/born of water for their first birth, but the second birth must be from above via the Spirit."

Becoming a new, repentant person by water baptism can only give birth to a quasi-obedient NATURAL man. That's flesh giving birth to flesh (John 3:6 NASB). And that's exactly how Paul described the person born of the way of law in Galatians 4:23 NASB. He said it births a person "according to the flesh". And also, like Jesus, he says the person born of the flesh via the law can not inherit the kingdom. The parallels are unmistakable. Jesus is talking about repentance to the law signified in John's water baptism. That's not enough. By itself it only births a flesh man, not the spiritual man who inherits the kingdom. John's water baptism only led the way to the baptism of the Spirit by Jesus.
You are equating "born of water" with John's baptism rather than baptism in Yeshua's name. Why?

John 3:5 Jesus (Yeshua) 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.
If you are correct, then no one today will enter the Kingdom because none of us were baptized with John's baptism.
 

JLB

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In essence he is saying, "You are correct that a person is born of the womb/born of water for their first birth, but the second birth must be from above via the Spirit."

I agree.

The Lord is using "earthly" things [natural birth], to teach "heavenly" things; spiritual birth.

If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?
John 3:12

When we are born again, we are baptized into Christ, and are now in the family of God, being "in Him"; Baptized into Him.

This is not Baptism in water, but Baptized into Christ.

The anti-type is being baptized into Moses.

Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, 2 all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. 1 Corinthians 10:1-4

First the children of Israel were "baptized" into Moses, whereby the obeyed him to eat the Passover lamb and thereby left Egypt.

Then afterward, they were baptized in the [red] sea, going down and coming up out of it.


JLB
 
J

jocor

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http://biblehub.com/interlinear/john/3.htm

As I said, the fact is, their tense is present tense and perfect (speaks of completed action). There is no ambiguity in their tense as you imply. There is no way Jesus was speaking of a future/incompleted birth. That's contradictory to what He said in these verses.
Every person who would be "born of the Spirit" would do so in the future of Yeshua's conversation with Nicodemus. In fact, no one would be "born of the Spirit" until AFTER Yeshua's resurrection. No one had received such a birth as a "completed action" when Yeshua spoke those words. Consider the following quotes concerning Greek verbs:

G) {FUTURISTIC PRESENT

The present tense is sometimes used for confident assertions about what is going to take place in the future. The event, although it has not yet occurred, is looked upon as so certain that it is thought of as already occurring. The futuristic present is often used in prophecies. A test for this use is the ability to translate the Greek present with an English future, though the future, will not always be used in the translation.} "Syntax of New Testament Greek", Brooks & Winbery, 1979, University Press, Lanham, Md, pp. 82-90
And:

8. Futuristic Present


  • The present tense may be used to describe a future event, though it typically adds the connotations of immediacy and certainty. Most instances involve verbs whose lexical meaning involves anticipations.

    a. Completely Futuristic

    The present tense may describe an event that is wholly subsequent to the time of speaking, as if it were present.

    John 4:25 Messiah is coming.

    b. Mostly Futuristic (Ingressive-Futuristic)

    The present tense may describe an event begun in the present but completed in the future.

    Mark 10:33 I am going up to Jerusalem.

    http://www.bcbsr.com/greek/gtense.html
 

Jethro Bodine

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If you are correct, then no one today will enter the Kingdom because none of us were baptized with John's baptism.
John' baptism is a baptism for repentance. Everyone who is born again, whether actually by water, or not, first repented according to John's baptism. ALL born again people have been baptized in John's baptism. That happened first. John's baptism is a change of mind about sin....

"John's baptism was a baptism of repentance." (Acts 19:4 NIV)

...and a change of mind about the one to come...

"He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus." (Acts 19:4 NIV)

This change of mind about sin and the One to come, this repentant man--this is the man born by water, figuratively speaking. But it isn't until you are born of the Spirit that you are actually translated into the kingdom of heaven. Nicodemus and the Jews know only of being 'born' a new person by water at this time--repentance via John's baptism. This is a birth of a natural man of fleshly righteousness only. They have yet to know the birth that comes by the Spirit in Jesus' baptism which births the man of true divine righteousness--the man who actually qualifies to inherit the kingdom. Jesus is telling Nicodemus, you can't see and enter into the kingdom on the basis of your outward, fleshly repentance via the waters of John's baptism (presently occurring in Israel). Your lawful repentance, as required as that is, ain't gonna cut it for you. It ain't enough. You must also be born from above, by the Spirit.
 

Kidron

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Yes
John's water baptism only led the way to the baptism of the Spirit by Jesus.
-
Here is a different theological view regarding "born of water".
Consider that the reason Jesus is talking here, is to describe 2 births.
"births"....so, can water baptism, possibly cause a birth?........if so, its a spiritual birth and then Jesus would not tell you to be "born again" again, as you are already born again in the water, if your theology is correct, JB> .

So, what Jesus is doing by talking about BIRTHS < ....2 of them,...... is so that you are not to connect the 1st one with water baptism.
What Jesus is doing, is showing Nico that the natural BIRTH where your MOTHER'S WATER BREAKS and then you come out of it at BIRTH, is ONE BIRTH< THE FIRST ONE..... but then, you have to have a (2nd) secondary NEW BIRTH, = BORN AGAIN, that is a Spiritual Birth. = birth number 2.
This is why Jesus says that to enter the Kingdom of God, you have to have a spiritual birth, (#2) and not just a physical birth. (#1).
 
J

jocor

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John' baptism is a baptism for repentance. Everyone who is born again, whether actually by water, or not, first repented according to John's baptism. ALL born again people have been baptized in John's baptism. That happened first. John's baptism is a change of mind about sin....
No way! John's baptism involves water. Without water it cannot be John's baptism. All born again people repented, yes, but they were not baptized under water "for repentance".

Nicodemus and the Jews know only of being 'born' a new person by water at this time--repentance via John's baptism. This is a birth of a natural man of fleshly righteousness only.
Where do we learn that John's baptism was viewed as being "born a new person"? If a natural fleshly man was baptized by John, he would come out of the water a natural fleshly man. How is that any different than the carnal washings of the Law (for touching a dead body, etc)? Were all those washing equivalent to John's baptism?
 

Free

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He didn't lie. He replied based on their fears of him being a ghost of some sort. There are different kinds of spirits just as there are different kinds of "elohim". There are angel elohim, flesh and blood men elohim, and a divine Elohim. The context determines the kind of elohim referred to. So it is with "spirit". There are demonic spirits, angelic spirits, a divine Spirit (the Father), ghostly spirits, etc.
Jesus clearly said he wasn't a spirit. There is no way around that.

How do you explain Yeshua's exit from the sepulchre?

Matthew 28:1-6 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.
And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.
His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:
And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.
And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus (Yeshua), which was crucified.
He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
The stone was not rolled away so Yeshua could get out, but so that the women could get in. This would provide evidence that the body was not stolen, but miraculously exited through the cave walls.
Now you're contradicting yourself. You just previously said that 'Our old physical "earthy" body will not be raised up.' This means that it is the same for Jesus. You have Jesus' body still lying in the tomb and it isn't empty as Scripture says it is. You need to clear this up.
 

Free

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2Co 5:1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

1Co 15:49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.​
1Co 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

Our old physical "earthy" body will not be raised up. A new heavenly body will be brought down.
Then there is no such thing as "resurrection." Resurrection, anastasis, means "a raising up," "a standing up again," as in "a rising from the dead." http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/nas/anastasis.html

There simply is no other way to understand the idea of resurrection apart from being literally and physically raised again.

1Co 15:42 So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable.
1Co 15:43 It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power.
1Co 15:44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. (ESV)

How do you know his new heavenly body was not made to resemble his earthly body? Will John the Baptist be raised headless? What about people who have been dead long enough to turn to dust?
God will raise all up, which is why it is called a resurrection. No need to worry about the state of everyone.

Free said:
The whole point of this passage is to show Nicodemus what must be done to enter the kingdom of God, that is, to have everlasting life. Indeed the entire context of John 3 is about just how to go about getting into the kingdom of God.
Correct.
Since you agree that Jesus is telling Nicodemus how to gain eternal life, perhaps you would like to clear up your position that being "born of water" refers to natural birth. Your position means that aborted and miscarried babies won't be in heaven. This makes them less than human. Do you agree?

Assumption. Yeshua did not correct him about the Law. The Law is not even mentioned.
That the Law is not even mentioned makes it a good assumption. He is a Pharisee, a ruler of the Jews, and Jesus simply tells him he must be born again, not be born again and obey the Law. Does Jesus ever tell anyone to obey the Law in order to have eternal life?

If you are not resurrected unto eternal life, then it is too late. If you are resurrected unto eternal life, then you are right on time to inherit the Kingdom (Matthew 25:34).
If, as you have agreed, Jesus is telling Nicodemus what to do to inherit eternal life, then "being born of the Spirit," one of the conditions in order to inherit eternal life, then it cannot be referring to the resurrection. We die once and then face the Judgement, so anything that must take place in order to have eternal life with Christ must be in place before we die.

Why is Yeshua's resurrection spoken of as a birth? Why is he the first born from the dead? Because he was "born from above".
He is spoken of as the "firstborn from the dead" because he is the first one to have conquered death by his resurrection. His resurrection is also spoken of as "firstfruits" (1 Cor. 15:20, 23). But what does it matter?
 
J

jocor

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Jesus clearly said he wasn't a spirit. There is no way around that.
And Paul said he was a "spirit".

"And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
1 Corinthians 15:45
Either you are misunderstanding what Yeshua meant or Paul is wrong.
Now you're contradicting yourself. You just previously said that 'Our old physical "earthy" body will not be raised up.' This means that it is the same for Jesus. You have Jesus' body still lying in the tomb and it isn't empty as Scripture says it is. You need to clear this up.
How do I have Yeshua's "body still lying in the tomb" if I cited Matthew 28:1-6 showing he was no longer in the tomb? I don't need to clear up anything. You need to read my posts more carefully seeking to understand what I am saying. Yeshua was given his new heavenly body enabling him to walk through the cave walls because he was now a spirit being.
 

Free

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And Paul said he was a "spirit".

"And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
1 Corinthians 15:45
Either you are misunderstanding what Yeshua meant or Paul is wrong.
Or you are misunderstanding what Paul meant. Clearly what is raised is a spiritual body, as Paul says. But the point is that the body that was buried is the body that is raised. If Paul meant that Jesus was a mere spirit, then that would contradict the rest of what he says. Something that cannot be overlooked here is "life-giving". This is not merely "living" but one who is able to give life. So whatever Paul means by "spirit," it cannot be separated from "life-giving".

How do I have Yeshua's "body still lying in the tomb" if I cited Matthew 28:1-6 showing he was no longer in the tomb? I don't need to clear up anything. You need to read my posts more carefully seeking to understand what I am saying. Yeshua was given his new heavenly body enabling him to walk through the cave walls because he was now a spirit being.
The whole point is that your quoting of Matt. 28:1-6 contradicts what you had previously stated, as I clearly showed. It is not I that needs to read more carefully. You need to clear up this contradiction.
 

JLB

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Either you are misunderstanding what Yeshua meant or Paul is wrong.

The contrast is between Adam being a living soul, and Jesus a life-giving Spirit.

That's a comparison to each of these men's "inner man".

Jesus is a man, Adam is a man.

Adam needed to have life given to him.

Jesus is the giver if life.

This in no way contradicts what Jesus plainly said about Himself.

39 Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.”
Luke 24:39

Jesus' resurrected body has bones and flesh, with nail prints in them, unlike a spirit.


JLB
 
J

jocor

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Then there is no such thing as "resurrection." Resurrection, anastasis, means "a raising up," "a standing up again," as in "a rising from the dead." http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/nas/anastasis.html
http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/nas/anastasis.html
Our heavenly body will be given to us wherever we were laid to rest. We will then rise up with that new body which will pass right through the dirt, coffin, tomb, urn or whatever else we may be lying in.

Since you agree that Jesus is telling Nicodemus how to gain eternal life, perhaps you would like to clear up your position that being "born of water" refers to natural birth. Your position means that aborted and miscarried babies won't be in heaven. This makes them less than human. Do you agree?
Of course I don't agree. Yeshua wasn't addressing such circumstances just as he wasn't addressing the believer who doesn't get baptized in water before he dies if, in fact, "born of water" refers to baptism (which it doesn't).

That the Law is not even mentioned makes it a good assumption. He is a Pharisee, a ruler of the Jews, and Jesus simply tells him he must be born again, not be born again and obey the Law. Does Jesus ever tell anyone to obey the Law in order to have eternal life?
Matthew 19:16-17 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

If, as you have agreed, Jesus is telling Nicodemus what to do to inherit eternal life, then "being born of the Spirit," one of the conditions in order to inherit eternal life, then it cannot be referring to the resurrection. We die once and then face the Judgement, so anything that must take place in order to have eternal life with Christ must be in place before we die.
No one will enter the Kingdom of God and receive eternal life unless they are first "born of the Spirit". That takes place at our resurrection. We are dead. We simultaneously hear Yeshua's voice and are given our heavenly body which has eternal life. We then enter the Kingdom. Whether or not we are in Messiah Yeshua at our death is what determines whether or not we receive eternal life.

He is spoken of as the "firstborn from the dead" because he is the first one to have conquered death by his resurrection. His resurrection is also spoken of as "firstfruits" (1 Cor. 15:20, 23). But what does it matter?
He is the firstborn because he is the first one to be born of the Spirit into the Kingdom. All true believers will follow and be the second born, third born, etc. We will all be born again at that time.

He is called the "firstfruits" because he was the first person to be harvested in the barley harvest of souls.
 
J

jocor

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Or you are misunderstanding what Paul meant. Clearly what is raised is a spiritual body, as Paul says. But the point is that the body that was buried is the body that is raised. If Paul meant that Jesus was a mere spirit, then that would contradict the rest of what he says. Something that cannot be overlooked here is "life-giving". This is not merely "living" but one who is able to give life. So whatever Paul means by "spirit," it cannot be separated from "life-giving".
He is a spirit that can give life.

"A mere spirit"? A "spirit" is far superior to a flesh body.

The whole point is that your quoting of Matt. 28:1-6 contradicts what you had previously stated, as I clearly showed. It is not I that needs to read more carefully. You need to clear up this contradiction.
I will clear up the contradiction when you clearly state what it is. Restate the two statements I made that are contradictory without adding any commentary.
 
J

jocor

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The contrast is between Adam being a living soul, and Jesus a life-giving Spirit.

That's a comparison to each of these men's "inner man".
The comparison is not of the "inner man", but of the entire man. Genesis 2:7 is referring to Adam becoming a living soul (a living breathing being), not being given a living soul in his inner man. Yeshua, in totality, is a spirit that can give life.
 

Free

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He is a spirit that can give life.

"A mere spirit"? A "spirit" is far superior to a flesh body.
The clear statement is that of Jesus in Luke 24: "See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have." They still disbelieved so he ate fish "before them" to prove further that it was actually he and not a spirit. What Paul says is not as clear.

I will clear up the contradiction when you cearly state what it is. Restate the two statements I made that are contradictory without adding any commentary.
It's all there in post #169 where I first pointed it out.
 

Free

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Our heavenly body will be given to us wherever we were laid to rest. We will then rise up with that new body which will pass right through the dirt, coffin, tomb, urn or whatever else we may be lying in.
This is a part of that contradiction that needs clearing up.

Of course I don't agree. Yeshua wasn't addressing such circumstances just as he wasn't addressing the believer who doesn't get baptized in water before he dies if, in fact, "born of water" refers to baptism (which it doesn't).
No, this is different. If, as you have clearly stated, Jesus "was saying, 'Except a man be born of the womb and of the Spirit,' then it is a necessary condition that one be born in order to have eternal life.

'To be "born of water" refers to one's physical birth. The unborn child is encased in "water" for the majority of his life in the womb. Once that encasement breaks and the "water" is released the birth begins. Yeshua was responding to Nicodemus' question about entering his mother's womb a second time. So, in essence, Yeshua was saying, "Except a man be born of the womb and of the Spirit . . ."'
http://christianforums.net/Fellowsh...an-to-be-born-again.65241/page-5#post-1220363

Matthew 19:16-17 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
I asked about the Law, not the Ten Commandments.

No one will enter the Kingdom of God and receive eternal life unless they are first "born of the Spirit". That takes place at our resurrection. We are dead. We simultaneously hear Yeshua's voice and are given our heavenly body which has eternal life. We then enter the Kingdom. Whether or not we are in Messiah Yeshua at our death is what determines whether or not we receive eternal life.
It is being in Jesus that is what happens when we are born again. We enter the kingdom when we are born again, when the Holy Spirit works in us and regenerates and renews us. That is what being "born of the Spirit" means.

He is the firstborn because he is the first one to be born of the Spirit into the Kingdom.
That is reading into the text. "Firstborn from the dead" simply means that he is the first to rise from the dead, never to die again. There is no "being born of the Spirit" at the resurrection because that simply has nothing to do with it. Besides, as the God-man he never needed to be "born of the Spirit". Men, because they are fallen and sin, need to be born of the Spirit.
 

JLB

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The comparison is not of the "inner man", but of the entire man. Genesis 2:7 is referring to Adam becoming a living soul (a living breathing being), not being given a living soul in his inner man. Yeshua, in totality, is a spirit that can give life.


Did Jesus's flesh give Spiritual life or His Spirit?


Yeshua, in totality, is a spirit that can give life.

The Spirit of Christ is omnipresent and dwelled within the old testament prophets, as well as breathed the Spirit of life into Adam.
Genesis 3:7

The man Jesus Christ, is not a spirit, but a human being, whose Spirit is the Spirit of the Lord: the Spirit of Christ.

Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 2 Corinthians 3:17

Jesus said he was not a spirit, "ghost", but had flesh and bones, and He ate food.

39 Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.
40 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet.41 But while they still did not believe for joy, and marveled, He said to them, “Have you any food here?” 42 So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb.43 And He took it and ate in their presence. Luke 24:39-43


JLB
 
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