Y’all Must Be Born Again

I just wanted to toss out something that I’m pondering. In John 3, Jesus talked to Nicodemus about being born again and explained that without His intervention, man cannot experience the kingdom of God. I have mostly heard this passage used in reference to making a personal decision for Christ.

What if instead of saying, “Nicodemus, will you pray the sinner’s prayer?”, Jesus was saying, in order for mankind to experience the kingdom of God, you all will have to have an entirely different nature, and in order for that to occur, He (Jesus) will die.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. (I Peter 1:3)

What if in the resurrection, all of mankind was born again into a new nature that is capable of experiencing the kingdom of God?

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23 thoughts on “Y’all Must Be Born Again

  1. Here’s a heretical thought!

    Did Yeshua experience this being ‘born from above’ thing Himself at the Jordan Baptism?

    Was He speaking to Nicodemus out of His own experience of Holy Spirit or Holy Breath?

    I personally do believe that you’re right on the resurrection’s effect on mankind – a brand new mankind whether they see it or believe it!

    Please don’t burn me at the stake!!

  2. Seems that Jesus felt that Nicodemus should have already understood this. I ascribe to the idea that Jesus is speaking about spiritual birth. Now I do wonder if a human being has a spirit when they are born or if a spirit is born within us later on in life.. just wonder at times.

    1. Kansas Bob

      You might be onto something there. Clearly the reference that Yeshua used regarding being born of water and Spirit and being born from ‘above’ is taken from the early Genesis creation story. Adam was the first born from above human when Breath or Spirit was breathed into him. I believe Yeshua saw Himself as a second Adam and was trying to draw others into the same spiritual experience. That’s why a Scripture expert like Nicodemus should have had some idea of what Yeshua was saying.

      1. This seems applicable here…

        I Cor.15:47-49 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.

  3. And why did Jesus need to be born again? He was the Son of God, God in the flesh! I think you are trying to make this passage say more than it says.

    1. Ken I think that conservative evangelicals are trying to make it say less than it says.
      When did the human Yeshua realize He was Divine? I suggest at His baptism.
      Adam was known as a son of God, even in one of the Gospels, the High Priest/ King following the building of Solomon’s Temple was also referred to as Son of God, Yeshua, in debate with the Pharisees quotes the words of the psalmist when he claims that ‘ye are as gods’

      Maybe we, influenced by the Reformers of the Middle Ages have tied in the ‘born from above’ experience too much with forgiveness of sin and justification by faith. Certainly Yeshua didn’t tie them together in talking to Nicodemus. I believe seeing the Kingdom of God is very different from having one’s sions forgiven. Could we have many believers who think they’ve been ‘born from above’ when they haven’t – at least in the way that Yeshua meant.

      God to discuss these things – not many believers will step outside the transmitted orthodoxy as expressed in the Creeds of the thirs and fourth centuries.

  4. Yes, Jesus is God in the flesh. And it was necessary for Him to become flesh in order for us to be reconciled to God. Scripture says that mankind was born again through Jesus in the resurrection. I just wonder why we’ve taken that collective truth and diminished it to the idea of an individual decision. (Not that what each of us does individually isn’t important also, but I’m not sure it equates with what Jesus is referencing here.)

  5. I don’t see all of mankind being born again into a new nature. There’s nothing in my life experience that points in that direction and I don’t get that sense when I read about Jesus. What could that new nature look like and how did Jesus accomplish that by dying and raising himself from the dead?

      1. God gives us all a gift. It is a gift, not earned, awarded in any way, He just gives it. It is Himself.

        You still have to take the gift. God isn’t going to force Himself on you. He respects you enough for that. I think much of these musings comes from fear (of a great number of things) but mainly a fear of someone going to Hell. Fear comes from a lack of faith.

        God’s Way is Himself. I just don’t think a lot of people have come to the realization that someone may not actually LIKE God. It is known to happen. Many people I know in fact HATE Him. Why, I dunno. I cannot fathom it personally. But if these God haters were to automatically be sent to heaven, forever in His presence, *it would be HELL.*

        God won’t give to anyone what they don’t actually want. To those that WANT to be with Him, they will be, I believe.

        1. I agree James. Some folks that hold a Universalist position feel that all will believe in and love God after they die. That may or not be true but, IMO, it would have to fly in the face of what we know to be truth on this side of death. Atheists are often unchanged because of experience and haters still hate even when they are show great love. Just thinking out loud..

        2. You’re right. It’s true, at least on THIS side of heaven. I don’t know what the other side will be like, but I hope it is unimpeded obedience. Whether someone likes that or not seems to be something to decide HERE and NOW (and as A.W. Tozer said, something for us to perhaps get used to.) In the end (or is it the beginning?) all veils will be lifted, all truth known. On this side of the veil it seems there are people who not only don’t like the truth, but actually run from it. I think that, too, comes from fear and that in turn from a lack of faith. And I’m not sure, I think “lack of faith” won’t be an option after we die. Interesting to see what that will mean, but I know it will be JUST. Because He is. I’m just thinking out loud here too. Thanks Bob.

  6. I think you could be onto something with the theory that all of mankind was already born again.
    In response to David: Even if all were already born again( that is with the ability to experience God in a personal, relational way) I don’t think that would necessarily mean that all will immediately experience that or accept it as truth. But if we don’t experience something or accept it , does that make it less of a reality?
    I’m not saying that I believe that, but what I am saying is, I don’t know and I, for once in my life think it’s ok not to know for sure( I actually count it as a sign of spiritual growth in myself & others).
    Clearly there was a huge change with the resurection,
    I do think that God is much more inclusive in His approach to man that tradition has taught us.
    It seems so clear now that I am not having the “truth in love” drilled into my head on a weekly basis.
    Thanks, Lynda ( or Grace as I still feel like calling you)You have me thinking about it at least.
    Peace

  7. Oh, one more thing.
    Us having a “new nature” I believe is an after effect of having a relationship with Father. When we finally realize that we are so deeply loved by the one one who knows us best, we can’t help but be changed. I think it’s pretty obvious that our “old nature ” doesn’t just go away when we make a decision for Christ. I truly believe that when we are least expecting it God changes us, inside and we rarely notice it while it’s happening..
    Any way,
    that’s my 2 cents.
    Peace Be With you

    1. Shaun,
      I think you are making an important distinction between regeneration and transformation. What Jesus accomplished through His death and resurrection is a finished work. Our transformation is the ongoing process which results from knowing Him and experiencing His life.

      1. Ok… Is regeneration and transformation a two way conduit… In other words…

        Can I have regeneration if there is no transformation and if I see transformation does that imply regeneration? (Not sure I am clear).

        I still contend the “Once Saved Always Saved” philosophy doesn’t address this well as far as I can see. Maybe then, we go back and look at the parable of the sower?

  8. Shaun, if being born again is defined as “the ability to experience God in a personal, relational way”, then couldn’t you also say that Adam, Moses, Methuselah, David, et al were also born again? I also think of others such as Rahab, Ruth, and countless Egyptians who experienced the inclusivity of God’s kingdom.

    1. theprodigalprophet… i think scripture shows jesus knew he was God since the beginning..

      remember when his mom asked where he was? his fathers business…

      i also get scared when we say, all mankind was born again..

      elect? chosen?

      humbly
      frankie

      1. Hi Frankie

        A lot of scholars would suggest that the Jesus in the Temple incident as a boy was woven into the Gospels( how many?) to back up their belief that he was Messiah. It may not have taken place? In any case God is the Father of all humanity and so Jesus may not have been claiming Divinity whatever that means!

  9. Hope my english is clear, I am deaf. I agree that most churches preached John 3 about ‘being saved’ like ‘Accept Jesus in your heart’. I realized like oops!!! Jesus didnt say about the word ‘Saved’. Most He always preached about ‘Kingdom of God’ Most Christians think that Kingdom of God is heaven, but it is not, we are just like transfered from kingdom (or power)of satan to Kingdom (or power)of God. That is wonderful! Also I didn’t noticed that Apostle Paul also taught about Kingdom of God too! No wonder some said they did accepted Jesus as their personal Saviour but no fruit!!!, it made me realized what is wrong with the gospel today! Most churches dont preach about Kingdom of God. Reason I say because I myself was former independent baptist pastor. I learned a lot more since I was divorced 7 years ago, still I thank God that he still feed me like green pasture hmmm good!!! and also opened my eyes too!!!

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