The Born Again Meaning, How To Know You Are Born Again?
CHAPTER 4 IN CHRIST
God, the Father, longs for loving children in His house. God cannot rely on a created being to be perfect before Him forever. Something other than a created human being had to be contrived. God is never caught on the wrong foot. He devised a plan prior to the foundation of the world. Look at Ephesians 1:4: According as he [God the Father] hath chosen us in him [Christ] before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love... (words in brackets and underlining added by the author)
This passage is not about the election of one group of people above another. It is about the fact that God had predetermined that man ought to be in Christ. These in-Christ people would then reside in His home in heaven. They would be without defect, without shortcomings and perfect in love, forever. If you look at verse 5, you will note that being His own children, is part of what God had predetermined.
Long long ago, evidently after the rebellion of Lucifer and before the earth was formed, God formulated this plan. This predetermined plan stands secure, no matter what takes place on earth, in the universe, or in heaven.
But what do we mean by “in Christ?” Aha! Here we come to the great mystery! This expression, or its equivalent, appears more than 200 times in the New Testament and more than 140 times in respect to the union between Christ and the believer.
For God the Father and for His Son, it is a concept of paramount importance. Do you know what Jesus’ last message to his eleven disciples was? This during the Last Supper prior to Him being arrested? It was precisely about this mystery. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in ye… (John 14:20) He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing. (John 15:4)
The meaning of this message went way over the heads of the disciples because this union is a mystery which God, through the Holy Spirit, would later reveal to one man. Although Jesus referred to the mystery which was to come, He had to be crucified first and then resurrected before the mystery could be revealed, for He was the Seed that had to fall into the ground and die before He could bring forth much fruit (John 12:24). Following the revelation of the mystery to Saul, all who hungered for deeper insight would themselves also receive the revelation of the mystery.
No created being can play a part in the fulfillment of God’s plan. God took something of Himself and placed it into human beings whereby they were permanently transformed into a new human race with a Godly nature. It was a decision of God “according to his own purpose and grace… before the world began” (2 Timothy 1:9) [Greek “chronos” – that is literally before time began]. It was then that the the only begotten son of God presented as a lamb to be murdered on a cross (Acts 2:23; Revelation 13:8). The actualization of that about 2000 years ago entitled God to put the Holy Spirit in man and man in Christ by the Holy Spirit. Only now, with Christ in a person through the Holy Spirit, could God trust that person.
Jesus was the first Person to use the expression “born again.” This He did with a leader of the Pharisees, Nicodemus. Jesus brought this subject up, out of the blue: … I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (John 3:3)
Nicodemus was dumbfounded. So would you and I have been. Who has ever heard of anyone being born twice? It’s absurd! It simply doesn’t happen! Nicodemus’ reaction was quite normal. He asked, how can that be? How can a person get back into his mother’s womb? Jesus then repeated His statement and added: That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit… The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit. (John 3:6-8, New King James Version)
Jesus’ answer did not clear up the absurdity. All one could extract from it was that being born again was not a fleshly matter, it occurs in the spiritual realm and is an inexplicable phenomenon, much like the wind that blows who knows where. It was a mystery that would remain as such until the time was ripe for God to reveal more.
God eventually gave the revelation to the least expected person. He gave it to one who had persecuted Christians passionately: Saul who was later called Paul! After his conversion Christ revealed to him certain profound truths – the heart of the gospel of Christ (Galatians 1:15-17).
Paul writes about it in Colossians 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory…
If Christ lives in you, you can be part of the glory of God’s house – that is guaranteed!
Paul never used the expression born again, but he often used the expression in Christ to denote the union of Christ with the believer. How does that work? What has the union with Christ to do with being born again? That is what is covered in the next chapter.
CHAPTER 5 A NEW HUMAN RACE
It was not the twinkle in a man’s eye. It was not the desire that raged in man’s flesh. It was not a human decision. It was altogether the Father’s own decision to draw people to Christ (John 6:44). When that person believes in the Lord Jesus Christ, it is the Father who causes the spiritual birthing in him, whereby he becomes a son of God. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:12-13)
It is God the Father who initiates the birthing. The born again is born of God (1 John 2:29; 3:9). God plants his incorruptible seed in that person. What? Are you saying it is like the conception of a human being? Exactly. Except that in this case the seed emanates from the Father and is incorruptible.
Being born again, not of corruptible seed. but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. (1 Peter 1:23)
Born of imperishable seed – the seed (Greek: “sperma”) of God (1 John 3:9). Something of the heavenly and spiritual dimension. Something that will never age, nor perish. Birthed by the Word of God. The Word of God is in Christ (John 1:1). Everyone born again, has received Christ. Received Him where?
Remember what Jesus said. What is born of the Spirit is spirit. The Holy Spirit brings about the union of the Spirit of Christ(God’s Spirit) (Romans 8:9) with the spirit in man (John 3:6). But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. … your spirit, which are God’s. (1 Corinthians 6:17, 20).
When the sperm cell of the male joins with the nucleus of the lifeless egg cell in the female, a new life is conceived. Similarly at the spiritual birthing; Christ is joined to the nucleus of man’s deepest inner being, his lifeless spirit, and instantaneously a new life is begotten.
As explained above, the spirit is where the true identity and the deepest being of man is seated. It is precisely there that the generation of new life takes place.
It means a total regeneration of a new life and a new identity. It is not a matter of God changing people or purifying them from sin – it is a total exchange from your previous nature to a Godly nature (2 Peter 1:4).
And similar to the seminal fluid, which is the vehicle for conveying the male seed into the woman’s womb, so the Holy Spirit is the One who causes the spiritual birthing in the person’s inner being. Christ seed (nature which is actually God’s divine nature His word) is then birth in the persons spirit. The Holy spirit makes it possible for Christ to lives in the believers spirit.
1 Corinthians 6:19 What? know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own?
Scripture shows that the Holy Spirit witnesses, teaches, and brings back to memory that which Christ has said to us. He especially reveals Christ to us. These functions reside in the mind of a person, where the thoughts, will and emotions are seated – in other words, the soul of the person. And that is precisely where the Holy Spirit operates – in the soul/spirit of a believer.