Tuesday, August 16, 2022

A Morning Bible Study - What do you mean... Born Again?

by Leonard V Johnson

Born again. A profound truth, that even today, still completely mystifies many people.

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ spoke about two different kinds of birth – physical and the other spiritual. When you are born to your parents you are composed of flesh. “’ That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.’ – John 3:6.

This, friends is the plain teaching of the LORD our God! So, this new birth is not defined as just an emotional experience as so many are erroneously assuming. It is a literal BIRTH!

Let us understand just what it is, and why it is so IMPORTANT – the awesome truth of our Lord Jesus revealed to us!
1) To what did our Lord Jesus compare one who is born of the Holy 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 3:8.

When you are “born again” – meaning, born of the Holy Spirit of God, you will be “like Him [Jesus Christ], for we shall see Him as He is.” You will not be seen to mortal eyes (unless you choose to manifest yourself), and you will be able to move like the wind.

Our Lord Jesus is comparing spiritual birth to physical birth.

Let’s look into other Scriptures which help make just what our Lord Jesus Christ said become crystal clear.
2) From what material did God [the great Elohim; the family of God] create mankind from!?
“And the LORD God [Jesus Christ Himself when He was the Word – see John 1:1-3; 14] formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man BECAME a living being [a living soul].” – Genesis 2:7.

The LORD God said to Adam, “In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread. Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return.” – Genesis 3:19.

So, mankind is NOT an immortal spirit. Mankind is just plain old dust! Mankind is mortal, physical, and not spiritual. Mankind, in other words, was not created COMPLETE. We were created to need a second birth – a spiritual birth.

Why!? How!? When!?
3) Whose image and likeness was man [the word being “`ādām,” meaning humankind] created!?
“Then God [Elohim; the family of God] said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; …” – Genesis 1:26.

According to the pattern and design of God, like produces like. Note: the Juno spacecraft discovered that the massive storm on Jupiter's south pole is in the shape of a hexagon! Evolution News @DiscoveryCSC wrote, "In living examples of hexagons ... A digital code made of DNA dictates the placement ... we know of one cause that can generate codes or instructions that lead to functional geometries - intelligence" 1
“DESIGN – throughout the whole of the universe, there’s design. From a snowflake to different mineral deposits. You look – the scientists tell you – at an atom, that you have a little nucleus and flying around it like little satellites are electrons. But it’s the same thing you see when you look at the Earth! You see the Earth (the nucleus) and flying around it is a satellite. Well, you look at the entire solar system. You see the Sun (the nucleus) and surrounding it are these little satellites. The design is consistent throughout nature. It’s consistent because it had ONE DESIGNER! The Almighty God!” 2
And, mankind produces after its kind. Yet, unlike any of the animals created by the LORD God, mankind was created in the image and likeness of God – the same form and shape. So, think of this awesome and mind-blowing incredible potential of mankind through Jesus Christ our Master!! – to eventually become a God!!
4) Even though mankind is in the image and likeness of God, are we composed of the same type of material!?
’ God is Spirit, …’ – John 4:24.

“’ Behold, all souls [recall Genesis 2:7, KJV] are Mine; … The soul who sins shall die.’” – Ezekiel 18:4, 20.

Friends, there is a massive difference between spirit and dust. God the Father and Jesus Christ reside in the upper heavenly realms – the third heaven – and They are the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is not a Trinity. Be sure to read today our free no-obligation online booklet “Is God a Trinity?” Now, we have this online booklet also translated into Kiswahili for the convenience of our brethren and friends on the East coast of Africa.

THEY ARE THE HOLY SPIRIT – cf. John 4:24; 2 Corinthians 3:17.

“He who is the blessed and only Potentate [which means Sovereign Ruler], the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16) who alone has immortality, …” – 1 Timothy 6:15, 16.

Mankind was created from physical matter, subject to decay. A human being requires the gift of repentance, proper baptism, and hands laid upon them, the gifting of the Holy Spirit, with the help of the LORD God changing to His character. And after this, the mortal human being could, by a resurrection, be changed to wholly spiritual composition, with a holy, righteous, and perfect GODLY CHARACTER – BORN A CHILD of God the Father!
5) Does the Apostle Paul also speak this glorious truth of God!?
“AWAKE to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame. … 42) … The body is sown [seeded, scattered, born] in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. 43) It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. 44) It is sown a NATURAL BODY, it is raised a SPIRITUAL BODY. There is a natural [physical] body, and there is a spiritual body. …

46) However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural. 47) The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from Heaven. 48) As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly. 49) And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.” – 1 Corinthians 15:34, 42-49.

Mankind has NEVER been an animal.
6) Is mankind still being molded like clay by God who is our Potter!?
We’re told in Isaiah 64 – every time that you start to think of yourself as doing something really well, you need to remember these words – Isaiah 64.

“But now, O LORD, You are our Father; We are the clay, and You our potter; And all we are the work of Your hand.” – Isaiah 64:8.

Notice verse 4 – “For since the beginning of the world Men have not heard nor perceived by the ear, Nor has the eye seen any God beside You, Who acts for the one who waits for Him.” – he’s encouraging through this prayer that if a man would just wait upon God – God has this awesome and marvelous Plan. The very Plan of which we teach you here TODAY!

On many an early morning just before the break of day, I take a short walk around my neighborhood. And I can’t tell you how far these early morning walks have helped me – in looking out at the heavens on those clear, hot, and humid mornings, and it appears as if you can see forever. And I begin to speak with God, “O Father God, O Lord Jesus - I can’t even imagine infinity.”

Our great and awesome Creator – the Potter who is going to seed His universe! –

“’ I AM the LORD your God, Who divided the sea whose waves roared – The LORD of hosts is His name. And I have put My words in your mouth; I have covered you with the shadow of My hand, That I may plant the heavens, Lay the foundations of the earth, And say to Zion, ‘You are My people.’” – Isaiah 51:15-16.
7) What about true Christians!? Are we being fashioned and molded by God for a specific purpose!?
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” – Ephesians 2:10.

God provides all true Christians with the WILLPOWER, the FAITH OF CHRIST, and MOTIVATION to do His good pleasure. God the Father and Jesus Christ have gone to great lengths to provide the grace – the unmerited favor of Their divine mercy – to help Their begotten children to succeed in their calling. But They expect results!

Friends – how crystal clear God’s living word becomes when we let His word interpret itself! It is terribly sad that most professing Christians simply stop at this point and miss the very crux of the Apostle Paul’s statement.

“for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” – Philippians 2:13.

“’ Everyone who is called by My name, Whom I have created for My glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him.’” – Isaiah 43:7.

We – true Christians – are God’s workmanship. We – today – are being created “unto good works.” Why!?
8) Does God’s living word plainly show that it is His Master Plan to increase His divine family by bringing many sons and daughters to glory!?
You know, in Romans 8 – you read through there – you hear phrases like, “sons of God,” and “the Spirit of sonship,” and “children of God.” You can go through Galatians 3 and hear, “children of God … heirs according to the promise.” There are many more such Scriptures – also Hebrews 2:9-11 – talking about Jesus Christ and saying, “bringing many son’s into glory.” And, 1 John 3:1-2 – the people of the world do not understand what you are about to read – but many of you reading this have heard it before, and you do understand it! I just hope that we always deeply appreciate it! “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2) Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He [shall appear], we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” We will be like the resurrected Jesus Christ!

Our Savior and Elder Brother – Jesus Christ – is the firstborn of many brethren!

“For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.” – Romans 8:29.

Certainly “to be conformed to the image of His Son” is to “be like Him.” To be a born member of the glorious family of God!

Be sure to watch today our sermon “God's Master Plan - From the Beginning” which also speaks of this marvelous TRUTH OF GOD!

True Christians are already considered “children of God”!
9) Are true Christians already inheritors of the kingdom of God!? Or only heirs to it!?
The very word “gospel” means good news. The Gospel is the wonderful, good news Message of God’s Master Plan of salvation for all mankind through the life, the death, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ – “the Christ, the Son of the living God” – cf. Matt. 16:16; Mark 8:29; Luke 9:20.

The New Testament calls this Message the Gospel of grace. The Gospel of grace is the good news that Jesus Christ is the Savior – the Messiah – of the world and that through His blood all who repent and believe on Him may have their sins forgiven and may enter into the family of God. The Gospel is also a Message about the soon-coming kingdom of God on EARTH.

It is the glorious, good news that when Jesus Christ returns to the earth, He will set up His kingdom – His government. He will rule all nations as King of kings and Lord of lords. The saints who are given eternal life at the first resurrection – who are changed from mortal to immortal – will be co-heirs with Christ and will be given authority to rule His kingdom as kings and priests alongside Jesus Christ. Through preaching the Gospel, God is preparing saints for His kingdom by calling those whom He chooses to repentance and conversion.

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15) For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of [sonship] by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father.’ 16) The Spirit [Itself] bears witness with our spirit that WE ARE CHILDREN OF GOD, 17) and if children, then heirs – heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.” – Romans 8:14-17.

Why only heirs now!? Because we are only begotten children. It is only when we are spiritually born of God that we become inheritors of God’s kingdom. But, even before our second phase of our creation, we – true Christians – begin our spiritual creation. God the Father must first beget each of us with His Spirit within us – in our minds. It is the begettal of His Spirit which helps us to grow in spiritual character. And this growth comes from prayer and walking with God, Bible study, and OBEDIENCE TO GOD as we are empowered by His Holy Spirit within us.

So, like an embryo in a mother’s womb, all true Christians are now UNBORN children of God the Father!
10) Can a person enter into God’s kingdom while still flesh and blood!?
Again – notice 1st Corinthians chapter 15 –

Verse 50 – “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption.”

Just what must occur before we can be born into the family of God!?

“Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep [not all die], but we shall all be changed – 52) in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, AT THE LAST TRUMPET. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” – 1 Corinthians 15:51-52.

Again, the very words of our Lord Jesus Christ – “’ Flesh can give birth only to flesh; it is spirit that gives birth to spirit. You ought not be astonished then, when I tell you that you must be born over again.’ – John 3:6-7, NEB.

Yet, we have not been born again - yet.

Our Lord Jesus Christ is the only one who has been born again. So, the new birth is something yet to occur at THE LAST TRUMPET – the resurrection of the saints of God! □

1) Evolution News & Science Today, "Are Hexagons Natural?" 27 Oct. 2015, Retrieved 16 August 2022.
2) Garrett, M.C., The Confusion About Death! 2019, pgs. 13-14.

Scriptural Index:

Old Testament - Genesis 1:26; 2:7; 3:19; Isaiah 43:7; 51:15-16; 64:4, 8.
New Testament - Matthew 16:16; Mark 8:29; Luke 9:20; John 1:1-3; 14; 3:6-7; 8; 4:24; Romans 8; 8:14-17; 29; 1 Corinthians 15:34, 42-49, 50-52; 2 Corinthians 3:17; Galatians 3; Ephesians 2:10; Philippians 2:13; 1 Timothy 6:15, 16; Hebrews 2:9-10; 1 John 3:1-2.

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