Friday, September 19, 2014

Born to Die or Born to Live

All scripture references, unless otherwise noted, are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible.
I am reminded of the song I heard on a Christmas for Christ record years ago called "Born to Live." (I could wish that they were still producing the CFC records.) the words  go like this;
     Born to die just a sinner in this world, 
     Born to die just another weary soul.
     But one day the Lord passed my way,
     And gave me peace unending every day.
     Born to live when kingdoms crumble down,
     Born to live to wear a robe and crown.
     Why don't you receive this precious gift,
     Be born again but this time born to live.

     Life is like a tale that soon is told,
     Now a child but then you'll soon grow old.
     Death is working in you every day,
     Why not take life as Jesus leads the way.

     Repeat the chorus:

The Lord Jesus told Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews, "...Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." Nicodemus did not understand what Jesus meant when He spoke of being born again. Many people still today do not understand what it truly means to be born again. There are those that think that by "accepting Christ as their personal Saviour," they immediately are born again. They may or may not have a change in their life style. If only it were true many would indeed be born again. But the Lord, when Nicodemus expressed his lack of understanding, went on and said, "...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. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit." (See John 3:1-8)

Some have said that when Jesus spoke of being born of water, He was referring to the amniotic fluid that comes out during child birth. But to any serious student of the Bible the Lord could only have been referring to water baptism. In Adam Clarke's commentary on John 3:5, Adam Clarke makes mention of a man who being proselytized to the Jewish faith would undergo water baptism after having "in the most solemn manner to renounce idolatry, to take the God of Israel for his God, and to have his life conformed to the precepts of the Divine law."  That being said, water baptism in the New Testament church was not done to be admitted into the Jewish religion, but rather was a command of Peter and the other apostles. And the water baptism that was administered in the Book of Acts of the Apostles was uniformly done in the name of Jesus. (See Acts 2:38, 8:14-16, 10:44-46, and 19:5-6

But baptism in water, even in the name of Jesus Christ is insufficient in and of itself if that is all that happens. The Lord Jesus told Nicodemus, "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." One must be baptized with the Holy Spirit (or Holy Ghost), as well as in water baptism (in Jesus name) to be born again as outlined in John 3:1-8. It is no wonder then that Jesus reiterated to Nicodemus in verse 7, "Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again." The question then is this, have you been born again as the Bible says? I do not mean as some have been content to say they have been born again because they had a good feeling, or were told they were now born again. The Bible says in John 7:37-39, "In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)" Have you believed  on Jesus "as the scripture hath said?" When you believes on the Lord Jesus as the Bible declares, you will receive the Holy Ghost just like they did in Acts 2:1-4.

Oh friend of mine, being born again is much more than joining a particular church or group. If you have never been born again as the scripture says, let me encourage you to put your trust in Jesus Christ. Don't be content with a particular church's doctrinal statement or position, but believe the Bible and what it says about Jesus Christ. Once you have put your full confidence in the Lord and repented of your sins, find someone to baptize you in water in the name of Jesus Christ and God has promised to give you the baptism of the Holy Ghost. The Lord Jesus Himself will indwell you. Listen to what the Lord is saying to you today, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." (See Revelation 3:20) Be born again!

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