"Born again"

- Born, or generated, another time besides the first.

Every human being has their first birth by uniting the seed of man and of woman. Unless science interupts the process, a child is brought into this world from that conception, via the mother's womb where it matures to readiness for viable life.

Jesus foretold the plan of salvation for this age in talking to Nicodemus. In John 3, read: Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
- John 3:2-5

To be born , is to appear in this world with a particular nature. You and I were born human beings, not dogs, or monkeys. As such we will live in this world subject to the limitations and inclinations of human beings. But we have a desire for more, and to escape the bondage of sin, and to receive a more permanent condition of being. Human beings are by nature, inheritors of the kingdom of this earth. Jesus said that the Kingdom of Heaven was being being made ready for the welcome of human beings. By a wonderful rebirth, you can receive the properties and nature which enable you to enter into and live in the Kingdom of God.

Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven . - vs 9-13

In this citation, we see that Nicodemus, a highly educated religious man was a little confused by the promise. Of course he was! Jesus came to lead us to receive His promise, and none of us were able to fully understand something which, by nature, we could not know!

What is the new birth? We'll cover that in another section more fully, but see here that in Jesus conversation with Nicodemus, He gave it two divisions: Jesus 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. 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. - vs 5-6 These are:

water
like the womb of the mother, where the identity of the child is contained
spirit
or the nature of the parents, conveyed to the child, giving it life

Jesus very adamantly taught that only the Spirit of God could convey the divine nature to men and women and make them able to enter the Kingdom of God!

No, Nicodemus did not understand this, and neither does it come naturally to us if we have not received it yet. But when the truth of the gospel was revealed, when the Apostles began to preach the message which they were ordained by Jesus Christ (God in the flesh) to preach, we find that the message of the new birth they taught was

That new birth is preceded by a death to the old life, accomplished in repentance when we come to see that God has something much better for us!

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The New Birth

We are born again into the family of God through

This experience constitutes a rebirth into the Kingdom of God, or in another way of speaking, into the Church. This "gateway" into the "promised land" of salvation, and the covenant of truly knowing the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Peter, Paul and all saints as one's father, was revealed by the preaching of Peter (and the eleven other disciples, on the day of Pentecost, 7 weeks after Jesus was crucified for our sins, and resurrected to walk with and teach the disciples, and then to ascend from our sight into heaven. This wonderful message was preached from the very first Christian gathering ever, as God have instruction and power that the WHOLE WORLD ought to be invited into His PROMISED REST of salvation!

"Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call." - Acts 2:36-39

As God sent his Son into this world to pay the terrible cost of sin, and to reveal the name of God, and a gospel of reconciliation to us, everyone today stands posed to receive or reject the means to accept God's offer to become His child through the new birth.

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How to Receive the Holy Ghost ?

What is required for you to receive the Holy Ghost?

Hunger and thirst

The first and formost requirement if for you to desire it, and seek for it. It make take a little time to concentrate and to completely convince yourself that this is worth taking the time for. We busy people are so self-sufficient....

Repent

Next, you must repent. This simply means turning from selfish will, and sins which are obvious to you. You know in your heart that you are not strong enough to guarantee that you will never do it again, but for a moment, for a day, and before the presence of God, you can sincerely put yourself in His hands, and agree that you need to repent.

Worship

You should gravitate to either a place of intense prayer, or an atmosphere where there is dynamic, lively and sincere praise and worship. If you seek the Holy Ghost, make this kind of environment your mainstay, as much as possible.

Consecrate

Don't hang out with people who discourage you, and are very cynical. Any old mule can kick down a stall, but care is required to design and build one. Jesus Christ is the baptizer in the Holy Ghost. He is doing a careful and perfect work. Give Him honor, and separate your spirit unto His. That means neglecting some old attitudes, and some people who will try to dissuade you!

Relax,

let God have his way in your immediate life. Worship him vocally. This is important! Open your mouth, and audibly speak to God. Raise your hands. Empty your heart of everything except praise for the Lord Jesus Christ. Tell Him you love Him! Drive out distracting thoughts. Be willing to say to doubt, "I hear you, but I believe that God's word is true, and God does desire to give me his Spirit". Don't let thoughts of unworthiness condemn you. We are all unworthy of the beautiful gift of the Holy Spirit!

And ...

When you do receive the Spirit, you will begin to speak in other tongues. You must be unhindered and willing to open your mouth and to speak out the strange sounds and utterances which you feel pushing outward from within. This is perfectly right, and furthermore, it is expected. It is the resulting evidence which God provides. The utterance comes from the Spirit, but it is your tongue, diaphram, and facial muscles which actually make the sounds. Don't force yourself to speak in tongues, rather open up, and allow it to happen as you concentrate on the beauty of the Lord Jesus Christ,

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maintained 9/2/2000