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Summary: What does it mean to be "born again?"

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Born Again!!!

John 3:3-8

Nicodemus came to Jesus in the dark. When Jesus told him that "Ye must be born again" it blew his mind, because he was in the darkness. He could not understand. 2000 years later, do we understand any better?

Do we really understand what it is to be "Born again"?

We are "Evangelical Christians". Many people act as if we coined the phrase

"Born again."

Born again is the butt of jokes.

The world does not understand "born again" and that is understandable ... they, like Nicodemus, are in the dark... in their understanding of spiritual things.

But I would echo the words of Paul, from 1 Thess. 4: 13 ... "We would not have

you ignorant, brothers ... "

Let's look at where the phrase "born again" really began.

Read John 3:3-8

What does it really mean to be "Born Again"?

There are various erroneous notions.

1. Reception of the Truth.

Some people believe that just because some one believes some of the truth, that they are born again.

Perhaps they believe that God exists ... or that Jesus was born in Bethlehem ... or

that God will judge sin.

Especially if they turn from error ... begin to believe in existence of God.

There are many LOST who accept parts of bible because it is so obviously true.

{Pv 30:33 Wringing of the nose bringeth forth blood}

2. External Reformation.

We often mistake guilt and a temporary reformation for regeneration.

I've seen men stop drinking, start working hard, going to church and become

models of behavior.

I've seen it happen because they have found Christ and He is their power and motivation for change.

I've also seen it happen to get wives back ... to avoid loss, or just to assuage the guilt.

That may accompany regeneration ... being born again ... but it is not the same thing.

You can teach a lion to act like a sheep for the right reward ... or to avoid pain.

He may act like a lamb just to get to the lamb.

External reformation is not regeneration.

3. General Moral Conduct is Not Regeneration.

It is understandable that we have confused good and Christian.

We expect that Christians are good people/good people are Christians

and that non Christians are bad people/bad people are non-Christians

IT JUST AIN'T SO I!!

In fact, some of the most moral persons are not Christians

Being good is not synonymous with being Christian.

4. A Flaming Profession of Religion.

The Pharisees are a great example ... they wore the clothes, talked the talk, right

places, right actions,

But Jesus called them... hypocrites... dogs ... spiritually dead.

We may be as self-confident as the Jews... as pious as the scribes.... as religious as the pharisees, as churchy as covered dish suppers.

THAT DOES NOT MAKE US BORN AGAIN.

THEN, WHAT DOES???

Let's look and see.

What is it. .. how does it happen ... why is it important... and what are the signs?

WHAT IS IT?

"Except a man be born again ... "

But I've already been born ... I can't go back in time or back into womb.

Well, maybe we have to die so we can be born again!

There you go!

You have to DIE. .. to old thought patterns, to old habits, to old actions, to old loves, to old desires, to old goals, to old self, to old motivations, to old ways

You have to die to ANYTHING that is associated with your old life of selfishness,

greed, pleasure-seeking, flesh gratifying, Godlessness.

So that you can be born to a new life of God-centeredness, seeking to please God, finding pleasure in serving and pleasing Him, denying the flesh and its desires.

To be born again is the change of heart, the renewal of the mind, the

restoration of the soul.

1. A COMPLETE CHANGE.

The scripture compares it to the difference between darkness and light, the

kingdom of Satan to the kingdom of God.

The mind now thinks a new way .. it considers God first and the things of God as being the most important things in the world

The heart feels differently about things ... things of the world and flesh lose their

attraction and things of the spirit become the things that are loved the most

The soul is changed from being cold and lifeless to being alive, bright, warm

and filled with the image and presence of God

The conscience is awakened and responsive to the touch and voice of God.

The judgment is made sound

The will is subjugated

The affections are spiritualized

Nothing is the same, all things have changed,

2. IT IS A VISIBLE CHANGE.

How it happens is not visible, where is comes from is not visible.

Like the wind ... only the effects can be seen.

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