Our Hearts Were Hard Like Stone
We saw this last week from Ezekiel 36:26, where God says, I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. Here in Ephesians 4:18, Paul traces our condition back through darkness to alienation to ignorance to hardness of heart. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.
At the bottom of our problem is not ignorance. There is something deeper: the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. Our ignorance is guilty ignorance, not innocent ignorance. It is rooted in hard and resistant hearts. Paul says in Romans 1:18 that we suppress the truth in unrighteousness. Ignorance is not our biggest problem. Hardness and resistance is.
What Are The Traits Of A Person Who Has Been Born Again
When a person agrees to become reborn in the spirit, it results in some wonderful blessings right away.
A new status as a child of God.
Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husbands will, but born of God .
A new strength to stand against sin.
No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because Gods seed remains in them they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God .
A new sense of purpose in life.
…just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life .
A new anticipation about the future.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you .
Over time, God will bring out qualities that will equip that person to show His love to others and build His Kingdom. A well-known passage from the book of Galatians gives an impressive list of those kinds of traits:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control .
Bible Verses About Born Again
Bible verses related to Born Again from the King James Version by Relevance
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We Were Unable To Come To Christ Or Embrace Him As Lord
In 1 Corinthians 12:3, Paul declares, No one can say Jesus is Lord except in the Holy Spirit. He doesnt mean that an actor on a stage or a hypocrite in a church cannot say the words Jesus is Lord without the Holy Spirit. He means no one can say it and mean it without being born of the Spirit. It is morally impossible for the dead, dark, hard, resistant heart to celebrate the Lordship of Jesus over his life without being born again.
Our ignorance is guilty ignorance, not innocent ignorance. It is rooted in hard and resistant hearts.
Or, as Jesus says three times in John 6, no one can come to him unless the Father draws him. And when that drawing brings a person into living connection with Jesus, we call it the new birth. Verse 37: All that the Father gives me will come to me. Verse 44: No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. Verse 65: No one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father. All of these wonderful works of drawing, granting, and giving are the work of God in regeneration. Without them, we do not come to Christ, because we dont want to come. That is what has to be changed in the new birth.
How To Be Born Again
The phrase born again applies to people who have accepted Jesus as their Savior or Redeemer. The born again soul realizes that they are a sinner and that the penalty for that sin is death . To rectify the circumstances, God sent His only Son to die in their place, to take the punishment for sin . After Jesus death, He arose from the dead . Jesus is the only way to God and He provides the blessing of salvation. Each person has the choice to receive or reject Gods gift through faith and experience new birth . Whoever follows Jesus as Christ, the Son of God, and has accepted His gift of life can be called Christian. That is where the journey of rebirth begins.
According to AllAboutReligion.org:
Being born again is having a change or transformation of the soul and heart by the work of Gods Spirit. Ones soul is the part of our being that consist of three things: the mind , emotions , and our will .
This spiritual makeover when we become a born again Christian is a change in the way we think, the way we manage our emotions, and choices we make by our will.
And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for Gods people in accordance with the will of God .
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what Gods will ishis good, pleasing and perfect will .
Will of God
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Why The New Birth Is Necessary
So the question is: What does this mean? This deadness? There are at least ten answers in the New Testament. If we consider them honestly and prayerfully they will humble us very deeply and cause us to be amazed at the gift of the new birth. So what I aim to do is talk about seven of them today and three of them next time along with the larger question: Do we really need to be changed? Cant we just be forgiven and justified? Wouldnt that get us to heaven? But we save that for next time.
Here are seven of the biblical explanations of our condition apart from the new birth and why it is so necessary.
We Were Dead In Trespasses And Sins
Dead implies lifeless. Not physically or morally lifeless. Ephesians 2:1: We are walking and following the world. Verse 2: We have passions of the flesh, and we carry out desires of the body and the mind. So we are not dead in the sense that we cant sin. We are dead in the sense that we cannot see or feel the glory of Christ. We are spiritually dead. We are unresponsive to God and Christ and this word. Consider now how this is unfolded in nine other descriptions of our condition before new birth happens.
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We Were Unable To Accept The Gospel
In 1 Corinthians 2:14, Paul gives us another glimpse into what this deadness and hardness implies for what we are unable to do. He says, The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The problem is not that the things of God are over his head intellectually. The problem is that he sees them as foolish. He does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him. In fact, they are so foolish to him that he cannot grasp them.
Mind you this is a moral cannot, not a physical cannot. When Paul says, The natural person . . . is not able to understand them, he means that the heart is so resistant to receiving them that the mind justifies the rebellion of the heart by seeing them as foolish. This rebellion is so complete that the heart really cannot receive the things of the Spirit. This is real inability. But it is not a coerced inability. The unregenerate person cannot because he will not. His preferences for sin are so strong that he cannot choose good. It is a real and terrible bondage. But it is not an innocent bondage.
How Is A Person Born Again
Jesus was the first person to be born again. He was baptized in the Jordan River, after which God anointed him with holy spirit. Jesus was thus born again by holy spirit as a son of God with the hope of returning to life in heaven. God fulfilled this hope by resurrecting Jesus as a spirit creature.Acts 13:33.
Others who are born again are also baptized in water before they receive the holy spirit. * They then have the sure hope of life in heaven, which God will fulfill in the resurrection.1 Corinthians 15:42-49.
Bible Scriptures About Being Born Again
Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
1 John 5:4
For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world our faith.
That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.
Born Of The Flesh Our Sin Nature
For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23
For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23
What exactly is sin? If you asked ten different people, you might get ten different answers. Some might say that sin is doing something wrong or breaking the law, while others might say that sin is hurting another person or taking an innocent life. Still others might deny the very existence of sin, saying that there is no such thing as right or wrong in short, that there are no real absolutes in this world. However, most people agree that there are certain actions that are wrong, and should be punishable by fines, imprisonment or even death.
Even the person who doesnt believe in right or wrong would have a hard time observing a maniac rape and murder a small child, and say that what happened to them was not a crime.
Sin is a terminal disease that eats away at the very heart of this planet. It destroys individual people, families, cultures, even the earth itself. Our world is defiled by it, yet most people cannot even give a definition of the word, or grasp the true gravity of the situation. What is sin? Surely sin is more than ten different opinions from ten different people. Is there any final authority on this subject?
Nothing in all creation is hidden from Gods sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Hebrews 4:13
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Born Again Scriptures In The Bible
1 Peter 1:3
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?
But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Salvation & Being Born Again
Since sin is the root cause of all our troubles, we must deal with our sin first if we want less troubles in our lives. How do we get rid of sin? God tells us in His Word that by nature we are dead in trespasses and sin and that we are alienated from the life of God . Just as a body without physical life is declared physically dead, so anyone who is separated from God is described in the Bible as spiritually dead. As long as we remain spiritually dead, we cannot know God.
We all need a new life. We need to be cleansed from sin and its penalty and restored to fellowship with God who made us all. That is what Jesus Christ meant when He said we must be born again . Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God . Without the experience of the new birth we have no hope of enjoying the glories of heaven nor escaping the terrors of hell. Have you been born again?
The greatest attribute of God is that He is a God of love. He loves you and me. He loves all sinners and wants to save every one of us from hell and the terrible results of our sin. His Word tells us, But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us . For He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin that we might be made the righteousness of God in him . God hates sin because of what it produces war, sickness, poverty, etc., but God loves the sinner.
Note: If you are from a Muslim background for additional information about Jesus.
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We Must Be Born Again
Jesus says that we MUST be born again in order to see the Kingdom of God. This logically means if we are not born again we can not see the Kingdom. Do we want to see it? Of course we do. Even the most hardened secularist would admit they want to see God and His glory. So what does Jesus mean when He talks about being born again. Here are 11 Bible verses that deal answer the question and will change your life if you let Him. For a further reading about what this means read What does it Mean to be a Born Again Christian.
Brought From Death To Life
Jesus was saying that every person without the outpoured Spirit from above is spiritually dead like the dry bones and cannot even see the Kingdom of God. In other words, a person without Gods Holy Spirit is purely flesh and has no spiritual eyes, ears or heart to see, hear and comprehend the message that Jesus came to bring. The Lord told Nicodemus unequivocally, That which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit . Only the Spirit of the living God can take dry bones, dead in trespasses and rebellion against God, and make them spiritually alive . The Spirit is like the wind that blows wherever he wishes , so we are absolutely dependent on the Holy Spirit to blow upon dead people to make them alive.
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Absolute Importance Of Being Born Again
Scripture is very clear that the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit comes only through the hearing of the Gospel promises . Only in the Gospel does the Spirit move to open up a persons eyes, ears and heart through the Fathers gift of faith . The result is what Paul terms the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit . Overall, a person must be radically born again by the wind of the Holy Spirit and raised up from the dead in their inner person, like the dry bones in Ezekiels vision. Without this radical transformation lived out until death, no one can enter the eternal Kingdom of God.
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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.
Scriptures On Being Born Again
And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.
Do not marvel that I said to you, You must be born again.
Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away behold, the new has come.
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