Have you been born again
by phil larussa
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Have you been born again?
In John chapter three, we have an encounter of Jesus and a man named Nicodemus who was a Jewish religious leader. He came to see Jesus during the night time hours where He was staying because, he did not want anybody to know among his friends that, he was seeking counsel from someone who was publicly denouncing the beliefs of the Pharisees. He wanted to know more about God and how to get into heaven.
In this sequence of events, He represents the religious crowd who had their own beliefs of how to live the right life and get into heaven. Unless we start interpreting the word of God with the Holy Spiritís truth from scripture, the body of Christ will stay babies and never understand what happen to them the day they became born again. We are not even talking about the thousands who have yet to become born again who are not in Godís family.
This born again experience is the only way to make heaven your home for eternity and have a living relationship with God now
I will paraphrase as we go along and describe the dialogue that transpired between Jesus and this man. Nicodemus states, ďRabbi, meaning (Master or Prince), I know that you are a teacher come from God because, no one could do the miracles that you do except God be with you.Ē Jesus replied, ďIt is imperative that a man be born again if, he is going to see the Kingdom of God. Nicodemusís replied, ďHow can an old man become born again? Can he enter into his motherís womb again and be born?Ē Nicodemus was reasoning with his natural mind and did not understand what Jesus was saying. Also in my travels over the years, I believe many people do not understand the meaning of being born again.
Jesus then continues to clarify to him the meaning of being born again. He said, ďIt is crucial and a matter of life or death that, you understand what it means to be born again. To have physical and spiritual life, you have to be born of water and the Spirit. Being born of the flesh coming out of your motherís womb is one thing and being born of the Spirit is another. Unless this takes place, a person cannot enter the Kingdom of God. Stop wondering and let me give you a true vision and start to carefully consider on what I am telling you.Ē
Nicodemus had a hunger for God and was actively searching for a higher wisdom than his own. When we have no hunger and there is no God consciousnesses of us actively seeking His presence, our lives are wasted in this short dispensation of time in activities that have no eternal purposes in Godísí scheme of things. Jesus was trying to impress upon Nicodemusís mind that knowing God is something that we need to meditate on and learn through having living experiences with Him. As I was reading this from scripture, I was more acutely impressed by the Holy Spirit of the emphatic statements that Jesus made in His dialogue with Nicodemus. He uses terms like imperative and crucial.
In the King James, the word He uses repeatedly is verily-verily, I say unto you. Every where in scripture when these type words are used, we need to take special attention and ponder the interpretation because, God knew these would be areas of more demonic activity that hinders people from their rightful place at His side.
We need to define the difference between being born of water and of the Spirit. The misinterpretation of this has been one of the biggest golden calf teachings through out the Christian assemblies and the religious crowd. Some of these teachings include; unless a person has accepted Christ and has been water baptized, he cannot go to heaven. Some denominations also believe that a baby needs to be water baptized after a few weeks of life, which qualifies them for some heavenly life.
I could state others, but this cannot be any farther from the truth. In Jesus discourse, He states that we are born of water and the Spirit. He then says one is flesh and the other is spirit. The water He was talking about was the water of the womb. He was trying to explain to Nicodemus how conception and growth in the womb compared with our spiritual birth and growth in the spirit are patterned on the same concepts.
In a mothers womb after conception the baby grows in an amniotic sac that forms 12 days after conception and for the nine months of growth it is filled with an amniotic fluid. The amniotic fluid that surrounds a developing baby plays a crucial role in normal growth. This clear colored liquid cushions and protects the baby and provides it with fluid. By the second trimester, the baby is able to breathe the fluid into his lungs and swallow it, promoting normal growth and development of the lungs and gastro-intestinal system. This fluid also allows the baby to move around, which aids in development of muscles and bone. Much of this fluid after a while consists of the fetal urine and if this fluid becomes discolored or decreases or increases, different complications can occur.
In 1Cor. 15:44-50 Paul the Apostle talks about our fleshly body verses our spiritual man. He states, ďThere is a natural body and there is a spiritual body. The first man Adam was made by God a living soul. Adams final state was, he became a quickening spirit through Jesus Christ. First, comes our natural life and then comes our spiritual life. Adam was made of the dust of the earth and the second birth of a man has to be born in the Lord who is of the heavens. Our earthly body and our heavenly body both have an image that can be defined and described.
Those that are earthly meaning flesh and blood can not inherit the kingdom of God because; our body, which is decaying and dying daily cannot share in immortality. This is a mystery and an event decreed by God. Life goes on after death and we will be changed, for our natural body must put on immortality which frees us from death.Ē A mystery is something that God intended for us to passionately seek after. When we seek this with all of our heart and strength, it is then we understand what our security in Jesus Christ represents.
Paul in 11Cor.4:18 says, ďAs Christians we need to concentrate not on the flesh but on the spirit, which can not be seen with the naked eye. The things that are of the flesh are only temporal (brief and fleeting). However, the things that are invisible never die and last forever.Ē It is crucial that we come to understand that the spiritual world is very real and that we must participate in it. As we learn to operate in our fleshly senses daily, we also need to be taught how to function in the spiritual world if we intend to be kingdom people not only now on the earth, but be delivered from the fear of losing our eternity in heaven with the Lord. Man was made to live for eternity with God. While we are alive and in our physical bodies, we need to make a decision of where we want to live after our earthly body dies, in either heaven or hell.
If you have not been born again and are like some people that have crossed my path who donít believe in hell, do your self a favor if you care about yourself. Check out for sure, if youíre right in your conclusions, you have a lot to lose. If youíre wrong in your assessment, itís unforgivable for anyone to spend eternity in hell because of a lack of appreciation of how wonderfully you were made by God. This was never Godís intentions and it is an absolute travesty that I would let the devil or man stop me from being all I can be in Jesus Christ. Letís now define the parallel concepts of flesh and spirit growth.
Now Jesus uses two different terms in His dialogue with Nicodemus. He says you need to see the kingdom and then you can also enter it. These are two different perceptions. In the Greek, the word see is eido: meaning, a remarkable awareness that gives us a great passion for understanding this miraculous encounter of becoming born again by a supernatural experience with God. We are not talking about a list of doctrines that we have to obey to be accepted by God and work at trying to be a good person. Church going has nothing to do with this encounter. We eventually will want to be churchgoers, but without the experience, church going is meaningless. This experience of seeing is the first encounter of us touching the spiritual world and the way we start communicating with God.
Only the Holy Spirit can reveal the truth to us of Godís thoughts and feelings. Romans 8:8-9 states, ďIf we function in our fleshly ideas of how to live the Christian life, we can not satisfy Godís desires. However if we have the Spirit of God living within us we can then please God. Without the Spirit of God living in us, we do not belong to Him.Ē
1 John 5:8-12 tells us, ď There are three witness in heaven, the Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit, and the three are one; and there are three witness on the earth, the Spirit, the water and the blood: and these also agree and are in unison. If we learn how to function under human authority, the testimony of God has greater authority. This is Godís testimony to man. If a man believes on His son Jesus Christ, he will have a divine spiritual witness with in himself that God is alive and he is loved by Him. If we do not trust God and accept His plan of sending His son Jesus to die on the cross for us, we then call God a liar. It is Godís plan to give us eternal life and that life is only found in His son Jesus Christ. He who possesses the Son has eternal life; he who does not possess the Son of God does not have that life.Ē
There is much to understand in the meaning of these scriptures. You will notice that Godís reasoning is always in agreement with His creative ability and His reasoning is whole and complete. He badly wants His creation to flow in His plans and emotional peace and joy that He is. Yes, I said He is. He is the meaning of life and all the many parts that make us living souls. The flesh and our spirit are so wonderfully woven together. God is still breathing His life into us on conception in the womb as He did when He made Adam in the Garden of Eden. This is when we became a living soul, meaning having an intellect, will and emotions. I personally believe because of a witness from the Holy Spirit that the fetus in the womb has a thought life and emotional experiences.
When we come into agreement with Godís decrees (or rulings) which He made in heaven, we have the power to bind and loose spiritual forces and our roots become deep in God and our footing becomes steadfast in our daily travels. This verse tells us in Genesis that, when the universe was made, God the Father and Jesus who is the Word and the Holy Spirit were in agreement on Godís plans for mankind. His plan on earth was to make man of water and blood and put His Spirit within them. This is something we have to come into agreement and understand as He does so that, we know how secure we are in God. Man is the physical evidence of the plan God the Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit made and came into agreement in the heavenly realm.
Genesis tells us that when Satan entered the scene and Adam and Eve listened to his lies, GodĎs Spirit and our soul became separated and a wall was built between us and we came out of agreement with Godís spiritual decrees. Scripture also tells us that; only Jesus is the mediator who can heal the riff between God the Father and ourselves. This happens when we have our born again experience by asking Jesus to reveal Himself to us and ask Him to come into our life and forgive us for our sin.
11Cor. 5:17 states, ďwe have become a new creation in Jesus Christ.Ē We no longer make our decision-making by our own ideas, but we obtain the ability to tap into a higher wisdom then our own. We then have a witness inside of Godís Spirit becoming joined up with our soul again. Now this is us identifying how we come to see the kingdom. This is the first and main step in inheriting our God given destiny in Christ. Since this now makes us Godís children and He is now our Father. He now wants to show us our inheritance that is ours since we became a part of the family. Jesus has now become the Savior of our life. We now have to go on and make Him the Lord over our life.
Let us now go on and define the meaning of entering the kingdom. This word for enter is a verb representing action. It means to arise and go in. The prefix of this word is eis: meaning a motion in all aspects of life and us having a constant, aggressive and natural relationship with the Holy Spirit of seeking His way of reasoning and us learning His purpose for our lives. This makes us experience the feelings of Godís heart and allows His Spirit to flow through our thought life at all times. We now need to grow up just as babies grow up under their parentís watchful eye and care.
In 11 Peter 3:18 he tells us, ďWe need to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus ChristĒ This word grace in the Greek is charis: meaning, a divine influence on our hearts of gratitude and pleasure at meeting. It is imperative that we define and relate to Godís spirit of influence. By us identifying with this influence, it stimulates our activities of entering the kingdom. When we substitute this influencing of our heart with religious hype and arrogant prideful manipulation of obligated service, the true knowledge of Godís ways never enters our heart. With out Godís grace operating in our heart, there is no Christian maturity. Godís grace influences our hearts, and creates an attitude in us of wanting to change to be more like Jesus. What happens, we allow God to woo our heart with His total acceptance and unconditional love.
As we are growing and actively entering the kingdom daily, the recognition of this divine presence becomes stronger and stronger in our lives. You may say that grace is the aroma of the Holy Spiritís presence in our lives. It has always been my desire to learn to identify the Holy Spiritís leading in all of my life situations. He is the teacher; comforter and restorer of the rift we inherited through our fallen nature that we received from our great-t grandparents Adam and Eve. Now that we have identified who our originator and teacher of life, we need to identify the process of how He works in our life.
Ephesians 5:26-27 tells us that, ďthe Holy Spirit sanctifies and cleanses His church which is the body of Christ by the washing of water by the word of God so that, He might present His body the church to Himself without spot or wrinkle; and it will be holy and without any blemishes.Ē
This word sanctify in the Greek is hagiazo: It means to stay pure and to be set apart as being of one of Godís own. This implies that God wants a very intimate relationship with each one of His children. As we are participating in our daily activity of entering the kingdom, this very real and emotional relationship with God is taking on a way of life of its own, which is becoming more real then the physical world.
We can only stay pure if we start out following Godís first decree after becoming born again as Jesus states in Matthew 6:33. ďSeek first my kingdom and your righteous position in my sight: and all your other needs will be supplied for you.Ē We seek Godís kingdom when we are actively reading and meditating on His word daily. It is the word of God that nourishes our spirit and allows us to grow strong and straight with no deformities. If we go back and remind ourselves of how the physical fetus grows in the womb. It is the amniotic water fluid that nourishes the baby. When the fluid stays clear and doesnít decrease or increase, we end up with normal healthy babies being born. The similarity of this application to spiritual growth is a wonder to behold.
When the amniotic fluid in the womb is not correct, deformities can occur to the fetus and delivery at times can become complicated. I could list some of the medical terms but who would understand them if they have not been researched. For this article, I researched them and in part, this is how this article came into being
Too little of the washing with the water of the word of God, half truths and false interpretations of the word of God and gorging ourselves with the word of God for obligation sake, deforms and cripples Godís children.
Walking and growing with the Lord is only a secret to some because, the word of God has not been rightly divided and taught with the practical application of its meaning. Jesus in His travels when He walked the earth, taught in parables. The unsaved crowds were the ones that couldnít understand Him. He said for His children who had a hunger to know the truth, these would not be parables to them but, they would understand His meaning. It is us being influenced and being made hungry by recognizing and sensing the grace aroma of the Holy Spirit in our life that encourages and empowers us to run an intense passionate race to fulfill our destiny.
If this is not our first priority in our Christianís life, we are being deformed and crippled in one area or another.
Why some people donít want to go to the doctor when they are sick really concerns me. Is it because they are afraid of the truth and do not want to deal with the outcome of their sickness? When people live in denial in any form, they are not actively entering the kingdom of God. The word of God tells us that if we are to run our race of maturity it must be with sound biblical teaching or we run our race in vain.
The comparison between flesh conception and spirit conception is so similar and when we look at it from this perspective, we can see an actual living entity of flesh and spirit. When a born again Christian is actively participating with the Holy Spirit; the devilís tactics can be clearly seen and one can not be manipulated as ignorant people in practicing un-godly actions. In the physical, we have the abortion issue, killing live babies in the womb. Flat our murder.
In the pulpit to day, we have ignorant people in authority preaching backsliding and going to hell after the born again experience and teaching them conditional love themes on the love God has for them. What they do is commit partial spiritual birth abortion on the body of Christ. This is the most grotesque beastly harm that can be done to human beings which, destroys their desire in hungering after God and their hope of eternal life in heaven with Him. In the physical, it compares to what happened to the Jews in the holocaust during the Second World War. God help us to grow up and understand our permanent connection to Him when we became His children. This happened the day we became born again and were spiritually adopted into His family as His sons and daughters permanently.
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