The Lord Jesus Christ told Nicodemus, "It is necessary for you all to be born again" (John 3:7). Being born again refers to Spiritual regeneration. At the moment of Salvation, God the Holy Spirit gives the spiritually dead person a new Spiritual Life. The person becomes a new kind of creation with the imputed Righteousness of God and Eternal Life. His sins are forgiven. He is justified on the basis of the work of Christ on the Cross. He is baptized with the Holy Spirit and sanctified in union with Christ. He is adopted into the Royal Family of God as a child of God with an inheritance and blessings for Time and Eternity. His New Birth is the beginning of a new Spiritual Life in Christ Jesus, an opportunity execute the greatest Spiritual Life of all human history, and a guarantee of going to Heaven after death and receiving a Resurrection Body like Christ's.
The New Birth is a completely new life. It is totally different than the old life in spiritual death and darkness. It is a new paradigm of living in the Light of God with fellowship with the Father and Son through the Filling of the Holy Spirit. It is a Love relationship with God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ that surpasses all understanding. It is a life of Spiritual blessing and opportunity to reap eternal rewards through Grace. It includes divine support, enlightenment, Spiritual growth and Grace promotion. The Christian with the indwelling of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is a representation of Jesus Christ, the God-Man in Hypostatic Union. The born-again Christian is a new Spiritual species patterned after the Lord Jesus Christ in Hypostatic Union. The New Birth gives all Christians, apart from human ability, equal opportunity to receive the greatest Spiritual blessing that God can bestow upon a created being.
When Nicodemus came to talk to Jesus Christ, the Lord told him immediately that he needed to be "born again." He was spiritually dead and needed the New Birth. So, the Lord gave him the Gospel message.
Jesus replied and said to him, "Truly, truly, I am saying to you, unless a person is born again, he is not able to see the Kingdom of God. (Jn 3:3)"Truly, truly" is actually amen, amen in the Greek. "Amen" means true and binding, truly. It acknowledges what is valid and the validity of what is binding to the individual. It means that which is sure and valid. The saying is reliable and true because Jesus Christ Himself acknowledges it as His own saying and thus valid. Unless Nicodemus is "born again," he will have no ability to see the Spiritual Life. "Born again" is the Greek, gennavw (gennao), meaning to be born, and the Greek, a[nwqen (anothen), meaning again, anew; from above. "Born again" clearly means the New Birth.
When Nicodemus offered a human viewpoint argument, Jesus gave further explanation.
John 3:4-7In verse 5 Jesus explained being "born again" as "born out from the source of water." This was a graphic picture of the Laver in the Tabernacle, which represented Positional Sanctification. The Church Age meaning of "water" is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, which enters the believer into union with Christ in Heaven, and he is saved forever (Titus 3:5). Verse 6 contrasts human birth and Spiritual regeneration of the new birth. And verse 7 restates the requirement for all to be born again.
4 Nicodemus says to Him, "How is a man able to be born being an old man? He is not able a second time to enter his mother's womb and be born."
5 Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a person is born out from the source of water and the Spirit, he is not able to enter the Kingdom of God.
6 That which has been born out from the source of the flesh is flesh, and that which has been born out from the source of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Do not marvel that I said to you, "It is necessary for you all to be born again."
Peter also uses the term, "born again."
Blessed be God even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who on the basis of His great mercy, has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. (1 Peter 1:3)God in His mercy gave us the opportunity to be "born again." Peter uses the Greek ajnagennavw (anagennao), where the prefix, ana, means again, and gennao means to be born; thus, to be born again. The Christian is born again to a living hope, which means confident expectation of going to Heaven and receiving a Resurrection Body like Christ's.
Peter uses the Greek, ajnagennavw (anagennao), for born again, another time in verse 23.
having been born again not from perishable seed but imperishable, that is, through the living and dwelling word of God. (1 Peter 1:23)The Christian is born again not from mortal (perishable) seed, but from immortal, which is the Spiritually alive word of God, the Gospel, that begins the New Birth, which continues to dwell with the believer forever.
The New Birth is also described as a "new creation" (2 Cor 5:17; Gal 6:15). "New creation" is the Greek, kainov" (kainos), meaning new in kind, and the Greek ktivsi" (ktisis), for creation. This describes the New Birth as producing a totally new Spiritual species.
The New Birth also produces a "new man" (or new person) (Ephesians 2:15). "New man" is again the Greek kainov" (kainos), meaning new in kind, and the Greek a[nqrwpo" (anthropos), which is a general term for a human being, mankind, or a person.
The new man who lives after the New Birth is further described in Ephesians 4:24.
and put on the new man, which in accordance with God has been created in Righteousness (capacity-righteousness) and Holiness (sacredness) of truth. (Ephesians 4:24)The "old man" is contrasted with the "new man".
Colossians 3:9-10In verse 9, "old man" is the Greek palaiov" (palaios), for old ( referring to earlier, unregenerate man), plus anthropos, for man. In verse 10, the word for "new" is the Greek nevo" (neos), which means new in time or young. Neos stresses the beginning of the new life, or new paradigm, in distinction from the former, old person and old life, before Salvation. The "new man" is sustained by understanding Bible Doctrine (epignosis). The "new man" is like the pattern of Jesus Christ, the God-man in Hypostatic Union.
9 Stop lying to one another, since you have stripped off the old man with its evil deeds
10 and have put on the new man who is being renewed into epignosis knowledge according to the image of the One who created him.
Newness of Life
The New Birth begins a new Spiritual life.
Therefore, we have been buried with Him through baptism into death in order that just as Christ was raised out from the realm of the dead through the glory of the Father; thus, we also, by means of the new Spiritual life may strategically advance. (Romans 6:4)Here the word, "new," is the Greek kainovth" (kainotes), which means newness with the connotation of something extraordinary (a star); new in kind. After the New Birth, the believer is expected to strategically advance by means of the new Spiritual life. The Christian life is Spiritual in contrast to the soulish life of the unbeliever. The same word for "new" (kainotes) is used to contrast the "new Spiritual life" with the "old" life under the Mosaic Law (Romans 7:6).
The new Spiritual life includes the opportunity to reach Spiritual Maturity (Eph 4:13; Phil 3:15; Heb 6:1) and Spiritual Rapport (Rom 15:29; Phil 3:12-14; 1 Pet 1:8), which include great blessings for Time and Eternity.
Children of God
Those who believe in Jesus Christ receive the New Birth and become "children of God" (Jn 1:12; Rom 8:16-17; Gal 3:26; 4:5-7; 1 Jn 3:1-2). Jesus described new believers as being like little children (Mk 10:15; Lk 18:17).
Other aspects of Salvation include:
Baptism of the Holy Spirit
The Baptism of Holy Spirit is the Salvation ministry of the Holy Spirit in which the believer is Spiritually regenerated and entered positionally into union with Christ, and thus becomes a member of the Royal Family of God. Baptism is a Greek word that means identification with. A person baptized in water, for example, is identified with the water, which has symbolic meaning. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit identifies the believer with the work of the Holy Spirit in Spiritual regeneration.
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit occurs at the moment of Salvation in the Church Age. It is not a so-called, "Second Blessing." Now, there was a brief period at the beginning of the Church Age before the completion of the canon of scripture when Old Testament saints had not yet received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. These people had not yet received the indwelling of the Holy Spirit because Old Testament saints were not indwelt by the Holy Spirit. For instance, after the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Apostles were told to wait in Jerusalem for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit through which they would be indwelt and filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4-5). The promise was fulfilled in Acts 2:2-4 and was accompanied by the gift of speaking in foreign languages. However, those who were born again after the beginning of the Church Age received the Holy Spirit immediately (Acts 11:12-17).
The New Birth is possible because Jesus Christ died a substitutionary spiritual death when He paid for the sins of the world on the Cross. The believer is thus retroactively identified with Christ in His death because the believer's sins were Judged in Christ on the Cross. With his sins paid for, the individual is free to receive the free gift of Salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.
Romans 6:4-5The person who believes in Jesus Christ will receive the "new Spiritual Life" through the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. The person who was spiritually dead will be Spiritually regenerated. The believer is thus retroactively identified with Christ in His payment for the believer's sins, and he is positionally united with Christ in the likeness of His Resurrection. Just as Jesus Christ was raised from the dead, the believer is given a new Spiritual Life and entered positionally into union with Christ in Heaven (Colossians 2:12). The believer will also receive a Resurrection Body like Christ's in the future.
4 Therefore, we have been buried with Him through baptism into death in order that just as Christ was raised out from the realm of the dead through the glory of the Father; thus, we also, by means of the new Spiritual life may strategically advance. 5 For you see, since we have been permanently united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly, we also shall be united with Him in the likeness of His Resurrection.
Not on the basis of deeds which we have performed in righteousness, but according to His mercy, He saved us, by the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Spirit, (Titus 3:5)The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is called the "washing of regeneration," which is Positional Sanctification corresponding to the Laver in the Tabernacle and Spiritual regeneration. Positional Sanctification means the believer's sins are forgiven (Colossians 1:14) and he has been entered into union with Christ through the Baptism of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:11). The "renewing of the Holy Spirit" is the resulting Spiritual Life of the new Spiritual species. "Renewal" is the Greek ajnakaivnwsi" (anakainosis), from (anan, back, again) and (kainos, new in kind). The Baptism of the Holy Spirit gives a new Spiritual Life to replace spiritual death.
For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Gentiles, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:13)Through the Baptism of the Holy Spirit every Church Age believer, regardless of racial or social distinction or gender, becomes a member of the body of Christ (Galatians 3:27-28). The Baptism of the Holy Spirit guarantees equal opportunity in the Spiritual life.
Water baptism was a symbol of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit in the pre-canon period, but after the completion of the canon of scripture, it is not necessary because every believer is baptized with the Holy Spirit at the moment of Salvation. There is "one Lord, one faith, one baptism" (Eph 4:5), and the baptism is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
And corresponding to that, Baptism now saves you, not the removal of dirt from the body, but the appeal of an intrinsically Good conscience toward God, through the Resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Pet 3:21)Eternal Life
Eternal Life from God is given to the believer during the New Birth. Old Testament saints received Eternal Life at Salvation even though they did not receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit (Daniel 12:2).
For you see, in this manner, God loved the world, that He gave His uniquely born Son that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have Eternal Life. (John 3:16)Eternal Life is given at Salvation to everyone who believes in Jesus Christ (John 6:40; Acts 16:31).
Eternal Life replaces spiritual death, which results from Adam's sin.
that, just as sin reigned in the sphere of (spiritual) death, even so Grace might reign through Righteousness resulting in Eternal Life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 5:21)Paul says that he was the chief sinner before he received Eternal Life (1 Timothy 1:15-16).
For the wages of sin is (spiritual) death, but the free gift from God is Eternal Life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
Eternal Life is given by God. It lasts forever and cannot be revoked or canceled. The believer with Eternal Life has Eternal Security.
John 10:27-29Eternal Life is given on the basis of faith alone in Jesus Christ alone (1 John 5:11-12).
27 "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; 28 and I give unto them Eternal Life, and they shall never perish; and no one is able to snatch them out of My hand. 29 "My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand.
Royal Seal of the Holy Spirit
In the New Birth the believer is sealed with the royal seal of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14).
Furthermore, stop grieving the Holy Spirit of God, by the agency of whom you were sealed with reference to the day of redemption. (Ephesians 4:30)"Sealed" means inscribing a seal in hot wax with a signet ring. This is how letters were sealed in the ancient world. The seal of the Holy Spirit includes the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, which identifies the Church Age believer as a member of the Royal Family of God. The "day of redemption" refers to the Rapture, the Resurrection of the Church. The Holy Spirit puts his signature on the believer at Salvation to insure that the mortal body of every believer will be redeemed at the Resurrection of the Church.
The unbeliever cannot understand the Gospel until the Holy Spirit enlightens him and makes it clear. If he believes, the New Birth that follows is like the dawning of a new day (Proverbs 4:18).
The arrival of Jesus Christ upon the Earth at the First Advent was described as a great light (Isaiah 9:1-2; 60:1-3).
“The people who were sitting in darkness saw a great light,Simeon saw the Light of Salvation in the baby Jesus (Luke 2:30-32). The Good News of Jesus Christ, who was symbolized by the Golden Lampstand in the Tabernacle, was like the light of a lamp shining forth during His First Advent (Luke 8:16). Paul proclaimed the Gospel of Jesus Christ, who was like a Light to the Gentiles for Salvation (Acts 13:47). The Gospel proclaimed by the resurrected Christ was Light to both Jews and Gentiles (Acts 26:23). Satan, who disguises himself as an angel of light, blinds the minds of the unbelieving to prevent them from seeing the Light of the Gospel (2 Corinthians 4:4).
And to those who were sitting in the land and shadow of death,
Upon them a light dawned.” (Matthew 4:16)
Jesus Christ Himself is Light (John 9:5; 12:35-36). He was symbolized by the Golden Lampstand in the Tabernacle.
Believing the Light of the Gospel leads to the New Birth. The Eternal Life that the believer receives from God is also Light (Psa 27:1; 36:9; 58:13; Job 33:30). Eternal Life is Light (John 1:4, 9; 8:12). Believers have divine Light (Colossians 1:12).
The New Spiritual Life sets the believer free from the power of the Old Sin Nature (Rom 6:6). The believer's sins were crucified on the Cross. The New Spiritual Life is to be lived apart from sin. When the believer sins, Rebound is the Problem Solving Device. The Christian is dead to his sins and the world (Galatians 6:14). The believer who retreats after Salvation will fall into Reversionism, which is worse than before Salvation (2 Peter 2:20).
The New Spiritual Life is Light, which is separate from the darkness of the spiritually dead in the Cosmic System (Dan 2:22; Isa 50:10).
And the Light is shining in the darkness, and the darkness did not overwhelm it. (John 1:5)The divine Light of Jesus Christ is not overpowered by the darkness of the world (John 3:19-21; 12:46; Acts 26:18; Rom 13:12). The divine Light enlightens the believer so that he can execute the New Spiritual Life in the Light (2 Cor 4:6; Eph 5:8). The new believer lives in the Light (1 Thess 5:5; 1 Pet 2:9; 1 Jn 2:8).
Just as the Lord Jesus Christ is the head of all who believe in Him, Satan is the head of all who believe in him. In this respect Satan is called Ba`al-zebub, lord of the flies (2 Kings 1:2) or Beelzeboul (Beelzebul), lord of dung (Matt 12:24). The terms are synonymous, since flies grow from maggots in dung. Spiders symbolize Satan as Ba`al-zebub or Beelzebul, or one of Satan's demons.
The New Spiritual Life after the New Birth is totally different from the previous life in sin and spiritual death. The Spiritual Light is separate from the darkness of the world. The believer has power over the Old Sin Nature through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, which was given through the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. The believer walks in God's Light and produces Divine Good through Grace. He enjoys a love relationship with the Father and Son. He is free from slavery to Satan's Cosmic System. His sins are forgiven. Yet, his counterparts in the world are unable to comprehend anything that is Spiritual. They are in the dark.
The year, 2008, will be a time of world evangelism. Grace precedes Judgment. A category of punishment was completed in 2007, and the Plagues of Egypt are due in 2009. So, 2008 will be an opportunity for the lost to be saved and Christians to respond to God and obey His commands before 2009, which will be a year of severe punishment for those in the world.
The year, 2008, will be a new paradigm. Old systems will have to be discarded because further improvement will be futile. New systems will be needed.
For those who have been called to live in this period of human history, it is a rare opportunity to utilize Bible Doctrine. The single digit numbers will come true each year. Each year bears special significance in the Spiritual Life and in Spiritual Warfare. The single-digit years of a millennium have only occurred once before in the Church Age.
In 2001, the color for unity was white. In 2002, the color for God's separation was orange. In 2003, the color for the Justice of God the Holy Spirit was violet. In 2004, the color for weakness in capacity for life was yellow. In 2005, the color for Grace will be white/yellow. In 2006, the color for man is red, for sin. In 2007, the color depends on the category. A category of blessing would be a different color from a category of punishment. But after the punishment, there should be a rainbow. Many colors apply to 2008, since the various aspects of the New Birth are symbolized by different colors. For example: Redemption - red; Justification - Purple; Sanctification - White, Righteousness - blue. These were the colors in the gate of the Tabernacle, which represented Christ, the way of Salvation.