Born Again?

I don’t want to get into the age-old debate over the sovereignty of God and the free-will of man, other than to say that man does not have a free and sovereign will. For if that were the case we would rise above all circumstance, and choose not to be ill, to contract disease and choose not to die.

There are some things in life over which we have absolutely no control, and I’m sure that most have been in that place; the one where we feel we’ve been backed into a corner, and have no other choice bar the one.

That’s precisely the place where I believe Adam was at the time. He was faced with a dilemma, and partook of ”the fruit” for Eve’s sake, rather than carried out a premeditated and deliberate act of disobedience. Yet at the same time, he made the decision, for nobody actually forced him to disobey God.

Was God taken by surprise? Or did he know this would happen?

Of course he knew, for although he didn’t cause it, he allowed it. The promised Saviour of the world was not a sudden afterthought, a swiftly arranged plan of redemption purposed by God after Adam had fallen, but had been ordained prior to Adam’s creation.

1 Peter 1:20.[Jesus] verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

The one person who evidently didn’t know this, was Satan, or at least, he didn’t know at the time that by one act of deception,although it enabled him to become the god of this world, he’d begun a chain of events which would eventually bring him face to face with the Man who would defeat him, and who would ultimately destroy him and his angels forever.

Neither did Adam know at the time, that by one act of disobedience, sin and death had entered the world, and Satan had become the god of the world. Nor that he had begun a chain of events which would produce multiple billions of sinners, multiple billions of deaths, and give rise to the one man alone, who would defeat death, and overcome the god who held its power, and thereby secure the hope of salvation for the billions.

Choice.

Did we choose to be born? No, we were literally forced into this world via a series of labour contractions.

Did we choose to fall, or come short of the glory of God?Absolutely not, for who in their right mind would choose to become subject to death from the moment of birth? Even from the point of conception in fact.

God is life and life everlasting, and in the truest sense of the term, to be subject to death, is to ”come short of the glory of God.”

What about sin? Did we choose to become sinners? Of course not, it is an inherent condition which all are born with, for each one of us was born in the image and likeness of our natural father. However good and kind, or bad and unkind he may be, or have been, like his own father before him, he too had been born subject to death, and with the same inherent condition.

Out of all the billions of men who’ve ever walked upon the face of this earth, one man alone was conceived and born without sin, for his Father was perfect.

None will be judged for being . born a sinner, nor for being subject to death since birth, but all will be held accountable for the wrong we have done over the course of our life.

All have sinned, for it’s impossible not to, and because the wages of sin is death, then according to the Bible, without Jesus Christ as an advocate with the Father, the judgement which lies beyond death, is inescapable. God himself will not condemn us. That which condemns a man, is having rejected God’s gift of salvation beforehand.

The Once-Born.

To be born once, is to be born of water and become a son (or daughter) of man. Each person is born of water when their mother’s waters break, and are literally forced to enter this world, and are destined to sin and to die. Why should this be?

Because according to Psalm 82, in ages past, when God stood in the congregation of the mighty to judge among the gods, he declared:

Ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.”

Naturally speaking, not only is there something about our very nature which we have no ability to change, but none can escape their destiny.

Little wonder then, that Jesus said: “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye MUST be born again.” (John 3:7)

He went on to explain how unless a man is born again, he can neither see nor enter into the kingdom of God. To do so he must be born both of water, and of the Spirit.

Of course, he wasn’t talking about being born or delivered into the world again, but being born, or delivered out of the world.

So, can a person choose to be born again? No way! No more than we chose to be born in the first instance. We can all wake up in the morning, and over a mug of coffee decide how we might spend the rest of the day. But nobody can say: “I know what, I think I’ll become born again today.” It just doesn’t work like that.

A bewildered Nicodemus once rightly considered it impossible to enter his mother’s womb a second time, in order to be born again, and Inquired of Jesus; “ How can these things be?”

After giving the puzzled fellow a bit of a lecture, Jesus explained it in a nutshell.

John 3:14-15. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

The Twice-Born.

When a son of man responds in faith to the gospel of God, he becomes born again, or more precisely, becomes born of the Spirit. For from the very moment a person receives and believes the truth, that Jesus Christ died for his sins, was buried, and after three days rose from the dead, he is sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, and is given the power to become a son of God.

John 1:12. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

1 John 3:2. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

To some, the idea of predestination is a prickly topic, but if the following verse is taken at face value, it would suggest that the . reason for some not believing the gospel, was because they were actually unable to. For they’d not been ordained to eternal life.

Acts 13:48. And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.

If the verse were to state that ”as many as believed were ordained to eternal life”, then faith,or belief has to be officially established in order to be ordained But it doesn’t. Those who believed were ordained, or officially established, prior to believing the gospel.

Likewise, if taken literally, those born again have no choice in the matter, for a person’s re-birth has nothing to do with man’s own will, free or otherwise, but is purely according to the will of God.

John 1:13. Which were born, NOT of blood, NOR of the will of the flesh, NOR of the will of man, BUT of God.

To the ”natural” mind this might seem to be totally unfair and unjust, but because we know that God is pure and just in all of his ways, any issue we may have, will always be with the ”natural” mind.

It’s one thing to believe that Jesus is the only way to the Father, but it’s another thing entirely to explain how it’s only possible to come to Jesus in the first place, when drawn to him by the Father.

John 14:6. Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

John 6:44. No man can come to me, except the Father….. draw him….

According to the Bible, all men regardless of race, religion, or creed have an appointment with death, beyond which awaits the judgement of God.

But one Way and one Way alone, will guide the spirit of the prodigal son through the valley of the shadow of death and into the loving arms and safe-keeping of Father. For the Father will judge NO man.

Hebrews 9:27. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

John 5:22. For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:

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