'What it means to be Born Again'
Born again is a term used primarily
in Evangelical Protestantism, where it is associated with salvation, conversion
and spiritual rebirth. By extension it is applied in other areas, including a
transcending personal experience — or the experience of being spiritually reborn
as a "new" human being. To be born again in Christianity is synonymous with
spiritual rebirth and, in many denominational traditions, salvation. The term is
used somewhat differently in different Christian traditions. The Christian use
of the term is derived from the third chapter of the Gospel of John, where
Nicodemus visits Jesus:
Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. He came to Jesus by night and said to him, "Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God."
Jesus answered him, "Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born again."
Nicodemus said to him, "How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother's womb and be born?" Jesus answered, "Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit."
-John 3:1-5 (New Revised Standard Version) (Note that some translators consider "born from above" to be a better translation than "born again".)
Most Christian denominations hold
that a Christian must be born again, in some sense, and thus that those who are
true Christians are born again, whether they describe themselves as such or not.
The Roman Catholic church, for example, considers that "Baptism is ... the
sacrament by which we are born again of water and the Holy Ghost." , though
the term is not frequently used by Catholics. The term is most frequently used
by Evangelical Protestants, where it is often associated with an intense
conversion experience and an encounter of the individual with the power of God.
Some "born again" Christians deny that those without such an experience are true
Christians. It is common to find that Christians who describe themselves as born
again consider those who do not to be counterfeit.
The idea of born again carries with it the theological idea that a Christian is a new creation, given a fresh start by the action of God, freed from a sinful past life and able to begin a new life in relationship with the Holy Spirit. John Wesley and Christians associated with early Methodism referred to the born again experience as "the New Birth".
Self-described born again Christians are often enthusiastic and outspoken concerning their beliefs; hence the phrase has come to be used to describe any overly enthusiastic supporter of some recently-acquired cause - e.g. born-again conservative, born-again sports fan, born-again skeptic etc.
In humanist psychological terms, being "born-again" is largely analogous to a perceptual state of hyper-salience, where one experiences an extreme and jarring change of perceptions, which causes one to believe that one has a new or renewed sense and understanding of oneself and one's relationship to the world. Christians commonly dismiss these theoretical constructs, insisting that much of modern psychology is based on humanist worldviews that are inherently antithetical to spiritual truth.
In the United States especially, but also in other predominantly Christian nations, professing Christian faith can often win favor for a political candidate, especially among voters on the right. Given the possible opportunism of self-proclaimed (born again) Christianity, opponents sometimes doubt the sincerity of politicians who publicly profess their faith. In other cases, politicians or advocates who are not themselves Evangelicals worry about the presence of a general presupposition (by voters or the press) that a born again Christian is more likely to make ethical or correct political choices than would someone holding a different belief systems.
So, what does it really mean to be born again
Who are we?
We were created by God as His mirrored reflections in time and space. The
original Hebrew provides the word picture of our “cookie cutter” resemblance to
our Creator. We were formed into His Image and Likeness. God is a Spirit-- so
that means OUR SPIRIT is made in His Image and Likeness. Our Spirit is thus
God’s very Life Breath within us. Why were we created? God---Elohim-- created us
“a little lower than God”--although current Biblical translations later used the
term, “ A little lower than the ‘angels’ ” the original Hebrew indicated, “a
little lower than God”. God breathed the breath of Life into our earthen formed
nostrils and made each one of us a living Spirit. The original Hebrew refers to
us as “Speaking Spirits”----spoken into existence by God’s Word and created to
give utterance to God’s Word and to express Divine Love. We were physically
created to speak and manifest God’s Will and Creative power-- to have dominion
over all of creation and upon the Earth. All creatures and created things are
thereby under our stewardship (caretaker ship) and subject to our governance and
spoken word. The very angels of heaven are sent as ministering spirits to serve
the “inheritors of salvation”---that’s us, you and me!
The Human Being upon Earth has greater creative potential and power than any other created being because within the Human body we were designed to function as God’s collective Sonship the M’shi’hha M’shi’shi---to imitate and to ultimately fully manifest as the unified Body of Christ---a collective Messiah if you will Every one of us is indispensable to this corporate body and we all have a place in which we find our perfect fit and functionality. We constitute the people hood of God, the Ammi Shaddai. It is we who make the Love of the Eternal, Formless God visible in time and space.
What does it mean to be born again? Yeshua--Emmanuel, which means, God is with us--Jesus Christ came as the first born of what is to become a Universal Family. He was the first to be born again---into eternal Life when He overcame death by resurrecting His body from the tomb. We are to do like wise in that we become re born Spiritually speaking when we fully accept Christ into our hearts, minds and lives and follow after the pattern He has set forth. Thus we pass from death ---which resulted from our fall into this material density---- to eternal Life in Christ. This is a great mystery and also orchestrated as part of the Divine plan. At the time of our salvation we are restored to our pre-fallen state of at-one-ment and original innocence through Grace. The return to our original wholeness and the restoration of our Life with God is called being “born-again”. This passing from death to life through a descent into the earth reflects the Biblical statement that unless a seed die and be buried in the earth it cannot spring forth into new life.
Jesus was the ‘Seed’ sown into the Earth to die and be buried, and then to be resurrected into Eternal Life---Why? So the Master Sower, God could eventually reap a harvest of many Sons of God! God planted the seed of His Son Jesus so He could harvest a Family! Everything in the Divine realm has to do with seed time and harvest ---each like unto the seed sown.
You my Beloveds are the Holy Plantings of the Lord designed to grow up into Trees of Righteousness and eventually even galactic Trees of Life within new universes yet to be---ah yet another Divine mystery! However now we have been tried and tested in the crucible of the third density. We have emerged as pure gold refined through the fires of earthly adversity. You are the Soma Christou---the Body of Christ. You are the Christ Seed---which is the deeper meaning behind the term “Starseed” ---you are the seeds of the Day Star of Glory, the Bright and Morning Star Jesus. You are designed to go from Glory to Glory ---to rule and reign as a royal Priest Hood with Christ!
When you go deeply into the mysteries of the Holy Scriptures and Christ--- more and more is revealed as we begin to see that everything in the heavens and upon the Earth proclaims the Gospel story over and over again. Be aware that Jesus Christ/Emmanuel is NOT simply another messenger, Holy man, teacher, nor another ascended master. Jesus Christ is THE Son of God. Meaning He is a direct Incarnation of the Triune God Head. A Ray Extension of God Himself---Jesus is non other than YHWH ---the Word Incarnate. This is the Mystery of the Divine Incarnation of Christ.
Jesus of Nazareth alone came as Savior and Redeemer. He chose to be born specifically to die upon the cross at Calvary as the Blemish less Lamb “slain before the foundation of the world”. Yes His crucifixion was scripted into the plan to cancel out the effects of the fall --which landed soul in bondage to satan, sin and death. Jesus willingly came to pay in full the price to redeem our souls and restore us to the Divine Presence and Eternal Life Most people attribute this being saved or born again to “ becoming a Christian” ....however-- Christianity was a much later Roman invention. Being born again has nothing to do with ANY religion. No one has ever been saved by religious observances or church attendance, nor through initiations, sacraments, rites or rituals. We are saved by the Blood shed on Calvary in remission for our sins and by accepting Jesus as Sovereign Ruler in our heart and life. For example if religion were the way surely the very religious Pharisees and observant Jewish men, Saul of Tarsus, later to become the apostle Paul ) and Nicodemus would have fully qualified. However, the Pharisee, Nicodemus a religious authority, ruler and leader among the Jews, came in the night ( so as not to be seen by his Pharisee brethren) to ask the Rabbi, Yeshua what must he do to be saved? Jesus told this very religious Pharisee, Nicodemus that to be saved he must be born-again.
Obviously religious rituals, tithing, regular attendance at the synagogue and being faithful in observing all the laws, feasts and festivals was not sufficient to assure salvation for Nicodemus. Nor will religious observances save you and me! Religion is man’s invention and no religion, nor synagogue, church, mosque, gurudwhara or temple has ever saved a single Soul. Nor can one’s mental pursuits, scholarship, meritorious works, or yogic practices save or enable you to be “born-again.” Why? Because all those things are man’s attempts and salvation, or being born again is a “God thing”----it is through HIS Grace. Like wise in the natural realm we can have sexual intercourse but we cannot personally create a baby or enable it to be born and to have life. That is the same situation that applies to our being formed, birthed and given Eternal Life at salvation. God alone is the Author and Giver of Life! He alone is the Author and Finisher of our Faith as the Scriptures state.
No Human being can initiate either natural or supernatural life. We are not THE Creator we are the CREATED----though as Humans we are infused with His Spirit as a SEED of Divine potential. That seed remains dormant until it is fertilized and quickened by Christ-Life. There again, only the Holy Spirit of God through His first born Son, Christ-Jesus can quicken that dormant Spirit potential into LIFE at the moment of Spiritual rebirth. This is an exact analogy to what takes place at the moment that a sperm penetrates and enters into an ovum and sparks the beginning of a new Human life at conception. On the Human level this is the moment when we most closely mirror the Divine act of creation itself---and our subsequent new birth in Christ.
Our Spiritual re birth is individually activated and conceived when we believe in our hearts and openly confess-- by our publicly spoken admission-- that we have accepted Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior. This is the most miraculous and supernaturally powerful act any human being can ever choose to do. The supernatural ramifications are so transformative that from that instant onward one is an entirely new creature, one totally restored to the original pre fallen pattern. One’s interests, mind, speech and very nature are suddenly changed. The “ old man, dead in sin, has been replaced by a new creature in Christ! The old habits, patterns and associations no longer seem to fit. You have become a “believer” and you walk by faith and not by sight! You now belong to Christ---you are His own Beloved and He promises in His Word, that He will NEVER leave you nor forsake you.
Some illumined teachers have stated that this is the only real purpose to our having been born on Earth; to choose to be Spiritually reborn and to thereby be restored to God’s original Plan. We are thus liberated from our former bondage under the law. ( I personally believe that this includes the laws of karma and reincarnation---neither of which hold any significance to the saved, born again child of God.) We are now seated in high places with Christ as co-equal heirs--even though our physical personalities still continue to enact our assigned roles in life.
We are told in the Scriptures that immediately upon death, (or our rapture or physical translation from this world), we are in that very next instant with Christ. Our full salvation, restoration, liberation and righteousness in God’s sight is immediately ours the instant of our salvation and being born again. It is a perfected and completed work purchased and obtained for us on the cross by Jesus-- on our behalf. We are made righteous by what He has made possible for us to obtain---we are the righteousness of Christ.
Another great mystery lies hidden in the power of the Blood and the Righteousness ( right standing and relationship with God ) it purchased for fallen adamic man. It is nothing we could have ever accomplished on our own. Nor is it through our human effort, “good” behavior or works. The Bible says that our righteousness is like “filthy rags” and that we were made righteous by the shedding of the Blood of the sacrificial Lamb of God, Jesus--- in remission for our personal and corporate sins. These sins (our missing the mark) were incurred through the Adamic fall from the direct Presence and relationship with of God that our Spirits enjoyed in the Garden of Eden.
Hence, “You are saved by faith and not by works lest any man should boast” is the way the Bible states it. That way it is God who receives the full credit and honor for our righteousness rather than His created reflection in time and space---the Human being. Here you may ask, well what about the starseeded souls? Well if you are wearing a Human third density body you are locked into the fallen dna and thought form patterns of sin, karma, disease, death and reincarnation.
The Bible clearly teaches that there is one way out of this fallen state---through the One appointed to be the Way, Truth, Light, Door and Good Shepherd of the Human “sheep”---now you know Who! We can now experience a deep inner peace in knowing that when we step from this time bound world we will step into our real life in and with Christ in Eternity, (which means beyond time, space, and dimensional limitation.) Sin, death, satan, hell and the grave no longer hold any power over us once we are genuinely born again of Spirit. Actually you would not be asking that question in the first place--as it is so obvious to you and everyone around you when you have been born again. However there are a few definite indications that are present with nearly every born again person that I have encountered--including myself.
If you are really born again, you will love the things of God and Jesus Christ. It becomes impossible for you to not speak about Jesus, to anyone who will stand still long enough. This tendency will become mellowed in time by developing discernment and becoming more sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s timing. You will develop a keen hunger to read the Bible and to understand what it teaches you about Jesus.
The Bible, the written Word of God is like milk to the baby born again believer, and you will need frequent and regular feedings to nourish your newly born Spirit and soul. Without the milk of God’s Word your new baby born again nature will not flourish and grow and may even die. You will discover a deep loving kinship with other born again believers. You simply fall in love with God’s people. You will yearn for the companionship of others who cherish similar ideals, love Jesus and want to obey God’s Word.
As soon as possible after you are born again you will want to be water baptized through full emersion. This serves as a visible demonstration of your commitment to your new life in Christ. I know of one woman who lived alone and having no access to a church she baptized herself in her bathtub! You will generally be drawn to join in fellowship with other born again believers, through connecting with a church family and attending regular Bible study. This is a very necessary time in which you are discipled and mentored by more matured believers-- to learn God’s Word and to grow in your walk with the Lord.
The whole new life you are embarking upon is about team work. Learning to be joined with others as members of one body. It is about finding the proper potting soil ( church body) and gardener ( pastor) for your newly budding life. You will find your own unique identity and place wherein you can put down roots and grow, blossom and produce fruit! You will also find yourself wanting to reach out and share your faith, express your gifts and talents while being of service in some manner. Your new nature finds you becoming so tender and gentle that tears are readily on tap. The worldly things are seen for what they are ---as if your eyes were opened for the first time. The worldly banal, and vulgar suddenly become loathsome to you. Your new nature has new and more wholesome interests. You’ll find that life also become richer and you will feel things more intensely than ever.
Your heart and your Spirit are alive and awake now. You have been born into a new dimension of living called the Kingdom of God---which is an inner state in which the King of Kings rules and reigns from the throne of your heart. You’ll really enjoy praying, worshiping and studying Christ focused books and spending time communing with Jesus--getting to know and love Him more and more.
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit
Some people undergo very dramatic conversion experiences and some have a more gradual transformation. As an individual your relationship with the Lord is unique and specific. What I have shared here is based upon my own experience as well as the testimonies of many others that I’ve heard. Remember EVERYONE needs to be Born Again Spiritually to enter into Eternal Life. Genuine Divine Power enters us as we become filled and indwelt by the Holy Spirit. As born again believers, the Spirit of the Living God actually comes to live inside our physical beings and we become His Holy temple.
This happens when a born again child of God asks to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit-- which is given to us the moment we request it, by Jesus Himself. You simply ask Jesus to baptize you in the Holy Spirit and He will! At the time of our baptism by the fire of the Holy Spirit-- or shortly thereafter--we will generally receive our heavenly prayer language. This is commonly referred to as “speaking in tongues”. This is the Holy Spirit interceding and praying with and through us for our behalf and for others. He alone knows what to rightly pray for you or for another. It is the purest form of prayer and intercession.
A study of the book of Acts in the New Testament of the Bible will provide many instances of this Spiritual infilling and speaking in tongues and the empowerment that it produced in Christ’s early disciples. As an interesting side light, scientists have discovered two endorphins that are produced only through speaking in tongues. These endorphins give one strength and endurance and enhance the health of our immune systems. (I personally praise, pray and sing in tongues almost every day and the strength, power and health that it has conferred upon all levels is amazing to me.) You may or may not “feel” anything. Again some will shake, cry and begin to babble in a new language. Which could resemble something that could sound like---words you have never heard! No, It is nothing that you will understand with your Human mind---the Holy Spirit is speaking to your Spirit. It is His heavenly language-- although through an act of your will you will need to speak out loud, in faith, which ever words or sounds occur to you. Sometimes a person is given a known language that will be recognized by someone. A Spirit Filled person suddenly speaking in an unknown but rare dialect has led many a person to believe and accept Christ and be born again. Others may feel nothing initially, but later it hits them and they’ll receive their prayer language. There are many possible variations. For me it began when I asked for prayer to receive a more fluent prayer language. A woman briefly laid her hands upon my shoulders---suddenly my-- few and initially faltering words-- now burst forth in a fluidic stream and I became filled with boldness and power. After I received my prayer language I also became literally on fire to speak about Jesus, evangelize, preach the Gospel, intercede and lay hands on people for healing.
These are things I was very timid about before--especially evangelizing ( leading others to salvation) I would never have done that before. My entire way of ministering and expressing has transformed over the past few years. I am also very impersonal now--and not hesitant to speak boldly my mind on any issue. Before I would have been too afraid of people not liking me, or of how they would view me. The very first effect that many of us experience, me included, is that the Holy Spirit takes charge in cleaning up your speech. No longer do you feel comfortable with even the mildest profanity or off color jokes. You cringe if you hear anyone take the Lord’s Name in vain---so there goes 90% of your movie and TV viewing right away! You are no longer comfortable in doing certain things that you did before without a second thought. All of a sudden you become aware that a great and very Holy Presence indwells you and you have become a Holy habitation for the Spirit of the Living God! Your lifestyle choices began to radically alter. You will feel an immediate “check” in your Spirit if you act in any manner that is not approved of by the Holy Spirit. Gossip, slander, judgment, being critical and unkind---not to mention more mean spiritedness now become increasingly unpleasant and intolerable to participate in.
This infilling of the Holy Spirit enables us to fully express our Divine nature as “speaking Spirits"---to have boldness in speaking about Jesus. Proclaiming the good news of His open invitation being extended to everyone, becomes our delight. We want everyone to receive the fullness of all the gifts that our Creator and Father has to bestow upon His children. Becoming Spirit filled will enable one to truly walk in Divine authority, victorious in overcoming every form of bondage, burden and addiction--- to be an over comer in every area of life. You will, come to experience the deepest inner serenity, quietude and peace. A radiant joy will be bubbling within at all times regardless of what is occurring on the surface of your life. Loving becomes your natural response to everything and every one, and you discover what it is to truly love and to be loved----to experience a sense of genuine worthiness and gracious goodness. Of course you will still have adversity, challenges to overcome, and bad days---that is part of living in Human form on Earth. You will have the most powerful Intercessor, Advocate, Helper, Guide, Comforter and Teacher---the Spirit of Truth Himself , the Holy Spirit!!
Like everything else in Spiritual life ---truly living it requires our stepping out in faith and “ possessing the land of our inheritance.” Bringing every errant thought into submission and correction through the truth we are learning in the Word of God----bringing down every false concept that tries to exalt itself at the expense of truth----this requires our continual diligence, devotion, dedication and determination. Our every effort will be maximized in its effectiveness through Grace and we will succeed. Out of time in Eternity we already have finished the course and won the race. It is only the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit which enables us to model and “put on the Christ nature” and to fully manifest our Divine destiny and fullest potential. It is a continual practice, and walk in which we are discipled and Spiritually matured in our thought life, emotional expression and daily deportment by the Holy Spirit. This Spiritual gift is for everyone no matter what your previous beliefs were, your background, race or cultural heritage, or what you’ve done-- or not done in your life. All your past, and present sins are erased as though they had never happened the instant that you are born again. THAT is the “good news of the full Gospel of Jesus Christ. You receive all this by FAITH alone. You do not have to change yourself in any way to receive this gift from God. In fact you are quite powerless to change yourself.
Sanctification ---restoring and cultivating your original Holiness is the job of the Holy Spirit working from within you. The Holy Spirit will gradually and easily transform your entire nature into a beautiful replica of your Elder Brother, the Christ. So come just as you are, and just reach out your hand and take what is already yours. “ For whomsoever calls upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved-- and their household.” As the apostle Peter phrased it in the Scriptures. Approach boldly because it is your right and God’s greatest pleasure to give His kingdom and ALL that He possesses to YOU His beloved Word incarnate! You are His beloved Son/Daughter in whom He is well pleased! If any one here wishes further guidance in these matters, it is my greatest pleasure and honor to serve you. It gives me the greatest joy to participate in cultivating our ever more intimate relationship with our Beloved Lord.
My prayer is that you may grasp the awesome wonder of who you are and what you were designed and purposed by God to fulfill. I pray that your walk with the Lord will fill you with the greatest empowered joy-- and that you manifest your fullest Divine potential as a Spirit led Son of God. The Bible states that “All of creation groans for the manifestation of the Sons of God.” Heaven and Earth await your official entrance onto the world stage as a born again child of God. All of heaven and it’s citizens shout for joy when you emerge---born anew and filled with the Spirit of your full Divine birthright---receiving your full inheritance. May you radiate the Glory of God and may your life bear witness and testimony of His Goodness and His Great Love to all the Earth.
The Fruit of the Holy Spirit that we are to produce upon the tree of our Spirit filled life is 9 in number.
“ But the Fruit of the Spirit is LOVE , JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, GENTLENESS, GOODNESS, FAITH HUMILITY, SELF CONTROL:
Against these there is no law.”
New Testament Book of
Galatians, Chapter 5 verses 22-23
What about other Religions, Faiths and Traditions
asked, what about those of other faiths and belief systems? I truly believe that
God (and Jesus Christ) have nothing to do with religion per se, nor the many
theories the human mind constructs. I've observed that all religions are boxes
we attempt to keep God in! These God boxes are made up of limited mental
concepts, beliefs, rules and ideals. All religions are formed through
projections made by Human beings around the appearance of some noteworthy
Teacher, Saint, Mystic or Avatar---- all without exception, confine and
constrict the truth. I also believe that it is important for us to have a
religious 'set of tracks' to assist in keeping a congruency in our Spiritual
approach----but not to allow any religion to block our coming into direct a
encounter with the Beloved.
I know that I have studied just about every path to God that has promised liberation. I have greatly benefited from studying Catholicism, Protestantism, Hinduism, Bahai Faith, Buddhism, Theosophy, Kabbalah, Esotericism, Christianity, Eckankar, Egyptian Mystery Schools, Human Potential Trainings/Insight, Martial Arts/Shaolin, Mysticism,Judaism, Pentecostalism and the current Charismatic Renewal Movement. (Then my Divine Bridegroom, Jesus found me! and He completely fulfills and satisfies the longing of my Soul!) These various groups, isms and studies were ALL good --and every one has blessed and illumined my way and imparted goodness and Grace to my life. I simply would not have had the necessary scope and depth as a writer and teacher had I not studied all of these things.
I know that it is not what we believe in our head that determines our Spiritual state---it is the state of our heart! We are truly born-again the day that we encounter the Living Presence of God ---. I believe that this event is entirely orchestrated for each one of us at the perfect time and in the perfect manner by His Holy Spirit---the Spirit of Truth. No one can come to the Lord unless drawn by the Holy Spirit, according to the Bible. All people are God's most beloved extensions of Himself. He would like us to give Him our hearts out of our own free will. He wants our heart---our love ---He wants to be FIRST in our heart, mind and business---He wants first place in our life!
Sai Baba said that God is the Creator, Ruler and Owner of everything BUT the Human heart. That heart must be given to Him (or not) by every individual. I believe that this childlike, innocent approach to God in simple, humility and faith is what really really draws His attention. When we just give it all up----all the religious beliefs, all the preconceived ideas, our resistances, doubts, fears---the whole ego drama---we just bottom out---come to the end of ourselves---then we cry out to the Lord and BAM that awesome born again thing happens and we are never ever the same again! Who can comprehend the ways of the Lord in His Divine courtship with His Beloved---you and me and every Soul?
It is the greatest mystery, the most thrilling adventure, most breath taking revelation, most expansive cosmic oddessy, the most passionate romance one could ever imagine. We just need to keep seeking Him with all consuming intensity! Only God can create that desperation to be in His Presence----that gnawing relentless hunger and thirst to know Him and to be consumed by Him! It is the highest good fortune and Grace to be Divinely mad for God---(a fool in the eyes of the world) and the Apple of the Eyes of the Lord. Do not be concerned with religions my Holy sister, only be mindlessly abandoned to the pursuit of your Divine Lover! Do not cease in your Soul's flight until you are joined with Him--- dissolved in the ecstasy of His embrace----having offered all your heart --your entire being only to Him. You are Precious in His sight and He is longing for your love!
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