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Sermon No: 742-Born Again Christians



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SERMON TOPIC: Born Again Christians

Speaker: Ken Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 14 August 2011

Topic Groups: BORN AGAIN, SALVATION

Sermon synopsis: 'Born again' is a phrase we have heard about in a bad light more often than a good light in the secular world and press.
Let us look at scripture to see if this is biblical and if and why it is necessary.
John 3:1-5 There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, 'Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do except God
is with him.'
Jesus answered and said to him, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.'
Nicodemus said to Him, 'How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be
born?'
Jesus answered, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.'
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SERMON OVERVIEW:

Born Again Christians.

According to Wikipedia:

In Christianity, born again refers to a "spiritual rebirth" (regeneration) of the human soul or spirit, contrasted with the physical birth everyone experiences. The origin of the term "born again" is the New Testament: "Jesus replied, 'Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born again.'“ [Jn 3:3 TNIV] It is a term associated with salvation in Christianity. Individuals who profess to be born again often state that they have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. 1

1 Wikipedia: Born again (Christianity)

Throughout most of Christian history, to be "born again" was understood as spiritual regeneration via the sacrament of baptism by the power of water and word. This is still the understanding in Roman Catholicism, Anglicanism, Lutheranism and Eastern Orthodoxy. However, beginning sometime after the Reformation, being born again has been predominantly understood by some Protestants (of the "anabaptist" branch) to be an experience of conversion symbolized by water baptism, and rooted in a commitment to one's own personal faith in Jesus Christ for salvation. This same belief is also an integral part of Methodist doctrine, and is connected with the doctrine of Justification. 1

1 Ibid

Following an interpretation of, for instance, Ezekiel 36:26, many believe that when a person accepts Jesus as the Messiah and receives the Holy Spirit, a radical "change of heart" occurs. This change is marked by an aversion to sin and a passion for obedience to the commandments of Jesus Christ, as outlined in the Christian scriptures. Many associate the term "born again" with the revelation of a new concept, or an experience of conversion, defined as mental assent to the acceptance of Jesus Christ as one's personal Saviour; though some believe that this experience or mental assent is not alone sufficient to merit Christian salvation. Rather, in addition, this is brought about by repentance, the aforementioned "new birth" of the Holy Spirit, and faith in Jesus Christ's propitiation for sins. 1

1 Ibid

This is a phrase we have heard about in a bad light more often than a good light in the secular world and press.

Let us look at scripture to see if this is biblical and if and why it is necessary.

The first Scripture passage most Christians would think of if questioned in this regard would be John 3:1-5.

Where Nicodemus visits Jesus at night.

Been “Born Again”

John 3:1-5.

There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.

This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do except God is with him.”

Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.”

Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”

Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.”

Born of water.

Contrary to what some teach, born of water is not a reference to “Water Baptism,” Jesus in this context was answering Nicodemus regarding natural birth from a mother’s womb, where the unborn child is surrounded by water, and when the water breaks the chid is born.

1 Peter 1:23.

Having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the Word of God which lives and abides forever.

Born of the Spirit.

Born of the Spirit is what Jesus was referring to when He said to Nicodemus “You must be Born Again.”

We will look at why it is necessary.

How to be Born Again. (what actually happens)

How Christians can be confident and assured.

Why do we have to be Born Again?

When mankind disobeyed God in the garden of Eden he died Spiritually and in fact God warned Adam that this would happen.

Genesis 2:17.

But you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.

Adam did not die physically until he was 930 years old and had sons and daughters with Eve.

Genesis 5:4.

After Seth was born, Adam lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters.

God in fact expelled man from the Garden of Eden so that he would not be able to eat from the Tree of Life and live for ever. So God is responsible for man’s physical death. (Genesis 3:22-24)

Why do we have to be Born Again?

Man’s physical death.

Genesis 3:22-24.

And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” So the Lord God banished him from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.

Why do we have to be “Born Again”?

Man’s physical death.

Not only did God determine that man in his fallen state must die, He shortened man’s lifespan at the time of the flood when he destroyed all human life except for Noah and his three sons and their wives.

Genesis 6:3.

My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal, his days will be a hundred and twenty years.

Why do we have to be “Born Again.

Man’s spiritual death.

Ephesians 2:1-5.

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world…..God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions.

Colossians 2:13.

When you were dead in your sins and uncircumcision of you flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins……

Man is Tri-partite.

1 Corinthians 6:19.

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own.

Man is Tri-partite.

The Body: Makes us conscious of the world through our 5 senses. (Outer court)

The soul: Makes us conscious of ourselves and it too consists of 3 parts, our mind, will and emotions. (Inner court)

The spirit: Makes us conscious of God and at the time we are Born Again it is quickened by the Spirit of God. (Holy of Holies)

Genesis 2:7.

Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being.

John 20: 19-22.

On the evening of the first day of the week… Jesus came and stood among them…and with that He breathed on them and said, receive the Holy Spirit.

The confidence and assurance of the believer.

2 Timothy 1:7-14.

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline… I know whom I have believed and am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day… Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you, guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.

The new nature that God has given us must be nurtured and protected.

2 Corinthians 1:21-22.

Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set His seal of ownership on us, and put His Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

The evidence of being “Born Again”

LOVE

2 Timothy 1:7. God has not given us a Spirit of fear (Timidity) but of POWER and of LOVE and of a SELF DISCIPLINE.

Romans 5:5.

God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

1 John 4:7.

Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.

1 John 3:14.

We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death.

1 John 4:18.

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

1 John 4:20.

Whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.

John 13:35.

By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another.

The evidence of being “Born Again”. Before you claim to love your brother let us see God’s definition of love as laid out in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.

Love is patient

Love is kind

It does not envy

It does not boast

It is not proud

It is not rude

It is not self seeking

It is not easily angered

It keeps no record of wrongs

Love does not delight in evil

Love rejoices with the truth

It always protects

Always trusts

Always hopes

Always perseveres

Love never fails

The evidence of being “Born again”.

Matthew 5:43-48.

You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbour and hate your enemy. But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in Heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that. Be perfect therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect’.

The evidence of being “Born Again”

POWER.

2 Timothy 3:5.

They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them Godly. Stay away from people like that.

SELF-DISCIPLINE.

Disciple comes from the same root word as discipline and the Born Again believer should lead a disciplined life with the enabling power of the Holy Spirit.

2 Peter 1:3-9.

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life…. make every effort to add to your faith …. self-control ….

We need the power of the Holy Spirit, but the Holy Spirit needs our co-operation as we surrender our will to God’s.

The evidence of being “Born Again”

Victory over “Habitual sin”.

The Power of God and the exercise of our self control will enable us to do what Jesus told the woman brought before him, who was taken in the act of adultery ie: “Go and leave your life of sin”

1 John 3:1

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called the “Children of God” …

when He appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. EVERYONE who has this hope within him purifies himself , just as he is pure…

No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him….

No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. THIS IS HOW WE KNOW WHO THE CHIDREN OF GOD ARE…. Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.

Aren’t we all Children of God?

We are not automatically children of God, we have to be Born into God’s family.

John 8:44.

Jesus said of the Pharisees… “You are of your Father the Devil”

2 Corinthians 6:17,18.

Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you and I will be a Father to you and you will be my sons and daughters says the Lord Almighty.

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION

Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NIV:

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. (http://www.lockman.org/)


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