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Featured What is a born again christian and can I be one?

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by Chgz, Mar 9, 2016.

  1. Chgz

    Chgz New Member

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    I watched a Louis Theroux episode, where he went to go find out what born again Christians in America are like. The episode didn't fully explain what one is, and I was left a little confused. Before watching this I had never even heard of a born again Christian and I think it expected me to have already heard about them. To be honest I don't think it was serious and probably aimed to take the Mickey out out of how crazy they can come across.
    I was left rather impressed by how these people came across though, they seemed like the most happy and peaceful people ever. I was amazed at how sincere and devoted to Jesus they where. I can't help but want to share the same passion they have for Jesus and life!
    One thing that really sticks in my head was seeing people "accepting Jesus" and then start having some kind of mad fit after a priest touched their heads.
    I was baptised and raised Christian until I was about 12, then I converted to wiccan until I was about 17 when I started following the bible again. Dose this make me a born again Christian or do I have to go through some kind of ritual? I don't go to church but I feel very spiritual and try to find the time each day to pray to god and thank him for everything he made.
    If I am not a born again Christian, then how to I become one? Do I have to go to church or anything special?
     
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  2. Journey.In.Grace

    Journey.In.Grace Daughter of the One True King

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    A born again Christian is when you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, and ask for Him to forgive your sins. Not only are you a born again Christian, but you also have admitted to Christ that He is the only one that can save you. It also means you will have access to his kingdom, and nothing can take that away. As a born again Christian, or for any Christian really, going to church is VERY important. It is there you hear God's Word led by a more experienced Christian (a pastor). It is God's house; His church, as Christian's it is very important for us to go.

    Also, it is also important to read the Bible and pray to God everyday. It is through reading His Word that our relationship with Him grows.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2016
  3. Chgz

    Chgz New Member

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    Thank you, it's something I will have to look into in the future!
     
  4. bling

    bling Regular Member Supporter

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    You might need to add to your conversion a definite time place and physical experience, which God has provided for you. We talk about being “Born again”, which comes from Nicodemus encounter with Christ (John 3 :1-21):


    Being “born again” is what Jesus told Nicodemus he need to do. This requires some thinking, because Jesus does not address the questions or comments that are verbalized, but directs his comments to the persons next step in their personal spiritual development (what is on their heart spiritually). Jesus is not making some general philosophical statement (like Buddha might make) but is always addressing the audience He is talking to. We have to get into the context.

    What did Nicodemus need to do next in his spiritual development?

    What does Nicodemus need to be doing next? (study the Old Testament, become one of the followers of Jesus right then and there, Confess, repent, etc.)

    The first thing Nicodemus might do at least is what he already knows he should do? Is that not where you would start? So what is that?

    Since Nicodemus is still part of the Sanhedrin, he would not have been immersed baptized by John’s baptism. That would have got him thrown out of the Sanhedrin.

    John’s baptism would have been a hot topic among the religious scholars, yet the answer was obvious and they all know it (remember Jesus using it against them and causing them to quit asking him questions?)

    Jesus is not going to blare the answer out to Nicodemus, since Nicodemus knows the answer, but he will make Nicodemus think about it hard, since it would already be on his mind.



    Christian water baptism as seen in scripture: Is always adult (there are only two examples that “might include infants” but nothing definite, all the others are adult believers) water immersion to be a physical outward representation of what had or is happening spiritually in the person being baptized. It is mainly to help the individual being baptized to better grasp what is going on, but it can “witness” to others observing the baptism. It has the elements of going down under the water (burying the old man), placing your dependence in another; the person baptizing you (surrendering your life to God), being washed (having your sins washed away), rising out of the water (rising from the dead), and stepping forth out onto the earth (a new person). The person is walking out into the hugs of his new family. It is also a sign of your humility, since it is a humbling act anyone can simple allow someone to do it to them (so not a work) and since humility has been shown in the accept of charity (God’s free gift of undeserving forgiveness) it should just support and add to the memory of that acceptance. To refuse Christian water baptism when it is readily available might mean you are not ready to handle other responsibility like having the indwelling Holy Spirit.

    The Western “Christian” Churches are all over the board, but other countries experiencing sever persecution of Christians (Underground churches: China, Southeast Asia, some of India, Iran) are for as far as I can see consistently requiring adult believer immersion baptism. These churches are growing rapidly (estimated at 100 million in China).


    Is the real problem with humility, since adult water baptism is a humbling act?

    Is the problem with “witnessing” since baptism help other Christians remember what they went through?

    The whole “argument” about the “one” baptism having to be “spiritual baptism” so we do not need to (or even shouldn’t) be water immersed is not supported by scriptural examples, since everyone that was “baptized” by the Holy Spirit seems to have also been water baptized.

    In an effort to emphasis God’s unconditional (salvation), water baptism of believers has been avoided as a subject. People have “argued” that water baptism is a work and since “works” are not required for salvation, water baptism must be avoided. Most “Christian” religious groups “allow” immersion of believers if they want it.

    The problem with this reasoning is adult believer immersion is not something you “do” (work), but is something you allow to be done to you. It is not something “done” as some requirement, but is something you get to do for your sake (to help you) and the sake of others.
     
  5. faroukfarouk

    faroukfarouk Fading curmudgeon

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    John chapter three is a very important passage, where the Lord Jesus Himself explains about being born again.
     
  6. faroukfarouk

    faroukfarouk Fading curmudgeon

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    It's a very important Biblical truth, isn't it.
     
  7. Chgz

    Chgz New Member

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    Thank you very much for explaining this to me, I am very greatful! I feel like I understand a few things a lot better, and also confems that I still have a lot more learning to do ha ha.

    Thank you, I will have to read it. I am embarresd to say that I am still reading the first testiment, but I am reading a few pages each night. I will bookmark that in so I don't forget to have a look tonight.
     
  8. faroukfarouk

    faroukfarouk Fading curmudgeon

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    It's really good to look straight at the source and read what God's Word itself says about these hugely important subjects, such as who the Lord Jesus is, what happened at the Cross for the good of sinners and what it means to be born again. As well as John chapter 3, the end of 1 Peter 1 also has relevant verses.
     
  9. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    Basically, it's a reference to what is otherwise called a "conversion experience." That is to say, some point in time when you realize you are a sinner, repent of it, acknowledge Jesus as your Savior from sin, and commit yourself to him and his teachings. What's the opposite of this? Oh, well, many people merely grow up in some church that was their parents' or they accept Christ but not as described above but as an inspiration, a role model, a great teacher, or something other than I've described.

    Your own situation is difficult to evaluate from your post, but you appear to me more like the second of these two descriptions than the first. As for the process, no, there is no specific ritual, although some churches do a lot of preaching to the audience and attempting to get those who are so moved to make a commitment to Jesus as Lord and Savior.

    If some do, the pastor attempts to have them make it more or less formal through these "altar calls" so that they aren't just casually thinking it's a nice idea, etc. and assuming that they are now Christians. And then they normally counsel them. The "mad fit" and "touching" their heads business may refer to this and to some church bodies, but I think it may be a little different in purpose and it's not the normal process anyway.
     
  10. FutureAndAHope

    FutureAndAHope Just me Supporter

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    The bible says "seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be open to you". You are on the right track with reading your bible, and seeking God.

    It looks like you are seeking the peace and joy that come with knowing God.

    Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

    The joy that God gives is linked to the Holy Spirit. The experiences you saw in the show were people being filled with the Holy Spirit. It bubbling out and overflowing, they would have experienced great joy. I have never had one of those experiences (not that there is anything wrong with it), but God has still given me a great joy and peace in Him. As the degree of the Holy Spirit increases so to does a persons joy.

    I actually sought experiences, but just ended up getting confused. We should focus on relationship with Jesus, not seeking an experience, but if you get an experience great!!!. My joy and peace in Jesus came as a result of spending time with him. The more time I spend in relationship with God, in reading the bible, and prayer for others the more joy and peace I receive.

    The Holy Spirit is the presence of God, He chooses to give certain people the ability to dispense, or give out, usher in His presence. This normally happens if they are correctly teaching the word of God, or have God's favor. People who experience this level of the Holy Spirit may use words like glory. Because when you encounter God is such a powerful way His love and power are glorious.

    It is a bit like a ruler, if you are 10cm from God the joy and glory you receive would be great, move 20cm away and you will still experience joy but it will not be as glorious. Move a further 40cm away and you may not feel much at all.

    Col 3:10-14 Each of you is now a new person. You are becoming more and more like your Creator, and you will understand him better. It doesn't matter if you are a Greek or a Jew, or if you are circumcised or not. You may even be a barbarian or a Scythian, and you may be a slave or a free person. Yet Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us. God loves you and has chosen you as his own special people. So be gentle, kind, humble, meek, and patient. Put up with each other, and forgive anyone who does you wrong, just as Christ has forgiven you. Love is more important than anything else. It is what ties everything completely together.

    The technical definition of Born Again, is "Jesus lives in me", as Christians we have all been born again, if we have put our trust in the forgiving power of Christ, and repented of our sin. Our focus then should be as above, Love. The Holy Spirit can give feelings of love to us. We should however love others, whether we feel anything or not. A part of God's plan is to give you joy and peace, because it enables us to love others.
     
  11. 1213

    1213 Disciple of Jesus

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    Here is what Jesus said about this matter:

    Jesus answered him, "Most assuredly, I tell you, unless one is born anew, he can't 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 tell you, unless one is born of water and spirit, he can't enter into the Kingdom of God! That which is born of the flesh is flesh. That which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Don't marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born anew.'
    John 3:3-7

    It is the spirit who gives life. The flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and are life.
    John 6:63

    "For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel. After those days," says the Lord; "I will put my laws into their mind, I will also write them on their heart. I will be to them a God, And they will be to me a people. They will not teach every man his fellow citizen, Every man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' For all will know me, From the least of them to the greatest of them. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness. I will remember their sins and lawless deeds no more."
    Hebrews 8:10-12 (Jeremiah 31:31-34)

    He who does righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. To this end the Son of God was revealed, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever is born of God doesn't commit sin, because his seed remains in him; and he can't sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are revealed, and the children of the devil. Whoever doesn't do righteousness is not of God, neither is he who doesn't love his brother.
    1 John 3:7-10

    Through the example that Jesus gave and through the words that Jesus said, there can happen change in persons mind so that he becomes righteous, is born anew with right understanding and attitude (Spirit). And the greatest Spirit is Love.

    He who doesn't love doesn't know God, for God is love.
    1 John 4:8
    We know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and he who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him.
    1 John 4:16

    I don’t think disciple of Jesus, who is born anew has to do something. He freely wants to do good things. And good thing is to love neighbors as yourself, it fulfills the whole law.

    Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not murder," "You shall not steal," "You shall not give false testimony," "You shall not covet," [TR adds "You shall not give false testimony,"] and whatever other commandments there are, are all summed up in this saying, namely, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Love doesn't harm a neighbor. Love therefore is the fulfillment of the law.
    Romans 13:8-10

    Going to Church can be beneficial, but I think it is not any must thing to do. Better for example is this:

    Pure religion [religious worship] and undefiled before our God and Father is this: to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
    James 1:27
     
  12. enigmadi

    enigmadi Consecrated

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    It is acknowledging that one is a sinner who cannot by one's own actions or efforts gain the righteousness of God. Righteousness is moral perfection required by God...God knew this and sent His Son, Jesus, to die in our place, thus removing the guilt and penalty of sin. There is so much about God we will not understand in this life in the imperfect world. But, accepting the gift of salvation through Jesus is the start...He said "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.". John 14:6. Sometimes people turn from this simple yet profound truth because it means turning from self to the Creator. Praying, dear one for the move of the Lord in your life.
     
  13. katholischen_miliz

    katholischen_miliz Member

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    Well, I wouldn't exactly want to be a "born again Christian." As those types are Protestant and although Protestantism has a lot of truth it doesn't have the fullness of the truth.
     
  14. Light of the East

    Light of the East Orthodox Inquirer Supporter

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    I have a feeling that this thread could become very confusing to you because you are going to get a real raft of answers from various people. I think that the Scriptures and Christian history is a very good place to start.

    First of all, if you read the writings of the Early Fathers, those who were leaders in the Church in the first couple of centuries, you will find that in their sermons they spoke of baptism as giving new life to the sinner, or being "born from above." The idea of "accepting Jesus as personal Lord and Savior" did not begin until the mid 1850's with a man by the name of Charles Grandison Finney. He introduced an idea which caught on in America and became the "born-again" religion, yet you cannot find this idea prior to the 1850's.

    Why does baptism save us? It does so because it is an act of making a covenant with Christ Jesus. We live in the New Covenant, and therefore, we are a covenant people. In the Old Covenant, the Jews who wanted to be part of the congregation of God were circumcised into the covenant. This was so important that God said to Abraham that anyone who is not circumcised is not part of the covenant nor the nation of Israel, which was the congregation of God.

    In Colossians 2 you will read that circumcision has changed to baptism. There is still a ritual by which we enter into the congregation of God (aka "the Church") but it mode changed from circumcision to baptism.

    So you have already been born again and do not need to do anything other than to confess to God that you sinned by going into the Wiccan practice and repent of that sin. God is your loving heavenly Father and will welcome you back home on your confession to him.

    Now if you wish to practice the same Christian faith that the first Christians practiced, then you should find either an Orthodox or Catholic parish and talk to the priest about learning about the faith. The Orthodox and Catholic churches have the fullness of the Christian faith because they have the Sacraments which bring us closer to Christ our Lord.
    For instance, the Sacrament of the Eucharist is spoken of in John 6, where Jesus said that you must eat His Flesh and drink His Blood to have eternal life. You will find this only in Orthodoxy and Catholicism. While the bread and wine continue to look like bread and wine, Jesus said that they become His very Flesh and Blood, and that is also what Christianity believed for 1500 years until Protestantism was invented by men.

    I would be happy to answer any questions you have regarding the Early Church and Orthodoxy and Catholicism, since I am a convert from Protestantism to the Apostolic faith.
     
  15. hiphopopotomus

    hiphopopotomus Newbie

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  16. Percivale

    Percivale Newbie Supporter

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    I'd suggest reading the New Testament first. Maybe Luke, John, Philippians and Colossians, and I John, to start with. The Old Testament is more of background material; a lot of it doesn't apply to us as directly.
     
  17. W_McCarthy

    W_McCarthy Member

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    :) Read His Word and pray ALOT!
    "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:9
     
  18. Greg J.

    Greg J. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Welcome, Chgz!

    I agree with the responder who suggested you might find all the varied answers confusing. I also agree with Percivale that starting with reading the New Testament is a good idea. Here's my take on the best things you can do for yourself:

    Truly believe that God is real and that he is described accurately by the Bible. Why you should trust the Bible and not something else is a huge topic. The short answer is that "it works." Everything in it is true, and various people alive today have experienced most of the hard-to-believe (usually supernatural) things described. God speaks to millions or tens of millions of Christians around the world every day. The "mad fit" you refer to sounds similar to a supernatural experience that many (not all) Christians have. (There's also supernatural experiences that aren't from God, plus experiences that are from God but are twisted in some fashion because of human sin. Discerning which is which is a highly controversial topic among Christians.)

    The first responder to your original post did a great job, and if you are reach information overload, I'd go back to that.

    It is important to note that it isn't your actions that save you, but actions will always result if you are saved. Part of what it means to believe in Jesus, be born again, be saved (there's many ways to refer to it) is to yield control of every area of your life to the will of the Lord Jesus. When that results in actions, it is evidence you are born again and are on the right path.

    One difficulty is when someone wants to become a Christian, but "just doesn't believe." God requires obedience (because he loves you and it is what will be best for you in the long-term), but one effect of taking obedience seriously is that he will grant you to genuinely believe in him through it.

    There's a million things that will work against you continuing your path to Jesus. One way or another, it comes down to a daily decision of whether to follow (obey and imitate) the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Developing the habit of reading the Bible and praying (talking to God) frequently (every day is best) will help you grow in your knowledge of God and your strengthen (your two-way) connection to him (a relationship). By the way, it is valuable to lean on God himself when you are trying to choose a church to go to. It's worth asking where he wants you to go regularly during your daily prayer time.
     
  19. SpiritRehab

    SpiritRehab Newbie

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    As a former Wiccan, the Truth of what Jesus meant by being Born Again, should be easier for you to understand than for most Christians.

    Being Born Again, means receiving the Spirit of God.
    Just as in all other forms of Spiritualism, the Human takes on an indwelling Spiritual Master, so those who God chooses, receive His Spirit, to live in them and guide them.

    A lot of Christians mistake being Born Again with how one becomes Born Again.
    Being Born Again is receiving the Spirit of God, as your indwelling master.
    One becomes Born Again by confessing the Truth to God:

    1. I am a sinner
    2. I deserve punishment for my sins
    3. I cannot stop myself from sinning
    4. I deserve to be destroyed
    5. I need to be healed
    6. God is loving
    7. God doesn't want to punish me nor destroy me
    8. God wants to heal me
    9. So God became Human: Yahoshua Messiah of Ysarel aka Jesus Christ
    10. Lived a sin free life; to show us the way
    11. Then took on Himself my sins (everyone's)
    12. Then surrendered Himself to be punished & executed for my sins (everyone's)
    13. Then rose from the Dead, to prove His word trustworthy
    14. And promised to return to resurrect us as well

    If you consider these statements and desire Love, Righteousness & Truth, and to know God, with a tiny bit of faith, He will give you His own Spirit; who will give you perfect Faith.

    You just have to confess points 1 to 5, if you really believe it, and ask for forgiveness, not by your merits, nor by any promise to live right, but by a tiny bit of faith in Jesus life & death & resurrection on your behalf. Faith just enough to ask & hope; and He will perfect your faith and you will know that He is God and that you are forgiven, saved & born again.
     
  20. Light of the East

    Light of the East Orthodox Inquirer Supporter

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    But who will tell her what the Word means? She has to have a faithful interpreter of that Word to properly understand it.
     
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