Born Again

By Bobby Brewer

Born Again. It’s a phrase we’ve all heard but what exactly does it really mean?

In the first century a false and popular teaching had developed among the Pharisees teaching that all Jews would be a part of the Kingdom of God. Thus, it was falsely taught that if you had Jewish DNA you were in and good to go. However, Jesus will tell Nicodemus, who was not only Jewish but a “teacher of Israel” (somewhat like a spiritual supreme court justice) that if he wasn’t born again he (Nicodemus) would not see the Kingdom of God. In fact, Jesus makes this point twice (John 3:3, 7). John the Baptist was very direct with the Pharisees when he said to them, “Do you think a little water on your snakeskins is going to make any difference? It’s your life that must change, not your skin! And don’t think you can pull rank by claiming Abraham as father. Being a descendant of Abraham is neither here nor there. Descendants of Abraham are a dime a dozen.” (Matt. 3:8-10)

Today this would be similar to someone falsely thinking that due to the fact they’d become a member of a church that they’re good to go for going to heaven.

Water was/is symbolic of spiritual purification

For Gentiles who wanted to become Jewish (generally so that they could marry the Jewish girl of their dreams) they would be examined in their understanding of Judaism and after passing a confirmation they would take a spiritual bath. As a result of this “baptism” they were seen as a part of the community with full rites and privileges as any other Jew. In preparing people for the arrival of Jesus, John the Baptist had of course reminded them that they (Jews included) needed to have a new heart (as prophesied by Ezekiel 36:24-26) for being in the family of God. In John 3 Jesus famously tells Nicodemus that he too needs to be born again. If not, he will not see the Kingdom of God, i.e., his dna and membership in the Sanhedrin was insufficient for salvation. He (Nicodemus) needed to be born again.

So, how do you do that? Earlier John the apostle has said in the same manuscript what you already know: “But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His Name, He gave the right to become children of God” (John. 1:12). It’s all about Jesus and His grace. Have you welcomed Him into your heart? Or are you still trying to work your way into heaven with deeds, actions, and rituals? To receive Jesus is to welcome Jesus. If you havent done so already let me encourage you to do just that, ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins and to save your soul. He will. In fact, He’s the only one who can.

So, does baptism save your soul? Short answer-no. Should you be baptized? Yes. Over the years I’ve seen spiritual breakthroughs for Christians who’ve never gotten around to it. It’s certainly not the case for most, but on some occasions, because it’s an act of obedience some are delivered from various addictions. If you’ve never been baptized but would like to do so why wait? We do our baptisms in the Verde River and/or we can make special arrangements for you to be baptized in a pool.

Dig a little deeper into the above by joining us this Sunday and/or click here to download this important message.

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