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Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. (John 3:5)

We don’t want the true God. We don’t like the true God. We don’t admire the true God. We don’t respect the true God. We don’t trust the true God. We don’t delight in the true God. Our longings are for what we think this God might be or should be or could be — unless we are born again. 
- John Piper

Born Again

So, what exactly happens when a person becomes born again?

 

Here's what doesn't happen.

This person doesn't adopt a new philosophy nor joins a religion.

Being born again is not something you can 'join 'or 'try on', only to put off later.

 

Being born again is not a new religion - but new life all together!

We cannot reach 'enlightenment', or any other notion of spiritual evolution or fulfillment.

It has to be given to us; we have to be born (again)

'from above'.

We are born spiritually rebellious; secretly hating our one

true God.  We are born spiritually adulterous; cheating on our one true God with many false gods.

 

We are born in spiritual darkness; and the devil offers us false light so that we stay in the dark about not having true spiritual light.

We are born ashamed and fearful of the true God; running away from Him and running after other (false) gods.

When we are born again we receive the Holy Spirit so that we finally see God, and a new, faithful, heart that worships God and God alone.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

2 Corinthians 5:17

 

A person who is born again is a new creation; his/her deepest desires and inclinations have changed, and now walks in the opposite direction they were before. The new creation God has made you has a different spiritual Father, and now resides in an entirely new Kingdom. The new creation at once recognizes that before, he/she was (spiritually) lost, blind, deaf, and dead, and is now found, the scales are removed from their eyes, have been given true/eternal life, and can all of the sudden discern spiritually what is (of) the false god of this world (Satan) and what is (of) the one true God, Jesus. Only in the true Light that is Jesus is false light seen for what it is.

As is true of man who is born naturally and receives a human nature from his parents, so man born anew receives a new nature, a new capacity for service and devotion to God.

- John F. Walvoord

At the moment of the second birth we receive the Holy Spirit (God's Spirit) as a 'deposit and guarantee' for the future kingdom of heaven on earth. Receiving the Holy Spirit changes our citizenship; from a inhabitant of the kingdom of darkness, to the kingdom of light/heaven/God (which has presently begun but will not fully manifest until Jesus returns). The Holy Spirit also drives out (delivers us from) all the other spirits that we were listening to and following, spirits (fallen angels) that were no longer obeying a holy God, so that now we can know/see/hear the true God with more and increasing clarity and spiritual sensitivity. The Holy Spirit testifies that we are now children of God, and reveals to us that before we were 'children of Satan' (following in his footsteps). Jesus has now become Lord of our lives; we are now His sheep and we recognize the voice of our shepherd. Only when we have received the Holy Spirit can we discern anything spiritually, and can we see our fallen, sinful nature (the natural man's mind cannot see nor comprehend this and usually takes offense). Seeing our sinful nature for the very first time naturally leads us to repentance; to change our minds which leads to a change of heart and behavior, including experiencing a 'godly sorrow' for having forsaken the true God to follow after idols all this time.

and He has identified us as His own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything He has promised us.

2 Corinthians :22

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

John 10:27

The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God

Romans 8:16

You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

John 8:44

Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.

1 John 3:8

The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.

1 Corinthians 2:14 

Godly sorrow for sin leads to repentance, while worldly sorrow leads to spiritual death.

2 Corinthians 7:10

Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them.

Jonah 2:8

Born again.... wouldn't that just be another ego death?

Another level in my spiritual evolution reached?

Aren't we supposed to always keep reaching newer and higher layers of consciousness and 'truth'?

 

No, being born again is not the same as the 'awakenings' we experience in the new age. Those awakenings are only different degrees of false light, like inception. You can be awake to the matrix and still be in the kingdom of the devil. You can be awake to the spiritual realm, and still belong to the enemy. You can have elaborate, intricate, lofty notions of God.... and you can still be dead wrong and worship a false god.

 

Imagine this whole world currently as Satan's kingdom (he isn't called 'god of this world/age', by God Himself, for no reason... 2 Corinthians 4:4). You can move about from (spiritual) place to place.... your path, your practices, your philosophies can change, either subtly or drastically... and yet... you're always moving around in HIS kingdom.... 

 

Until the moment you are born again. 

You cannot get out by yourself, it has to happen by a supernatural act of God that is a gift you cannot earn nor deserve (we are saved by God's grace) nor do anything yourself to bring about. And it happens the moment you want the real God, more than the 'god' of this world... Satan.

It usually takes us a long and painful and confusing time of searching and receiving all that the devil has to offer; and he has a lot to offer! Lots of wealth and pleasure. Sugary sweet spiritual highs. The freedom to glorify yourself as a spiritual teacher or special leader, as someone who makes a real difference in the world and helps people. He offers healing and spiritual 'knowledge' and experiences like no other. Just of the nature of always needing more and never quite being finished....

Lots of truth, mixed with even more lies.

He offers you an impersonal 'god' ('love', 'light', 'consciousness', 'the universe', 'energy', 'truth') that you can project all your own ideologies on and doesn't confront you with His will and His ways - in other words, a pacifier.

Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, `You must be born again.' - John 3:5-7

 

Sin clouds our vision. Because of this we see sin and think it looks wonderful, and in turn see God and think He looks boring. When we live in sin we look at Jesus and the Bible and see religion, or a great moral teacher, or an ascended master... but we never see the very face of God.

 

When we are born again, however, the eyes of our hearts are opened and we begin to truly see God for who he really is: Creator, Father, Savior, Treasure. (2 Corinthians 4:3-6)

 

From the moment a person receives the Holy Spirit, the Scriptures open themselves to the person as the Word of God, rather than a bunch of man-made religious nonsense or mythical stories. It's recognized as truth and completely coherent and internally consistent. Whereas a person who hasn't received the Holy Spirit may study the Bible for decades and mentally understand it and either agree or disagree with it, but not recognize nor receive the words as 'active and alive' and 'living water', nourishing the spirit and soul.

The moment a person receives the Holy Spirit, they suddenly recognize the true God, and they make Him Lord of their lives.

No longer an impersonal force or mystical concept called God, divine, life, or universe - but Lord and Savior.

We become like little children; innocent and wholly dependent on Him who holds all things in His hand. Our newfound prayer life is a testimony that we have stopped relying on our own strength, wisdom, leading, provision, and understanding, and now trust God for all these things. 

 

The entirety of our souls - our emotions, mind, and will - are given a new shape and direction, we no longer live solely for our own personal happiness and gain, or according to our own morals nor values, we now recognize our life was never ours to begin with, and it was never ours to do with what we will - our life has always been a gift from God and it was given to know, delight in, and glorify God. In other words, from this moment forward, God will be rightly recognized as our greatest treasure that nothing in this world could ever compete with, and all the wonderful things this world has to offer are but an echo, a reflection, of the beauty of the God who made them, and obedience to His ways and His Word and His truth, not our own, the true freedom we have been looking for all our lives'.

With our inherited nature we desired all the wrong things and we were constantly trying to fill a God-shaped hole in our hearts. We tried to find security, stability, and satisfaction in ourselves, counterfeit spirituality, or the things of this world. Our magnetic north was aimed at ourselves. When we were born again we received a new nature with its magnetic north aimed at the God who created the heavens and the earth and discovered that He is infinitely more satisfying, that we were in fact created to enjoy this most glorious of Beings, that He Himself is the biggest gift that He has given us. And we find that by looking at Him (in the Spirit), we become more like Him; love becomes more of an act of self sacrifice rather than an act in self gratification.

 

With God - not education or human relationships nor money or job security or a nice house or special spiritual knowledge or power - as our source of security and stability, we are no longer tossed around by every wind or season or emotion. Our feet have finally found solid ground, and our souls can finally truly come to rest in knowing that our biggest problem in this life has been solved; separation from our God. We are no longer trying to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps (an impossibility), rather we are now held by the only One that truly can, and the rest of our lives become joyfully geared towards pursuing to love God even but a fraction of how much He loves us.

The born again believer is also severely humbled by the undeserved gift of salvation after a lifetime of committing cosmic treason (sin) against the very God that gives us life and all of the created universe to enjoy, and that we have defiled by going it our own way. The magnitude of this gift and the sacrifice paid on the cross, humbles and overwhelms us anew every morning, which organically leads to a life of worship; of loving what God loves and hating what God hates, of singing His praises, and wanting to pass this gift on to others by sharing with them the good news (the gospel).

The born again believer still experiences many of the same problems as unbelievers do since we all live in the same fallen, broken world (that we broke due to sin), in fact in many ways life doesn't become easier but harder becoming a child of God, because for the time being, that very child of God is now an enemy to the temporary 'god of this world' (Satan), and also goes against the current of this entire world and everyone in it, who all worship this false god.

 

And, whereas others are quite comfortable in their sin, the believer now becomes viscerally appalled at many of the ways of this world system, while struggling against these very behaviors in their own lives' (we receive a new heart and Spirit with new desires, but we also still 'carry around' our old fleshy nature).

 

What sets apart the believer from the unbeliever however, is that their entire life is now lived in God's presence and safe embrace. Believers will tell you that they had never known true peace and soul rest, before they were reconciled with God (even when they imagined they did).

 

'Our magnetic north has been recalibrated, and our hearts minds wills and lives' are put in total, harmonious order because of it.' 

And though life will be life will all its ups and downs; God's presence is a safe haven no matter the circumstances; and the biggest gift - making losing or gaining anything else not the major theme in our lives anymore . Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also, and the believers treasure is no longer in this life, but safe in eternity with God; we cease chasing after the winds of anything that is temporal, and instead focus our heart and attention towards that which is eternal, the beauty and glory of God. 

Our magnetic north has been recalibrated, and our hearts minds wills and lives' are put in total, harmonious order because of it. 

Though it may appear as though we are still in the world; we now mostly reside in the kingdom of Heaven which will soon be made fully manifest for all God's children.

 

For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.

Colossians 3:3

Saved from the consequence of sin

 

Moreover, a person that is born again has been saved, by God’s grace, from eternal separation from Him; hell. 

For a person who dies in their sin, rather than in the righteousness of Jesus, has chosen to be eternally separated from God.

 

This is a suffering so horrible we truly cannot comprehend it, but imagine anything good anything lovely and anything beautiful taken away, and only that which is depraved, distorted, and dark, remain. 

In this current world, God still extends ‘common grace’ to everything and everyone; the only reason this place isn’t the full extend of hell is because God, for a period, let’s His beauty and grace and goodness shine through and affect this fallen creation. Since God is the (only) source of all that is good - those who don’t choose Him choose to eternally forego His nature and gifts. This is the gift of free will that God has given us when He made us in His image. 

I will cleanse you from all your impurities and all your idols.
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; 
I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes.
Jeremiah 36:25-27

These are things about which we cannot afford to be wrong; to be wrong is to be lost and far from God no matter what we tell ourselves.

If we cannot confidently say that we have been born again, we are living in active hostility against the God who created all, and to die in this state is to remain in this state for eternity. 

 

And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment, so also Christ was offered once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people.

Hebrews 9:27-28

 

Start reaching out to God today, He is near to all who seek Him with all their hearts.

 

Seek the LORD while He may be found; call on him while

He is near.

Isaiah 55:6

But from there, you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all

your soul. 

Deuteronomy 4:29

Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.

 

C.S. Lewis

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