John 3:1-12: "What Is Being Born Again?"

User avatar
Romans
Study Leader
Study Leader
Posts: 217
Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2009 2:45 am

John 3:1-12: "What Is Being Born Again?"

Post by Romans » Fri Jan 09, 2015 5:41 am

The Gospel According to John: John 3:1-12: Being Born Again” by Romans

For those of you who were with me since early in September when I began this series, we are continuing in our examination of the Gospel According to John. Tonight we will be examining the first 12 verses of the Third Chapter of this Gospel Account.

Let's get started by reading them in their entirety from the King James Version. Then we'll go back over them and zoom in for a closer look, and commentary as the need arises:

John 3:1  ¶There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
2  The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
3  Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
4  Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
5  Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6  That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7  Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
8  The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
9  Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?
10  Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?
11  Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.
12  If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?”

Our verses, tonight, record a very familiar New Testament conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus is, perhaps, one of the most familiar conversations in all of Scripture. John's Gospel is the only one of the four which records anything about Nicodemus. He is identified as “ a ruler of the Jews.” The Interpreter's Bible tells us this about him: “He is a Pharisee, and a member of the Sanhedrin.” He approaches Jesus as Rabbi, based on the signs which attest to His Divine Mission, and the presence of God. They refer to a midrash (or, on Deuteronomy 18:19 that says, “If a prophet who begins to prophesy (i.e. who is still uncredited) gives a sign and a miracle, he is to be listened to, otherwise he is not to be heeded. Jesus accepts the title by answering the unspoken question. Since the nation was aroused by the preaching of John the Baptist, the main subject of religious discussion had been the Kingdom of God, its nature and its near approach.”

We also learn from the text in verse 2 that this conversation takes place at night. As a ruler of the Jews, Nicodemus did not want to be seen, frankly, in broad daylight meeting with this very controversial figure, Jesus. The Jews, according to what John tells us in Chapter 10 and verse 22 of his Gospel, had a standing order that “if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue.” Nicodemus does not make such a confession, here. He does come out very boldly at a later time in John 7, defending Jesus during a Council Meeting when officers who were sent to arrest Jesus came back empty-handed. We read of Nicodemus one last time under circumstances that were far more ominous and even life-threatening than simply being evicted from a Synagogue. After Jesus had died, and was taken down from the cross, we read in John 19:38-39 that Joseph of Arimathaea received His body for burial, and that Nicodemus was also there, and provided the necessary spices. But, getting back to John 3, during this particular conversation, Nicodemus does make a startling declaration in verse 2: “We know that thou art a teacher come from God ...” Did you catch the pronoun Nicodemus used? Not I know, but rather, “we know that thou art a teacher come from God.” There were other rulers, other Pharisees and Sanhedrin members who, not just suspected, or even believed, but knew that Jesus was genuinely sent from God. Nicodemus was not alone in that conclusion. There were others that agreed with Nicodemus, I am sure, in cautiously whispered acknowledgments, that Jesus was sent from God, and that He was not a false Christ or a counterfeit Messiah.

Jesus, in the next verse, seemingly responds to a question that has yet to be asked. And His response, regarding being Born Again, will be the focus on our Discussion, this Evening.

Here is Jesus opening comment: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

I am going to read from several commentaries, and share with you what they have to say about Jesus' words. I will tell you, before I read them, that I believe that all of them miss Jesus' point entirely. And these represent all of the commentaries I read. While they all correctly present the modern, agreed-upon understanding of Jesus' words, they all missed His point. I will fully explain why I say that, as we continue.

From the publication: Answers to Tough Questions, we read: “Jesus said that to enter the kingdom of heaven a person must be "born again" (John 3:3). This consists of an act of the heart in believing in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. When we were born into the world physically, we were born spiritually dead, and therefore we need a spiritual birth.”

This is basically how most people understand the concept of being born again, as “an act of the heart in believing in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.” But Jesus did not include in what He said, anything about an acts of the heart, or believing anything new, or changing any of beliefs. Belief is not a part of Jesus' words at all! He simply and flatly presents an apparently undeniable and unalterable Truth.

Let's look at another commentary:

From the book, “I Never Knew That Was in the Bible!”
Topic: “BORN AGAIN
In contemporary English, the expression “born again” is used to describe an enthusiastic conversion to a particular cause or even simply to mean “renewed, new.” The origin of the expression is Jesus’ answer to Nicodemus: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3, kjv). Nicodemus had to undergo a radical transformation by the Spirit of God in order for him to see the kingdom of God. Most of the contemporary versions retain the kjv’s expression “born again”; the cev and the nrsv have 'born from above'; the rsv, 'born anew.'”

From Halley's Bible Handbook we read, “The new birth Jesus talked about is not merely a metaphor, but an actual reality that results from the impregnation of the human heart by the Spirit of God.”

Next, Billy Graham wrote a book called, How To Be Born Again. It sold almost a million and a half copies:
Here is the description of it from Amazon.com: “Man has a problem and God has an answer in Christ. How then do we respond? Dr. Graham gives the answer in simple, direct, and dynamic language. But he does not stop with the moment of the new birth, for newborns have a lot of growing to do. Here also is essential guidance to take them further, for they can scarcely realize so soon the potential of the new power God can release from deep within them. How to Be Born Again is at once universal and personal, for the new Christian and for the Christian along the way – an irresistible primer for finding salvation, a guidebook for continuing growth.”

Billy Graham's book on How To Be Born Again is called a guide for the new believer. As you will see before we are through, being Born Again has nothing to do with finding salvation or continuing your growth in serving the Lord.

We read from the MacArthur Study Bible, “The phrase literally means, 'born from above.' Jesus answered a question that Nicodemus does not even ask. He read Nicodemus' heart, and came to the very core of his problem, i.e., the need for spiritual transformation or regeneration produced by the Holy Spirit.”

While I agree that there is absolutely a need for spiritual transformation or regeneration, such a transformation in the context of repentance or conversion is not what Jesus was trying to convey to Nicodemus.
I agree mostly with the summary statement of the Commentary I read first: The Interpreter's Bible, which stated: “Since the nation was aroused by the preaching of John the Baptist, the main subject of religious discussion had been the Kingdom of God, its nature and its near approach.”

Several of the commentaries speak of Jesus answering a question about personal conversion that was not even asked: What about the occasion when such a question was specifically asked. We read beginning in Mark 10:17  ¶And when he (Jesus) was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?
18  And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.
19  Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother...”

When the rich young ruler came to Jesus, asking how he might obtain Eternal Life, this conversation, and not the conversation with Nicodemus would have been the perfect opportunity for Jesus to say, “Ye must be born again,”

IF being born again had anything to do with repentance or conversion or obedience or turning your life over to Christ. But Jesus did not mention being born again to the rich young ruler because it has nothing to do with those very important spiritual aspects of Christianity of repentance and conversion and being a spirit-filled Christ follower.

There was another golden opportunity to speak of being born again that was completely missed by Peter on the Day of Pentecost. Let's read the account in to get a feel for what is going on: In his summation of the sermon he just preached, Peter says beginning in Acts 2:36: “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
37  ¶Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?”

Could there have been a better time for Peter to say, if it applied, “Ye must be born again”?

Instead he said, in the next verse, (38): “... Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

He didn't tell them they must be must born again because being born again has nothing to do with conversion or repentance, or baptism, or living a godly life that brings Glory and Honor to the Father.

The term “Born Again” is misapplied to repentance and conversion. It has nothing to do with either concept. We read in Luke 22:31: “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: 32  But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” Jesus did not tell Peter, “... when thou art born again, strengthen thy brethren.” Rather, He said “when thou art converted,” because conversion was what He was talking about.

Let me explain being born again from, what I am sure will initially sound like I am coming out of Left Field with something completely unrelated to the subject. But I assure you, if you will hear me, you will see how it all ties in:

There are three ways to become a member of a family: you marry into it, or you are adopted into it, or you are born into it. Where the believer is concerned, we will experience all three ways!!

Let's look at all three ways Scripture says believers will enter the Family of God:

The first way to become a member of a family is to marry into it:
The Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 11:2: “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.”

There is a Marriage Supper described when Christ returns: Revelation 19:7: “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.”

Revelation 21:9: “And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife.” The bride is the Church. We will marry into the Family of God!

We will also be adopted into the Family of God:
Romans 8:15: “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.”

Galatians 4:5: “To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.”

Ephesians 1:5 “Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.”

And, the third way to become a member of a family is to be born into it. By experiencing all three ways, God wants us to know beyond any shadow of a doubt that we are members of the Family of God!
At the resurrection, we will also be born into Family of God. Scripture calls the coming resurrection that believers will be a part of, our birth into the Family of God. Jesus was our Pioneer in this, as we read in Colossians 1:18: “And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.” This is a very unusual and unexpected way to refer to the resurrection, but it is there! Jesus' resurrection is referred to as a birth. This is the very concept that most people completely miss, that Christ tried to convey to Nicodemus when He said in John 3:3:” Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” This is confirmed when Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:50: “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.”

There are only three times that the words “born again” appear in Scripture. It appears NOWHERE in the Old Testament, twice in John's Gospel in the conversation between Christ and Nicodemus, and one more time 1 Peter 1:23: “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.”

We must be “born again,” or, resurrected in an incorruptible state. Paul continued in verse 52: “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” Changed, yes! But changed from what to what? Changed from corruptible flesh to incorruptible spirit. This is exactly what Jesus told Nicodemus: Read His words carefully to see that it is impossible for any flesh and blood human being to claim they are, or could have been, past tense, “born again.” The Resurrection is yet future, when our being “born again” will take place. Notice: Jesus said in John 3:6: “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”

Let's look at the original Greek to get a better understanding of what Jesus is saying, here:

“That which is born of the spirit is spirit.” “Spirit” is from the Greek word, (4151) “pneuma --
pronounced: pnyoo'-mah

from 4154; a current of air, i.e. breath (blast) or a breeze; by analogy or figuratively, a spirit

But there was another event during Jesus' ministry that I would like to focus on momentarily: When Jesus walked on the water, the disciples saw Him and were terrified because they thought He was a spirit. The original Greek word for spirit in that case is the word (5326) “fantasma --
pronounced: fan'-tas-mah, from 5324; (properly concrete) a (mere) show ("phantasm"), i.e. spectre:

In neither of these cases can it be said of any living human being, that he or she is spirit! It is not possible for a flesh and blood human believer, no matter how faithful or devout, religious, or knowledgeable of Scripture, to be “born again,” at this time, or, in Christ's words, to be spirit. We are all flesh and blood, until the Resurrection.



Yet, millions and millions of Christians claim to be “born again.” In earlier weeks I spoke of the hundreds of millions of Catholics who for generations were told, and who believe that Jesus was an only child. That He had no brothers and sisters. They trusted the priests who taught them this falsehood, to faithfully and correctly bring them the word of God. But their teaching was not in harmony with what Scripture plainly said. Jesus had brothers and sisters. His four brothers are named!
This issue of being born again is really no different. I will admit that the teaching is not as easy to discern as a direct statement that names Jesus' brothers, but the truth is about it is there. And the people who teach us are trained to “rightly divide the Word,” and provide us with the meat of the word. As we saw with Billy Graham's book, earlier, Christians are being taught that being born again is synonymous with repentance and conversion. I am telling you that Scripture says no such thing. But, just for the heck of it, let's give them the benefit of the doubt, and agree that Christians are, now, born again. If that is true, and Billy Graham and all the other commentaries that agree with him are right, and I am wrong, what can we make of what the Apostle John wrote in 1 John 3:9: “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” Do you know any born again Christians who “cannot sin”? Two chapters earlier, John wrote in 1 John 1:8: “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” If we say... does he not mean if Christians say... “that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves”? But in the verse above, he clearly says that “whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin” and “he cannot sin.” The only way for this to not be a contradiction, it that it has to mean that living, flesh-and-blood human beings are not currently “born again.” Otherwise, we cannot resolve the conflict where we both “cannot sin” and we are liars if we say we have no sin. No... We will be, at the Resurrection, born again, and not before. And then, Jesus' words and the description of those born of God will both be true: “That which is born of the spirit, is spirit,” and “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin.”

I can imagine at this point that the newness and strangeness of what I am saying has smoke coming out of a lot of ears, here. It may come to some of you tomorrow or next week that the Bible talks of Christians being new creatures... now. And not later in the Resurrection. And that is a good point! Let's read that verse in 2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

And the question may come to some of your minds: How are we new creatures now if we aren't born again? The answer is that we are indeed, present tense, new creatures, but not because we are born again: Being Born Again happens at the Resurrection. We are new creatures, now, not because we are Born Again, but because we are begotten again.

Listen to Peter's very important and illuminating words about this in 1 Peter 1:3: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead...”

We are begotten again unto a lively hope by the resurrection, at which time we will be born again, or born of God:

1 John 5:18: “We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.”

Notice that John repeats the description of those who are born again, that they do not sin, which cannot be applied to any human being alive on earth today, be they Christian, Jewish or otherwise. However he goes on to say, but …” He is changing the subject... changing the context, and going from our future state as being spirit-born into the Family of God, to our present state as living, flesh and blood Christians.
Let's read the entire verse again, “We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.”

Why and how does the wicked one, Satan, not touch someone who is begotten again? John answers that in 1 John 2:14: “I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.”

We who are alive today, as newly begotten creatures of God keep ourselves from the pollutions of the wordld as James wrote in James 1:27: “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”

Be we are not yet born again. We can and do sin... daily.
And God has provided a remedy for that situation in 1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

When the Resurrection takes place, we will be born again, spirit-composed members of the Family of God. Romans 8:29: “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” Here Jesus' Resurrection is once again being referred to as a birth. As He was the firstborn among other physical brothers born to Mary, He was the firstborn among many spiritual brethren.”

As Jesus told Nicodemus in John3:5: “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God,” Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:50: “... flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God...”;

As Jesus said to Nicodemus in John 3:6: “Ye must be born again,” and Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:53: “For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” Being born again and the change we undergo in the Resurrection is the very same “must” situation because, as we read in 1 Corinthians 15:50: “... flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.”

As Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3:7 “... that which is born of the Spirit is spirit,” Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:51: “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.”

So that His death could be the complete and fully-acceptable sacrifice for all of mankind, Jesus was born fully human. As a human being, the Creator God, for the first time, experienced hunger, and thirst and exhaustion. His death proved that as a human being, he was mortal. He was God in the flesh. When He was raised from the dead, He was Born Again! The Apostle Paul twice tells us, and in so many words, first in Colossians 1:18, that He was “the firstborn from the dead,” and next in Romans 8:29 that He was “the firstborn among many brethren.” And we, at the Resurrection, who will make up those “many brethren” will at last ourselves be Born Again, changed from mortal to immortal, changed from corruptible to incorruptible, and changed from flesh to spirit. Just as Jesus told Nicodemus, “That which is born of the spirit is spirit.”

This concludes our Discussion on John 3:1-12: "To Be Born Again?”
This Discussion was originally aired "live" on January 8th, 2015

User avatar
Hello
Member
Member
Posts: 29
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2014 7:27 am

Re: John 3:1-12: "To Be Born Again"

Post by Hello » Fri Jan 09, 2015 7:02 am

1. The resurrection being the moment of all three (the completion of the "adoption", the completion of being "born again", and the "marriage" to the one the church is currently betrothed) these seem simply to be three of the ways (beside, for instance, the fact that He is our "friend"--but any of these could be "friend" beside) in which God relates with His people. He does relate to us on different levels (e.g., Israel was his son, his sons, daughters, his slave and his wife).

2. Many simply translate the 1 J verse "DOES NOT MAKE A PRACTICE OF SINNING", obviating "if anyone sins"'s legitimacy, and presenting no problem needing resolution ("we know the the language a lot better today than they did in the days when the KJV was written, and we have both a greater number of manuscripts and older manuscripts" --paraphrase of Dr. James White of Alpha & Omega Ministries).

User avatar
Hello
Member
Member
Posts: 29
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2014 7:27 am

Re: John 3:1-12: "To Be Born Again"

Post by Hello » Fri Jan 09, 2015 7:12 am

In one sense, Jesus's approach to pointing to the Commands is His "testing" the person's response, since we know that "the Command that promised life I found to be death" [Ro 7:10]; in another sense, both of Jesus's responses ("do the commands" "be born again") are simply two parts of a comprehensive answer, and do not of necessity conflict--as also Paul explains:
i. "neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts but keeping the Commandments of God",
ii. "nothing counts but a new creation."
In other words, Paul assumes that there must be righteousness (doing of God's will) if wrath is to be escaped [Ro 1:16-18], but does not circumvent the reality that man must be a new creation in Christ to do so.

And in order to do this, we must first acknowledge our sin and repent. The deceitfulness of sin can harden the heart unto unbelief [Heb 3:12,13]; it was for this very cause (unrepentant indulgence in boasting) some/most of the Pharisees "could not believe" [Jn 5:44].

I think all three are needed and there is no contradiction.

User avatar
Hello
Member
Member
Posts: 29
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2014 7:27 am

Re: John 3:1-12: "To Be Born Again"

Post by Hello » Fri Jan 09, 2015 7:41 am

Correction: Actually, He does not say they are daughters in the passage I was thinking about; when Ezekiel calls Judah someone's "sister", it referred to how they related (not with God, but) with their father, mother and sisters [Ez 16:3,44+].

User avatar
Hello
Member
Member
Posts: 29
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2014 7:27 am

Re: John 3:1-12: "To Be Born Again"

Post by Hello » Fri Jan 09, 2015 9:26 am

I think Jesus's "the hour is coming and now is" (even in reference to the resurrection--"I am the resurrection" [Jn 11:25], and we are "raised with Him" [Ro 6:4; Col 2:12,3:1]) vindicates and resolves us being taught we must (currently) be born again (through faith in Christ [John 1:12,13]); yet how this (current) "born again" comes with a "future hope" clause (explicitly inferring "the hour is" still "coming", and has not yet arrived, when the "new birth" will be concluded--"we were saved in hope... but why does one hope for what he sees?... the redemption of the body.") [Ro 8].

User avatar
Hello
Member
Member
Posts: 29
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2014 7:27 am

Re: John 3:1-12: "To Be Born Again"

Post by Hello » Fri Jan 09, 2015 2:20 pm

Praise God.
I'm sure the Bible lesson chat was edifying by the power of the Spirit.

User avatar
Romans
Study Leader
Study Leader
Posts: 217
Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2009 2:45 am

Re: John 3:1-12: "To Be Born Again"

Post by Romans » Sat Jan 10, 2015 3:20 pm

Greetings, Hello <><

Thank you for reading an commenting on my Post.
You made two points: I will comment on each:

One, you said that God relates to us on different levels. I agree that He does. You said that Jesus is a "friend" to us. Indeed, He is! But being a friend, and being a family member are two drastically different things. And, at the end of the day, neither of these two facts have any impact on our becoming members of God's Family. We have friendships, and relationships on different levels with many different people. But members of our families are not affected or diminished by those friends or relationships. Christians will marry into and be adopted into and be born into the Family of God. All three.

Next you stated that "many simply translate the 1 J verse "DOES NOT MAKE A PRACTICE OF SINNING..." and "we know the the language a lot better today than they did in the days when the KJV was written, and we have both a greater number of manuscripts and older manuscripts" --paraphrase of Dr. James White of Alpha & Omega Ministries)."

I fully agree that there are many translations that refer to those born of God as not practicing as opposed to never committing sin. Yes we have, indeed, come a long way from KJV understanding of the original languages. And, yes, many new manuscripts have been found since 1611. However, the alternate translations you referred to are not translations at all: they are biased transliterations which attempt to add explanation into the translation by modifying the original Greek.

Consider: The original Greek word that John wrote is the Greek word, "ou." It was translated "cannot" in 1 John 3:9, which reads: "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin," Its definition is ironclad, with no fudge room whatsoever for the modifications we are seeing in these other "translations": Strong's Greek Dictionary defines "ou" as "an absolute negative, no, never, nothing." This Greek word does not change no matter how many new and faithful Greek manuscripts you find, and its definition does not change now matter how many years from KJV time we may be.

Notice some of the other occasions where this absolute negative is used:

John 3:5  Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot (Greek, "ou") enter into the kingdom of God.

This "cannot" is definite, sure, and final.

Jesus said in John 10:35 "... the scripture cannot (Greek, "ou") be broken;

There is nothing about the above "cannot" that is occasional or relative or temporary.

In defending the disciples' preaching, Gamaliel said in Acts 5:39  But if it be of God, ye cannot (Greek, "ou") overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.

There is nothing about the above "cannot" that is occasional or relative or temporary.

And again in 1 Corinthians 15:50  Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and cannot (Greek, "ou") inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

This "cannot" is also definite, sure, and final.

These many other translations have been produced by people who have been taught, and who believe that we are or can be Born Again now, today, as flesh and blood human beings.
With all due respect, they are not correct. Their tainted translations are inexcusable! Scripture teaches no such thing. We will be Born Again in the Resurrection and not before!

~Romans

User avatar
Hello
Member
Member
Posts: 29
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2014 7:27 am

Re: John 3:1-12: "To Be Born Again"

Post by Hello » Sat Jan 10, 2015 4:35 pm

Romans wrote:Greetings, Hello <><
Greetings

Romans wrote:But being a friend, and being a family member are two drastically different things.
I think the basis of a healthy marriage would be friendship, and the same could be said for every relationship--a person can be both--but I think your point is an idea of "security" due to the idea of "family".

Romans wrote:And, at the end of the day, neither of these two facts have any impact on our becoming members of God's Family.
Actually, Jesus says His life is laid down only for his friends, and qualifies His friends as being those who do what ever he wants them to do. I'm pretty sure that if you want to define "born again" as nothing other than that future event it would behoove us to be Christ's "friends" or else His laid-down life will not profit us. Don't you agree?

Romans wrote:...the alternate translations you referred to are not translations at all: they are biased transliterations which attempt to add explanation into the translation by modifying the original Greek.

Consider: The original Greek word that John wrote is the Greek word, "ou." It was translated "cannot" in 1 John 3:9, which reads: "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin," Its definition is ironclad, with no fudge room whatsoever for the modifications we are seeing in these other "translations": Strong's Greek Dictionary defines "ou" as "an absolute negative, no, never, nothing." This Greek word does not change no matter how many new and faithful Greek manuscripts you find, and its definition does not change now matter how many years from KJV time we may be.

...
Greek words' definitions cannot be determined independent of their surrounding words--they are highly modifiable--so no matter what lexicon (much less Strong's, which is called "unreliable" by a Doctor of Near Eastern languages--citing other Doctors of the languages--Dr. Michael L. Brown) we use, the lexicon will not definitively explain the word apart from understanding the clauses it is found in.
Consider: there has to be a valid reason why they interpret it that way.
As it is, I busy myself with other matters so it is not something I have looked into as of yet--and it is not something I think I can afford to branch out into, either, since I am focused on perfecting fellowship with God and I don't think this will have any positive bearing on that.
Thanks

Romans wrote:We will be Born Again in the Resurrection and not before!
Scripture is clear that we have been "begotten again unto a living hope", that we are "new creations", we are "now God's children" and are already not only "citizens" but even "ambassadors" of the Kingdom of the Heavens (etc.,); so I can't understand what your angle/intent is in denying what seems to be clear.
In my perspective, what you're doing is no different than when people deny the reality that we have "been saved" (past-tense) [Ep 2:8,9] just because it says we "will be saved" [Ro 5:9] (future-tense): in my mind, it is not either/or but both/and ("the hour is coming and now is"). I don't feel compelled to "choose".
If you don't agree with me, I'm OK with that.
Be blessed.

User avatar
Hello
Member
Member
Posts: 29
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2014 7:27 am

Re: John 3:1-12: "What Is Being Born Again"

Post by Hello » Sat Jan 10, 2015 4:42 pm

The very verse you are using teaches people are born of God.

1 John 3
9No one born of God...

If anyone is "born of" me, they will be called my children; that is what we are called. :)

1 John 3
2Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.

It is debated, but I heard that when 1 J says John wrote it "concerning those who want to deceive you", it referred to "Gnostics", who taught that we would all continue living sinfully because all flesh was evil and that God expected us to continue sinning (this is also the reason why you would find John rebuffing one of their other derivative claims--"Jesus couldn't have come in the flesh", "because all flesh is evil").

User avatar
Romans
Study Leader
Study Leader
Posts: 217
Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2009 2:45 am

Re: John 3:1-12: "To Be Born Again"

Post by Romans » Sat Jan 10, 2015 4:44 pm

Greetings, Hello <><

I have to disagree with you for four reasons where you say "do the commands" is the same as "be born again."

First: Jesus never said anywhere, or at any time "be born again."

Second: He said Ye must be born again." There is a drastic difference;

Third: We can no more be born again, than we can "put on immortality," and

Fourth: Jesus said, "Ye must be born again" (John 3:7) and Paul wrote in "... this mortal must put on immortality" (1 Corinthians 15:53). They are the same "must" being done to us. We cannot be Born Again, or put on immortality by our own wills, agreement, sincerity, obedience or anything else.

Jesus and Paul are both simply saying, "To see and/or enter the Kingdom of God, you must be changed from mortal to immortal, and changed from flesh to spirit." We can do neither one! God does it to us at the Resurrection.

~Romans

Locked

Return to “Thursday Night Bible Study”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests