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A Weekend Question February 9, 2007

Posted by larrylaz in Random Musings.
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Due to Joe’s absence for a road trip, I thought I would pose a question to the rest of the Blog Nation.  I am looking for some feedback on this question:

Suppose someone asked you, ‘How can I be born again?’  What would you say in response?  

I am thinking through Matthew 5:20 for this Sunday night’s message, an absolutely astounding statement by the Lord Jesus: “For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”  In my reflections I have been drawn to Jesus’ words to one of the Pharisees, Nicodemus, about the need to be born again.

I know Billy Graham has a book called, “How to be Born Again”.  So I am wondering what the bloggers here think; what would you tell someone who asked you how to be born again?

Looking forward to some discussion,

Larry

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1. Jim W - February 13, 2007

Dear Larry,
Thank you for asking this question, as I have needs to meditate on it. Having just logged back on (Tues AM), I notice that Joe addressed this issue again yesterday (Mon). I have intentionally NOT read his entry yet, but am eager to do so in about ten minutes!

Your question made me realize that, if someone asked me that question, I would not HAVE several days –or even an hour — to think about it. I would need to have an answer then and there, to “give an answer for the faith that is within me.”

I would begin by explaining that the process of salvation involves repentance (turning away from past sinful ways) and faith (turning toward the Lord and receiving His free gift of salvation by the sacrificial and atoning work of Christ on the cross of Calvary).

I would also feel the need to go into the concept of “born again,” since the question was phrased that way, not just “what must I do to be SAVED?” The spiritual re-birth involves a whole new outlook, a whole new way of thinking, relating and understanding. It’s the discovery that we should and CAN live the way God created us to be. In explaining the process of salvation to the Jews, Peter said in Acts 3:19: “Repent, then, and turn to God [the turning AWAY and turning TOWARD], so that your sins may be wiped out, that TIMES OF REFRESHING may come from the Lord….” I wonder if the times of refreshing are the same as the concept of the re-birth. I would think so.

Andrew Klavan, a now-Christian fiction novelist (whose works I’ve never read), in a World magazine interview (Feb. 10, 2007), put it this way: “I suspect everyone who sets sail on the sea of faith is a little bit like Christopher Columbus. There are all these people on the shore saying, ‘Are you crazy? You’re going to fall off the edge of reality!’ And instead, you discover a new world.”

Yes, the new world of the re-birth.
The refreshed life.
The life into which we celebrate our entrance when we arise from the waters of baptism, symbolizing our life re-born, risen with Christ, in the power of His resurrection.

Jim

2. larrylaz - February 13, 2007

Thanks for the thoughts, Jim. As always, they are insightful! I’d respond in depth, but I plan to get a post up on the new birth some time this afternoon.

Larry


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