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You Must be Born Again
To be redeemed, converted, transformed into a child of God, you must be born again, meaning you must change your habits and thoughts and believe in Jesus Christ.
The word of Jesus' miracles spread quickly, so a Pharisee, Nicodemus, a Jewish lawyer and a teacher of theology and tradition wanted to know how He did these things. Nicodemus came to Jesus at night and asked, "Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher sent from God. No man can do these miracles that you are doing unless God is with him."
Jesus replied, "I tell you truthfully, if a man is not born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." [Note that Jesus did not say "enter the kingdom of God" here], but "see [or understand] the kingdom of God." Later Jesus told us that the kingdom of God is within you.120
"Born again" is a Northern Aramaic idiom meaning to change one's thoughts and habits.121 Nicodemus spoke Southern Aramaic and did not understand Jesus.
So Nicodemus responded, "How can an old man be born again? Can he enter his mother's womb a second time and be born again?"
Jesus answered, "I'll tell you the truth, if a man is not born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God," [meaning to become subject to God's rule, rather than the sovereign rules of human rulers]. "What is born of the flesh is flesh. What is born of the Spirit is spirit. So do not be surprised that I said that you must be born again. The wind blows wherever it pleases and you can hear its sound; but you do not know where it comes from and where it goes. This is how it is with every person who is born of the Spirit." [Born of water means cleansed in heart (Ezek.36:25-27).]
"How can such things be?" Nicodemus wondered.
Jesus replied, "You are a teacher of Israel, and yet you cannot understand this? I tell you truthfully, we only say what we know, and we only testify to what we have seen. Even so, you do not accept our testimony. If I tell you about earthly things and you don't believe me, how can you believe me when I tell you about heavenly things?
"No one has ascended to heaven except he who came down from heaven, even the Son of Man who was in heaven."
This may mean that those who believed in Jesus and have died are in soul sleep until Jesus returns again. 1st Thessalonians 4:14-17 tells us that those who have died and sleep in Christ will rise before those who are alive in Christ to meet Jesus in the air. Yet many have testified that they died and went to heaven and saw their dead Christian friends and relatives before they came back to life. The Aramaic version tells us that those who have died in Christ will rise (in their bodies). It does not say that they are sleeping now; so it may be that their souls are in heaven now, and will take up their bodies again when Jesus returns.
"Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, the Son of man will be lifted up so that everyone that believes in him will not perish, but will have eternal life, for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but will have eternal life.122 God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the people, but that the world would be saved by His grace.
"Those who believe in Him are not condemned. Those who do not believe in Him have already been condemned long ago for not believing in the name of the only begotten Son of God, and this is the judgment: Light came into the world but people loved darkness more than the light, and only wanted to do evil things. Everyone who does despicable things hates the light and does not come to the light so that they will not be reprimanded for what they do. But people who do good and truthful things come to the light so that their works might be known to God, that their works are done through God."123
This was how Jesus explained to Nicodemus how a man could do those miracles through God, and this is how Jesus explained for the whole world to know how to reach God and not perish: You must be born again. You must believe in Jesus and change your thoughts and habits to follow God's laws, things that can be seen openly in the light.
As Thomas Hobbes wrote in Leviathan, 1651, "The original covenant with Abraham124 gave him the sole right, which is the inheritance of every sovereign125, to punish any subject who should pretend to a private vision for the countenancing of any doctrine which Abraham might forbid. This covenant established that kingdom of God which was interrupted by the secular kingdom of Saul126. The coming of Christ was to restore that kingdom by a new covenant; which kingdom was to be in another world after the Resurrection. The power ecclesiastical was left by Him to the apostles, but was manifestly not a coercive power on earth, as Christ's own power was not.
"Christ, therefore, by His coming did not withdraw any of the power from the civil sovereigns . . . but as for disagreement between the laws of God and the civil laws of the sovereign, the laws of God, which must in no wise be disobeyed, are those necessary for salvation; and these are summed up in the will to obey the law of God and the belief that Jesus is the Christ."
Also, to believe in miracles, you must be born again. Here is the modern day meaning of the message Jesus gave the world:
(1) All humans choose to sin. Because of sin, there is suffering throughout the world. The God of Christianity, the God of the entire world gave us laws to follow so we would not have to suffer.
(2) You are a unique person. God made all persons unique. He made you unique, and you are very special to God. Christianity explains your origin and the special purpose for which God made you. This gives meaning to your life. If you work with God and follow Jesus, you will understand the real meaning that God will put in your heart.
(3) Christianity recognizes that sin separates us from God and provides a way to be saved from the consequences of our sins regardless of your race, culture, caste, or background. The consequence of the sins of all humans is separation from God. It applies to all humans. It tells you that you are equal to all other humans, regardless of your background. It tells you that all people obtain salvation in the same way, by coming to Jesus Christ, who died on the cross as a sacrifice to God to pay for your sin.
(4) Christianity offers this salvation as a free gift to all people without any discrimination. Salvation is yours simply by asking.
(5) Christianity's Jesus Christ pleads with God in your behalf. The pure, sinless life of Jesus is proclaimed by God through the prophets, by non-Christians and by Christians throughout history. Jesus lived a life without sin, but was sacrificed because of your sins, God forgives you and accepts you into His kingdom. You do not need to suffer any more. Jesus paid for it all (Taken with permission from Little Thinkers - - Squeezing Common Sense out of Life's Toughest Questions by Roger Rosenquist, Greg Hickle and Robert Laing).
If you want to talk to God, how can you reach Him? Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)
That sounds great, but now that you know how you can you reach God, How can you reach Jesus? In Revelation 3:20, Jesus says, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man hears me and opens up to Me, I will come in to him and will eat with him and he with me." Can anything be simpler? Can anything be easier? Give yourself eternal life this very minute by opening up to Jesus and asking Him to come into your life.
Once you believe in Jesus and change your lifestyle accordingly, Jesus comes into your life and asks the Father in your behalf to answer your requests for help, your positive thoughts and beliefs, which are actually your prayers. In this way you are born again.120. Luke 17:21.
John the Baptist Confirms that You Must Believe in Jesus
After Jesus told Nicodemus the way to everlasting life, Jesus and His disciples went from Jerusalem to Judea and remained there where He had His disciples baptize many people.
John was also baptizing at the spring of Aenon [the Greek word for the Hebrew "ay-yin". It means "eye", "spring" or "natural fountain"] near Shalim because there was much water there. Many people came there to be baptized, for John was not yet imprisoned.
There was a dispute between one of John's disciples and a Jew about the washing purification ceremony, so they went to John and told him, "Rabbi, he who was with you when you were baptizing at the crossing of the Jordan, who you testified about, is also baptizing, and a lot of people are coming to him."
John replied, "No one can receive anything by his own will unless it is given to him from heaven. You yourselves are telling others that I said I am not the Christ [the Anointed One], but only a messenger to go before Him. He who has the bride is the bridegroom. The best man of the bridegroom is he who stands up and listens to him, and rejoices greatly when he hears the bridegroom's voice. This therefore is my joy fulfilled. He was destined to be great and I am lesser. For he who has come from heaven above is above all; and he who is of the earth is of the earth and speaks of earthly things; but He who came from heaven testifies about what He has seen and heard.
"Even so, no one accepts His testimony. Those who accept His testimony have set His seal that God is true. For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for God did not give the Spirit by incremental measure.127
"The Father loves the Son and has placed everything under His hand. He who believes in the Son has eternal life. He who does not cling to the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God shall remain on him."128
John knew what Jesus had said to Nicodemus in Jerusalem, even though John was not there. John confirmed that you must believe in Jesus and obey Him to have eternal life.129
1:1, 2, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word
was God. The same was with God in the beginning."
128. John 3:22–36.
129. All the Old Testament prophesies foretelling the coming of Jesus were then fulfilled.
Paperback by Robert Laing:
Theory - - Squeezing Common Sense Out of Science, Creation, Noah's Ark and Jesus
Another Web Site by Robert Laing: www.intelligentdesigntheory.info
Paperback by author available: Little Thinkers -- Squeezing Common Sense Out of Life's Toughest Questions
This book in paperback: History of Jesus Christ the Human God