What is a Born Again Christian??

by TopHat 94 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Evanescence
    So a baby is "born again", if it's had some water splashed on it's head?

    What do you make of Cornelius? Didn't he receive the Holy Spirit prior to baptism?

    LT, of the "Reformed doctrine" class

    How God distributes his gifts Jesus promised he would not leave us orphans (John 14:18) but would send the Holy Spirit to guide and protect us (John 15:26). He gave the sacraments to heal, feed, and strengthen us. The seven sacraments —baptism, the Eucharist, penance (also called reconciliation or confession), confirmation, holy orders, matrimony, and the anointing of the sick—are not just symbols. They are signs that actually convey God’s grace and love.

    The sacraments were foreshadowed in the Old Testament by things that did not actually convey grace but merely symbolized it (circumcision, for example, prefigured baptism, and the Passover meal prefigured the Eucharist. When Christ came, he did not do away with symbols of God’s grace. He supernaturalized them, energizing them with grace. He made them more than symbols.

    God constantly uses material things to show his love and power. After all, matter is not evil. When he created the physical universe, everything God created was "very good" (Gen. 1:31). He takes such delight in matter that he even dignified it through his own Incarnation (John 1:14).
    During his earthly ministry Jesus healed, fed, and strengthened people through humble elements such as mud, water, bread, oil, and wine. He could have performed his miracles directly, but he preferred to use material things to bestow his grace.

    In his first public miracle Jesus turned water into wine, at the request of his mother, Mary (John 2:1–11). He healed a blind man by rubbing mud on his eyes (John 9:1–7). He multiplied a few loaves and fish into a meal for thousands (John 6:5–13). He changed bread and wine into his own body and blood (Matt. 26:26– 28). Through the sacraments he continues to heal, feed, and strengthen us. http://www.catholic.com/library/pillar.asp Baptism is indeed an important sacrament, and we all know if its mention in the bible with John the Baptist. However there is a bit of "grey" so to say... One can also be baptised in Christs church and become one in his body with baptism of "desire" , desire to know the truth and to be baptised by following the laws of ones heart that God placed in them. The Holy Spirit guides you into all fullness and truth, if you follow him. God Bless Evanescence

  • LittleToe
    When Christ came, he did not do away with symbols of God’s grace. He supernaturalized them, energizing them with grace. He made them more than symbols.

    You'll excuse me if I disagree. They remain merely symbols, IMHO. The reality is Christ.

    This would be one of the main tenets of the Protestant Reformation, ergo many do not hold to the idea of transubstantiation.

    I wont fall out with you over it, nor will I do the looney tunes jump-up-n-down raving thing of calling you a non-Christian, because of your doctrines. Just be aware though that others might hold other doctrines that are not proved incorrect due to your preference

    Mode of communion and baptism has caused some of the biggest ruckus' in the whole of Christendom! I'm happy for that not to occur here, by the grace of God and with a little tolerance for opposing views

  • ozziepost
    Gumby.....who from a biblical perspective agrees with LT

    good grief! The things that happen while I'm away!

  • oldiesman


    I believe a born again Christian is one who has accepted Jesus as Lord and believes in their heart that God has raised Him from the dead.

    Many years ago, I was introduced to a ministry called "The Way" that teaches about being born again. Some folks have different variations, but I believe what was taught there.

    Here's a quote on how to get born again from a man named Victor Paul Wierwille, founder of The Way International, from his book "Power for Abundant Living":

    Romans tells how it is possible for a man who is dead in trespasses and sins and without God and without hope to be made alive.

    Romans 10:17
    So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

    What faith? The faith of Jesus Christ. This faith comes when the man of body and soul hears the Word of God and believes.

    Romans 10:9:
    That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

    What is it to "confess it with thy mouth"? It is to say it. Does one have to say it at an alter? Romans 10 does not say that. But, could one confess Jesus as his Lord at an alter? It does not say where one has to confess Jesus as Lord: the Bible simply says to confess. Does a person have to say it out loud? Romans 10 does not say so; it is possible to confess the Lord Jesus Christ silently without making an audible sound.

    "Confess with thy mouth" does not say confess one's sins. If it had said "confess your sins," salvation would be of works; and we are not saved by works, but by grace. A man does not confess his sins; he confesses the Savior from sin, the Lord Jesus Christ.

    I wonder how many thousands of people believe that they are born again of God's spirit but are not. They may have a feeling on the inside that they are saved, but a feeling does not save them. A person is saved by being born again of God's Spirit. Feelings may come and go, but the Word of God lives and abides forever. I could go to an altar, cry out all my sins, and get a good feeling. But a person can get that same good feeling on a psychiatrist's couch. We are not saved by feeling, we are saved by doing what The Word says. It says "confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus." That is, say, "Jesus, you are Lord in my life." Who has been lord as long as a person is just body and soul? The person himself. But now that person is going to change lordships when he confesses with his mouth a new Lord -- Jesus Christ.

    That is what is says, but that is not all. Romans 10:9 further says, "and shalt believe in thine heart." The heart is the seat of the personal life; today we would say, "Believe with all your mind, all your strength, every ounce of your being." What is a person to believe? That Jesus Christ is the greatest prophet of all time? No. The Word says, "believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead." One must confess with his mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in the innermost part of his being that God raised Him from the dead; then a man shall -- absolutely, unquestionably -- be saved. When? Not when he dies, but right when he confesses Jesus as Lord and believes that God raised Him from the dead.

    Of all the great religious leaders there is only one who has been raised from the dead and that is Jesus Christ. This is the proof that He is God's only begotten Son. Do you believe that God raised Jesus from the dead? Do you believe that He is your Lord? Have you confessed it with your mouth? The Word says that you are saved.

    Romans 10:10:
    For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

    The moment I fulfill these two requirements, I am born again of God's Spirit. This is eternal life. This is such a tremendous truth that it is almost unbelievable; but I do believe it because God's Word is true and abides forever. Now I am His son for I have confessed with my mouth the Lord Jesus and I have believed that God raised him from the dead.

    The moment a person confesses with his mouth Jesus as Lord that person is converted, saved, born again. A man can be a natural man of body and soul one minute; but as he hears the Word of God and believes to the point that he says, "Jesus is Lord of my life and I know God raised Him from the dead," he is born again of God's Spirit. That person has instantly changed lords; he is now on the way to heaven and all hell cannot stop him from going because he is a son of God having Christ in him. He has eternal life. He is no longer a natural man because he has received the spirit from God.
    Victor Paul Wierwille
    Part IV -- The New Birth
    Chapter 19 -- Born Again of Incorruptible Seed
  • oldiesman

    Could someone share on the requirement(s) for salvation according to Jehovah's Witnesses?

  • LittleToe

    Welcome to the board.

    The JW "requirement" is that you study their bible literature, preferably with the aid of selected texts from their bible, knock on people's doors distributing their literature, get baptised at one of their conventions and keep their changing standards up until some undetermined time that they keep dangling as a carrot before the rank and file.

    IF you're lucky, God will read your heart and judge you as worthy. If you happen to die before that "undetermined time" arrives then you can do away with the previous paragraph and skip straight to the having your heart read, bit.

    "The Way International" - is that the cult, you're referring to?

    There are a couple of factual errors in your cut'n'paste, but other than that I would say it's a generally Christian position. I'm a little concerned by the disparaging comment about "feeling" the spirit, though. Can human beings genuinely divorce themselves from their feelings?

  • oldiesman

    Hello LittleToe

    Some folks refer to "The Way International" as a cult, yes.

    The teaching from "The Way" is that you cannot "feel" spirit, because it is beyond the five senses (hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting, touching), unless spirit is manifested in the five senses realm.

    Regarding the Jehovah Witness belief on salvation: I have a brother-in-law who recently joined them after having been involved in "The Way" for some time. He previously believed, as I do, that folks are saved by grace, not by works.

    But now he believes folks are saved by works. And now from what you say, salvation is only through what the Jehovah Witnesses' believe are the correct works ... *sigh*

  • LittleToe

    It's surprising how many people move from one cult to another. I know an Elder, local to me, who moved from the Moonies into the JWs. I've also seen folks who moved from Fundamentalist backgrounds into the JWs, though none who had first found Christ. Maybe it's something to do with the high-control environment that attracts them.

    Sorry to hear about your brother-in-law. How long has he been involved with them, and has he been baptised yet?

  • oldiesman

    I don't know if he's been baptised yet.

    This is a true story I am about to tell you:

    He got involved with JW after he divorced my sister. He found a girlfriend who was a Jehovah Witness and he made it his own. This was in Costa Rica.

    He was taken to the cleaners by her. He went down to Costa Rica, married her, and bought a whole bunch of land and put it in her name. Treated her like a queen.

    Some months later, the woman tried to have him killed! Told him to go on an errand in the desert, prearranged to have his car break down, and have some bandits kill him.

    By God's grace, he didn't get killed, but he was robbed and beaten.

    After that, the woman was "marked and avoided" by the Jehovah Witnesses.

    Or do they use the term "shunned"? Same thing.

  • oldiesman

    He's been involved with JW now for about a year and a half.

    He goes door-to door alot, so perhaps he was baptised as well.

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