As always, peace to you!
this is what i believe being born again means:
What we believe... and what is TRUE... is not always the same thing, dear one. Certainly, coming out of the WTBTS is testament to that, yes?
How does that come to be? Ephesians 2:8,9 states, "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves;
Yes! Because of one's faith, one is saved. How ever, faith is not just a blind belief! It is the assured expectation of the thing hoped for (in this case, the hope of being "saved"), the evident demonstration of reality (the reality that you will be/havebeen saved is evidently demonstrated), though not beheld (it is not discernable with the physical senses - not seen). The evidence that you WILL be... is the anointing with holy spirit. That evidence that you HAVE been... is the NEW body... of spirit.
it is the gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast."
This is true and so absolutely undermines that whole WTBTS notion that IF someone was going to be called at this time, they would most likely have "served Jehovah" for some years. What they... and many others MISS... is that it is due to UNdeserved kindness. There is NOTHING that WE can to to obtain it... other than EXERCISE faith and ANSWER when we HEAR the call. That is the start. Afterward, we must follow that very same voice that called us... and do what HE bids... so as to be LED... to life. True, we don't have to because he SAYS we have to; we have to because he is the Way... and if we don't, we will certainly turn OFF the way... and onto the broad and spacious road. Which we can certainly do, if we choose to.
When one is "saved," he/she has been born again, spiritually renewed, and is now a child of God by right of new birth.
I must disagree: while it is true that one can be "saved," such salvation is so that one CAN be born again. We are at the beginning of spiritual renewal; the "house" of God that we are, that is being built up by Christ, is not yet complete. We know that because he has not returned. In the meantime, we... the "remaining ones of the seed of the Woman"... have been conceived as children of God, by means of His holy seed... holy spirit... joining with us, her seed. But we are AWAITING our birth... and so must take care that we are not "devoured" by our Adversary in the meantime, BEFORE such birth can take place. We are "recreated" in that we have been conceived in the Ark of the New Covenant. The "child" that we are is still growing... in the womb of the Woman... the Ark... of the NEW Covenant.
Once we have ALL been conceived, meaning, once we have ALL entered into the Ark of the (New) Covenant, re-entered the Ark from which we originated (before the founding of the world/the throwing down of the seed) and become re-generated by God's seed, holy spirit, then the FULL "child"... will be born. For now, however, only the HEAD of the Woman's child has been born, Christ. True, she has birth pangs... but that is in anticipation of the birth of the REST of her "child." Us. The BODY... of Christ.
I ask you: Did not Paul, whom you quote below, say that we received a TOKEN? What is a "token"? It is not the REAL thing, is it, but a representation of it, yes? So, what occurs is that we receive God's holy spirit, by which we are "recreated" as a NEW man... INSIDE... while awaiting the NEW man we are to be on the OUTSIDE. Once we receive that body... the "white robe"... a SPIRIT body... THEN we are BORN... again. For we are born, first in the flesh and so, in the image of Adam. But then... in the SPIRIT... and in the image of God and Christ.
Trusting in Jesus Christ, the One who paid the penalty of sin when He died on the cross, is what it means to be "born again" spiritually."
Not quite, dear one. MANY trust in Christ. The Phoenician woman trusted in Christ - that did not make her a Jew. BLOOD is what makes on a Jew and the seed of Abraham. And BLOOD... the blood of GOD... holy spirit... is what makes one a christian, the seed of God. True, ANYONE can ask for and receive holy spirit. But simply calling oneself a "christian" does not make one so. Millions call themselves christians. But did not our Lord say, "narrow is the gate, and FEW are the ones fiinding it"? Did he not say MANY are called, but FEW are CHOSEN? How is that choosing accomplished? Simply because one believes? Again, I say to you that the demons believe...
Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation..." (2 Corinthians 5:17a).
Indeed. For with God, "creation" begins at the time HIS spirit becomes active. And so, we are IN Christ... if Christ... is IN us. But that does not occur until he comes and "makes [his] abode" IN us. Until he and the Father come and DWELL... IN us. Then, we are IN UNION. But he does not come until we let him IN. And we let him IN... by obeying his VOICE. Particularly when it says, "Unless you eat the flesh of the son of man and drink his blood... you have... NO... LIFE... WITHIN...yourselves." Why is this? Because... HE IS THE LIFE.
Thus, although we may BELIEVE... we are "dead"... until God and Christ come to dwell IN us, and by means of holy spirit, REGENERATE us... into new SPIRIT beings... which beings exist INSIDE the "vessel" that is our bodies (flesh, with IT'S blood).
John 6:51, 53
That is why our hearts MUST go out to those in the WTBTS - by convincing these NOT to partake of the flesh and blood of Christ, this organization's leaders have SHUT UP THE KINGDOM OF THE HEAVENS before such ones. NONE of these can enter... because they have not followed the Way. They have walked in their own understanding and in their own desires (i.e., having their minds upon the things upon the earth).
It is for that reason that I must, after 12 years, STILL return to my "home" congregation and partake... as an EXAMPLE... and a light... to these as to what they SHOULD be doing. Whether they choose to hear or not; but they will not be able to say they had no knowledge. I am sent for that purpose. We all are, but we don't all obey.
Dear Real One, I understand where you're coming from, as does our Lord. But I am compelled by holy spirt to say that you believe as you do because you have never been taught any other Way. Going from the WTBTS' false teachings, but still seeking the truth, you have found yet another way, that of the "mainstream" which says that one only need believe. IF you truly believe, however, I am to exhort you to EXERCISE that belief, that faith. .. so that it is the LAMB that you follow... and no one and nothing else. DO what it is our LORD says we must do to live... forever. TRULY accept the invitation that goes out to you... and everyone...everywhere... that comes from the Spirit and the Bride:
"Come! Take LIFE'S'WATER'... the HOLY SPIRIT of God... which spirit is poured out FROM THE INMOST PARTS of His Son and Christ, JAHESHUA (Jah Saves; Salvation of Jah - Psalm 68:4) MISCHAJAH (chosen/anointd of Jah)... FREE!"
May the undeserved kindness and mercy of my God and Father, the MOST Holy One of Israel, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, whose name is JAH... of Armies... and the love and peace of His Son and Christ, the HOLY One of Israel, my Lord and Master, JAHESHUA MISCHAJAH... come to be upon you... you and your entire household... if you so wish it. I remain,
YOUR servant and fellow slave of Christ,