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Salvation: Three Tenses

  

In our dialog on the subject of salvation it is important to recognize that there are three tenses used of salvation in the New Testament. The classic text for salvation in the past tense is Eph. 2.8

Ephesians 2:8-9
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

The context of Eph. 2 begins with a description of humankind as dead in trespasses, who walked according to the prince of the power of the air, who lived in the lusts of the flesh, and who were by nature children of wrath. Salvation in this context surely means being delivered from this predicament. This includes forgiveness as well as a cleansing.

The NT uses quite a few figures to talk about this act of God which he does on the basis of faith in the gospel: born again, redeemed, adopted, reconciled, etc. God graciously gives us the gift of salvation not based on our deeds but rather based on his grace.

The second tense of salvation is present.

1 Corinthians 1:18
For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

(see also 2 Cor 2.15). This passage talks about how we are in the process of being saved. God continues to save us from a lifestyle of sin and rebellion as we allow him to enable us through the holy spirit and the leading of the ascended Messiah. Thus, we are not saved and then left alone until we die, but we are constantly being led, refined, and delivered from self-destruction (i.e. sin).

The third tense of salvation is future.

Romans 13:11
Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed.

If salvation is nearer today than when I first believed 10 years ago, then surely the salvation under discussion is the salvation of the future (i.e. resurrection). Not only have we been saved, and we are constantly empowered by God to remain saved and participate in a salvation lifestyle, but when Jesus returns we will be saved by resurrection so that we will never be able to die again (immortality).

To pull this all together, a friend of mine, Jaired, thought of an analogy. Imagine you are shipwrecked in the middle of the ocean and you are hanging on to a plank floating all alone for a day. Then suddenly an ocean liner comes up and they throw you a rope. The moment you grab that rope you exclaim, “I’m saved!” Then the crew of the ship begin the arduous task of pulling the rope with you on it onto the ship. This takes some time and as you are ascending from the water up towards the deck of the large rescue ship you could say, “I’m being saved.” Even so, you might also remark, “I can’t wait until I get on the deck because then I will be saved.”

So it is with us. God has rescued us out of the ocean of sin and rebellion. This involves a partnership. God does all the work of finding us, piloting the ship to us, and throwing us the rope. He just asks us to grab the rope (have faith/repent). As we slowly move towards the deck of the boat we are moving towards God, towards the kingdom. We are not earning anything but we do have responsibility–we have to hold on to the rope. If we let go of the rope we plunge back into the sea. This is the process of being saved. We live out our lives seeking first the kingdom (keeping our eyes on the boat) and living the righteousness that goes along with that as witnesses to the rest of the people floating in the ocean. Then once Jesus comes back, we are hoisted onto the deck of the ship in resurrection and never again will we need to worry about anything, for we will be with the captain of the ship who is a master navigator.

104 Responses to “Salvation: Three Tenses”

  1. on 03 Jan 2009 at 4:33 pmjohn734

    Sean,
    Thank you for this analogy, it provides a good illustration which is easy to visulaise. I have had this discussion with several people when discussing the topic of Born Again, showing that we are not born again now but that to be born again is actually synonomous with the resurrection we look forward to.

    God Bless
    John

  2. on 03 Jan 2009 at 5:28 pmSean

    Actually, I would say that “born again” most certainly does apply to the past tense of salvation. Please consider these verses:

    1 Peter 1:3
    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

    1 Peter 1:23
    for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.

    1 John 2:29
    If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone also who practices righteousness is born of Him.

    1 John 3:9-10
    9 No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 10 By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.

    1 John 4:7-8
    7  Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

    1 John 5:1
    Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him.

    1 John 5:4
    For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world– our faith.

    1 John 5:18-19
    18  We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him. 19  We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.

    Each of these verses puts being born of God (i.e. born again) as an event that occurs prior to death.

  3. on 04 Jan 2009 at 2:15 amJoseph

    Sean,

    are those all of the instances when being “born again” is spoken about?

  4. on 04 Jan 2009 at 6:02 amMark C.

    Joseph,

    The English phrase “born again” only occurs three times in the NT: twice in John 3 and once in I Peter 1. And I once believed that most Christians had the wrong understanding of it, because I believed (as John734 says) that the new birth referred to the resurrection. I have since come to understand why that idea cannot be supported by the Scriptures. Besides the actual phrase “born again” there are other ways of referring to it, some of which Sean listed in his post, and it is clearly described as something that happens in this life, not when Christ returns.

    This understanding of the three tenses is, to me, the perfect balance between “Once Saved Always Saved” on the one hand, and the belief, on the other hand, that we aren’t saved at all until Christ’s return, having only the promise of salvation.

  5. on 04 Jan 2009 at 2:14 pmSean

    Joseph,

    There are others as well. Like in John 3.3 and John 3.5

    but I think that’s it.

  6. on 05 Jan 2009 at 3:33 pmVictor

    Sean, well said – and thank you to Jaired for the analogy.

    I have often looked at the testimony of the Children of Israel as a good example of this idea. God saved them from Egypt – but that wasn’t the purpose for their salvation – it was so He could bring them into the land He had promised their fathers. Yet all the while He was leading them through Moses (saving them).

    They were saved
    They were being saved
    And they had not yet enter the promised land.

    We can relate the same idea today I think – we’ve been saved from our bondage to sin, being saved in this evil age as we wait for our salvation to come when Jesus comes and saves us from death.

  7. on 05 Jan 2009 at 5:58 pmBill

    What did Jesus mean when he told Nicodemus that he must be born again? The Jews had enjoyed their relationship with God on account of the Law covenant made at Mount Sinai, where they were born as a nation and as his sons. Since it was about to become obsolete their relationship with God could no longer be based on a covenant that no longer existed. (Heb. 8:13) For Nicodemus and the Jews to continue to be sons of God they needed to be “born again,” or a “second time,” by being brought into the new covenant, the time of which had arrived with the coming of the mediator of that new covenant, Christ Jesus. Any who refused to be thus born again, insisting on clinging to the old but now extinct covenant, would be dismissed from God’s household, as surely as was Hagar in Paul’s illustration. (Gal. 4:21-31)

    When talking about the need to be born “again” Jesus was only referring to the Jews. (compare Matt. 15:24) Only the first century Jews, who were already God’s sons, could be born again. Since Cornelius’ baptism in 36 C.E. people of the nations have also been brought into the new covenant and have become God’s sons, as Jehovah had promised Abraham, but they have been “born” from God for their first time, according to his will. Nowhere is Paul telling any of the Gentiles that they must be “born again.” No one today can be “born again” for no one alive today has been previously in the old covenant that “vanished away” in the first century.

    Bill

  8. on 05 Jan 2009 at 8:19 pmGeorgie

    Hi, from what I can see here you folks believe saved and born again are one and the same thing.
    Are you saying saved and born again are the same thing?

  9. on 05 Jan 2009 at 8:25 pmSean

    Georgie,

    Saved, born again, redeemed, reconciled, forgiven, adopted, etc. are all ways of talking about the same event. Each has a distinct perspective but they are all concerned with the person who repents and believes the gospel.

  10. on 05 Jan 2009 at 9:59 pmJohnE

    The Jews had enjoyed their relationship with God on account of the Law covenant made at Mount Sinai, where they were born as a nation and as his sons

    […]

    When talking about the need to be born “again” Jesus was only referring to the Jews. (compare Matt. 15:24) Only the first century Jews, who were already God’s sons, could be born again.

    Bill, if the Jews were born as a nation through the covenant, being born again would mean they would have to be born as a nation again. But this is not what Jesus is referring to: he’s talking about individuals, he’s reference is not made at a national level:

    John 3:3 “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

    Furthermore, the real meaning of being born again contradicts the theory that only the ones who were already God’s sons could be born again:

    John 3:5-6 “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and 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.

    It means to be born of water and Spirit, being baptized with water and Holy Spirit. Are you saying that Gentiles were not born of water and Spirit?

    Nowhere is Paul telling any of the Gentiles that they must be “born again.”

    He actually does:

    2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature;

    Why is he a new creature? Because:

    Ephesians 2:1-2 you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world

    The Gentiles were born of woman, and were dead in their sins. They had to be born again of water and Spirit.

    Peter says the same thing:

    1 Peter 1:3, 23 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead […] for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.

    Who did Peter wrote? To his Gentile brothers, as he indicates so many times: 1:14-18; 2:9-10; 4:3. Yes, the Gentiles are to be born again, just as the Jews. For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation (Galatians 6:15).

  11. on 05 Jan 2009 at 10:07 pmMark C.

    Bill,

    When Jesus told Nicodemus, “You must be born again” the word translated “again” is anothen which literally means “from above.” The only other place where the words “born again” appear is in I Peter 1:23, although the similar phrase “begotten again” occurs in I Peter 1:3. Both phrases are translated from the Greek word anagennao which carries the sense of “born anew” or “born again.” These phrases are used in Peter’s epistle, which from its context is addressing all Christians, whether they were Jews or Gentiles beforehand.

    Since other NT passages equate “born again” with other phrases that refer to the same thing, as Sean wrote, I don’t think you can make a case that no one but first century Jews could be born again. The New Covenant is for everyone, regardless of whether they had participated in the Old Covenant before.

  12. on 05 Jan 2009 at 10:25 pmJohnE

    Mark,

    When Jesus told Nicodemus, “You must be born again” the word translated “again” is anothen which literally means “from above.”

    Good point, I didn’t notice that!

  13. on 05 Jan 2009 at 11:04 pmSean

    JohnE,

    It means to be born of water and Spirit, being baptized with water and Holy Spirit. Are you saying that Gentiles were not born of water and Spirit?

    This interpretation is also held by Ante-Nicene Fathers (as opposed to saying that John 3.5 refers to resurrection).

  14. on 06 Jan 2009 at 12:03 amJohnE

    Thanks Sean. That it could mean resurrection never crossed my mind to be honest, and it’s good to see the ancients were of the same opinion.

  15. on 06 Jan 2009 at 6:06 amWolfgang

    Hi JohnE, Sean,

    who says that such equation of “born of” = “baptized with” is correct? Whether or not any Church Fathers made such equation is not necessarily refelcting a true understanding of what Jesus had in mind when he spoke of “born of water and spirit”, or?

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  16. on 06 Jan 2009 at 9:17 amJohnE

    Hi Wolfgang,
    I think Paul says that:

    Colossians 2:12 having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.

    Baptism literally means immersion in Greek. The immersion under water is a symbolical burial, death, and then being raised up from under the water is coming to life in Christ. You were dead, and you were born again to life. Born of water, symbolically.

    What the Church Fathers have said in this respect I really don’t know – and to be honest, don’t care too much.

  17. on 06 Jan 2009 at 9:32 amSean

    JohnE

    Also, we might mention the parallel in Romans 6 where baptism is specifically linked again with burial and newness of life.

    Romans 6:3-4
    3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

    What the Church Fathers have said in this respect I really don’t know – and to be honest, don’t care too much.

    I think we have to be careful here. The early Christian writings can be immensely helpful in understanding how the NT was lived out in the early years of the church. I agree that we don’t need to just believe whatever the early Christians believed, but if we want to say they are wrong on something then it is on us to document the mutation (i.e. like the Trinity). In other words the early Christian writings can provide a help in prevented truly wacky ideas from gaining traction (like dispensationalism, pre-trib rapture, etc.)

    So, for the case at hand (interpreting John 3.5), if all of the early Christian writings that mention John 3.5 link it to baptism, then there are only two possibilities. (1) that is the correct understanding (2) somehow the original belief was corrupted and the mutation was publicized so well that there is no trace whatsoever of the original interpretation…i.e. there is a conspiracy. Now, I’m not saying there can’t be a conspiracy like this, but it is very unlikely and it needs to be exceedingly well documented.

  18. on 06 Jan 2009 at 10:38 amBill

    Mark:
    When Jesus told Nicodemus, “You must be born again” the word translated “again” is anothen which literally means “from above.” The only other place where the words “born again” appear is in I Peter 1:23, although the similar phrase “begotten again” occurs in I Peter 1:3. Both phrases are translated from the Greek word anagennao which carries the sense of “born anew” or “born again.” These phrases are used in Peter’s epistle, which from its context is addressing all Christians, whether they were Jews or Gentiles beforehand.

    Bill:
    Did Jesus tell Nicodemus that he must be born “again” or born “from above,” for the Greek word used, γεννηθή άνωθεν, (gennithi’ a’nothen), can mean either. That is why some Bibles translate Jesus as saying, “I tell you for certain that you must be born from above before you can see God’s kingdom.” (CEV)

    In the King James Version the word an’-o-then (Strong’s 509) appears 13 times: three times it is translated as “the top” (Matt. 27:51; Mark 15:38; John 19:23), twice as “from the very first” or “from the beginning” (Luke 1:3; Acts 26:5), five times as “from above” (John 3:31; 19:11; James 1:17; 3:15, 17), and three times as “again” (John 3:3, 7; Gal. 4:9). Therefore, how can we determine whether Jesus told Nicodemus that he must be born “again” or be born “from above”; or do those two terms mean the same?

    The simple answer to this, of course is, what did Nicodemus understand Jesus to say? According to his reply, “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb a second time,” indicates that he understood Jesus to say that he must be born “again” or “a second time,” (δεύτερον – Interlinear Translation). He did not understand Jesus to say that he must be born “from above” as this would not fit his reply to Jesus. That is why the majority of Bible translations render Jesus as saying “born again.” (NWT, KJV, NKJV, NIV, NLT, NIRV, HCSB, NLV, ESV, NASB, RSV, ASV, Amplified, Young, Darby, Webster, HNV)

    Regards, Bill

  19. on 06 Jan 2009 at 10:48 amBill

    1 Peter 1:3, 23 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead […] for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.

    Bill:
    The apostle Peter’s words when he said that “we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.” (1 Peter 1:3,4; New Living Translation)

    The Greek word in this instance, rendered as “born again” according to some Bible translations, is αναγέννησις (anagen’nisis). In most Greek-English dictionaries it is translated as “new birth.” Note, it is not the expression Jesus used, γεννηθή άνωθεν (gennithi’ a’nothen), born again, when he was talking to Nicodemus. Thus, many Bible translations quote Peter as saying: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” (New International Version; compare with your own Bible.)

    Peter was not contradicting what Jesus had previously said regarding the need for the Jews to be born again. Peter was pointing to something new, something that had not already existed before that time. It was a new birth to a new “living hope to an incorruptible and undefiled and unfading inheritance reserved in the heavens.” ( And it belonged to those who had been chosen and anointed by God to rule with his Son in his kingdom, and made possible by the resurrection of Jesus, “the firstborn from the dead.” (Col. 1:18) None of God’s faithful men of old was acquainted with this new hope, not even John the Baptist concerning whom Jesus said there had not been born a greater one among women, yet, “a lesser one in the kingdom of the heavens is greater than he is.” (Matt. 11:11)
     
    Regards,Bill

  20. on 06 Jan 2009 at 11:19 amSean

    Bill,

    if you would like to use the quotation syntax the code for doing so can be found by clicking here

  21. on 06 Jan 2009 at 11:46 amWolfgang

    Hi JohnE,

    thanks for your note and reference to Paul’s writings in connection with my question about how “born of” (in “born of water and spirit”) equates to “baptized with” (as inferred in baptized with water and baptized with spirit)

    As far as I can read in Col 2 as well as in Rom 6 (which Sean added in another post), I do NOT see such equation at all … if anything, “baptism” is linked by means of figure of speech to “death, burial” but NOT to being “BORN” or “born again” …

    The commonly made equation of “immersion in water” being like a picture or illustration of “being buried” is also nowhere found in Scripture …. even though this is what is read into Col 2 and Rom 6 quite often. In Bible times, burials quite often did not even involve any being “immersed” (like we are used to a body being put into and then covered with ground in our culture and day and time). Thus, this “picture” is not part of the figure of speech as used by the biblical writers ….

    Thus, my question remains unanswered as to where this equation of “born of” and “baptized with” comes from and whether or not it is even a valid thought to be considered

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  22. on 06 Jan 2009 at 12:55 pmJohnE

    Bill,

    regarding John 3, the word has two meanings indeed, “from above, beginning, etc” and “again”. Even if Jesus meant “born from above”, the idea of being born again is still present – a birth from above is a new birth, therefore one is born again.

    So Nicodemus’ answer does not necessarily show Jesus meant “again” instead “from above”, as Nicodemus would still see a new birth in the case of the birth “from above”.

    Now regarding to 1 Pe 1:23, you say:

    The Greek word in this instance, rendered as “born again” according to some Bible translations, is αναγέννησις (anagen’nisis). In most Greek-English dictionaries it is translated as “new birth.”

    I don’t know told you this, but I looked at 6 lexicons (I can list them if you want): 4 of them say “born again” (including the most appreciated one, BDAG), 1 says both “born again” and “new birth”, 1 says only “new birth”; one more, the 7th, says “to beget anew”. So I don’t see the majority you are talking about.

    Also, these expressions obviously mean the same thing. If somebody has a new birth, he is born again; it’s just plain English (or Greek, or whatever language).

    So the fact that Peter does not use exactly the same expression as Jesus, does not mean that the meaning of these expressions are not the same. In this case, on the contrary, the meaning of the 2 is equivalent.

    Thus, many Bible translations quote Peter as saying: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” (New International Version; compare with your own Bible.)

    The fact that the 2 expr. are the same is shown by the version you quote yourself, NIV. It uses the same expression in vs. 3 and 23, but it renders “new birth” in 3, “born again” in 23.

    Other 15 English translations render “born again” as well in vs. 3 – I can list them if needed.

    Peter was not contradicting what Jesus had previously said regarding the need for the Jews to be born again.

    If you start with the idea of the contradiction, you start by assuming his words are for Jews only, which is what you are trying to arrive at.

    Peter was pointing to something new,

    Yes, to the new birth; by calling it new, he acknowledges the old one, making this birth to occur again.

    So it’s really simple. Jesus tells Nicodemus that for someone to see the kingdom, he has to be born again. Peter tells the Gentiles they have been born again. Being born again is not restricted to the Jews.

  23. on 06 Jan 2009 at 1:29 pmJohnE

    Hi Wolfgang,

    thanks for your note and reference to Paul’s writings

    You’re welcome.

    As far as I can read in Col 2 as well as in Rom 6 (which Sean added in another post), I do NOT see such equation at all … if anything, “baptism” is linked by means of figure of speech to “death, burial” but NOT to being “BORN” or “born again” …

    Which part of the baptism is linked to the burial and death? The immersion in the water, or the raising up from the water?

    The commonly made equation of “immersion in water” being like a picture or illustration of “being buried” is also nowhere found in Scripture …. even though this is what is read into Col 2 and Rom 6 quite often.

    Wolfgang, please recognize, Col 2 and Rom 6 reads that. That is not read into. Does not baptism with water involve immersion into the water? It does. Does not Paul say we were buried with Christ in baptism? He does. I don’t see the difficulty.

    In Bible times, burials quite often did not even involve any being “immersed” (like we are used to a body being put into and then covered with ground in our culture and day and time).

    Is there any support of this? So you mean that quite often, a burial was… not exactly a burial? Please elaborate.

    While dead in his tomb, was there something above Jesus’s body, that covered it? Was his body under something?

    It seems to me a lot of hair-splitting is going on here. A burial is not a burial and baptism is not an immersion. I just can’t imagine how a burial under the water is not a picture of somebody being buried after death since that is what Paul says?

    He says once:

    1 Co 15:4 that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day

    and then in Col 2 that in baptism, we were buried with Christ, and in the same baptism, we were raised up with him. Buried under water, raised up from under the water. Seriously, to me, this is a no-brainer. I can’t really understand why would this conclusion pose a problem for you.

  24. on 06 Jan 2009 at 4:33 pmGeorgie

    Jesus said in order to enter the kingdom of God you must be born again ( John3) and he said Abraham, Isaac and Jacob would be in the kingdom (Luke13 & Matt 8) and Jesus told the man on the cross next to him he would enter paradise (Luke 23) which is obviously the kingdom. They are going to be in the kingdom and must already be born again or get born again at some point in the future and as they are dead now it seems obvious it is the future.

    If Jesus Christ is going to be king in the kingdom he must also be born again. So when did he get born again/born anew/born from above?

    Heb 2:16 Jesus was born after the seed of Abraham, he was born of the flesh.
    John 3:5 You have to be born of water and of spirit. You have to be born the first time (of water, the embryonic sack) in order to be born again (of spirit).
    John 3:6 Flesh is flesh and spirit is spirit.
    1 John 4:9 When Christ was born a man he was the only begotten son of God. He was the only one.

    Jesus lived and died and was then raised, being born again/ born from above.

    Rev 1:5 He was the first begotten of the dead.
    Rom 8:29 He was the first born among many brethren.
    Col 1:18 He has preeminence being the first born from the dead.

    Christ was the first born from the dead. He was born again/anew/ born from above. If he was the first begotten of the dead then logically there are going to be more who will follow and be begotten of God. When he was a man of flesh and blood he was the only begotten son of God, when he was raised he became the first begotten of the dead, and the first born among many brethren.

    The day God raised Jesus Christ from the dead was the day God begat him with no help from the flesh. It was prophesied in Psalms, God said. Thou art my son this day have I begotten thee. It is talking of the time when he was raised from the dead with a spiritual body. This is when he was born of spirit. He was born the first time a man of flesh and blood by water of Mary and then he was born again when God raised him. That is the day he was begotten of God. (Acts 13: 30-33)

    If Christ was raised from the dead and at that time born again/anew/from above, then at his return when the dead in Christ will be raised that is when the faithful will be born again and those who are alive and remain will be changed – from flesh to spirit.

    1 Cor 15: 49. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. 50. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. 51. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 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.

    Don’t the scriptures state it all quite simply. We are flesh and blood but we will be spiritual. Flesh cannot inherit the kingdom. The flesh is corrupt it is not going to be mixed with the incorrupt new birth body because flesh is flesh and spirit is spirit. Not all will be dead but all will be changed when the trumpet sounds and Christ returns.

    This is when the faithful will be born again/born anew/born from above.

  25. on 06 Jan 2009 at 4:34 pmGeorgie

    Bill.
    Regarding your comment.- “None of God’s faithful men of old was acquainted with this new hope, not even John the Baptist….”

    Wasn’t Job acquainted with this hope?

    Job 14:13,14 O that thou wouldest hide me in the grave, that thou wouldest keep me secret, until thy wrath be past, that thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me! If a man die, shall he live [again]? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.

  26. on 06 Jan 2009 at 5:08 pmJohnE

    Georgie,
    i think you compete with me when it comes to post lenght 🙂 J/k.

    For now I have only one question: Peter tells his Gentile brothers they were all (including Peter) born again. Did Peter wrote his letter after he was resurrected, to his newly resurrected brothers?

  27. on 06 Jan 2009 at 5:48 pmGeorgie

    Sean,

    I realize this started out as the 3 aspects of being saved but it has become more about being born again.

    I believe being born again and saved are 2 separate events. As God has not lumped them altogether should we?

    Saved is the Greek Sozo, meaning safe. (Not made whole or complete!)
    Salvation means delivered, preserved, safety.
    Born again is born again/anew/from above.

    In response to your #2 comment you can see in my comment #24
    I cannot see from the scriptures that being born again is a now event, but future and I can only see that being saved in the future is being safe from God’s wrath.

    BTW I have no idea where the guy in the sunglasses came from in #24!!!! It should be Matt 8.

    Jhn 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
    Eph 5:6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
    Col 3:6 For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience.
    Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

    Those who are ungodly, unrighteous, disobedient will not be safe from His wrath.

    Rev 14:19And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast [it] into the great winepress of the wrath of God.
    Rev 15:1And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.
    Rev 16:1And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.

    At the end when he has raised up and gathered together the believers and they have been changed/born again/born anew then God will vent his wrath

    1Th 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation (deliverance, preservation, safety) by our Lord Jesus Christ,
    1Th 1:10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, [even] Jesus, which delivered (rescue) us from the wrath to come.
    Rom 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved (safe) from wrath through him.

    It seems pretty apparent that the believer is going to be saved/safe from God’s wrath.

    God’s wrath, his anger will be targeted towards those who have not been faithful, those who are disobedient, those of the world. Those who are in Christ will be changed / born again at the return and will have entrance into the Kingdom of God. When God vents his wrath they will be saved/safe. The true Christians will be safe because:

    Jhn 3:16For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
    Jhn 3:17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. SAFE

    In order to be saved we must be faithful to the end.
    1Cr 15:1,2 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand. By which also ye are saved, IF ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

  28. on 06 Jan 2009 at 6:42 pmSean

    Georgie,

    The born again verses I quoted are all past tense (see comment #2). Thus, being born again is an event that occurs prior to death.

    Furthermore, saved in the past tense (at least in the context of Eph 2) is deliverance from transgression. This is what we are saved from. The wrath of God has not yet been poured out so to say we are saved from it (i.e. in the past tense) doesn’t work. You could say we will be saved from the wrath to come because we have been saved from sin and a reprobate lifestyle.

  29. on 06 Jan 2009 at 7:05 pmGeorgie

    John E.

    You must not agree with my findings. That’s the beauty of this site – being able to bounce thoughts, idea’s around and hopefully better our understanding.

    Peter has not been resurrected and neither have his brothers, as the dead are dead. (I think you know this by the tone of your question.) I assume your referring to 1 Peter 1:23.

    Verse 3 talks of a lively hope – which is future.
    v 4 An inheritance, again future.
    v 5 Kept by God through faith unto salvation, again future.
    v 9 Receive the end of our faith which is the salvation of our souls- again future.
    v 13 Hope to the end of the grace that is bought to you at the appearance of Jesus Christ. Again future.
    v 23 Being born again. Greek anagenno – which is to produce again.

    The context of verse 23 is in a chapter which is speaking of future events.

    Born again/anew/produced again by the incorruptible word of God which endureth forever.

    It is the word of God that is incorruptible and it is the incorrupt words (seeds) of God which are the gospel of good news that one must repent and believe in order to be born again.

    God choose the foolishness of preaching (words – seeds) to save them that believe. (1 cor 1: 21) It is accomplished by believing the word of God – which is the seed.

    Luk 8:11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
    Luk 11:28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed [are] they that hear the word of God, and keep it.

    The corruptible seed in verse 23 of 1 Peter 1 are corruptible words. We are born anew by hearing and repenting and keeping the incorruptible words – (seeds) of the gospel of the kingdom which is the incorruptible word of God which abides forever.

  30. on 06 Jan 2009 at 7:36 pmSean

    Georgie,

    1 Peter 1:22-23
    22  Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, 23 for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.

    Am I to understand that you are saying that born again in v23 is future? This seems gramatically impossible given the fact that the word for “born again” is perfect tense (i.e. have been).

    If I have been to London. Then regardless if I go there in the future what I’m saying is that some time in the past I went to London. This is the only option left to us by the grammar.

  31. on 06 Jan 2009 at 8:41 pmJohnE

    So Georgie,
    were then Peter and his brothers born again already, in the 1st century?

    Oh, and I don’t disagree with everything you wrote, just with some parts 🙂

  32. on 06 Jan 2009 at 10:07 pmGeorgie

    Sean,

    v 2- The chapter is written or addressed to the elect according to God’s foreknowledge.

    Verse 3 talks of a lively hope – which is future.
    v 4 An inheritance, again future.
    v 5 Kept by God through faith unto salvation, again future.
    v 7 At the appearing of Christ – which is future.
    v 9 Receive the end of our faith which is the salvation of our souls- again future.
    v 13 Hope to the end of the grace that is bought to you at the appearance of Jesus Christ. Again future.
    v 20 Christ was in God’s foreknowledge – again future.

    v 23 Being born again. Greek anagenno – which is to produce again.

    If the elect are in God’s foreknowledge and if Christ was in God’s foreknowledge and the chapter makes lots of references to the future then being born again is in God’s foreknowledge and our future.

    I’m not born again yet. Maybe we are in the process of being born again just as we are in the process of being saved, because we must stay faithful to the end of our lives. But the full reality will not be manifest until Christ returns when those who are faithful and stay on the narrow path which leads to the strait gate are gathered into the kingdom. Or using your nautical terms those who keep hold of the rope until they are pulled on to the ship.

    Does it not say some where in the scriptures that God says things that are not yet as if they were? Can’t find it but will keep looking for it.

    If we are born again now then logically it must be a case of once born again always born again for how can we be unborn?

    And just as in the OSAS discussion – it is not so. God requires faith to the end.

  33. on 06 Jan 2009 at 10:22 pmSean

    Georgie,

    you mentioned that several times in chapter 1 of 1 Peter the tense is future. So what? I could construct a paragraph completely filled with future tense verbs and then have in it one sentence which talks about something that occurred in the past. Maybe I just don’t understand what your point is. Also, on v20 you said that Christ was in God’s foreknowledge but then you say “- again future.” Was is the past tense of the verb to be. This is clearly not future.

    When we get to 1.23 there is again no ambiguity. The Apostle is as clear as crystal. He says to the people that they have been born again. I checked the tense in Greek just to be sure. The verb is in the perfect tense. I know this may disrupt your theology somehow, but we have to be true to the text. Born again in 1 Peter 1.23 is a past event that occurred to the readers of this letter when they encountered the gospel.

    you said, “If we are born again now then logically it must be a case of once born again always born again for how can we be unborn?”

    I think you may be taking the born again language a bit too far. What happened when we were born again, is that our old life died and we began a new life in Christ. That does not mean we will stay on the narrow path. Just because an acorn is destined to become a tree doesn’t mean a squirrel won’t get it first.

  34. on 06 Jan 2009 at 10:22 pmGeorgie

    John E.

    I don’t talk about Peter being born again then or now!

    I believe the faithful will all be born again at the return of Christ.

    I hoped I made it clear, sorry if I didn’t.

    The only one who is born again is Jesus Christ.

  35. on 06 Jan 2009 at 11:29 pmGeorgie

    Sean.

    In the beginning Christ was in God’s foreknowledge – foreknowledge is future until it comes to pass. It was just an observation and fits with the rest of the chapter which is based on future. Their future and our future.

    I know we may not stay on the narrow path or keep hold of that rope. I have never eluded or hinted that I believe that OSAS is true. I think I was quite clear in stating that God requires faith to the end. And in the OSAS discussion I thought the parable of the sower and the seed and the different types of ground are clear about people believing and then walking away for one reason or another. Only the good ground person will remain.

    You said post 9. Saved, born again, redeemed, reconciled, forgiven, adopted, etc. are all ways of talking about the same event. Each has a distinct perspective but they are all concerned with the person who repents and believes the gospel.

    I see born again and saved as 2 different events and I see all the other things on your list as different. Yes they are all to do with a person who repents and believes the gospel. They are all different and God has His reasons for each one.

    I don’t think they should all be lumped together. Because we have to be true to text.

    I did not realize we all had to agree. You have not “disrupted my theology” for I believe the scriptures to be true.

    I don’t advocate myself to have the all truth – (been there, done that in The Way Ministry) but iron sharpeneth iron. And if we can’t learn from each other in a loving way then shame on us.

  36. on 06 Jan 2009 at 11:59 pmJohnE

    I don’t talk about Peter being born again then or now!

    Ok Georgie, I understand you are not saying Peter was born again then or now. But there’s an obvious discrepancy between what you say and what Peter says.

    You say he was not born again, he says he was born again. Who do you think I should believe Georgie? Peter or you?

  37. on 07 Jan 2009 at 9:33 amSean

    Georgie,

    I did not realize we all had to agree. You have not “disrupted my theology” for I believe the scriptures to be true.

    You are right, we don’t all have to agree. I wasn’t saying that I had disrupted your theology. I was saying that 1 Peter 1.23 disrupts your theology. Your theology is that no one is born again until the resurrection. 1 Peter 1.23 says that we have already been born again. Please don’t take me as attacking you or your position. I wish with typing we could indicate tone. I’m very sorry if my words come across harshly, that is not my intention at all.

    I don’t advocate myself to have the all truth – (been there, done that in The Way Ministry) but iron sharpeneth iron. And if we can’t learn from each other in a loving way then shame on us.

    Georgie, I totally agree with this mentality. I don’t have all truth either. That is why collaboration is so valuable and why this blog and other forums like it can really help us to discover truth. No one is an island. We need each other (remember the body analogy from 1 Cor 12?).

    I’m honestly trying to understand your explanation of 1 Peter 1.23 and up until now I still don’t understand why you are saying that it is future when the verb is in the perfect tense. Please take my comments as sharpening your sword.

    grace & peace

  38. on 07 Jan 2009 at 9:01 pmGeorgie

    Sean and John E.

    You use a different translation than I do because the one I use says “being born again” which I can see as been the same as being saved. Which means it is an ongoing process, but the full reality will not be until the return of Christ.

    Other older translations say “being born again” making it an on ongoing process just as being saved is an on going process.

    For 100’s of years it has been taught that saved and born again are one and the same thing. But they are not the same are they?
    Do you think that the translators of the modern version you use could have been influenced by 100’s of years of the doctrine that one is saved now absolutely? Maybe that is why the modern versions all say you have been born again. While the older versions say being born again.

    I trust the older translations more, so will stick to what God told Peter at the beginning and end of 1 Peter 1 – a chapter in which 6 references to the/our future are spoken.

    1 Peter 1:3 ff Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again (anagennaō) unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
    5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. ……… 23 Being born again (anagennaō)… not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

    Peter talks of the new birth (anagennaō) in verse 3 as a lively hope, which is our inheritance reserved in heaven. Along with our salvation which is ready to be revealed in the last time at the appearing of Jesus Christ. Twice more he speaks of the return of Christ and then he goes back to where he started with the new birth.

    If at the beginning of the chapter our new birth was a hope reserved in heaven why would it be different at the end of the chapter?

    I believe reading in the context is important and the context of this chapter is future to Peter and to us.

    As far as I’m concerned it is written.

    One more question. – Jesus said one must be born again to enter the kingdom, he is going to be in the kingdom- when did he get born again?

    We all agree one must be born again to enter the kingdom and we (I assume) are seeking the same thing, endeavoring to love God first and love our neighbor as ourselves, as commanded – so if you believe one is born again now and I believe that we are in the process and by staying faithful we will be born again at the return when we will be changed, at least we are all seeking first the kingdom of God. And whether now or later we know for sure one must be born again in order to enter the kingdom.

  39. on 07 Jan 2009 at 10:50 pmJohnE

    You use a different translation than I do because the one I use says “being born again” which I can see as been the same as being saved. Which means it is an ongoing process, but the full reality will not be until the return of Christ.

    Georgie, in my opinion, it is not advisable to base your faith or understanding of a text on a particular translation. Why is an older translation better than the new one? The protestant “born again” doctrine did not begin 100 years ago. Older generations had their own doctrinal biases.

    When in doubt about the meaning of something, it is advisable to consult more than one translation. Even doing that, you can’t be certain in the case of some disputed passages, so you have to go to the original language text to see the exact tense of this word. And this is what I’m going to do here.

    The Greek verb in vs. 23, anagegenemenoi, is a participle perfect passive verb – you don’t have to trust me on this, please do some research – I can point you in the right direction if you want.

    The thing about participle perfect passive verbs is that they indicate a completed action that has consequences in the present – see Basics of Biblical Greek Grammar by Mounce, a book I recommend if you want to learn the basics of Greek.

    As Mounce admits in many cases, there’s no exact equivalent of this verb in English. The translation will always be an approximation, but the main thing to understand is that it conveys the idea of a completed action with consequences in the present. It is something accomplished, they had been born again.

    For translation in English, Mounce suggests this: “having + the past perfect form of the verb. Since this is a passive verb (the action is being done to the subject, not by the subject), it is also necessary to add “been”. So 1 Pe 1:23 would be translated as:

    “having been born again”

    Now for verse 3 (a different tense of the verb), if you go by your favorite translation, KJV, it says:

    hath begotten us again

    Which also indicates a completed action. Not a future one.

    If at the beginning of the chapter our new birth was a hope reserved in heaven why would it be different at the end of the chapter?

    Georgie, the text does not say that our new birth was a hope reserved in heaven.

    One more question. – Jesus said one must be born again to enter the kingdom, he is going to be in the kingdom- when did he get born again?

    To answer this question you have to consider his explanation on what born again means:

    “unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God”

    As I already commented above while talking to Wolfgang, it means being baptized with water and Spirit. He was baptized by John, and the Spirit of God came upon him.

    I understand that you think “born of water” means being born from the womb of your mother. But there’s really no support for such an understanding. No Jew ever understood normal birth as being born from water. Also, this is a condition that Jesus imposes: UNLESS you are born of water. Why the need to impose such a condition when everybody has already satisfied it? It’s impossible for humans not to satisfy it. Thus, it doesn’t make sense.

  40. on 07 Jan 2009 at 11:36 pmSean

    Georgie,

    The Greek text that the KJV version was translated from a compilations of fairly late Greek manuscripts known as the Textus Receptus. In this Greek text the word for “being born again” is anagegennemenoi. This is the participle present passive from anagennao. Where as in the Nestle Aland 27th edition has the same word but perfect rather than present (though the letters are identical). I honestly am not sure why there is a difference between these two. I sent an email to my Greek teacher to ask him if he can figure it out. In the mean time, JohnE’s point stands that 1 Peter 1.3 is with out a doubt past tense (in this case it is an aorist participle).

  41. on 08 Jan 2009 at 12:08 amJohnE

    Sean,

    anagegennemenoi cannot be a participle present. The participle perfect and the participle present do not have the same form.

    The reduplication of “ge” (resulting “gege”) shows this is a perfect stem.

  42. on 08 Jan 2009 at 12:12 amJohnE

    Correction: “As Mounce admits in many cases, there’s no exact equivalent of this tense (not verb, but tense)”

  43. on 08 Jan 2009 at 12:35 amGeorgie

    I have been looking at lots of different translations including a Greek interlinear. I’m no scholar but it appears to me the older translations are truer to text.

    I would appreciate your insight on my question.

    Jesus said one must be born again to enter the kingdom, he is going to be in the kingdom – when did he get born again?

  44. on 08 Jan 2009 at 7:45 amSean

    Georgie,

    the older translations depended on about 25 later manuscripts. In the last 400 years the discipline of archeology has developed along with a field called textual criticism. Today’s Greek text is based on over 5,000 manuscripts some of which are far earlier than the ones used for KJV, etc. This is why ALL modern translations use the updated Nestle Aland (NA) or the United Bible Societies (UBS) Greek text over the Textus Receptus.

    JohnE,

    I’m totally aware of the reduplication rule to indicate perfect tense. However, my fancy Bible software keeps telling me it is present when I check the TR and perfect when I check the NA27. Furthermore every older translation has “being born again” where as every newer translation has “having been born again.” So, I just don’t get it.

  45. on 08 Jan 2009 at 7:47 amSean

    Georgie,

    I don’t know that Jesus needed to get born again. He never sinned.

    Even so, it is clear from 1 Peter 1.3 that you have been born again (aorist tense = simple action in the past) unto a lively hope. Our “hope” prior to the new birth was death and misery. Now our hope is lively because we have a new life, we are part of the new creation (2 Cor 5.17).

  46. on 08 Jan 2009 at 9:10 amGeorgie

    Sean.

    Referring to your response to John E post 44.

    The versions and translations you speak of are not adding up.

    Maybe it is because tho original author who is God. Sees things that are not yet as though they were.

    Rom 4:17 KJV (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, [even] God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.

    So things that are stated as present tense by Him, are future.

    Referring to post 45.

    Jesus was a man of flesh and blood and it is written flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.

    1Cr 15:50 KJV Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

    So he must have been born again. He said himself.

    Jhn 3:3 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.
    Jhn 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

    So from scripture can you see when he was born again?

  47. on 08 Jan 2009 at 12:28 pmSean

    Georgie,

    The versions and translations you speak of are not adding up.

    When I have some time I would like to write a post more thoroughly researching and explaining why the newer translations are far far more accurate, but for now I can refer you to a post I wrote a while back which does document some of the information (click here). The reason why all modern versions use the Nestle Aland (or UBS, there is little difference) Greek text over the Textus Receptus (which the KJV and older versions were translated from) is because we have found literally thousands of manuscripts since 1611 (when the KJV was done) and several of these manuscripts we have today are much older than what was available then.

    Regarding our conversation on “born again”, I would just remind you that 1 Peter 1.3 in both old and new versions says that we have been born again! Furthermore, the dozen or so verses in 1 John (likely clarifying the John 3.3,5) are all past tense (see comment #2).

    Regarding Jesus, as I stated before he had no need to be born again or saved or redeemed or justified or forgiven because he never sinned. Thus Jesus is like Adam before he sinned–perfect. There is no verse that says Jesus was born again and it is beside the point.

  48. on 08 Jan 2009 at 2:39 pmGeorgie

    Sean,

    I have said a few times now that I don’t see (according to scripture) that saved and born again are the same thing, YOU keep putting them together and making them the same.

    I Know he did not need to be saved or redeemed or justified or forgiven or adopted.

    I asked specifically about when did he get born again.

    I think until you separate the two you will never see what I am saying.

    For over 20 years I was part of TWI and was also taught they were one and the same thing but they are not. We have all come along way since those way daze, learning of the kingdom and the folly of administrations – please be patient. This method of communicating takes up much time but there are truths to be learned.

    Born again is born again and saved is saved. They are not the same.

    Can you please define in simple BIBLICAL terms with verses what you understand born again to mean and then also explain saved.

    See on the one hand you put them as being the same but you say we are not fully saved yet because we are not on the ship but you say we are born again now. How can that be? If as you say they are the same how can they be so different?

  49. on 08 Jan 2009 at 8:39 pmJohnE

    I have been looking at lots of different translations including a Greek interlinear. I’m no scholar but it appears to me the older translations are truer to text.

    Georgie, does that Greek interlinear list the tense a verb is in?
    And why does it appear to you that older translations are truer to the text? Can you please list your reasons? Meanwhile, here are some older translations that do not imply a continuous process, “being born again” – 2 of them even older than KJV:

    American Standard Version (1901)
    1 Peter 1:23 having been begotten again

    English Revised Version (1885)
    1 Peter 1:23 having been begotten again

    Etheridge Translation of the NT Peshitta (1849)
    1 Peter 1:23 as men who are regenerated

    Murdock Translation of the NT Peshitta (1851)
    1 Peter 1:23 like persons born again

    Norton Translation of the NT Peshitta (1851)
    1 Peter 1:23 as those who have begotten anew

    The Bishops’ New Testament (1595)
    1 Peter 1:23 For ye are borne a newe

    The Tyndale New Testament (1534)
    1 Peter 1:23 for ye are borne a newe

    The first five imply a begetting in the past of the writer. The last two are saying that the recipients of the letter are born again. Two different version that all point to the fact that being born again is not happening at resurrection as you say. Yes, I do believe that resurrection is a birth in itself – please see this discussion: http://kingdomready.org/blog/2008/11/23/today-i-have-begotten-you/ – but the new begetting Jesus is talking about is that from water and Spirit. Resurrection has nothing to do with being born from water.

    But let’s even suppose, against the clear Greek grammar, that “being born again” signals a continual process. Since you say being “born again” is resurrection from the dead, how is one being continually resurrected from the dead? Were Peter and the brothers being in the process of being resurrected from the dead? There’s a lot of doctrinal gymnastics to be done to harmonize these aspects.

    Now back to translation “being born again”, it is possible that the old translators didn’t have in mind a continuous process at all. Take this sentence for example:

    “Being told again to leave, I crossed the street.”

    When did I cross the street? After I was told to leave or while being told to leave?

    Please think about this carefully. Translations are mere approximations of what the original writer has said in a foreign language. If the translation is wrong or ambiguous, your belief may/will be wrong. So really, why not learn Greek? If you don’t have the time, just buy some software like others (and I) have and look at the tense it indicates for this verb, then take a grammar book and find how is this tense to be understood. I think everybody who really wants to understand what the writer really said, not what the translator said, owes it to himself to do that.

    In conclusion, I’d like to underline the fact the verb in 1 Peter 1:23 is in a tense that signals that the action is already completed at the time of the writing. We can’t just arbitrarily apply Rom 4:17 to every past tense verb in the Bible to make it mean something of the future. Instead of appealing to this kind of subterfuge every time a verse is in contradiction with our beliefs, we should modify rather our belief to fit what we read. The text should form our beliefs, not the other way around.

  50. on 08 Jan 2009 at 8:46 pmJohnE

    Sean,

    I’m totally aware of the reduplication rule to indicate perfect tense. However, my fancy Bible software keeps telling me it is present when I check the TR and perfect when I check the NA27.

    Well, it’s clear then. Since (but not only because) we have the reduplication, this is a perfect participle, not a present one, regardless of what the software says. Obviously, the morphological database of TR has wrong information.

    Furthermore every older translation has “being born again” where as every newer translation has “having been born again.” So, I just don’t get it.

    Some older translations do, but not all – and not even the majority of them, from what I can see. Please see my comment above.

  51. on 08 Jan 2009 at 9:19 pmGeorgie

    John E,

    Thanks, I will take a look at the “begotten” link.

    I was not saying we should apply Rom 4: 17 to EVERY past tense but if something is said past tense and has not yet happened could we not apply that in an effort to gain understanding? After all there is a lot in God’s foreknowledge.

    I had mentioned the verse an earlier reply but could not find the verse and said I would. It seemed appropriate in response to Sean’s comment in #44.

  52. on 08 Jan 2009 at 10:04 pmGeorgie

    John E.

    Wow you do this a lot. Lots to read! 🙂

  53. on 08 Jan 2009 at 10:29 pmJohnE

    Georgie,
    you’re welcome. But I have to warn you, it’s a loooooong discussion 🙂

    I know you were not saying we should apply Rom 4:17 to every past tense. But one cannot use it just because one believes beforehand that something has not happened, in order to show it didn’t. Whenever this prophetic past is used, it is almost always obvious that this is the case. Abraham was told by God he was made the father of the nations, and he had no problem understanding that God speaks in the terms of prophetic past, that he wasn’t literally father of them yet.

    Otherwise, when possible, what stops me to always argue for a future action every time I read a verb in the past tense, right?

    It is better then to consider first the context of the text, before making appeal to an external verse – like Ro 4:17. Peter focuses his address on exhorting his brothers to:

    1 Peter 1:13-14 prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance,

    They shall be holy for God is holy (vs 16), and because God judges every one (17). They were redeemed from their former futile way of life (18) with the blood of Christ (19), and for our sakes he was sent (20); thru him we believe in the God who resurrected him (21);

    So since we have purified our souls (22) and since we have been born again (23) – being dead to our futile former way of life, but coming to a new holy life through Christ – let us fervently love one another from the heart (vs 22).

    It’s an exhortation. Since you are born again, living a new holy life in Christ, fervently love one another from the heart, do not be like you were before, when you lived a hopeless and futile life. It seems Peter felt that their love for each other was not what it should have been.

    Notice how if you replace “born again” with “resurrection”, his argument doesn’t make sense. That’s why I feel that the application of Ro 4:17 here is arbitrary.

  54. on 09 Jan 2009 at 10:16 amRay

    So the man who says, “I believe in Jesus, but I’m not saved yet.”,
    might not need salvation, but the man who says, “I’m already
    saved.”, might be in need of it.

    So why is it if someone says “I’m not saved yet.”,
    that we want to kill him or cut his ropes, or throw him off the
    ship? Has the ship reached it’s final destination yet?

    Psalm 107:23-30
    They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great
    waters;

    These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep.
    For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth
    up the waves thereof.

    They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths:
    their soul is melted because of trouble.

    They reel to and frow, and stagger like a drunken man, and are
    at their wit’s end.

    Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses.

    He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.

    Then they are glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them
    unto their desired haven.

    I remember how Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee and chose
    fishermen.

    Whoever wrote Psalm 107 was a fisherman, for who could write
    something like that if they were not? If it was King David I should
    say concerning him, that he was a fisher of men.


    I remember how God is the saviour of all men, especially
    those that believe. -a good life line for everyone, even those
    that don’t believe.

    If you like Clint Eastwood, and can get by lots of foul language
    you might like Gran Torino. I used to ride with a friend who had
    one with a 351 Cleveland. I can still hear that sound.


    If anyone is reading this and wants to get born again, or isn’t sure
    if they are, just determine to get out of the flesh, take a deep breath, and give God a praise. Give Jesus one too.

  55. on 09 Jan 2009 at 6:24 pmGeorgie

    Ok I am going to float something by all, please bare with me here.

    I am not being cryptic or cute and I’m not mad. This is really exciting.

    When did Jesus get born again?

    He was born the first time – the only begotten son of God. Mary was his mother, he was born as other humans by water – from the embryonic sack, (commonly called the fore waters or just waters) he was a baby, then a boy, then a man of flesh and blood.

    He lived a perfect life, he died – he was no more – he was dead.

    Then God raised him from the dead and what did God say of that event? Thou art my son this day have I begotten thee.

    As a baby he was the only begotten this was his first birth. When God raised him from the dead he begot him again, for a second time, thus he was born again! God begot him twice!

    Only the second time he was not of the flesh but of spirit.

    Can anyone else see and understand this?

  56. on 09 Jan 2009 at 7:31 pmRay

    Georgie,

    I think I see three things that I might refer to as births concerning
    Jesus.

    1- His coming out from God, from above, through his conception
    by The Holy Spirit in the womb of Mary.

    2- His birth out of the womb of Mary.

    3- His resurrection from the dead.

    Someone might see more or less. There are no doubt many treasures of God to be discovered by us all. Hopefuly they can
    be discovered together. When members of the body connect in
    a godly way, there is the point of edification. When we connect
    in worship to God and Christ, that is often the place where we
    are built up in God by Jesus through the Spirit.

    No doubt we must be born again to enter the kingdom.

    Q. Is there an entry into where we have not yet gone into all the
    way?

    I am reminded of many rooms in the Father’s house.

    I began to be stretched and exercised by some who began to
    worship God in many creative words and ways. What I found out
    is that many times they received revelations and imparted knowledge to me that way.

    It’s a brave thing to do, to travel this highway of God, and we need
    his covering by the sacrifice of Christ to do so. By the power of the
    cross we can do exploits.

    The things we find may open access for others to travel. Some of
    the largest roads in America began as a pioneer’s trail. God bless
    those with a pioneer spirit.


    Let’s try some worship and praise,
    for then I might even find
    that God shall open up some doors
    give me eyes that once were blind

    I have no light of my own, no good root inside
    but that which is of God by faith, it’s Jesus Christ my guide
    He made a trail for me to see, one for me to follow
    And follow it shall I do by grace, if I shall attain to life

    God bless his workers in the gospel
    it’s they that bless my life
    for they have gone on before
    it’s cost them much in life
    and yet God rewards the labors they’ve done in love
    they are far richer yet than they were before

    And if or when they fall, God shall get them up again
    as long as they see Jesus, and seek him as a friend
    for friends can go without, doesn’t seem for very long
    they find joy and rejoicing when connected together again


    There’s an interesting connection between the inward parts of
    the earth and the womb in Psalm 139, reminding me of a connection between the resurrection from the dead and the
    birth from the womb.

    Can anyone connect this in a poetic work?

    Is it that being in the womb of the flesh is as being dead, for it
    is by nature fallen?

    The Lord came from the living place, high in heaven above,
    to this lowly place on earth, born unto his grave.
    Born into this death of ours, Jesus came to live.
    And live he did for God above, a new nature for to give.
    To all that will believe in him, love and strength anew,
    And all who will come after him, may be a gift God knew.
    For those who have been called, God planned to be in Christ.
    God made him the first of all, that men by him may rise.
    And so we have our hope in God, for Jesus made it so.
    That we might go on in this world, not of it but going through.
    Our hope is no longer in this lower part, of the earth we see,
    For we hope of higher things, no longer to be clay.
    One day we shall all be changed, this tabernacle new,
    Glorious and bright that day, because Jesus, he is true.

    In coming to this earth, Jesus received the sentence of death,
    because of our sins. It became his death because he took our
    sins upon himself.

  57. on 10 Jan 2009 at 2:18 amMark C.

    He was born the first time – the only begotten son of God. Mary was his mother, he was born as other humans by water – from the embryonic sack, (commonly called the fore waters or just waters) he was a baby, then a boy, then a man of flesh and blood.

    Most Biblical scholars reject the idea that “born of water” in John 3 refers to the embyonic fluid. Jews didn’t think in those terms, plus there are the prophecies in the OT of cleansing with water and spirit. Besides, in the context the two-fold description, “of water and the spirit” describes the way one is born “from above” (anothen).

    Then God raised him from the dead and what did God say of that event? Thou art my son this day have I begotten thee.

    We had a long discussion about this in another thread, Today I Have Begotten You. Briefly, a case can be made that the first part of the passage – in Acts 13:32 – is referring to Jesus being “raised up” as in coming on the scene, while the next verse refers to the resurrection and quotes different OT passages.

    Since Jesus, as well as other NT writers, say that we are born again by God’s Word and the power of His Spirit, we could say that Jesus was not “born again” because his first birth was by the Word and the Spirit. In any case, it’s probably best not to go beyond what the Scriptures tell us. Jesus’ resurrection is not said to actually be a new birth, although a similarity is implied by calling him the “firstborn from the dead.”

  58. on 10 Jan 2009 at 3:05 pmGeorgie

    Mark,

    You said. “Jews didn’t think in those terms.”

    But Nicodemus knew Jesus was referring to the birth from the womb he asked. How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?

    The Jews didn’t understand when Jesus said he would die and be raised after 3 days and nights but never the less he talked about it and regardless of whether they understood or not it is what happened.

    Jesus was at the time of his birth to Mary the only begotten son of God, when he was resurrected from the dead he was begotten of God again – for the second time. Therefore he was begotten of God again. The second time he was not the only one, he was now the first born of many brethren. Having preeminence over those who will follow and be the many brethren.

    Two very different things.

    We have to be born the first time of water (of the flesh) in order to to be born the second time of the spirit.

    Jhn 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

    Jhn 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

    We know he was talking about the requirements needed to enter the kingdom of God.

    As Jesus Christ is going to be the king of the kingdom he must also be born again and he was when he was begotten of God for the second time – with his spirit body.

  59. on 10 Jan 2009 at 9:44 pmMark C.

    Here is John MacArthur’s take on the “born of water” question.

    The following “Question” was asked by a member of the congregation at Grace Community Church in Panorama City, California, and “Answered” by their pastor, John MacArthur Jr. It was transcribed from the tape, GC 70-14, titled “Questions and Answers–Part 42.” A copy of the tape can be obtained by writing, Word of Grace, P.O. Box 4000, Panorama City, CA 91412 or by dialing toll free 1-800-55-GRACE. Copyright 1993 by John MacArthur Jr., All Rights Reserved.

    Question

    My question comes from John 3, and particularly verse five were Jesus says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” And my question is, what did he refer to when he said, “one has to be born of the water,” because I know it doesn’t mean that we have to be baptized to be saved?

    Answer

    Through the years there have been a number of different suggestions. In America, just before a woman has a baby, there is an expression that we use, we say, “A woman’s water breaks.” And I, when I was very young, used to hear people preach and say that “what it means is you have to be born twice.” You have to be born of water. That is, you’re in that sac of fluid in your mother’s womb, and that water breaks, which means you have to be physically born. So that Jesus was saying to Nicodemus, you have to be physically born first, and then spiritually born. The problem with that interpretation is twofold: one, why would he tell a grown man he needed to be physically born. It was obvious he already past that test. Secondly, the Jews didn’t call that “water.” They didn’t have that colloquial expression for that fluid [that] we have, calling it “water.” So you can’t read some kind of “Americanism” back into that. Others have said, it does refer to being baptized, but you have to remember that Christian baptism isn’t even instituted until Acts, chapter 2.

    What does it mean? Very simply, it is a reference to the prophet Ezekiel. And if you remember, Jesus is talking to Nicodemus. Nicodemus is a teacher. He is a teacher of the Jews. In fact, in verse 1, it says, he’s a ruler of the Jews. That would put him in a very preeminent place. In fact, I believe the definite article is there, “the” ruler of the Jews. And those who ruled over the Jews were in religious authority, not political or military authority. And so, how would Nicodemus have understood it? Would he have understood it as Christian baptism? No. Would he have understood it as the physical birth and the water breaking? No. How would he have understood it? Well, the answer goes back to Ezekiel.

    There was a very famous passage in Ezekiel that every teacher in Israel knew, because it was the promise of the new covenant. In Ezekiel 36:25, God made this promise to Israel about a new covenant. He said, “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all you idols. Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you will be careful to observe my ordinances or my commandments.”

    Now what Ezekiel is writing there is, that the day is going to come when the Lord will wash your heart, he’ll wash your life; he’ll wash your inner man. He’ll put a new heart in you and he’ll put his Spirit in you.

    So when Jesus talks to Nicodemus and says, “you must be born of the water and the Spirit,” Nicodemus knows immediately that he is saying, “I am come to bring the fulfillment of the promised new covenant, promised to and through Ezekiel.” Okay? See his is a Jewish Old Testament context, and so it would be actually what the apostle Paul calls, “The washing of regeneration.” The washing, the internal washing of regeneration, and the renewing that comes by the Holy Spirit, that’s Titus 3:5 where you have both the water and the Spirit.

    This makes sense to me. It relates to the New Covenant, which will be completely fulfilled when the Lord returns, but which we have a foretaste of now. Maybe that’s part of why the foretaste is referred to as a “new birth.” But there are definitely NT references to it being something we experience now.

  60. on 10 Jan 2009 at 10:58 pmJohnE

    I agree with MacArthur on the water not being the womb “water”. But when he goes on to make the connection with Ezekiel, his premise is wrong:

    Others have said, it does refer to being baptized, but you have to remember that Christian baptism isn’t even instituted until Acts, chapter 2.

    We don’t really “have to remember that” 🙂 Christian baptism was instituted way before. In the same chapter, few verses later, John says:

    John 3:22 After these things Jesus and His disciples came into the land of Judea, and there He was spending time with them and baptizing.

    Then, we have the fact that the single direct link between Jesus’ “born of water” and the passage from Ezekiel is the word “water”. Kind of thin.

    I see no reason not the understand the birth of water as baptism with water – based on Colossians 2:12 and Romans 6:4. This idea is not incompatible with what Ezekiel says though. Peter says that:

    1 Peter 3:21 Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you– not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience— through the resurrection of Jesus Christ

    It is not a cleaning with water of physical dirt, but an appeal to God for a clean conscience.

  61. on 11 Jan 2009 at 6:31 amMark C.

    Good point about the context of baptism in John 3.

    However, the link between Jesus’ words and Ezekiel is more than just water:
    Ezekiel 36:
    25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.
    26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
    27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

    In addition, there are a number of other OT passages that refer to the promise of the New Covenant, when God will put a new heart in His people (Jer. 31:31-34; 32:37-42) and His spirit in them (Isa. 59:21). Isa. 32:15 and 44:3 also mention pouring out His spirit, though the phrase New Covenant isn’t used there. Ezekiel 36 mentions the new heart, the new spirit, and sprinkling with water, and in the following chapter it refers to the new covenant, also tied in with Israel being restored to the land. In addition, Isa. 66:8ff refers to Israel being reborn when they are restored to the land. All of these factors are included in the New Covenant, and in the prophecies regarding Israel, which Nicodemus was expected to know. And this is what Jesus was referring to when he said “you must be born of water and the spirit.”

    But that sounds like it’s only for Israel and only in the future, doesn’t it? But we Gentiles are able to partake of the promises when we believe in Christ, as Galatians and other NT Scriptures tell us. John MacArthur mentioned the “washing of regeneration by the holy spirit” spoken of in Titus 3:5-6 – “But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved [past tense] us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit.” The holy spirit we have now is referred to as a foretaste or an “earnest” of our inheritance (II Cor. 1:22; 5:5; Eph. 1:14; 4:30).

    In addition, Paul says we are a new creation (II Cor. 5:17), and James says of God, “…Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” This is in addition to I Peter 1:3 (God hath begotten us again) & 23 (being born again), which we have mentioned on this thread. All of these things refer to the same event. We receive the holy spirit, usually at baptism (and receiving the holy spirit is figuratively called a baptism, among other things), and the literal water of baptism also symbolizes the new birth, and the “washing of regeneration.”

    These are all different descriptions of the new birth, or entering into the new covenant. So, in a way, you could say that “You must be born of water and the spirit” is referring to both the prophecies of the ultimate completion of the New Covenant, and our entering into that New Covenant now, a foretaste involving both baptism with water and baptism with spirit.

  62. on 11 Jan 2009 at 8:24 amBrian

    Since the topic of this discussion has been tenses, we need to be careful when we come across uses of the aorist verb form (as in Titus 3:5 and 1 Peter 1:3.) This form of the verb, although usually translated as a past tense, technically holds no tense as we understand it.

    “The aorist, after all, is well-named: it is a-orist, without a place, undefined. It simply refers to the action itself without specifying whether the action is unique, repeated, ingressive, instantaneous, past, or accomplished” (Exegetical Fallacies by D.A. Carson, 2nd edition, page 68)

    I’m not saying these are not past tense as we understand it, but that the context tells us a lot more about the tense than the verb form. This gets us into the category of whats called “verbal aspect.” It is something that we need to be aware of as we discuss this topic of tenses. There is a resent book out on this: “Basics of Verbal Aspect in Biblical Greek.” The” koinonia” blog had some things about this as well back in November.

  63. on 11 Jan 2009 at 1:16 pmJohnE

    Mark,

    indeed, there’s more than the word “water” connecting what Jesus said and Ezekiel. The symbolic washing plus putting a new spirit in us, the baptism with water and spirit, are all involved here in John 3. The water baptism is the public act that symbolizes our appeal to God to be washed clean.

    Brian,

    Since the topic of this discussion has been tenses, we need to be careful when we come across uses of the aorist verb form (as in Titus 3:5 and 1 Peter 1:3.)

    There’s a difference between Titus 3:5 and 1 Peter 1:3. The “saved” in Titus is indeed aorist, but “born again” in 1 Peter is a participle aorist, not simply an aorist.

    The difference is significant because the aorist tense usually indicates something that occurred in the past, whereas this is not the case with the participle aorist. In fact, it is called an aorist participle only because this tense is built on the aorist tense stem of the verb.

    “The aorist, after all, is well-named: it is a-orist, without a place, undefined. It simply refers to the action itself without specifying whether the action is unique, repeated, ingressive, instantaneous, past, or accomplished” (Exegetical Fallacies by D.A. Carson, 2nd edition, page 68)

    Yes indeed, the aorist tense does not define the fact that the action occurred in the past, but usually this is the case. Usually, the action expressed by the aorist did happen in the past, as it is clear many times. A few examples:

    Matthew 1:2 Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot Judah and his brothers.

    In all 3 instances, the verb “to beget” is in the aorist tense. All three actions occurred in the past. This is repeated throughout, until verse 16

    Another one:

    Mt 1:18 before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit

    Past again. And others:

    Mt. 8:18-19 Now when Jesus saw a crowd around Him, He gave orders to depart to the other side of the sea. Then a scribe came and said to Him

    Matthew 11:1 When Jesus had finished giving instructions to His twelve disciples, He departed from there

    Matthew 11:8 But what did you go out to see?

    etc…

    I’m not saying these are not past tense as we understand it, but that the context tells us a lot more about the tense than the verb form.

    Yes, and 1 Pe 1:23 is in the context of vs. 3, using the same verb, born again, but this time the verb is in the perfect participle tense – about which there’s no doubt it defines an action completed in the past.

  64. on 12 Jan 2009 at 5:23 amWolfgang

    Hi everybody,

    after lots of discussion about grammatical tenses in relation to the term “born again” / “saved” etc and some more detailed posts on being “born again”, I would like to ask the simple question:

    What does “born again” mean? What does the term describe? In other words, is “born again” a synonym for “saved”? or a synonym for “baptized”? or does it describe in a literal sense “a birth” with “seed” of some kind? or does it describe figuratively “a mental and character change”, sort of like when we talk today about someone who has changed his habits, etc as being “a new person” ? or perhaps something else?

    It might help to understand the term first, before wanting to discuss when whatever is described by the term “born again” actually happens to a person … It seems ineffective and unprofitable to want to determine details about the timing of something when it is not known what the something itself is ….

    So then, folks, what is it to be “born again”?

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  65. on 12 Jan 2009 at 5:27 amWolfgang

    Hi everybody,

    a question concerning observing the grammatical tenses of statements:

    Should the tenses be considered in relation to the time when a statement is read or in relation to the time when a statement was written?

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  66. on 12 Jan 2009 at 12:09 pmRay

    I just saw this verse from John which connects the resurrection
    of Jesus with ‘birth’.

    John 3:21
    A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour
    is come; but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born
    into the world.

    We which live have been saved, as God is the saviour of all men,
    especially those that do believe. We are yet in the process of our
    salvation, suffering the anguish of this world, and we hope for
    the day of our salvation when we partake of his fullness which
    we have received in part.

    To be absent from this body is to be present with the Lord, and
    to those left behind, it is that we sleep, being in a state of inactivity
    where they can no longer commune with us.

    Seeing as our loved ones in the Lord that have departed are with
    him, being in the spirit, in his presence, though we can not talk to
    them, God is able and he does.

    Therefore we may ask God to tell them this or that, if such a thing
    be a burden on our heart, and if it be according to the will of God,
    then we know that God does hear us, and will perform whatever
    we ask of him.

    If a man make his bed in hell, God is able to reach him. God is able
    to do all that he is willing to do.

    There will still be Christians on this earth when Christ returns,
    and the dead in him will rise. All will then be changed and gathered
    together in him, experiencing the victory over death for we are
    members one of another.

  67. on 12 Jan 2009 at 12:39 pmGeorgie

    Wolfgang

    Hello, I asked the same questions in post 48.

    So far no response.

    Maybe you asking will get a response or maybe people are looking in to it.

  68. on 12 Jan 2009 at 1:42 pmMark C.

    To be absent from this body is to be present with the Lord, and to those left behind, it is that we sleep, being in a state of inactivity where they can no longer commune with us.

    Seeing as our loved ones in the Lord that have departed are with
    him, being in the spirit, in his presence, though we can not talk to
    them, God is able and he does.

    This is one of the most common misquotations regarding the subject of life after death. Nearly everyone, it seems, quotes it as “To be absent from this body is to be present with the Lord,” but in fact II Cor 5:8 says, “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.”

    The Bible in fact does not teach that when a person dies they are with the Lord. Scriptures such as Eccl. 9:4-6; Job 14:10-12; Psalm 6:5; 115:17; 146:3-4; Isa. 38:18 and others speak of the state of the dead as a place where there is no consciousness and no communication with anyone, including God. Only resurrection brings a person back to life after death.

    Paul was expressing his desire to be absent from the body and present with the Lord, but from his other writings as well as other Scriptures we know that this will happen when the Lord returns.

    As for the verse that connects the resurrection with Jesus’ ‘birth’ (which by the way is John 16:21, not 3:21) it is true that there is a similarity between resurrection and birth, and this verse compares the hard time we will go through before the Lord returns with the labor a woman goes through, and the joy when it is completed. But we cannot conclude that this means the new birth is only resurrection and not something that happens before death, as indicated by the other passages that have been quoted.

  69. on 12 Jan 2009 at 2:07 pmMark C.

    Regarding the definition of the new birth. We have seen some of the verses that describe God “begetting us” or us being “begotten” by the Word of God. These include I Peter 1:3-4, 23; II Cor. 5:17; Titus 3:5; James 1:18; as well as several references to being “born of God” in John’s epistles. These verses speak of God’s seed, and of incorruptible seed, as well as being begotten by the Word. All these Scriptures must be understood in light of the words of Jesus, rather than interpreting Jesus in light of later NT writers.

    What did Jesus say about the new birth? Well, we read John 3, and that’s the only place in the Gospels where the term “born again” is used. But he said that you can’t enter the Kingdom of God without it. Could something that vitally important not be mentioned in any of the other Gospels? The fact is, Jesus does speak of it, but using other terms.

    In the parable of the sower and the seed, in Matt. 13, Mark 4, and Luke 8, Jesus speaks of the seed being sown, and the four different types of soil. Mark and Luke point out that if one does not receive the seed, which is the Word, they don’t get “converted” or “saved.” Matthew even more specifically defines what the seed is.

    Matthew 13:
    18 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.
    19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.

    The seed that the sower sows is the Word of God, which is the Word of the Kingdom. When a person receives that Word, it is planted in them as a seed. When they believe and publicly confess Jesus as Lord, they become “saved,” “converted,” or “born again.” They are “new creatures.” There are a number of phrases used to describe it. This conversion or rebirth is accompanied by the holy spirit which begins the process of regeneration. This process continues as long as the person remains in the faith, until the Lord returns, at which time the ultimate completion happens. All of these
    passages must be considered together in order to see the complete picture.

  70. on 12 Jan 2009 at 3:13 pmRay

    In considering the word that Jesus gave to Nicodemus, one
    may enter the kingdom of God by faith when he receives that
    word.

    If a man says something like, “Well, when it comes to the Bible,
    nobody knows what it means. It can mean one thing to one person
    and another thing to someone else.” , he’s considering the word.

    When he begins to say things like, ” Well, let’s see. How does this
    work? Suppose a man is born of the flesh, he then becomes of
    the flesh, and that which is of the flesh is flesh. That much I understand. So what about if a man is born of the spirit? Then I
    suppose he would become a man ‘of’ the spirit. A man can not
    go into the flesh to be born of the flesh, but he can be born of the
    flesh and give life to another by reproduction, and that would be
    something of the flesh, for it came by the flesh. Now with the spirit
    of God, if God came into the flesh and something was born of the
    flesh and spirit of God then that would be both of the flesh and
    of God. Now, if Jesus ….”

    When a man comes to Jesus he may become born again by receiving the truth about him.

    A few verses in John 3 later, Nicomemus is given something
    more heavenly than “that which is born of the flesh is flesh”,
    for that is an earthly thing, but this about “No man ascended
    up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, but the
    Son of man which is in heaven.” now that’s something more
    to consider, that this Son of man came down from heaven even
    as he is in heaven.

    It sounds like Jesus is that Son of man who came down from
    heaven and is even in heaven, in the kingdom of God. Jesus also
    said that he that believes in the Son of man would not perish,
    but have eternal life. So if a man believes that Jesus is both come
    down from heaven and is in heaven and by believeing in him a man
    has eternal life and thereby will never perish, then the man must
    have received something more than just flesh which does perish.

    By considering things like this, men get born again.

    That’s one reason why these blogs are good. Who knows who might
    be reading this. Maybe people who don’t know what to think of it
    like Nicodemus, who not only began to plead on behalf of Jesus
    when the Pharisees wanted to judge him and kill him (see John 7:51) but he also was there at the cross to receive the body of
    Christ and care for it. (see John19:39) Yes, Nicodemus believed
    it seems to me.

    And those that believe in him have a place in heaven even as they
    are on earth. In their meditations on heavenly things they might
    find themselves in a heavenly place as they walk on this earth.

  71. on 12 Jan 2009 at 7:46 pmGeorgie

    Wolfgang,

    Jesus said to enter the kingdom one must be born again, if he is going to be in the kingdom as the ruling king, he too must be born again.

    Jesus Christ was the first to be born again/from above/anew. So it makes sense to look at when he was born again and how he was born again.

    Jesus was at the time of his birth to Mary the ONLY BEGOTTEN son of God, when he was resurrected from the dead he was begotten of God for the second time. Therefore he was begotten of God again. The second time he was not the only one, he was now the first born of many brethren. Having preeminence over those who will follow and be the many brethren.

    Two different begettings. The first one he was the only and the second time he was the first.

    He did not need to be saved, as he was the saviour from sin. Therefore logic dictates that saved and born again are two different things.

  72. on 12 Jan 2009 at 8:19 pmSean

    Georgie

    Jesus Christ was the first to be born again/from above/anew. So it makes sense to look at when he was born again and how he was born again.

    Sorry, I haven’t been keeping up with the conversation but this statement strikes me as odd. Do you have a verse to point to that says Jesus became born again? Since Jesus never sinned why would he need to be born again?

  73. on 13 Jan 2009 at 10:01 amMark C.

    Georgie,

    Not only is there no Scripture that says Jesus was born again, but if you use that as the basis of your premise that leads you to conclude that saved and born again are two different things, the whole logic falls apart. Especially if it doesn’t fit with the many clear verses that refer to our new birth where saved and born again are synonymous.

    If you consider the Scriptures I presented as those which define what “new birth” means, you’ll see that Jesus did not need to be born again. Since our new birth is based on receiving the seed (the Word) and the Holy Spirit, and is a foretaste of the rebirth of Israel which is to come, consider how this applies to Jesus. Jesus’ FIRST birth was by the Word of God – in fact he is the Word made flesh. And he received holy spirit to empower him during his ministry. Since he did not need to be “regenerated” (the function of the holy spirit in our lives now) we can conclude that he did not need a rebirth in the same sense that we do.

    It’s always a good idea to look at how words or phrases are used in the Bible, and not go beyond what’s written. The most we can say from Scripture is that Jesus is called the firstborn from the dead, as well as the firstborn of every creature, and the firstborn of many brethren. If you look at how these figurative phrases are used, you see they have more to do with his pre-eminence and his relationship to the church. The mistake some make is to use that to conclude that his resurrection was his “new birth” and thereby conclude that our new birth is our future resurrection. That conclusion contradicts the clear verses that refer to it as something that happens in this life.

  74. on 13 Jan 2009 at 10:23 amRay

    If we look for doctines we all can agree with there will be so few
    that we may as well not even go to church. I’ve noticed that when
    people make a doctrine even though it is widely accepted, there are still a few people that don’t necessarily agree with it.

    There are many ways to use words. We are not limited to the use
    of them by what we see in scripture, that is what we see in scripture is right and good, but we are not limited by how words are used in scripture.

    I think it’s OK for someone to think of a resurrection as a new birth,
    for in that, something new has begun.

    Birth can mean an act of coming into life or something like that.

    It’s good to look at a dictionary and see how words are used.

    I’m certain that God is not limited to how he uses words by how
    the words are used in scripture.

    When we say things in a certain way, or liken something to something else, let’s not do so to ‘come up with a doctrine’ that
    everyone must agree with, and let’s not think that if someone
    likens something to something else that they have made up a new
    doctrine that we have to approve of.

    When Jesus was born from above
    he came into this earth beneath
    into the womb he entered
    to suffer and die like a thief
    His spirit went unto God
    who received even the prodical son
    How much more was Jesus received
    having died for God’s very own

    Jesus searched for what was lost
    He covered all the house
    They say he will never stop
    Till all that was lost was found.

  75. on 13 Jan 2009 at 3:09 pmGeorgie

    Mark C.

    You said. “Jesus’ FIRST birth was by the Word of God – in fact he is the Word made flesh. And he received holy spirit to empower him during his ministry. Since he did not need to be “regenerated” (the function of the holy spirit in our lives now) we can conclude that he did not need a rebirth in the same sense that we do.” End quote.

    The Paraclete, I understand is an aid, a support, a comforter, an intercessor. Not in this case a regenerater.

    Funny that I can read that his first birth was of Mary and of God, he was a man of flesh and blood and what do you mean he did not need to be regenerated – he was dead for 3 days and 3 nights that means he was dead – he was no more. Then God raised him from the dead, if that’s not regeneration I don’t know what is. Do you believe Jesus would not get old and eventually die, he was a man of flesh and blood just like we are.

    Definition of regenerated- to re-create, to reform, make over in a better form.

    He was made over in a better form for he was no longer flesh he had his new spiritual body.

    Jesus said one must be born again to enter the kingdom. It is my understanding God does not break His own rules.

    Being saved and born again are not the same thing and it was seeing and understanding the difference of these 2 things that has lead me to look at what the scriptures say about the first birth of Jesus when he was born of God and Mary ( it was a joint venture) and the difference of what God said in Acts 13:33 when he said. You are MY son this day have I begotten thee. It was not a joint venture this time for he was born of God and God alone and he had a spiritual body instead of his earthly flesh and blood body.

    If Acts 13: 33 and Heb 1:5 and 5:5 are talking about his first birth God would have to say, you are OUR son this day have WE begotten you. But no that is not the case for the day God raised him from the dead he was God’s and God’s alone. Heb 1:5 and 5:5 are both a primary pronoun of the first person ( I ) only expressed when emphatic.

    He was begotten of God the first time as his ONLY begotten son and when God raised him from the dead he was the first born of many brethren in Rom 8 :29 first born from the dead in Col 1: 18 and first begotten in Rev 1: 5.

    I’m very sorry if you cannot see the difference between the first time he was begotten of God and the second time he was begotten of God. God has laid it out quite clearly.

    Jhn 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Jhn 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

    We are now bearing the flesh, the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. The change will take place at the return – according to the scriptures.

    1Cr 15:49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. 1Cr 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. 1Cr 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 1Cr 15:52 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. 1Cr 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal [must] put on immortality.

    It is at this time God will re-create, reform, make over in a better form those who are faithful to their end and we shall have a new body just like Christ did when God raised him from the dead. Then we shall have entrance into the kingdom.

    1Jo 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

  76. on 13 Jan 2009 at 3:29 pmRay

    Those who are in Christ now are in the kingdom of heaven.
    We received entrance into it by faith in him, through hearing
    of the gospel, the good news of our salvation.

    Q. Do we come and go in and out of the kingdom?

  77. on 13 Jan 2009 at 7:45 pmMark C.

    The Paraclete, I understand is an aid, a support, a comforter, an intercessor. Not in this case a regenerater.

    Titus 3:5 “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;”

    You keep saying, “Being saved and born again are not the same thing” but you have yet to demonstrate that from the Scriptures.

    As for “My Son” vs. “Our Son” that difference doesn’t even work in English. I am the son of my mother and father. My father (if he were alive) could call me “My son” and that would not mean that I am not also my mother’s son.

    Plus, you keep asserting that Acts 13:33 applies “This day have I begotten you” to his resurrection, when in the other thread it was shown that this is not unequivocally the case.

    It’s true, as I have said, that there are similarities between resurrection and birth. But to conclude that we are not born again until the future resurrection simply cannot be made to fit with the clear verses referring to us being born again, begotten again, begotten by the Word, etc., in this life.

  78. on 13 Jan 2009 at 7:48 pmMark C.

    Those who are in Christ now are in the kingdom of heaven.
    We received entrance into it by faith in him, through hearing
    of the gospel, the good news of our salvation.

    Q. Do we come and go in and out of the kingdom?

    We are not now in the Kingdom, except in a figurative, foreshadowed sense. The primary meaning of the Kingdom of God is the literal reign of Christ on a renewed earth in the future, in fulfillment of the OT prophecies.

  79. on 13 Jan 2009 at 8:56 pmRay

    Jesus is the kingdom of heaven.

  80. on 13 Jan 2009 at 9:22 pmGeorgie

    Mark,

    Yes quite right about the term MY and Our sorry about that.

    I have asked Sean to please define how he understands saved and also born again. Would you care to?

    I assume you are of the same mind in that born again and saved are the same thing. Only how can one be born again now but only be in the second stage of being saved, (as in holding the rope) if they are the same thing?

  81. on 13 Jan 2009 at 9:31 pmMark C.

    Ray,

    What do you mean by “Jesus is the kingdom of heaven”? Did you perhaps mean to say he is the “King of heaven”?

    If you research what the kingdom gospel is all about, you see that it has to do with Jesus being the fulfillment of the OT promises to Abraham and David, and those of the OT Prophets. I recommend looking over the Kingdom of God page (linked at the top of this page) and my website.

  82. on 13 Jan 2009 at 9:47 pmMark C.

    Georgie,

    The way I see it, the moment of the “new birth” is like the first stage in the rope analogy – you “grab the rope” by accepting the gospel and confessing Christ. Then, as you are being pulled up (2nd stage in the analogy) you are hanging on, and are said to have been “born again.” You are undergoing a transformation or regeneration by the Word and the holy spirit. Finally the third stage comes when the Lord returns. We will be completely changed, putting on immortality. That’s why this thread was originally called “Salvation: Three Tenses.” Whether you call it salvation, new birth, conversion, transformation, etc., it has these three tenses.

  83. on 13 Jan 2009 at 11:53 pmRay

    The kingdom of heaven is that which John the baptist said was
    near. It’s the word of God.

    The kingdom of heaven suffers offences in this world, but it shall
    endure, for it’s house is founded upon a rock.

    Jesus is that rock and the house of God.

  84. on 14 Jan 2009 at 1:16 amGeorgie

    Mark C,

    Interesting – not a scripture reference or Greek word insight.

    Thanks but no thanks.

    You should take a look at the Greek word for saved, it means safe and have a look to see what God says he wants us to be safe from. It is really interesting. As God did not bundle saved and born again together then I don’t think we should either. Try separating them and see what the scriptures say. I also believed they were one and the same thing for years and was surprised at what I learned when I searched the scriptures.

    Farewell.

    Maybe one day we’ll get together for a chat in the kingdom.

  85. on 14 Jan 2009 at 2:59 amMark C.

    Georgie,

    You wrote, “Interesting – not a scripture reference or Greek word insight. Thanks but no thanks.”

    You asked how I understood born again and saved as the same thing in light of the rope analogy. I had already given many Scripture references in my previous posts, which you haven’t dealt with, nor have you provided any Scriptural proof that born again and saved are not referring to the same thing.

    You say, “Try separating them and see what the scriptures say.” But isn’t that starting with a premise and then reading it into the Scriptures? Shouldn’t we examine the Scriptures and let them speak for themselves?

    From the finality of your tone, I assume you don’t wish to discuss it further, and that’s your choice.

  86. on 14 Jan 2009 at 3:05 amMark C.

    Ray,

    “Kingdom of Heaven” is a phrase that only occurs in Matthew. It is synonymous to “Kingdom of God” used in the other Gospels. It refers to the coming reign of Jesus on earth, as prophesied by the OT Prophets. I recommend you read up on this, in the many resources on this site, on mine, and on other related web sites.

  87. on 14 Jan 2009 at 11:42 amRay

    The kingdom of heaven refers to more than just the reign of Christ
    here on earth. He reigns in heaven too. That same word shall be
    here also in living victory over all the works of the enemy. The fruit
    of the good seed Jesus has sown will grow and produce that where unto God sent it. It shall be watered by his grace, and tended by his love. Though it suffer it shall endure.

    We see the reign of Christ in part, and yet we wait to see him still.
    He shall return from whence he came, and his mission yet fulfill.
    His works he finished at the cross, and yet he did some more.
    He works through you and I when we in him do live.

    What we saw him do in part, we know he will do in full. He
    misitered the good news then and today he will do the same.
    His healings done, he did and I know he does do more.

  88. on 15 Jan 2009 at 12:56 amMark C.

    Yes, Jesus reigns at God’s right hand until the time comes for him to return. But the primary reference to the Gospel of the Kingdom of God is about his coming reign over the nations of earth which the Prophets foretold. That’s how the phrase is used in the Scriptures. That’s why we are told to pray, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” That’s what I was referring to when I said we are not now in the Kingdom of Heaven except in a figurative, foreshadowed sense.

  89. on 21 Oct 2012 at 3:39 pmtimothy

    SEAN

    Dear SEAN,

    your post:

    Salvation: three tenses

    ***45 Sean
    Georgie,

    I don’t know that Jesus needed to get born again. He never sinned.

    Even so, it is clear from 1 Peter 1.3 that you have been born again (aorist tense = simple action in the past) unto a lively hope. Our “hope” prior to the new birth was death and misery. Now our hope is lively because we have a new life, we are part of the new creation (2 Cor 5.17).***

    With all due respect to all.

    My LHIM Texbook “Living Sacrifice” volume three, Recommended supplemental reading from the Kingdom Studies books for new version “God’s Purpose of the Ages: A Love Story”

    Chapter 10 “New Birth”

    page 205

    Matthew 1:
    20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived [gennao] in her is of the Holy Ghost.

    His first life began when he was born of Mary and ended on the cross. His second life began when he was born from the dead and will never end. According to Acts 13:33 and Psalm 2, the second birth is when he was begotten, or born, of GOD. Therefore we can accurately say that Jesus was born again. Of this second birth, we can also say that he was born from above, or born of GOD.

    The resurrected Christ is also referred to as the firstfruits.

    page 206

    1 Corinthians 15:
    20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

    21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.

    22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

    23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

    The term first fruits is similar to “first born” in that it implies two things: (1) he was the first to be resurrected and (2) others will follow. When the others will follow is clearly stated as “afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.” When he comes back, we too will be given a new life just like his. At that time, we will be born a second time.

    When Jesus was put into the sepulcher, his lifeless body was so marred and disfigured Isaiah said that it was beyond human semblance. When he got up, he had a completely new body. We are promised a similar transformation.

    Philippians 3:
    20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:

    21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

    The resurrection, second birth, and new life are not unique New Testament concepts. They have their roots, like so many things, in the Old Testament.

    page 207>>>208

    Ezekiel 37:1–14

    page 209(bottom paragraph)

    This prophetic vision was first realized by our Lord Jesus Christ when he was resurrected. When those of faith are resurrected at his return, they, too, will be born again. This second birth will be from above, from GOD.

    page 210>>>213

    I would suggest the complete chapter 10 “New Birth”(even all three volumes completely)be carefully read.

    I consider, the expounded view of my Senor Pastor, author and writer, is what I shall continue to believe. Being a journeyman bible student, the easy to comprehend, and simple logical scriptures are meant for the simple minded, like me. We have tribes of masters, sorta like all chiefs and no indians.

    Jesus Christ is our perfect equal(isos) man humankind and what ever we need to be he is.

    isos=equal=http://www.mathsisfun.com/definitions/isosceles-triangle.html

    Timothy 8)

  90. on 21 Oct 2012 at 8:31 pmAllen

    Thank you for directing me to this thread Sean. Heres my small take on some of the things mentioned. As I said in some of my previous posts, I am not infallible and dont claim to be the standard of truth, I share what I see and will take on board any counter argument.

    John 3:3, greek word translated as born again γεννηθῇ

    1 Peter 1:3, greek word translated as born again ἀναγεννήσας

    Two completley different words, Why? because they are not talking about the same thing. John 3:3 is talking about the resurrection into the Kingdom, the spiritual body that comes from above.

    The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven. As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly.

    1 Peter 1:3 is speaking about what happens to one of Gods people who dies to sin and walks in the newness of life.

    Do you think the recipients of this letter had died to sin, verse 22-23 leaves little room to doubt.

    22Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, 23for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.

    It is possible to be one of Gods people and not be born again as Peter describes it. The person who is born again, is the Christian who dies to sin and walks in obedience in the hope of the Gospel.

    Thank you and God Bless

  91. on 21 Oct 2012 at 8:55 pmAllen

    This is a repost from a different thread, probably should have posted it here in the first place lol, Good night and God Bless, its bedtime here in Belfast.

    Hi Sean, I believe that the three tenses of salvation is a way for people to try and unify the times that the word is used, therefore making it three aspects of the same thing. The three aspects or tenses are connected and have a relationship, but are completely different. Take Titus three for example, this is used to show the past aspect of salvation, I dont believe it does, it show a completley different and isolated salvation, but one that has an impact on the future salvation.

    Titus 3:1-7, 1Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, 2to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men. 3For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. 4But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, 5He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, 6whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

    I think a better translation here of the word saved in verse 5 would be delivered. Paul states that we have been saved/delivered, past tense. But saved from what? The context makes it clear what they have been saved from.

    3For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.

    They had been saved from the power of sin, this is not the same salvation of Romans 10:9-10 or Hebrews 9:28, it is completley different and stands by itself. Where the confusion comes in my opinion, is that it does have an impact on the future salvation. If people do not experience the salvation and walk in the salvation that Paul writes about in Titus 3:5, they will not qualify for the eschatological salvation. Look at what being saved from the power of sin will result in.

    7so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

    This is eschatological salvation, it is different from the salvation in verse 5, but you cannot have the second unless you have you have the first. The problem is, you can be saved/delivered from the power of sin in the past, but you must continue to walk in obedience or you could get tangled up in sin again. Right there are the three aspects.

    Feel free to disagree, as I have learned from past failings that I am not infallible, Im still working these things out myself

  92. on 22 Oct 2012 at 8:32 amAllen

    Hi Sean, I would like to take back what I stated above concerning salvation, i could be wrong on that and this post has got me thinking again about Salvation, what it is, what’s it not and so forth. I think previous beliefs about being saved from hell and current beliefs anout being saved from outer darkness might have have been steering people in the wrong direction. I’m starting to think that the whole salvation issue for the people of God today is centred on sin. Salvation is the process that God uses to deal with our sin. It starts when we die to sin, it continues when we work out our salvation with fear and trembling, it ends when Jesus return and raises us. Not being sent to outer darkness is not salvation. We will be sent to outer darkness because we have not been saved from sin. If we have been saved from sin we inherit eternal life. Catch my drift, any opinions. Please forgive my previous post, I think I could have wrong.

  93. on 22 Oct 2012 at 11:57 amSarah

    Allen,

    Great thoughts. I would just add that as long as we remain on that narrow road of salvation from sin, and do not tamper with the protective seal of the Holy Spirit, we will also be shielded from the coming wrath of God:

    “Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.” Rom 5:9 ESV

  94. on 22 Oct 2012 at 12:02 pmtimothy

    Allen,

    I like all of your post and I too have been thinking about the multilayer or like the jungles triple canopy/three tenses. There are several, why not three, aspects of ones salvation.

    Died/raised with Christ.

    Seated in the heavens with Christ.

    To be with Christ at his return.

    My post, taken from our text book “Living Sacrifice”, seems to be more of a physical phenomenon. Physical real now, then changed to spiritual realm at the return.

    Jesus Christ, with his newly resurrected spiritual body, spent forty days here on Earth, which is the physical realm. Angles have been appearing to humankind during our history. Perhaps Jesus’ visible being, as seen by all who saw him during those last forty days, in his resurrected body, must be like the Angles spiritual bodies.

    Except, Jesus is a pure living resurrected human being with a next generation spiritual flesh and bone body. We are not even capable of figuring it out…however when we are resurrected/changed then we will see him face to face as he is.

    Acts 1: (kjv)
    3 To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:

    Paul writes

    1 Corinthians 15:
    6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.

    Step one for the christian is to mortify the old mans heart and have a zeal to repent and change the rotten Adam/DNA heart.

    Simultaneously making Jesus Christ your Lord by doing what he tell you to do via your own personal Paraclete.

    John 14:
    15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

    16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter[parakletos], that he may abide with you for ever;

    17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

    26 But the Comforter[parakletos], which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

    Now, knowing the above, the bottom line is to read and retain all the revelation of Jesus you can: Matthew through Revelations. Then one can “walk in the spirit” and follow their Lords directions. The Hawaii pidgin English bible calls Jesus Christ “my Boss” and GOD “the BOSS”.

    We have our part to do and GOD and Jesus Christ will help to do the rest. But one must needs to do their part staying in fellowship moment by moment. The christian person has to change from the old man into the new man by their perseverance, staying FAITHFUL.

    We are saved by grace. Once saved then thankfulness is simultaneous with works. Faith requires works.

    James 2:18
    18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

    We are required to do all of the above to be Kingdom Ready. At his return Jesus will do his part by borning us again into a spiritual body suitable to enter into the Kingdom of GODs world atmosphere.

    Allen I hope you can improve on what I have written above.

    Timothy(sunny Florida) 8)

  95. on 22 Oct 2012 at 12:08 pmtimothy

    Hello Sarah,

    Wow we are on five minutes apart.

    If you please would you explain: “do not tamper with the protective seal of the Holy Spirit”.

    I am not sure how one could tamper with holy spirit?

  96. on 22 Oct 2012 at 12:25 pmSarah

    Hi Timothy,

    I’m thinking of this verse:

    “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” (Eph 4:30)

    There is an excellent article on this subject by Tim Warner. Here is quote from it:

    Some believe that once a person is “sealed” he can never be lost. But they fail to understand “sealing” in its historical context. Today, “sealing” might give the impression of something that is permanent. But, in Paul’s day, “sealing” was a legal term. When a document was sealed, it meant it was authentic. The official would roll up the legal document, place a peice of wax to hold the loose end, then press the insignia of his seal into the wax. This was similar to a notary stamp. As long as the document remained closed, and the seal intact, it was considered legally valid. This was to insure that the document was not altered.

    ….The Holy Spirit has sealed us UNTIL the time of redemption comes, when we receive our inheritance. Was it possible for a Roman citizen to break the wax seal and tamper with the document? Sure it was. But this would certainly void the document. This is also true of one who breaks the seal of the Holy Spirit. That’s why “blasphemy of the Holy Spirit” is the only sin that cannot be forgiven. In passages that speak of falling away, we see that this sin against the Holy Spirit is definately involved with apostasy.

    http://www.pfrs.org/osas/osas06.html

  97. on 22 Oct 2012 at 2:04 pmtimothy

    Sarah,

    Thanks, please bare with me because all the below will end with “not true”…..once saved always saved.

    You have answered my question.

    In the book of Revelations there are “sealed documents” which are later unsealed.

    A signet ring was used for sealing and some still seal with special wax and emboss the wax with a hollow engraved metal signet.. Sometimes nice and fancy Diplomas are done this way(mine are). The Notary Publick have a paper embossing hand press.

    Judah gave his signet ring to Tamar as surety(pledge) that he would pay her later.

    Genesis 38:
    17 And he said, I will send thee a kid from the flock. And she said, Wilt thou give me a pledge, till thou send it?

    18 And he said, What pledge[earnest] shall I give thee? And she said, Thy [signet], and thy bracelets, and thy staff that is in thine hand. And he gave it her, and came in unto her, and she conceived by him.

    Ephesians 1:
    13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were [sealed] with that holy Spirit of promise,

    14 Which is the [earnest] of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

    [earnest]=Southern saying”earnest money” is a down payment, deposit, surety, guaranty, a pledge to pay

    Ephesians 4:
    27 Neither give place to the devil.

    28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.

    29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

    Doing the thing in verses 28 and 29 would be grieving the holy spirit

    30 And [grieve] not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

    Doing verses 31 and 32 would be to [not grieve] holy spirit of GOD.

    31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

    32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

    your quote from “Tim Warner”:

    “This is also true of one who breaks the seal of the Holy Spirit. That’s why “blasphemy of the Holy Spirit” is the only sin that cannot be forgiven. In passages that speak of falling away, we see that this sin against the Holy Spirit is definately involved with apostasy”

    1 John 5:
    16 If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.

    17 All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.

    “blasphemy of the Holy Spirit” is the only sin that cannot be forgiven” and I was taught that “being born of the devil” was the sin unto death.

    So IMHO to grieve the holy spirit by continuing in sin, blasphemy of the holy spirit and being born of the devil certainly are ways where one would lose their salvation and “not be” once saved always saved.

    I am not asking any question, however, I do care very much what you might think about this picture from the word.

    Timothy 🙂

  98. on 22 Oct 2012 at 3:27 pmSarah

    Yes, Timothy, I think you’ve painted an excellent scriptural portrait of what it looks like to grieve the Holy Spirit. The example you cited from Genesis 38 is illuminating. What if Tamar had discarded the tokens Judah had given to her? She needed to keep these because they were her proof that Judah had indeed made her a promise that he needed to fulfill.

    If we grieve the Holy Spirit and give place to the devil, what evidence will we present to Jesus when he returns to prove we are genuine recipients of his promised eternal life? Without the Holy Spirit testifying to him that we are his, he will have no choice but to say, “Depart from me…”

  99. on 23 Oct 2012 at 7:16 pmtimothy

    Sarah,

    Thanks…'””and'”” furthermore, The child Tamar would bear for Judah would become an important heir of Judah in the genealogy of Jesus Christ.

    Actually, I believe even, today it would be above board for such a bloodline. In order for Judahs line to continue he would have had to take another wife…..two sons had died and the youngster did not have any offspring. His fourth son Perez did the trick.

    When one would look at the sexual misconduct only, the whole point for GOD was that continueing the bloodline is missed. As you have pointed all of Tamars action are justified to make Judah keep his word. She seems to have been happy to have Judah as her promised husband rather than Shelah. The devil killed Er and Onan. A ‘”hebraisn'” was in play when it said GOD killed…rather it is GOD allowed.

    Hebrew idiom of permision:

    http://www.cffm.org/teachings/iop.shtml

    Furthermore there is more.

    First)) we: Sarah, Wolfgang, Doubting Thomas, Timothy and Tim (akaA) are really, actually, brethern of our Lord Jesus Christ by adoption by our heavenly father YAHWEH.

    Knowing this I am more and more inspired to study my spiritual family history. It is even more real than our Earthly generations history.

    Romans 8:15
    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.

    23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

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

    6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

    We are saved by grace.

    Secondly)) GODs compassion allowed Lot to be saved from destruction, despite his tainted Sodom ways. He knew his daughters(sure you know what that means) and his first born son by his first born daughter, Moab, became the father of the Moabites the blood line for Ruth who with Boaz conceived and bore Obed. And Obed was the Father of Jesse.

    Book of Ruth is called “the redeeming kinsman”!

    Jesse was the father of King David who fathered:

    1) Nathan: the line of Joseph Mary’s husband

    2) Solomon: the line of Mary mother of *Jesus*

    If GOD had not spared Lot because Abraham had pleaded to save him from the fire and brimstone?

    Then the hidden to GOD plan would have fallen apart? I do not think so, but the Devil was trying everything he could to destroy the coming of Jesus the Christ.

    Cain killed Able.

    The flood would have killed all of mankind.

    Abraham may have killed Isaak.

    Joseph may have not gotten a wife.

    Pharaoh may have killed all the Israelites, he did try genocide by killing the young males.

    Herod killed all the Jewish baby boys and Jesus escaped to Egypt with his parents and didn’t come back until the coast was clear.

    And finally the devil killed Jesus Christ on the cross. This was our victory as he was “not guilty” and GOD raised him from the dead.

    At Pentecost was the beginning where each Christian has Christ with in and he is as many as are.

    Timothy 🙂

  100. on 24 Oct 2012 at 7:29 pmAllen

    Hi Tim, I seen in a previous post you mentioned the Adam DNA/heart.
    A Brother recently introduced me to a doctrine concerning the sin nature in mankind, or lack of it should I say. This link is to an audio that gets into the connection between Adam and the sinfulness of mankind, thought provoking to sat the least.

    http://bereanbiblechurch.in/messages/notes/518

  101. on 25 Oct 2012 at 5:22 amtimothy

    Allen,

    Nice to hear from you again.

    I have been thinking about the DNA delema and will just say a few thing right now.

    IMHO, as ways the mystery finally revealed to Paul, there are still mysteries that are past finding out.

    There have been things revealed in GODs word that were not figured out until more modern times in medicine. I remember learning:

    Leviticus 17:11
    11 For the [life](soul) of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.

    The blood of animals was used to sacrifice for ones sins.

    Ultimately the blood(life) of Jesus Christ was sacrificed for humankind.

    Jesus new resurrected spiritual body is flesh and bone. So somehow the new spiritual mans life runs on spirit and not blood.

    I listened to you link about sin and cannot yet make a comment.

    In 1961 I took Zoology in college and DNA was barely known about.
    Today there may be too much known about it!

    I know myself that I have sin nature that may not have been learned.

    We call some things Human Nature? Maybe the sinful nature is what has been inherited from Adam and Eve. What ever there progeny had was so bad that “their thoughts were evil continually”.

    Just guessing I would say that either “sin nature is part of human DNA” or that it is fully a spiritual phenomena as the devil manipulates humans spiritually.

    When Christian become Christians by being baptized with holy spirit by Jesus Christ, something like an anti serum comes with the parakletos. This enables the Christian to manifest the holy spirit by first SIT as did the first century church.

    SIN is like a virus(even like our computers get) that humans are born with. Our doctrine is that Jesus did not have a sin nature?

    Colossians 1:
    27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

    The Christ in you gives one the ability to:

    James 4:
    7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

    For now I must study some more. We need to be transformed by following our instruction book “GODs word”.

    Timothy 🙂

  102. on 28 Oct 2012 at 12:24 pmWolfgang

    Hi all,

    Our doctrine is that Jesus did not have a sin nature?

    an interesting question …
    was Jesus a real man with a real human nature? Is part of the human nature what some call “sin nature”? If Jesus did not have a “sin nature”, could it really be said that “he was tempted like as we are …” ?

    What about the first Adam? Did he have a sin nature and it was that sin nature which caused him to commit sin? Or did he commit sin without having a “sin nature” and in reality, whatever folks call “sin nature” and use to blame for their sin, is only some “fiction” but not really true?

    Also, I would really appreciate if those who use the term “nature” as in “sin nature” could define in their own words what they actually mean by that term … what is a “sin NATURE” ? is this a habit, a character trade, an emotion, or what? …

    I have discontinued using the term in my talks and teachings … and the reason for this is very simple, “I have no clue what the term “sin nature” means !” Since I could not explain what I understand it to mean, I thought it better to not use the term at all

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  103. on 28 Oct 2012 at 5:02 pmtimothy

    Hello Wolfgang,

    I really do not know the answer about the sin nature of mankind [inherent] since Adam and Eve.

    [existing in someone or something as a permanent and inseparable element, quality, or attribute]

    What ever Adam # 1 had to obey or disobey GOD for, would be the same for Adam #2.

    Adam # 1 disobeyed GOD and past on a compromised [DNA] to all humankind.

    [there are scientific/medical studies which “guess” that sin may be in human DNA. I do not think so. I believe there are such things, where the knowledge is not available to find out. What I do believe is that sin(or sin nature) is a spiritual matter just like devil spirits are a spiritual matter]

    Adam # 2 did not disobey GOD and was executed for disobedience, when in fact he was obedient to GODs law.

    As an innocent man suffering the death penalty, GOD intervened and raised Jesus from the dead back to spiritual life.

    Matthew 4: (kjv)
    1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.

    Hebrews 4:
    15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

    Romans 3:
    20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

    Jesus was well schooled with the Law and knew what to do and not to do. He knew that loving GOD meant keeping his commandments.

    Matthew 5:
    27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:

    28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

    Here Jesus taught against covetousness, adultery(sex out of marriage) and fornication.

    Proverbs 23:
    7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.

    Perhaps having/being like an animal is sin nature. Perhaps repenting and being transformed to the GODly nature of Jesus is the requirement to enter the Kingdom of GOD.

    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.

    Ephesians 4:24
    24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

    This new man is to have a new nature where as the old man had a sinful nature.

    Doing this by ourselves will not work. We need Jesus Christ our parakletos to help us change.

    Here are some characteristics of “so called” human nature:

    http://quizlet.com/11604233/german-23-human-nature-sk-flash-cards/

    Cheers,

    Timothy

  104. on 29 Oct 2012 at 8:51 amtimothy

    Some more,

    The “Lust of the Flesh” are like what we hear called “sin nature”

    Fruits of the spirit are attributes of the Love of GOD.

    In the above link one finds positive and negative attributes of “character”.

    One near Eastern philosopher(Hazrat Inayat Khan) wrote “Nature is born, character is built, and personality is developed. If nature is such, then it is not easy to change a person’s nature.

    Galations 5:
    14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

    15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.

    16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

    This, *walking in the spirit*, is
    *how to defeat sinful nature/character/personality*!

    GOD has equipped each Christian with their own parakletos and nine manifestations of the spirit. There is ample instruction available to teach all about receiving and using holy spirit. Jesus said “after I go to my Father I will come and dwell in your parakletos. GOD in me and I in you and you in me. Christians have been enabled to walk in the spirit.

    17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

    18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

    19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

    20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

    21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things [shall not inherit the kingdom of God].

    [shall not inherit the kingdom of God] This scars me and gives incentive to obey, we are required to maintain faith unto the end (Hebrews 3; 6; 10) in order to enter the Kingdom.

    22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

    23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

    24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

    25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

    26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

    Ephesians 2:
    3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

  

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