Sunday School Literature Introduces A New Way To Be “Born Again”
Many of today’s Sunday School literature guides begin on the first page with the title, "How to become a Christian" with a subtitle of "Born Again".
This literature beautifully and correctly relates to Nicodemus in John 3 who apparently was marveling at the fact that Jesus said, "You must be born again!" and “New birth begins with the Holy Spirit convicting a person that the person is a “sinner".
It goes on incorrectly claiming that the Bible says, “all persons are sinners” in Romans 3:23 and it says, “to be born again means that a person admits to God that he or she is a sinner, repents of sin, believes in or trusts Christ, and confesses faith in Christ as Savior and Lord." Furthermore the literature incorrectly says, “To believe in Jesus is to be born again:”
We do need to “admit” our sins to the Lord and confess faith in Christ but without sincere repentance, we remain “sinners” without hope. Can one expect forgiveness without repentance? For an example, if a man who is a practicing homosexual “admits” to God that he is gay, is he forgiven? Concerning repentance, if the practicing homosexual who has only “admitted” that he is a sinner, repents but then goes back to his same sins, are we now to believe that he is forgiven and “Born Again”? If “Born Again” means that we are still a “sinners” then what did Jesus died for and why did He tell the woman caught in adultery, "...Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more." (John 8:11 – All verses KJV).
Concerning the literature’s incorrect statement saying, “To believe in Jesus is to be born again:”, The Devil believes in Jesus. Is he born again too? The Bible says, “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” (James 2:19)
Is repentance now just a temporary change? If this were so, then we could say that everyone who has repented at some time and believes in Jesus is “Born Again”. We cannot just repent today, receive God's forgiveness just by “admitting” that we “all are sinners” and tomorrow go back to being a drunk or indulging again in our sins and call ourselves “Born Again Christians” and “Sinners” almost all in the same breath. Jesus is the one who said we must be “Born Again”, and if so, why not listen to Jesus, who said concerning the once impotent man: “Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.” (John 5:14)
“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” (1 John 1:8-10)
Now let us quote Romans 3:23 Correctly; “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Notice 1 John 1:8 begins with the present tense, which teaches that we should acknowledge our sins. 1 John 1:9 teaches that we should confess our sins and that God faithfully forgives us our sins and “Cleanses us from all unrighteousness”. 1 John 1:10 and Romans 3:23 puts “have not sinned” and “have sinned” in the past tense. All sin must be acknowledged, confessed, forgiven and put away, into the past. Repentance does not mean “continuing in your sins” as a “SINNER”.
Which Freedom Road Are You On?
There are two freedoms: Freedom to sin, and Freedom from sin; The sinner's freedom and the Saint's freedom. Both are free-spirited, walking 180 degrees away from each other, one to Hell, the other to Heaven. Some are wheat; some are tares. Each appearing alike, singing the same songs, saying the same Amens, praying the same prayers. But few there are that find the right path. The majority are Hell-bound, and don't know it, because “we're all sinners”, right? wrong!!
"Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." (Matthew 7:14-23) Did you notice the word “iniquity” above. Iniquity is “SIN”! If you are a worker of iniquity, you are a “SINNER”
“He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” (1 John 3:8-9)
I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3,5)
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
“Admitting” To God That We Are Sinners Is Not The Same As Repentance
If we “admit” to God and even to the whole world that we are a sinner, this will not save us, since this is not repentance. Saying publicly that we are a sinner aids Satan’s desire to encourage more people to adopt our form of false repentance thereby sending ourselves along with others to Hell. True salvation includes true repentance. If we are still in our sins, we are lost and in need of salvation. We must be “Born Again”!
If we are still sinners we are lost and if lost, we should go back to 1 John 1:8-10 and humbly seek God’s mercy. We should Repent! (Luke 13:3-5). We cannot be saved unless we repent. Satan is a liar but God says we can repent with His help. It is hopeless to try repenting without the power and Spirit of God. We can admit to God that we can’t repent alone and we should ask Him to assist us with His Holy Spirit, who can enable us to repent. We need to be “Born Again”!
True repentance flows from true sorrow. “Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.” (2 Corinthians 7:9-11)
“Born Again” means that a person confesses to God that he or she is a sinner, asks for forgiveness, repents of all sin, believes in Christ as Savior and Lord and with the help of the Holy Spirit becomes a Saint trusting in Faith, Christ”.
True Salvation leads unto thankfulness. “Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God. For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God;” (2 Corinthians 9:11-12)
Thankfulness leads unto Joy. “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” (Colossians 3:15-17)
Source: WTL Ministry - 12-21-2001 - http://www.wtlministry.org/articles