You Must Be Born Again! Says Who?!

Traditional Christian evangelism focuses on man’s sinful nature in order to get people saved. (See my earlier posts.)

The fallen man gospel also declares you must be ‘born again’.  

We have been told that if you get born again that means

  • you have repented of your sins
  • asked God to forgive you
  • asked Jesus to be your Savior
  • asked Him to live in your heart

 Who came up with that phrase, ‘born again’, anyway?

Those brought up in traditional Christianity think they are quoting Jesus.

Did Jesus really say you must be born again?                                        

No!

Now just a second! It says in John 3:3 – Jesus answered Nicodemus , “I am telling you the truth: no one can see the Kingdom of God without being born again.”(NKJ)  See, it says so right there!

Hold on.

 The words ‘born again’ are man’s interpretation -a misinterpretation of the original Greek word Jesus used!

 Are you kidding me?! Nope.

 The  Low-down

Nicodemus intrigued by Jesus, yet fearing his fellow Pharisees’ opinions, came to visit Him in the dark of night.

Nick began his conversation praising Jesus as a teacher who truly must be sent from God because of all the miracles He performed. Note – Jesus wasn’t lured by the flattery.

Jesus immediately changed the topic!

He began to tell Nicodemus a very important truth related to the entering the kingdom of God

Jesus wanted Nick to know how he was already part of God’s kingdom!

Can you imagine how that kind of ‘already are’ thinking would negate Nick’s belief system of good works, keeping all the laws, the importance of being a member of a certain religious group, having a special title, and being the chosen people?!

Jesus was trying to get across to Nick that his true origin was paramount to being part of the Kingdom.

TRUE MEANING OF MISTRANSLATED WORDS ‘BORN AGAIN’

 Jesus said to Nick – “I am telling you the truth: no one can see the Kingdom of God without being anouthen.”

The Greek word anouthen means

‘from above, from heaven, from the beginning, from their origin (source)

 What was Nick’s response to anouthen?

He totally spaced out the anouthen word!

This is why Nicodemus responded incredulously,  “How can a grown man be ‘born again’ (Greek gennaό –  beget, give birth to)? He certainly cannot enter his mother’s womb and be ‘born again’ (gennaό) a second time?”  

Do you see that?! Nick didn’t even hear the word anouthen!

Nick used gennaόa, a totally different word than what Jesus used.

Nicodemus was earth bound. As far as he was concerned his origin was his mother’s womb. Not so, says Jesus. You must come from above(anouthen) .

Jesus went on to confirm you must be born of water (from your mother’s womb) and of the Spirit (the other realm) in order to enter the kingdom of God. (Jn 3:5)

Jesus then reiterated to Nick – “Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born (gennaό) again (anouthen).’” (Jn 3:7)

Now isn’t that something? Jesus used both words!

In other words Nick, if you come from the womb then realize you first came from above!

Your true origin, your true source, your true identity: you began in God’s thought, in His imagination, in His heart. Your identity is not with your parents.  You began in eternity!

I am from above!To be part of God’s kingdom is pretty simple: first, you begin from above; second, you are formed in the womb. That’s how you are made in God’s image and likeness!

Now the best part of the Good News is that Jesus came to restore our original, true origin! This will take some pondering! And the Word will bear it out – you’ll see. I am undone by the fullness of the Gospel! Oh the joy!

Dig In

  • Let this sink in – the Gospel includes good news of being from above – from the get go!
  • Now there may be some people that you are positive are not anouthen, let alone made in God’s image. If that’s you, then take time to consider which perspective do you have – earth bound or eternal?
  • If we all really begin ‘from above’, then who are we really? Is there a joy unspeakable that we are missing out on because religious tradition misinterprets, misleads, and requires?    
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