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What Does It Mean To Be Born Again?

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What does it mean to be Born Again?

The Bible tells us in ,

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.

In Paul’s letter to the Romans, what does justified mean? According to Easton’s Bible Dictionary justification is defined as follows:

JUSTIFICATION—a forensic term, opposed to condemnation. As regards its nature, it is the judicial act of God, by which he pardons all the sins of those who believe in Christ, and accounts, accepts, and treats them as righteous in the eye of the law, i.e., as conformed to all its demands. In addition to the pardon (q.v.) of sin, justification declares that all the claims of the law are satisfied in respect of the justified. It is the act of a judge and not of a sovereign. The law is not relaxed or set aside, but is declared to be fulfilled in the strictest sense; and so the person justified is declared to be entitled to all the advantages and rewards arising from perfect obedience to the law

The Bible tells us we must not only believe in Jesus but have faith and trust in him. Let’s imagine you are in an airplane and you are told the airplane will crash and you need to jump out of the airplane. Just believing in a parachute would not save you from death, you would have to trust the parachute and put it on to be saved. This is the same with justification by faith. You can’t just believe Jesus was God’s son, but you must “put on Jesus”, trust Jesus by allowing Him to take complete control of your life and that by doing this you will not pay the penalty for your sins when you face God on Judgement Day, avoiding being thrown into the “Lake of Fire”. It further states in Easton’s Bible Dictionary the following concerning faith and trust in Jesus: “The sole condition on which this righteousness is imputed or credited to the believer is faith in or on the Lord Jesus Christ. Faith is called a “condition,” not because it possesses any merit, but only because it is the instrument, the only instrument by which the soul appropriates or apprehends Christ and his righteousness (; , ; , ; ; ). The act of faith which thus secures our justification secures also at the same time our sanctification (q.v.); and thus the doctrine of justification by faith does not lead to licentiousness (). Good works, while not the ground, are the certain consequence of justification.”1
The sole condition on which this righteousness is imputed or credited to the believer is faith in or on the Lord Jesus Christ. Faith is called a “condition,” not because it possesses any merit, but only because it is the instrument, the only instrument by which the soul appropriates or apprehends Christ and his righteousness (; , ; , ; ; ).
John Stott writes the following concerning justification:

“This saying, that we be justified by faith only, freely, and without works, is spoken for to take away clearly all merit of our works, as being unable to deserve our justification at God’s hands; and thereby most plainly to express the weakness of man and the goodness of God, the great infirmity of ourselves and the might and power of God, the imperfectness of our own works and the most abundant grace of our Saviour Christ; and thereby wholly for to ascribe the merit and deserving of our justification unto Christ only and His most precious blood-shedding.…

The act of faith which thus secures our justification secures also at the same time our sanctification (q.v.); and thus the doctrine of justification by faith does not lead to licentiousness (). Good works, while not the ground, are the certain consequence of justification
When the Gospel is shared with you, you can either accept God’s free gift of salvation through the Jesus’ shed blood on the Cross at Calvary, or reject it. God loved you so much that he gave you this free will. Billy Graham considers rejection of God’s gift is the unforgiveable sin: “Only one sin that can’t be forgiven is on God’s list—and that is the sin of rejecting Him and refusing His offer of forgiveness and new life in Jesus Christ. This alone is the unforgivable sin, because it means we are saying that the Holy Spirit’s witness about Jesus is a lie (see ).”3
Works Cited
1. Easton, M. G. (1893), In Easton’s Bible dictionary. New York: Harper & Brothers (accessed May 5, 2018)
2. Stott, John, In The Preacher’s Notebook: The Collected Quotes, Illustrations, and Prayers of John Stott. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press (accessed May 5, 2018.
3. Graham, Billy, In What’s the Unforgivable Sin? Billy Graham Answers, https://billygraham.org/story/whats-the-unforgivable-sin-billy-graham-answers/ (accessed May 5, 2018)
https://billygraham.org/story/whats-the-unforgivable-sin-billy-graham-answers/
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