Born Again?

I’ve basically been avoiding touching on this topic. It’s a thorny issue. But I’ve felt a prompting for too long, so I’ll attempt to approach this with grace. A person close to me shared a conversation they had with someone, and it just baffled me. They asked why did they vote for Donald Trump? The person responded, “Because he is a born again Christian.” They then asked me if I agreed with that statement. I did my best to show what I believed being born again means. I did not address his salvation. Only God knows that for sure. But I want to be clear. There is a difference between saying you are “saved” and saying you are “born again.”

Jesus addressed being born again with Nicodemus in John 3. A better term is being “born from above.” We come to a place where we have a concept of who Christ is and who we are in Him. Are we seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness? Is Christ’s character starting to show in you? Can we honestly say we are doing our best to submit to His will? If you are, eventually it will be seen. As it states in Ephesians 2, you become dead to trespasses and sins. Man, I’m still working on that. Things you walked after in this world that fulfilled lust and desires, according to the prince of the power of the air, start to lose their hold on you. If we are actually walking as one in Christ, we have become a new creation. The old things have passed away. All things become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

This new walk of being born again in Christ is contingent on a repentant heart. Truly putting off our old ways. Acts 3:19 says, “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.” Repentance basically is a change of mind that results in a change of action. True repentance is prompted by Godly sorrow for our ways that do not align with Him, and it leads us to the path of salvation. One of the most glaring and contrary statements I heard from Donald Trump was that he felt he had nothing to repent of. If anyone tells you that or in essence states they are without sin, turn and walk from them. This is evidence of the prince of lies having a well-established stronghold in that person.  There can be no new birth without repentance. And that will be evidenced by our actions. By who we’ve asked to take residence within us. Our very nature will manifest the evidence of His presence in us and our walk with Him. It’s akin to checking in luggage on a plane. There are certain requirements as to the allowed baggage and its contents. That which we once walked in that does not align with Christ must be discarded. If not, we become like rotten fruit that should have been discarded, but we carry it with us. We become known by this very fruit. Its end is death.

Some people have no fear in using the name of God or saying they believe in Jesus for their own gain. It’s similar to what happened in Acts 8 where Simon the sorcerer saw the works being done by the apostles and offered to buy the work of the Holy Spirit and was severely rebuked by Peter. Peter told him to perish with his money, for he had no part or portion in this work, as your heart is not right with God. Peter told him to “repent of your wickedness and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see you that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.” This is no different than those who so easily proclaim the name of Jesus for financial or political gain! It is no more than a means to an end. At least Simon the sorcerer had enough sense, and maybe holy fear, to ask that Peter would pray for him that these things would not come upon him. Not so with many today. You cannot use the name of Jesus in a political platform when none of the fruit is evident in your life. If you continue with wickedness, your sin will find you out. And those who follow you will face the same judgement, as they are complicit in their embracing that which should be rejected outright. I fear that just as Jeremiah said in chapter 7:28, “This is a nation that does not obey the voice of the Lord their God nor receive correction.” We have been given all that pertains to life and goodness, yet follow that which in every part rejects Christ. And the Church is part and parcel to it. The words of Isaiah 47:10-11 say “For you have trusted in your wickedness; You say no one sees me; Your wisdom and your knowledge have warped you; And you said in your heart, I am, and there is no one else besides me. Therefore, evil shall come upon you and you shall not know from where it arises. And trouble shall fall upon you and you will not be able to put it off.” I fear this is where we are. So much has been made evident, yet a large portion of this country and the Church continue to embrace a man who refuses to bend his knee to the Lord.  What was in you that caused you to follow that which is the antithesis of all that Jesus taught? Can we pay attention to what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 11:1, “Imitate me, just as I imitate Christ. I think many are past that, and I just pray for His mercy and a spirit of repentance for this land. We need to hear the words in Proverbs 28 where we are warned that if we turn from hearing what is right, even our prayer is an abomination. But if we confess and forsake our wrong ways, we will have mercy.

We must walk as it says in Ephesians 4 as one worthy of which you were called to. Doing our best to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. No peace is possible when we walk contrary to His way. We cannot embrace being born from above and follow that which has no part in His kingdom. We cannot preach or use the name of Christ when selfish ambition is at the root. Put off all works of the enemy. Align yourself with Him alone. Walk in His love and truth. Avoid the unfruitful works of darkness and walk as children of light. Lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word that will save your souls. As it says in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us of all unrighteousness.” It then adds that if we say we have not sinned, if we have no need for repentance, then His word is not in us. We know that whoever is born of God, whoever is born from above, lives their life for Him. To not sin. And to repent when we do and that the change in us will be evident. Do not allow anyone to minimize or put to shame what He did for us that we can be born again in Christ Jesus. Our very souls depend on the grasping of this. Embrace Him alone. Keep yourselves from idols. Blessings.