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WHY SHOULD ANYONE NEED TO BE "BORN AGAIN"?
The Bible explains, using the story of Adam and Eve in Genesis Chapters 2 and 3, that men and women were created to have a relationship with God. That relationship would only be workable when carried out according to the makerís instructions.
The story in Genesis, telling how the man and the woman ate the fruit from the forbidden tree at the suggestion of the serpent, illustrates mankindís inherent problem; "Godís not going to tell me what to do! Iím going to live my life my way"
In the story Adam and Eve chose to follow the advice of the serpent and in so doing broke the first of the manufacturerís instructions: "live according to what I tell you and all will be well." In reality through obeying the serpent, rather than God, the man and woman actually did it the serpentís way, since he deceived them into their disobedience of God.
Down through history man has preferred to live the way he wants to, and so is disobedient to Godís laws. Manís fundamental nature is at odds with God and nothing but a complete overhaul of this nature will cure the problem. Theologians refer to this as "the sin problem". In a nutshell our sinful nature, which is at odds with God Ėwho is sinless Ė needs to be dealt with.
Godís holiness (his moral purity) and justice demand that sin cannot be overlooked. If God overlooked sin, thereby condoning it, he would not be a very just God. The Bible says, "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God". The sin present in each one of our lives must, ultimately, be dealt with one way or the other.
The good news is that God in his mercy has made a way open whereby he will accept a substitute Ė a scapegoat - as payment for your sin and mine. That scapegoat is Jesus Christ. Jesus came from Heaven to Earth out of love for humanity. Jesus himself was sinless and yet he chose death on a cross to pay the penalty for your sin and mine. Jesus rose from the dead and is now alive for evermore. Because Jesus defeated death, all who trust in the substitutionary death and resurrection of Jesus can have their sins forgiven and be reconciled with God, their maker. Their old life Ė their sin nature Ė will be replaced by a new life energised by the Holy Spirit (Godís spirit), hence they will be born anew, of the Spirit.
The question for each of us is this: "do I want God to intervene in my life and deal with my sin nature, or do I want to carry on with my life as it is, with me in ultimate charge?"
Anyone who is open to Godís working in their life, trusting in what Jesus did for them will have their sins forgiven in this life and can look forward to eternal life in Godís kingdom, both in this life and the next.
Those who reject Jesus and thus Godís offer of a new start face a future of eternal separation from the love of God. This is not Godís wish, but all have free will and God will never overrule our free will as individuals to act as we choose. Each of us chooses our ultimate destiny, either actively or by default.
God has appointed Jesus as the judge all of mankind at the end of human history.
THE ORIGIN OF THE TERM "BORN AGAIN"
This is found in The New Testament section of the Bible, Johnís Gospel Chapter 3. In discussion with Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council, Jesus says to him (verse 3):" I tell you the truth, no-one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." (alternative translation "born from above").
A "born again" Christian is therefore someone who trusts in the resurrected Jesus for forgiveness of their personal sin and lives their life in obedience to the laws of Godís kingdom. They have, in effect, been born again of the Holy Spirit. Ongoing submission to the Holy Spirit in their life enables Christians to live their lives as God wants.
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