Friday, May 11, 2012

The Fatal Flaw of "Born-Againism"

A good article dealing with "born-againism".


In the third chapter of John’s Gospel, Jesus tells Nicodemus, “You must be born again.” What did the Lord mean by this statement? First of all, it should be noted that Jesus said nothing of any action or decision that Nicodemus must make, nor did He even tell him to repent and believe the gospel. As a matter of fact, Jesus was not telling Nicodemus to do anything! “You must be born again” was not a command Nicodemus was to obey, it was simply a statement of fact. Nicodemus, in his blindness, misunderstood this statement and asked how anyone could do such a thing as that —a man “cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” To this Jesus said in effect, “I’m not talking to you about you doing anything, I’m talking about God doing something.” “I’m talking about the Spirit of God coming and miraculously generating life in you.

You being flesh can only produce flesh. Only the Spirit of God can produce the spiritual birth you must have in order to enter the Kingdom of God, and God’s Spirit blows where He wishes” (John 3:1-8).

The modern evangelist’s techniques and teaching are conspicuously absent in this account. The Lord gave Nicodemus no “Four Spiritual Laws,” nor any instructions on “How to be Born Again,” and He certainly used no manipulative tricks. He was concerned to emphasize just one thing. Regeneration is a miraculous work of God’s Spirit....

We can, and must, tell men to turn from their sins and believe the Gospel, but in doing this we should realize that when a man does repent and believe, it is the result of God’s prior regenerative working within him. If this were not the case, if man must actually initiate his own salvation, then it would be impossible to escape the conclusion that men do not need regeneration at all, but possess in themselves an innate goodness which causes them to seek after God. Though it be ever so slight, this goodness is then the ultimate reason why one man is saved and another is lost. But the apostle Paul clearly teaches the contrary when he writes:

There is none righteous, not even one;
There is none who understands,
There is none who seeks for God...
There is none who does good,
There is not even one (Romans 3:10-12)

Here Paul states plainly that there is no “spark of goodness” in man that causes him to respond to the gospel. In fact, man, blinded by sin and Satan, does not even understand the gospel. He is in total rebellion against God and His truth. If regeneration were contingent upon man first desiring God, no one would ever be born again, for “there is none who seeks for God.”

For the entire article go here.

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