Tuesday, April 17, 2012

"Born Again"

We received a question from one of our "On the Box" viewers. He asked, "How would you define the term 'born again.'"

What follows is the what Eddie and I presented on the April 17, 2012, edition of the show. Suffice to say, the following outline is not exhaustive, either in its points or Scripture references. But each point and each Scripture reference given below is important for having a right understanding of what it means to be "born again." Furthermore, those Christians who proclaim the gospel in the open-air, or those who share the gospel in one-to-one conversations, should have a working knowledge of what follows so that he or she is equipped to rightly and concisely explain the term "born again" to the person with whom they are speaking.

  • How would you define the term “born again?”
    • The term literally means “to be born from above”
    • Salvation is of the Lord
      • “Salvation belongs to the LORD; your blessing be on your people! Selah” (Psalm 3:8)
    • Salvation is by grace alone
      • “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
    • Through faith alone
      • “For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, ‘The righteous shall live by faith’” (Romans 1:17).
    • In Jesus Christ alone
      • “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’” (John 14:6)
    • Salvation is the work of God.
      • Salvation is not based on man’s self-righteous good deeds
        • “But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:4-7)
      • Salvation belongs to God
        • “After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’ And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God" (Revelation 19:9-11).
      • God causes a person to be “born again”
        • “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3).
      • Left to his own sinful devices, man will not seek after God
        • “As it is written: ‘None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one. Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive. The venom of asps is under their lips. Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes’” (Romans 3:10-18).
    • Salvation is through the Cross of Christ
      • Through His propitiation
        • “But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:21-26)
        • “Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people” (Hebrews 2:17).
        • “He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world . . . In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 2:2; 4:10)
        • “And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities[b] and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him” (Colossians 2:13-15).
      • No one can or will come to Christ unless God the Father draws him
        • “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day” (John 6:44).
      • Those whom God draws to Himself through Christ will repent and believe the gospel.
        • “Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel’” (Mark 1:14-15).
        • “There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, ‘Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish’” (Luke 13:1-5).
        • “Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, ‘Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.’ For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved’” (Romans 10:9-13).
    • Those who are born again are no longer:
      • Dead in their sins
        • “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind” (Ephesians 2:1-3).
      • Spiritually Blind
        • “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14)
    • Those who are born again have, as evidence of their salvation:
      • A new heart
        • “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules” (Ezekiel 35:26-27).
      • A desire to love Christ and obey His commands
        • “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15).
      • The fruits of the Spirit
        • “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23).
    • Those who are born again will neither fall away nor lose their salvation:
      • “Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, and you will be hated by all for my name's sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved” (Matthew 10:21-22).
      • “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one” (John 10:28-30).
      • "I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them” (John 17:20-26).
      • “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).
    • Those who are born again are a new creation in Christ Jesus
      • “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Words of Christ Stun a Muslim


The hecklers were out in force this morning, as I preached the gospel outside the North Hollywood Metro Station--hecklers like the young man pictured above who asserted that he and everyone else is perfect, right before he admitted to being a liar.


The two hecklers pictured above were an interesting pair. The man claimed to be a Christian and couldn't stand what I was doing. And the young lady, a worshiper of a god of her own making, insisted I was judgmental.


There was this lady (pictured above) who rushed toward me to declare me intolerant.


Then I met a young man who made the rantings of all of the hecklers, today, seem utterly meaningless. His name was Ali--a respectful, thoughtful, quiet, 17-year-old Muslim who had a question. "Does Jesus claim to be God anywhere in the Bible?" That question led to an exposition of John 8:48-59.


By the time I finished, Ali seemed stunned.

I recorded the entire open-air and the subsequent conversation conversation with Ali--all one hour and twelve minutes of it.

I do hope you will take the time to listen. You will hear the give and take with several dramatically different people, and probably the best conversation I have had with a Muslim, to date.

SDG!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

P.Z. Myers at the unREASONable Rally Can't Justify His Reasoning

Our Friend, Sye Ten Bruggencate, shows the impotency of the atheist's ability to account for their
reasoning.

Living Waters Responds to Pastor Jesse Johnson's Sermon, 'The Way(s) of the Master'

WRITTEN BY: RAY COMFORT “The Way(s) of the Master--Why evangelism should not be one size fits all” was a message taught by Pastor Jesse Johnson, to pastors and church leaders at John MacArthur’s 2012 Shepherds’ Conference (March 9, 2012). Here is the audio of that teaching, and here is where the notes were put up on this blog. Although Mr. Johnson’s critique misrepresented my views and teachings on a number of points, this response has not been written as a defense of me or my reputation. It is rather a defense of the Bible’s teaching on the nature and purpose of the Ten Commandments.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

National Atheist Day on Hollywood Boulevard