I noticed that this pastor had a Bible on his lap and he put it under the table cloth, but I saw him. I didn’t even know who he was. They didn’t tell me ahead of time. Half way through the meal he didn’t disappoint, he said well Steve, just curious, are you born again? I said Yes, I am born again the Bible way. And he says what do you mean by that? You asked the question, so why don’t you tell me how one gets born again? Why don’t you take the Bible off your lap? I saw it under there and why don’t you read for me John chapter three verse 3. They hate it when we know the Bible better than they do. Jesus said to Nicodemus, in order to see the kingdom of God you must be born again. Verily, verily I say unto you, you must be born again.
And he closed his Bible and I said, so what is the answer how do you get born again? He said by asking Jesus into your heart and asking him to be your personal Lord and savior. I said, now I have a dilemma, because now I have to decide whether I am going to believe your definition or Jesus’ [definition]. Who should I believe, you or Jesus? I said, would you please open your Bible again; you always do this, you read one proof text and close it.
Read the whole thing in context! He opened it and read further; verse 4 says, and Nicodemus says how can that be, I am too big, too old to crawl back into my mother’s womb and Jesus said you are the teacher of Israel and you don’t understand these things. Unless a man is born of water and the Holy Spirit, he will never see the Kingdom of God. I said to him;
Jesus said I get born again by water and Spirit and you say asking Jesus into my heart.”
This was a discussion at the dinner table between Steve Ray a Catholic (ex-Baptist) and a Baptist (ex-Catholic) on the Subject of being born again! This is but one small excerpt of a youtube video entitled; “Steve Ray Are you born again? A Catholic response.” This is the finest exposition of the subject of being “born again” from a Biblical point of view that I have ever heard.
Watch Steve Ray on Youtube! “Are you born again? A Catholic response” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZOt7dbrpOY.
Steve Ray also puts on the very finest pilgrimages to Rome, Israel, Lourdes and Fatima and other places. Make your Bible come alive by walking in the foot prints of Jesus in the Holy Land with Steve as your guide. I have personally gone with Steve Ray to the Holy Land and this trip was far beyond my expectations http://www.footprintsofgodpilgrimages.com.
Born again, how does it happen?
The Baptist (ex-Catholic) says: by asking Jesus into your heart and asking him to be your personal Lord and savior. Source, Baptist tradition not in John 3.
The Catholic, (ex-Baptist) Steve Ray says: Jesus answered, Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit (Jn. 3:5). Source, Jesus in the Bible.
In John 3:1-24, the single most glaring omission is the fact that Baptists and other Evangelicals don’t make any reference to the water. The part they do reference is the Holy Spirit, while ignoring the water. However, Jesus references both the water and the Holy Spirit in order to see the Kingdom of Heaven. He said, unless a man is born of water and the Holy Spirit, he will never see the Kingdom of God (Jn. 3:5). The Evangelical understanding is this. Unless you accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and savior, you will never see the Kingdom of God. Will you follow the Baptist who is leaning on his own understanding or will you follow Jesus? Evangelicals do not reference the water, however, when they are talking to a knowledgeable Catholic, he will bring up both the water and spirit and show it in the context of Baptism.
I was at Falls Baptist Church and there was a Baptist minister speaking on the subject of being born again. He did not bring up the water, however, during the question and answer period he was forced to deal with the water because a Baptist in the audience asked about it. “How is the water used in the process of being born again?” The minister said he didn’t know for sure, but it might be the water around the child before it was born. The problem that I had with the ministers possible supposition is the fact that he was referencing the first birth when the child was physically coming into the world, not the second birth, born again. Why do Evangelicals not want to bring up the water since it is in the context?
This is because you do not need water to accept Jesus as your personal Lord and savior, however, you do need water for Baptism.
Later, Jesus joined the Apostles and Baptized people with water and the Holy Spirit. After this, Jesus and his disciples went into the region of Judea, where He spent some time with them baptizing (Jn. 3:22). The reason they did this is because Jesus had already asked them to do so. Unless a man is born of water and the Holy Spirit, he will never see the Kingdom of God (Jn. 3:3).
People who claim that born again is asking Jesus to be their personal Lord and Savior, quote verse 3 of John chapter 3, born anew, but they usually don’t quote verse 5 because Jesus mentions more that the Spirit, water and the Spirit. They in addition don’t quote verses 22 which shows how they are born anew through Baptism, Jesus and his disciples Baptized.
Where else in the Bible is water spirit and Baptism? He saved us through the bath of rebirth and renewal by the holy Spirit (Titus 3:5). God patiently waited in the days of Noah during the building of the ark, in which a few persons, eight in all, were saved through water. This prefigured baptism, which saves you now (1 Pet. 3:21-22). Then Jesus approached and said to them, all power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit (Mt. 28:19-20). These are some of the references to salvation and Baptism.
Please note that according to Peter, Paul and Jesus, Baptism is part of salvation. Yes, Baptism is that important!
Nicodemus Visits Jesus Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicode′mus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus[a] by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do, unless God is with him.” 3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicode′mus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born anew.’ 8 The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know whence it comes or whither it goes; so it is with every one who is born of the Spirit.” 9 Nicode′mus said to him, “How can this be?” 10 Jesus answered him, “Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand this? 11 Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen; but you do not receive our testimony. 12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven but he who descended from heaven, the Son of man. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.”
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. 18 He who believes in him is not condemned; he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For every one who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does what is true comes to the light, that it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been wrought in God.
Jesus and John the Baptist 22 After this Jesus and his disciples went into the land of Judea; there he remained with them and baptized. 23 John also was baptizing at Ae′non near Salim, because there was much water there; and people came and were baptized. 24 For John had not yet been put in prison (Jn. 3:1-24).