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                                                 BIBLE STUDY - REPENTANCE AND BORN AGAIN.

                                                                            REPENTANCE.

                                                                             ( Bekering )

 

Repentance is a practical change from one way of life to another; a complete turnaround in lifestyle from an old sinful, Godless, self-centered existence, to a new Godly life in Christ. Repentance is a conviction of sin in the heart that the soul is guilty before God, and a turning away from sin. Turning not away from God but towards Him. It involves both a change of mind about sin and a change of heart attitude toward sin. On the Day of Pentecost here when the Jews asked Peter what they must do to be saved, Peter responded that they had to repent and be baptized. Water baptism is not a pre-condition of salvation as is repentance. Baptism is seen upon the availability of water and the physical state of the repentant sinner, whereas repentance involves a complete lifestyle change. It is not an external act, but an inward sorrow for sin, and a complete turning away from sin to God; Psalms 34:18; 51:17; 119:59-60; Isaiah 57:15; 66:2; Matthew 5:3-6; Luke 6:20-21.

What Jesus means in John 3:3 when He says "...except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." Seeing the kingdom of God is actually perceiving it and its realities through the salvation that can only be obtained through abiding in Christ and having His word abiding in us Acts 4:10-12. As they hear the gospel, repentant sinners are made aware by the Holy Spirit of God's standard of righteousness in Christ and they turn to Christ for salvation, John 16:7-11; Romans 1:16-17; 2 Corinthians 4:6. Being born again means literally being born anew, begotten from above, from God John 1:12-13; 2 Peter 1:1-4; 1 John 2:29.

Repentance is not arbitrary, but necessary. It and faith are boldly linked; by repentance one turns away from sin; by faith one turns to God, receiving Jesus Christ as Savior.

For the sake of salvation we will look at 3 steps.

1. Repentance or saved.

2. Conversion or to convert.

3. Born again or to be born again.

Repentance happen in the mind of man - conversion happen in the soul of man - born again happens in the spirit of man.

When someone repents and accepts Jesus Christ, that person is saved immediately. All their sins of the past are forgiven and they are made ready for heaven. There are 26 verses on repent and 43 verses on repentance in the Bible. Jesus wrote their name in His book of life.

NB: Your name can be taken out of the book of life. Revelation 3:5,He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life’. Revelation 22:19, ‘And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life’.

Repentance is to have/show remorse. Repentance is a complete change of mind and heart. It is not feeling sorry for yourself. Repentance is to agree with God that you are a sinner. It is making up your mind that you had enough of the old life. It HAS to come from your heart.

The Bible is very clear on the subject of repentance. To repent is man’s decision. To be born again for man, is God’s decision.  John 1:12, ‘But as many as received him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name - this is to repent, which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God - this is to be born again. God the Father must be satisfied with your future plans. He must accept your plans.

Acts 2:38’ ‘Then Peter said unto them, repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost’.

Jesus had this to say in Luke 15:7 and 10; “Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth”.

The parable of the prodigal son emphasizes the character of true repentance: a complete turn-around and return to our heavenly Father is required.

Luke 15:11 to 32, A certain man had two sons: ‘And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger. I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him………’

We are spirit, soul and body.  I am a spirit,  I have a soul  and  I live in a body.

1 Thessalonians 5:23; Luke 8:55; Acts 7:59, etc.

1.  I AM A SPIRIT: ( Greek - "Pneuma" )

The spirit of man is his person, Chris, John, Susan etc. the seat of his intellect, will, mind, conscience that makes him a free moral agent and a rational being or person. The spirit of man has God - consciousness. The spirit of man comes from God - Ecclesiastes 12:7, and will live forever, with God or separated from God in Hell, forever, read John 11:36. The spirit of man lives in his earthly body and is restricted not to leave the body while the body is alive. Read, 2 Corinthians 5:1 - 10; James 2:26; Luke 8:55; Acts 7:59.

 

2.  I HAVE A SOUL: ( Greek - "Psyche" )

The soul of man is the physical life in his earthly body, the seat of his affections, emotions, appetites, desires and all his physical feelings. Genesis 2:7. The soul of man has self - consciousness. The soul of man comes from God and will be no more once the body dies, because of man’s sinful nature inherited from Adam and Eve.

 

3.  I LIVE IN A BODY: ( Greek - "Soma" )

The body of man is his earthly abode or house that his spirit and soul lives in. The spirit and soul designs and the body only executes those desires. The body of man has world - consciousness. The body of man is from the dust of the earth by God and will die because of man’s disobedience. The body of man will return to the dust of the earth. Genesis 2:7 and Genesis 3:19.

To repent is for man to turn away from wrong doing in God’s eyes. Man has to turn around and face God, to walk towards God and not away from Him. There has to be nothing what so - ever between you and God, which bring a division between you and Him from your side. This is about, not what, or how we feel. This is about who we are in Jesus Christ. When you listen to the word of God in a meeting and you feel that the message is for you personally and you feel guilty towards God, and the pastor or minister makes an altar call, and you make a public confession that you accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, you are not born again, you are saved only, read Romans 10:9 - 13. This does not mean that the new birth cannot happen instantly. What I am saying is that a person has to repent first and then the new birth will take place. This is where your walk with God only starts, the new birth will follow after God has seen and tested your motive with Him. Man can still repent from certain things after that he has accepted Jesus Christ.

We must repent from sin. We all know what is right and what is wrong. Romans 3:23, ‘For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God’. We are all born sinners because of Adam and Eve’s sinful nature. If you repent and things go wrong start all over again. Do not allow Satan to get you under. Never give up. Pray and ask God the Father to give you strength.  Romans 5:8, ‘But God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us’. You will not be an angel all of a sudden we are human beings. Remember Satan hates us all. Romans 5:12 ‘Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned’. ‘For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord’, Romans 6:23. You are a sinner condemned to eternal death and Hell if you do not accept Jesus Christ. How do we repent? ‘That if we confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in our heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved’, Romans 10:9. You must get to a point where you confess your sins with your mouth and accept Jesus. You do not have to do this in front of other people it can be a matter between you and God. ‘For whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved’, Romans 10:13.

Hebrews 6:6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

                                                                         CONVERSION.

                                                                          ( Omkering )

For the sake of salvation we will look at 3 steps.

1.  Repentance or saved.

2.  Conversion or to convert.

3.  Born again or to be born again.

Repentance happen in the mind of man - conversion happen in the soul of man - born again happens in the spirit of man.

Jesus said to Peter; “But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren” Luke 22:32.

Conversion is a process that can start before repentance and go on till after the born again experience. I believe that conversion is the ‘umbrella’ over repentance and born again. Matthew 18:3, “Verily I say unto you, except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven”.

Acts 3:19 ‘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’.

Conversion can be changing your ‘church’ or believes. It can be stopping bad habits or making a fresh start. Many people try this without repenting first; it will not last because it did not come from the inner person or soul. Their hearts has not been changed.

To convert means to change; change your way of thinking and your way of living to the advantage of God. There are thousands of Christians that are only repented, not converted and born again. The main reason for this is that they have not been converted in their minds. Most of these stick to traditional believes. They are not renewed in their hearts. Ephesians 4:23, ‘And be renewed in the spirit of your mind’. Colossians 3:10, ‘And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created you’.

Examples to keep in mind:

a.  Paul said; “I die daily”, 1 Corinthians 15:31.

b. ‘Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him’, 1 John 2:15.

c. ‘Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6:14.

d.  ‘Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it. All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death. We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not. 1 John 3:7 to 18. 

                                                                           BORN AGAIN.

                                                                         ( Wedergebore )

For the sake of salvation we will look at 3 steps.

1.  Repentance or saved.

2.  Conversion or to convert.

3.  Born again or to be born again.

Repentance happen in the mind and of man - conversion happen in the soul of man - born again happens in the spirit of man.

Being born again means literally being born anew, begotten from above, from God John 1:12-13; 2 Peter 1:1-4; 1 John 2:29.

When a person gets born again it is when God the Holy Spirit gives that person a new spiritual life. The new birth is God’s way of bringing people into His family when they are saved. John chapter 1 to 3; 1 Peter chapter 1 and 2. Remember that conversion is a process that can go on.

To be born again is when the Holy Spirit makes you a new creature; change your life from with - in. To be born again is when the Holy Spirit come and makes His abode within us. John 1:12, ‘But as many as received him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name - this is to repent, which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God, - this is to be born again. God has seen your motive, cleansing you from all your sin by the authority of the blood of Jesus Christ that was shed on the cross and by the Word of God. You will know when this experience has happened to you.

Everything will look different. You will have love in your heart towards others.

To repent is NOT to be born again. As can be seen from the Scriptures this is not one and the same experience. To repent is man’s decision. To be born again for man, is God’s decision. There are thousands of Christians that are only repented and are not born again. There are people in the full time ministry, with no born again experience. We know God, does He know us, and are we one of his children? If you are not born again it does not mean that you will not go to heaven when you die, it has nothing to do with your Salvation. This has to do with receiving the in - dwelling of the Spirit of God by its fullness. In other words it makes your Christian life here on earth easier. John 3:3, ‘he that is not born again cannot ‘SEE’ the Kingdom of God . He that is not born again by water - natural birth and by the Spirit - born again cannot ‘ENTER’ the Kingdom of God . The kingdom of God here is not heaven, it is to be owned or to belong to God. A king has a kingdom, all that he possesses.

This is about, not what, or how we feel. This is about who we are in Jesus Christ. When you listen to the word of God a meeting and you feel that the message is for you personally and you feel guilty towards God, and the pastor or minister makes an altar call, and you make a public confession that you accept Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour, you are not born again, you are saved only, read Romans 10:9 - 13. This does not mean that the new birth cannot happen instantly. What I am saying is that a persin on has to repent first and then the new birth will take place. This is where your walk with God only starts, the new birth will follow after God has seen and tested your motive with Him.

BORN AGAIN; The working of the Holy Spirit.

Nicodemus was a ruler and a teacher of the Jews. He came to Jesus by night. Jesus told him about the new birth. As can be seen from, John 3:1 - 10, Jesus told Nicodemus that the new birth was the working of the Holy Spirit. John 3:6 - 8; “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound thereof, but cannot tell where it comes from, and where it goes: so is everyone who is born of the Spirit”. Nicodemus became a follower of Jesus; we read about him further in John 7:5 and John 19:39, Nicodemus helped to bury the body of Jesus in the grave.

They discussed the natural birth and the Spiritual birth. Jesus said to him that you must be born again before you can see the Kingdom of God. Many Bible scholars are confused about these Scriptures and do not know what the water means in verse 5. As can be seen from verse 4, the water in verse 5 refers to the water at natural birth. The water in verse 5 does not refer to water baptism, as many believe. Some say it has something to do with water baptism and the water symbolize the cleansing of the flesh. Water baptism cannot cleanse us, 1 Peter 3:21. Some say it refers to the word, the water cleansing of the person by the word. The cleansing of the word is a spiritual experience, read John 15:3.

1. “Having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever”, 1 Peter 1:23.

2. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God”, John 1:12 - 13.

3. “Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him, and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God”, 1 John 3:9.

4. “Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God”, 1 John 5:1. This verse does not mean that if you accept Jesus Christ you are born again, it means; ‘that we all originated from God’.

5. “We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him”, 1 John 5:18.

NB: Every person that is born again will know, if you doubt you are not. Nicodemus did not know about the new birth.

                                                             Compiled by: Chris Mengel Snr.

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