Born again...

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PostWed Jun 25, 2014 12:47 am » by Fatdogmendoza


What is a Born Again Christian? I consider myself a Christian but don't know if I am a Born Again Christian or how important it is to be one."

Whenever we use words we need to be sure of their definitions, so your letter asks important questions. The word "Christian" has many different meanings attached to it.

Much of the world uses the word Christian in a very broad sense. They will say, for example, "America is a Christian nation," or at least they will say it used to be a Christian nation. Someone who was raised in a home where everyone went to, say, the Methodist Church will often think they are Christians. Sometimes you will hear someone say, "I was born a Christian and I'll die a Christian."

However, from a biblical view, the word "Christian" has a much narrower definition. A Christian, according to the Bible is someone who has had a very definite experience with the Lord Jesus Christ. That experience is to have been "born again." So, in reality the only Christians are born again Christians.

So what is a born again Christian? I refer you to the place in the Bible where this whole discussion started-John, chapter three. In this passage, the Lord is talking to a very religious man, Nicodemus. Nicodemus has come to him by night and said, "We know you are come from God..." Jesus, however, cut him short and said, "Nicodemus, you must be born again."
Jesus response troubled Nicodemus. He said, "What does this mean? Must a man reenter his mother's womb to be born again?"
Jesus told him that there were two kinds of birth, a natural birth and a spiritual birth. He said, "Marvel not, ye must be born again." He further said that if a person is not born again, he "cannot see the Kingdom of God."

To be born again is to be reborn through the spirit. It is coming to Jesus Christ and sincerely accepting Him as Lord and Savior without reservation. It means giving up your life in exchange for a life that is no longer your own. It is a life that Jesus now owns. As the owner of that life, He has the right to direct it, change it, and even end it if He so pleases.

Born again Christians are said to have "died to self." That does not mean that they do not have the same sinful nature and desire to control their own destinies, but that they have renounced the right to that destiny. they may struggle with that decision and sometimes even act like they have reneged on the decision, but the bottom line is that they have made a very serious decision to give up their lives and destiny to the control of Jesus Christ.

One who has been born again knows it. Maybe not initially, and maybe not deeply, but one who has been born again begins to experience a new life. He, as Paul says, has been "transferred from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of the Son of God." His life is no longer his own. "The life he now lives he lives through hope in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me."

The experience of being born again is, as you might expect, the very beginning doorway to a new life. Birth is always the first activity of a new life, is it not?

Though, as I have said, a newly born again person may struggle with whether or not he has actually passed through into a new life, eventually he will find himself in new territory. "Old things pass away; behold, all things are become new." There is a new perspective to every aspect of life, a new color, a new fragrance, a new directions-a new Director! Being born again is the true mark of a true disciple.

It may be possible that a person who was born again at a very early age may not be able to remember the event clearly. However if that person has lived as a born again Christian throughout his or her life, then I doubt they would question having had the experience. The fact that you ask the question gives me reason to doubt that you have experienced the new birth. I hasten to add, however, that only God can look on a person's heart-I certainly can't. So your salvation remains an issue between you and God. However, I must also add that the born again Christian experiences a life of assurance. There is an assurance of salvation, of having finally and for all pleased God. If you feel as though you must strive to please God, then again I would wonder if you have come to ultimate peace with Him.

These matters are often difficult to approach because we have nothing with which to compare them. There is no other experience like the born again experience. It is rather like the blind man who, when questioned about his healing experience with Jesus, said, "All I know is that I was blind and now I see." So it is with the born again experience. That is why Jesus could say to Nicodemus, "Stop wondering! You must be born again."

I'm not sure this helps, but I pray it does.

God bless you in your continued desire to experience the full Grace of God.

Fatdog.

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PostWed Jun 25, 2014 12:56 am » by Truthdefender


Excellent post! Though I have recently heard a differing of opinion on when the new birth takes place, my opinion and experience is along the lines of this post.

:cheers:
In Christ are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge

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PostWed Jun 25, 2014 12:10 pm » by DarkHeart


Great post Fatdog, I love reading personal experiences of the spiritual dimension of life.

I grew up in a household devoid of religion (and anything else of value) and went looking as an adult.

Choosing something as an adult is a lot different to being indoctrinated as a child, because it means you question it all.

It's hard to write about this kind of thing & you have done a good job, I've tried to write about it but can't.

:cheers:
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PostWed Jun 25, 2014 12:39 pm » by Cosmic Circle


Very good post!

Life is a struggle, and being born again does not mean giving up your self will or any desires of the flesh, it means a life of struggle against them and the ego. It is allowing the holy spirit to come in to guide and direct your decisions - whether you choose to follow the direction or not.

One thing is for sure, after the experience one is never truly the same old person. The "born again" experience from that point on, you have recognized that you are not the King of your world, and that you life is to serve a higher calling and one no longer based around selfish pride and the ego. This is truly when life becomes a battle - but, the good part is, God understands this struggle and that is the reason for "Grace". Even Jesus struggled with the will of God in the garden just before His capture and crucifixion, asking God to "take this cup from before Him" and sweating blood.

I grew up a Christian, was baptized one as an infant - but realized in my later years that it is a personal and adult decision, not one anyone else can make for you, parents included. So, I verbally asked to be born again in my mid teens, then about 3 years ago, I actually was baptized because I felt it was something I needed to do as an adult decision and proclamation of that decision.

No - trials of life didn't just magically go away, and the sin nature still struggles violently within against the spirit that so desperately wants to do what the Holy Spirit has laid on the conscience, but the fact that there is that desire to do the "right" things regardless that there is no medal for the ego, is a constant reminder that the new birth has taken place.

People typically view their own views as the only right and rational positions - being born again is the time you come to realize that everything you have done, regardless of intent, has been to bolster the ego in some fashion and to live for one's self. Being born again is when you make the personal decision to live a life based on the attributes of God would have for us in each of our decisions: love, justice, wisdom, power, merciful kindness, forgiving, generosity, and patience.

It's a struggle, but a good struggle.

To be "born again" is not to proclaim perfection, but the admit being broken. It's a life of 2 steps forward and 1 step back. Progress, not Perfection.

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PostWed Jun 25, 2014 1:14 pm » by OtheklzeR


nanananananana brother fat dog


very comprehensive dialogue about reborn ness
(i hate using general christian lingo because it so lukewarm

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flesh and all that is important
but first things first, you gotta get the hate out

bible says there is a hatred not unto death

thats a singular note and the rest of the hate gets destroyed

im working on not hating my ex , it will stop me if i dont get it handled

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PostWed Jun 25, 2014 1:52 pm » by Fatdogmendoza


Cosmic Circle wrote:Very good post!

Life is a struggle, and being born again does not mean giving up your self will or any desires of the flesh, it means a life of struggle against them and the ego. It is allowing the holy spirit to come in to guide and direct your decisions - whether you choose to follow the direction or not.

One thing is for sure, after the experience one is never truly the same old person. The "born again" experience from that point on, you have recognized that you are not the King of your world, and that you life is to serve a higher calling and one no longer based around selfish pride and the ego. This is truly when life becomes a battle - but, the good part is, God understands this struggle and that is the reason for "Grace". Even Jesus struggled with the will of God in the garden just before His capture and crucifixion, asking God to "take this cup from before Him" and sweating blood.

I grew up a Christian, was baptized one as an infant - but realized in my later years that it is a personal and adult decision, not one anyone else can make for you, parents included. So, I verbally asked to be born again in my mid teens, then about 3 years ago, I actually was baptized because I felt it was something I needed to do as an adult decision and proclamation of that decision.

No - trials of life didn't just magically go away, and the sin nature still struggles violently within against the spirit that so desperately wants to do what the Holy Spirit has laid on the conscience, but the fact that there is that desire to do the "right" things regardless that there is no medal for the ego, is a constant reminder that the new birth has taken place.

People typically view their own views as the only right and rational positions - being born again is the time you come to realize that everything you have done, regardless of intent, has been to bolster the ego in some fashion and to live for one's self. Being born again is when you make the personal decision to live a life based on the attributes of God would have for us in each of our decisions: love, justice, wisdom, power, merciful kindness, forgiving, generosity, and patience.

It's a struggle, but a good struggle.

To be "born again" is not to proclaim perfection, but the admit being broken. It's a life of 2 steps forward and 1 step back. Progress, not Perfection.



:clapper:

And as always its good to hear from you Cosmic... :hugging:

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PostWed Jun 25, 2014 4:16 pm » by Cosmine


Lol...good one...i knew you can raise the bar!

But how come peter's cuted an ear off a roman soldier. ..at getsemani...

How come Jesus trowed out the temple merchant and changers...when the temple is garded day in day out by nine hundreds gards (armored swordmen)...
So many how comes...


What if the real Jesus....was not a hippy...?


But the son ( bar) of the father (abas)...???



How. ..ect...!


:cheers:


How can some one can born again. ..when ones brain dead...?
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PostWed Jun 25, 2014 7:04 pm » by Fatdogmendoza



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PostWed Jun 25, 2014 7:17 pm » by Slith


Great personal insight guys. Super thread :flop:
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PostWed Jun 25, 2014 7:57 pm » by Fatdogmendoza


Yusuf Islam formerly Cat Stevens How he became a Muslim


All I have to say is all what you know already, to confirm what you already know, the message of the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) as given by God - the Religion of Truth. As human beings we are given a consciousness and a duty that has placed us at the top of creation. Man is created to be God's deputy on earth, and it is important to realize the obligation to rid ourselves of all illusions and to make our lives a preparation for the next life. Anybody who misses this chance is not likely to be given another, to be brought back again and again, because it says in Qur'an Majeed that when man is brought to account, he will say, "O Lord, send us back and give us another chance." The Lord will say, "If I send you back you will do the same."

MY EARLY RELIGIOUS UPBRINGING

I was brought up in the modern world of all the luxury and the high life of show business. I was born in a Christian home, but we know that every child is born in his original nature - it is only his parents that turn him to this or that religion. I was given this religion (Christianity) and thought this way. I was taught that God exists, but there was no direct contact with God, so we had to make contact with Him through Jesus - he was in fact the door to God. This was more or less accepted by me, but I did not swallow it all.

I looked at some of the statues of Jesus; they were just stones with no life. And when they said that God is three, I was puzzled even more but could not argue. I more or less believed it, because I had to have respect for the faith of my parents.

POP STAR

Gradually I became alienated from this religious upbringing. I started making music. I wanted to be a big star. All those things I saw in the films and on the media took hold of me, and perhaps I thought this was my God, the goal of making money. I had an uncle who had a beautiful car. "Well," I said, "he has it made. He has a lot of money." The people around me influenced me to think that this was it; this world was their God.

I decided then that this was the life for me; to make a lot of money, have a 'great life.' Now my examples were the pop stars. I started making songs, but deep down I had a feeling for humanity, a feeling that if I became rich I would help the needy. (It says in the Qur'an, we make a promise, but when we make something, we want to hold onto it and become greedy.)

So what happened was that I became very famous. I was still a teenager, my name and photo were splashed in all the media. They made me larger than life, so I wanted to live larger than life and the only way to do that was to be intoxicated (with liquor and drugs).

IN HOSPITAL

After a year of financial success and 'high' living, I became very ill, contracted TB and had to be hospitalized. It was then that I started to think: What was to happen to me? Was I just a body, and my goal in life was merely to satisfy this body? I realized now that this calamity was a blessing given to me by Allah, a chance to open my eyes - "Why am I here? Why am I in bed?" - and I started looking for some of the answers. At that time there was great interest in the Eastern mysticism. I began reading, and the first thing I began to become aware of was death, and that the soul moves on; it does not stop. I felt I was taking the road to bliss and high accomplishment. I started meditating and even became a vegetarian. I now believed in 'peace and flower power,' and this was the general trend. But what I did believe in particular was that I was not just a body. This awareness came to me at the hospital.

One day when I was walking and I was caught in the rain, I began running to the shelter and then I realized, 'Wait a minute, my body is getting wet, my body is telling me I am getting wet.' This made me think of a saying that the body is like a donkey, and it has to be trained where it has to go. Otherwise, the donkey will lead you where it wants to go.

Then I realized I had a will, a God-given gift: follow the will of God. I was fascinated by the new terminology I was learning in the Eastern religion. By now I was fed up with Christianity. I started making music again and this time I started reflecting my own thoughts. I remember the lyric of one of my songs. It goes like this: "I wish I knew, I wish I knew what makes the Heaven, what makes the Hell. Do I get to know You in my bed or some dusty cell while others reach the big hotel?" and I knew I was on the Path.

I also wrote another song, "The Way to Find God Out." I became even more famous in the world of music. I really had a difficult time because I was getting rich and famous, and at the same time, I was sincerely searching for the Truth. Then I came to a stage where I decided that Buddhism is all right and noble, but I was not ready to leave the world. I was too attached to the world and was not prepared to become a monk and to isolate myself from society.

I tried Zen and Ching, numerology, tarot cards and astrology. I tried to look back into the Bible and could not find anything. At this time I did not know anything about Islam, and then, what I regarded as a miracle occurred. My brother had visited the mosque in Jerusalem and was greatly impressed that while on the one hand it throbbed with life (unlike the churches and synagogues which were empty), on the other hand, an atmosphere of peace and tranquility prevailed.

THE QUR'AN

When he came to London he brought back a translation of the Qur'an, which he gave to me. He did not become a Muslim, but he felt something in this religion, and thought I might find something in it also.

And when I received the book, a guidance that would explain everything to me - who I was; what was the purpose of life; what was the reality and what would be the reality; and where I came from - I realized that this was the true religion; religion not in the sense the West understands it, not the type for only your old age. In the West, whoever wishes to embrace a religion and make it his only way of life is deemed a fanatic. I was not a fanatic, I was at first confused between the body and the soul. Then I realized that the body and soul are not apart and you don't have to go to the mountain to be religious. We must follow the will of God. Then we can rise higher than the angels. The first thing I wanted to do now was to be a Muslim.

I realized that everything belongs to God, that slumber does not overtake Him. He created everything. At this point I began to lose the pride in me, because hereto I had thought the reason I was here was because of my own greatness. But I realized that I did not create myself, and the whole purpose of my being here was to submit to the teaching that has been perfected by the religion we know as Al-Islam. At this point I started discovering my faith. I felt I was a Muslim. On reading the Qur'an, I now realized that all the Prophets sent by God brought the same message. Why then were the Jews and Christians different? I know now how the Jews did not accept Jesus as the Messiah and that they had changed His Word. Even the Christians misunderstand God's Word and called Jesus the son of God. Everything made so much sense. This is the beauty of the Qur'an; it asks you to reflect and reason, and not to worship the sun or moon but the One Who has created everything. The Qur'an asks man to reflect upon the sun and moon and God's creation in general. Do you realize how different the sun is from the moon? They are at varying distances from the earth, yet appear the same size to us; at times one seems to overlap the other.

Even when many of the astronauts go to space, they see the insignificant size of the earth and vastness of space. They become very religious, because they have seen the Signs of Allah.

When I read the Qur'an further, it talked about prayer, kindness and charity. I was not a Muslim yet, but I felt that the only answer for me was the Qur'an, and God had sent it to me, and I kept it a secret. But the Qur'an also speaks on different levels. I began to understand it on another level, where the Qur'an says,

"Those who believe do not take disbelievers for friends and the believers are brothers."

Thus at this point I wished to meet my Muslim brothers.


CONVERSION

Then I decided to journey to Jerusalem (as my brother had done). At Jerusalem, I went to the mosque and sat down. A man asked me what I wanted. I told him I was a Muslim. He asked what was my name. I told him, "Stevens." He was confused. I then joined the prayer, though not so successfully. Back in London, I met a sister called Nafisa. I told her I wanted to embrace Islam and she directed me to the New Regent Mosque. This was in 1977, about one and a half years after I received the Qur'an. Now I realized that I must get rid of my pride, get rid of Iblis, and face one direction. So on a Friday, after Jummah' I went to the Imam and declared my faith (the Kalimah) at this hands. You have before you someone who had achieved fame and fortune. But guidance was something that eluded me, no matter how hard I tried, until I was shown the Qur'an. Now I realize I can get in direct contact with God, unlike Christianity or any other religion. As one Hindu lady told me, "You don't understand the Hindus. We believe in one God; we use these objects (idols) to merely concentrate." What she was saying was that in order to reach God, one has to create associates, that are idols for the purpose. But Islam removes all these barriers. The only thing that moves the believers from the disbelievers is the salat. This is the process of purification.

Finally I wish to say that everything I do is for the pleasure of Allah and pray that you gain some inspirations from my experiences. Furthermore, I would like to stress that I did not come into contact with any Muslim before I embraced Islam. I read the Qur'an first and realized that no person is perfect. Islam is perfect, and if we imitate the conduct of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) we will be successful. May Allah give us guidance to follow the path of the ummah of Muhammad (Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam). Ameen!

-- Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens)


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