"Born again" is a metaphor introduced to religious thought by Jesus Christ.1
The relevant passage regarding being born again is found in the third chapter of the gospel of John2. Here, we see a prominent Jewish teacher of the law3 coming to Jesus under cover of night. He came to sound Jesus out. He started by stating that Jesus must be a teacher come from God because of the miracles he could do.
Jesus answer is quite remarkable. He gets right down to business with the statement:
"No one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." 4Nicodemus replied,
"But a person cannot climb back into his mother's womb to be born." 5Jesus said that we need a second birth, a spiritual birth. Although the kingdom of God starts here on earth, we need a life- changing experience to sense it. Jesus said that we need to be born of "water and the Spirit" before we can join in this spiritual life.6
The water is interpreted as baptism to show our repentance, while "born of the Spirit" means the coming into our life of the Holy Spirit to make us right with God.
In the new model, God is a caring parent, watching attentively for any oppourtunity to help us grow up to spiritual maturity. He will go to bat for us, if we are willing to call on him.
The key to transitioning to the new paradigm is in our understanding. Heaven is pure and perfect, and no one can enter there unless they are pure and perfect.
In order to be pure and perfect, we would have to be equal with God. We would need perfect humility and perfect love. No one except Jesus Christ has ever been capable of such. Not Confucious, nor Mohammed, neither Zoroaster or Ghandi has been free of pride or ill-will. I can't claim to perfection, and I doubt if you would try making such a claim.
In the new paradigm, we come to God just as we are, imperfect in humility and lacking in love. He takes us and works with us, first by putting his perfection on us like a cloak, and then working on the inside to put His love and His humility in where enmity and pride used to be. Some of the changes appear quickly. Other changes, some quite subtle, may take a lifetime.
Jesus said that we will be saved as we look up to His sacrifice for salvation. We trust His Spirit to make us brand new, just as if we had never, ever sinned. Then we will be able to see and appreciate the workings of heaven here on this earth.
Having so many strands of copying helps us determine that the Bible is the most reliable book from a historical viewpoint. There are other writers, some more recent, whose works we are much less sure about - including Shakespeare!
The Bible was not originally written in English. Some of it was in Hebrew, some in Aramaic, and some in koine Greek. The Hebrew and Aramaic parts were translated into Greek before the New Testament was ever written. The whole Bible was translated into Latin. There has been a colourful history of the translations, which is beyond the scope of this document.
The Bible was also written by a number of different writers, and was collected into one work at a later date. These writers, though they are from different backgrounds, attest to the same truths. This is remarkable indeed. back
2The accounts of Jesus Christ alive on earth are in the four books called 'gospels'.
3 The law Nicodemus taught was the Jewish
religious law. These rules defined the Jewish worship of God
and observance of religious rites.back
4 John 3: 3 back
5 John 3: 4 back
6 John 3: 5 back
back copyright notice: Script copyright (c) Rick Galbraith, Dryden, Ontario, Canada: 1996