On New Birth
The problem with mainstream christian thought today is that it is a total departure from conservative, biblical theology. And as a result, generations of people were drug away from some of the most basic truths concerning the faith.
The whole system is predicated on what you must do to be born again. And it would seem to me that anybody that read the Bible would scratch his head once in a while and say, What did I do to be born the first time? I didn't tell my mother and dad, Hey, I'd sorta like to be born. I didn't tell my mother and dad, I believe in you. And if I really believe you'll borne me. Seems to me, people forgot the meaning of words. And I think they're important.
Society today is trying to redefine the word marriage. You can't do that. unless marriage doesn't mean what marriage used to mean. And there is in Christianity more than any other discipline, a loose use of words, that is beginning to creep into our other disciplines. And I think that's wrong. God says, when you come to me, bring with you words, not pictures, not ideas, not emotion.... words. His words.
I want to go through some basic scriptures that people either don't understand the words, or reach conclusions that I don't think the scriptures warrant. And you can look at these and decide for yourself. I repeat again, nobody has ever been asked to agree with me. Most of you don't. What I believe my job is here, is to teach the word the best I know how. Your responsibility is to examine the scriptures every day to see whether or not these things be true.
Matthew, 1:21. "And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins." Who's he going to save? Does that verse say he shall make people, his people? Who's he going to save? His people. So they're already his people. So save can't mean being born again. It can't mean becoming a Christian. They are His people. He redeemed them. Saved means delivered.
De 30:6. There's a very popular saying. I hear it a lot. There's several things God can't do. And one of them is he can't make you love him. They must not have read Deuteronomy 30 verse six. "And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live." I'll force you to love me. That's technically what the verse says. We're going to see here in first, John, we love him because he first loved us. Of course, he made us love him. Not something he can't do. It's something he in fact did do. He came to deliver his people from their sins. They're already his people. Before he ever came, they were his people.
Matthew 9:16. No man puts a piece of new cloth into an old garment. No man puts new wine in old bottles or it'll be corrupt. What's he saying? He says, I'm not going to make the old new, I'm not going to put new stuff in that old creation. I'm not going to put the Holy Spirit in the flesh. It's going to be a new bottle. They're a new creation.
Matthew 7:17. Every good tree brings forth good fruit. A good tree cannot, cannot bring forth evil fruit. Can't do that. Now the question is, how does this tree become good? Modern evangelism says it becomes good because of something you do. You were a bad tree. You were an evil tree. And by repenting, believing, accepting, no matter what you come up with, you suddenly become a good tree. But you have no scriptural warrant for that. Christ didn't say in this context, in the seventh chapter of Matthew, how you go about becoming a good tree. He simply pointed out that good trees bring forth good fruit, and evil trees do not. It doesn't take any scriptural intelligence to realize that the good tree is your new creation. And the old tree is your flesh. And just as we find in Galatians, the flesh cannot bring forth good fruit. Can't do it. And yet modern Christianity in the main is trying to force people to make the flesh bring forth good fruit. Can't do that. It can't happen. Only a good tree can bring forth good fruit.
First John 3:7. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. Is already righteous. He didn't become righteous by doing righteousness. He does righteousness BECAUSE he is already righteous. How has all this happened? With a new birth.
John 1:13. Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. Nobody was born again by any evangelist or any personal will, but by the will of God, it couldn't be any clearer. Did they receive him and then become born again by the will of God? No. They received him BECAUSE they had already been born by God. But it gets better than that.
John 3:6-8. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. Perfect passive. That grammatical construction declares it has nothing to do with us. Passive voice. They were born anew, born from above (I prefer born from above rather than born again, but that's neither here or there). The word means both. How was that done? By the Spirit. Done by God.
John 5:24. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, HATH everlasting life. Already has everlasting life. Now you tell me what warrant I have for preaching that if you will hear, and if you will believe you'll get everlasting life. The verse doesn't say that. If you are hearing, and if you're believing, it's BECAUSE you (presently, present tense) HAVE everlasting life. And you'll not come into condemnation. You had nothing to do with it. You passed from death to life. That is why you believe. Because you've HAVE PASSED (perfect tense) from death into life.
Only a believer can believe. You don't become a believer by believing. Clearly the verse declares that hearing and believing is based on life. They wouldn't hear and they wouldn't believe if they didn't have life.
You were promised to Christ. You're a child of promise. Isaac was promised to Abraham and Sarah 14 years before he was born. What part did Isaac have in that? None. Even so, are you children of promise. You were promised to Christ before you were born. God is not slack concerning his promises. And there's people destroying that verse in First Peter. God is not slack concerning his promises to us. You're a child of promise. Just as Isaac was a child of promise long before he was born, so you were promised to Christ before you were born.
1 Peter 1:23. Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. By the word of God. Not because you believed anything, received or accepted, but by the command of God.
1 John 2:29. If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him. He wasn't born of him by doing righteousness. He does righteousness because he has already BEEN born again. It's a perfect passive.
1 John 3:9. Whosoever is BORN OF GOD....(perfect passive) doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. Another perfect passive, unless you believe that the new creation can sin, which I do not. The old creation does nothing but sin. The new creation cannot sin because his seed abideth in him.
1 John 4:7. Everyone that loves has already been born of God. Perfect passive. You don't become God's child by loving one another. You love one another BECAUSE you've already been born of God. Perfect passive.
1 John 5:1. Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God. Another perfect passive. They weren't born of God because they believe. They believe BECAUSE they were born of God.
1 John 5:4. All who are born of God, overcome the world. Again, it's a perfect passive. If you have been born of God, you had nothing to do with that. And you WILL overcome the world.
2 Corinthians 5:17. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. If you're not in Christ, you're not his.
Ephesians 4:24. You've put on the new man, which after God has been created (Aorist tense) in righteousness and true holiness. It doesn't say you ought to put on the new man. Not you have a responsibility to put on the new man. You're living like hell and you ought to be living like heaven. Doesn't say that. It says you HAVE put on the new man, which has CREATED in righteousness and true holiness. You didn't create it. You are going to say, that new man, which was created by God, in righteousness and true holiness, can sin? A new creation, righteous and holy, CANNOT sin. The new man cannot sin.
Colossians 3. You HAVE put on the new man. Again, not something you can or should do. You have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge after the image of the one who created him. You didn't create him. Christ did.
Revelation 2:17. He that hath an ear, let him hear. Not if you'll believe, you'll get ears to hear. It doesn't say that. If you don't have ears to hear, you can't hear. You gotta have the ears in order to hear. And you didn't get those other than by God.
John 8. Why don't you understand my speech? Because you cannot hear my word. That's what he's saying to those who are not His. Why don't you understand my speech? You can't hear my word. Over the years, people have said, who do you preach to? I just preach to the air. If you're not God's sheep, you can't hear. There's no sense in me wasting my energies and efforts trying to make you hear. And I see that all the time. You gotta do this. You gotta do that. You gotta do something else. If God hasn't worked in you, you can't hear. You know that they have ears. They can hear those sounds. But the words don't make any sense.
John 8:47. He that is from God hears God's words. Those are the only ones that can hear. You don't hear them because you are not from God. "He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God." The appeal of modern evangelism is for YOU to do something to become his sheep. And the normal thing you're asked to do is to believe. And Christ says, unless you're already my sheep, you CANNOT believe. And other sheep I have, which are not of this flock, of them also I must bring. Nobody else can bring them but him. Where do you suppose those sheep are? Every nation, kindred tribe and tongue. One is a believer because he's been born from above. And at some point in time they will hear. Just like Paul on the road to Damascus. And that person is headed for heaven, whether they presently believe or not. If they are His sheep, they will hear. Our Lord said they would.
Now it would be nice if they knew all that Christ had done for them so that they would be rescued from their sin, but such ones are already God's child. If you can show me a verse of scripture, any passage of scripture that would lead you to believe that one of God's children is going to go to hell, then I'll change what I've just said. Therefore, the promise is by the faithfulness of Jesus Christ in order that it might be absolutely certain for all the seed.
What we preach is a message that is absolutely certain to all the seed. If you hear and believe the Gospel: Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried and rose again the third day from the dead it's because you are already His sheep. You are already his child. You may or may not believe that and be His child (like Paul once was), but believing it makes a wonderful difference. You're freed from error, freed from the lie, freed from the fear of death, freed from the law. It's worth going around the world to tell people. But to put out the idea that a loving heavenly father is so powerless that he would allow his children to go to hell is anti-biblical. What I believe it does is demean the person and work of Jesus Christ.
My God is God. My God can look Pilate in the eye and say he wouldn't have any power if it were not given him by God. God didn't give that extraordinary power to us. And for good reason.