To all evangelical and fundamentalist protestants, this question is for you. Many of you say that one is “born again” by accepting into their hearts Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and savior. But my question is this: Where in the Bible does it say that we are “born again” by accepting Jesus Christ into our hearts as our personal Lord and Savior (and yes, show me a verse saying it the way you guys say it, in that “formula”).
Don’t hold your breath.
I think accepting is a probably not the best word, but I suspect that this is another way of saying “Believing.” I always careful of using believing instead of accepting.
31And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
9That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
John 3:16 (Same chapter where being “Born again” is defined, Jesus explains)
16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
The “accept” is also another way of saying “receive” Him.
11He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
12But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
13Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
there is a very good apoligetics page for this subject on the main Catholic Answers site.
as for my view, I would question them on the meaning of the passages where the phrase occurs, on of which is the beginning of the third chapter of John
Joh 3:1 And there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.
Joh 3:2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to him: Rabbi, we know that thou art come a teacher from God; for no man can do these signs which thou dost, unless God be with him.
Joh 3:3 Jesus answered and said to him: Amen, amen, I say to thee, unless a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Joh 3:4 Nicodemus saith 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 again?
Joh 3:5 Jesus answered: Amen, amen, I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
Joh 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh: and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Joh 3:7 Wonder not that I said to thee: You must be born again.
Joh 3:8 The Spirit breatheth where he will and thou hearest his voice: but thou knowest not whence he cometh and whither he goeth. So is every one that is born of the Spirit.
this sounds more like a discussion on baptism, though Nicodemeus would not have realized it.
the other major occurence is
1Pe 1:22 Purifying your souls in the obedience of charity, with a brotherly love, from a sincere heart love one another earnestly:
1Pe 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but incorruptible, by the word of God who liveth and remaineth for ever.
which seems to talk about love, charity, and obedience. strangely it also says that we must purify ourselves through obediently doing the works of love. I would suggest here that “word of God” is probably Christ and not the bible which the english structure here supports (though I do not know enough greek to say if the origional construction is indicitive of the same)
personally i think that the warnings of Peter apply
2Pe 2:18 For, speaking proud words of vanity, they allure by the desires of fleshly riotousness those who for a little while escape, such as converse in error:
2Pe 2:19 Promising them liberty, whereas they themselves are the slaves of corruption. For by whom a man is overcome, of the same also he is the slave.
2Pe 3:15 And account the longsuffering of our Lord, salvation: as also our most dear brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, hath written to you:
2Pe 3:16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are certain things hard to be understood, which the unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, to their own destruction.
it sometimes seems that some of this who dwell on “born again” (as well as “assurance of salvation” which is another conversation altogether) use these concepts as excuses not to delve deeper into what scripture asks of us.
by the way, notice it is Peter who warns us against twisting the scriptures to our own destruction, perhaps it is inevitable that they should ignore him as they ignore his successors
IMO being born again refers to us being born into the Body of Christ at baptism. That being said I have no problem confessing Jesus as Lord, and my personal Lord and Savior.
It seems that “my personal” is a bit redundant.
I think you are twisting it in your assumption that protestants do not believe that they are to do good works just because they have been “born again”. There is a name for that heresy but I can’t remember it atm. What ever it’s called, Most protestants do not agree with it. My own pastor preached on the importance good works just this Sunday. Becoming a follower of Christ is more than a confession of Faith. It is a no turning back decesion to do everything God requires of us (including Baptism) and then doing it.
Why is there this unyealding scoffing at people who make a decesion to follow Christ no matter what? This is what you are doing. The Bible says to confess our faith before men. It says to drop everything and put God first, then people do this and Catholics on here go nuts “OMG They think they love God! How terrible, That’s not even in the Bible! OH how they twist scripture! WOE to them!”
Yes, I’m getting annoyed. Did the rich young ruler decide to follow Christ? No, He decided his riches were more important than God. What did the Deciples do? They dropped everything and Followed Christ. Explain to me why making a decision to follow Christ and confessing it before men is bad.
I don’t think anyone has said this.
The thread is about the term “born again”. Catholics say that we are “born again” in baptism. We also say that we are called to follow Christ and confess it before men.
It isn’t bad but it is (at the least) incomplete (considering that baptism is much more than a public declaration of faith). And, it is pushed on litergical Christians as if it were the ONLY thing necessary for salvation, which is certainly isn’t, as you very rightly cited.
Also, Jesus and the Apostles never preached a “personal relationship with Jesus” as necessary for salvation–and the Bible backs this up. In order to declare that a “personal relationship” is necessary for salvation one must read into the verses cited above (in another poster’s response) as saying so, which they certainly do not say.
I think it is only your misunderstanding that makes you think it is pushed as the only thing necessary for salvation. Your argument seems to be with Justification by faith alone. But people who are truly Justified by Faith alone are evidenced by their works. No one who chooses to give their whole life to God would neglect to do the works God asks of us. They are inseperable. Protestants only describe it diffeerently, they do not throw out works.
So you think that you can just Do all these actions and know about God and try to be good and you get to heaven? This is the type of argument that makes protestants think you believe you can work your way to heaven.
For whatever reason, the term “Born again” seems to offend people or scare them. I am not talking about just catholics either. It seems to be society in general. Ever notice how it is GREAT to say God, but when you start talking about Jesus–WOW ALL OF A SUDDEN YOU ARE LABELED A JESUS FREAK!!! I think it is the same as calling yourself born again.
It is biblical though. As people have already cited Scripture. Nicodemus didnt understand Jesus. He was like, how can I go back in my mother’s womb. Of course we know it means born of the Spirit. Hence the word again. We were born from our mother and are alive physically, but we are dead spiritually because of original sin. When we say we are born again we simply mean we are now spiritually made alive and are now a new creature because we have the Holy Spirit in us. Because we believe in Christ Jesus and have decided to drop everything and put him first in our lives,with the help of the Holy Spirit of course.
It really isnt that difficult to understand, at least I dont think so. Nobody should ever be ashamed to call themselves born again christians(NO ONE)
Peace and God Bless
A couple of years ago, a fundamentalist approached me and said, “Are you born again?”
I said, “Of course I am.”
She said, “I’m so glad to hear that, when were you born again?”
I said, “When I was baptised as an infant”.
She stood there mouth wide open aghast.
Once I suggested Catholics answer that question that way here on this forum, but I was told that you can’t cause it would be a sin.
I don’t understand what you are saying–please clarify.
I agree with Syele. Why should we squable over terms?? If someone tells me that they didn’t know Jesus, and now they do… they’ve given their life over to Him and they are “born again” I AM THRILLED!
There are so many threads on this very site… do Jews worship the same God as us? Muslims? Hindus? whatever… and I’m not sure about them… but what I AM sure of is my friends who say they are born again worship JESUS… and that’s all I care about.
Do I think their Church is the one Jesus founded? The One True Church? Nope. If I did, I’d join it. But I do think they love Jesus with their whole hearts so I’ll just be the best witness I can for my Cahtolic faith and leave it at that.
I think Satan loves it when Christians squabble with each other… it takes our focus off those who are truly lost.
Whenever someone asks me if I am born again I say "Are you asking if I have trusted Jesus as my Lord & Savior and put my faith in Him? Then my answer is You betcha!! Every single day!
Well it seems the thread is lost due to the forum crash so I can’t link you to it. But the topic was on the term “born again”. I said that since Catholics believe they are born again that When protestants ask them they should jsut say they are and save alot of hassle. I was quickly told by a few Catholics that that would be lying since the protestant would think they ment something else.
That’s too bad. It would not be a lie. We truly believe we are born again.
But as carol marie just stated, Satan loves divisions and schisms.
[quote= ]To all evangelical and fundamentalist protestants, this question is for you. Many of you say that one is “born again” by accepting into their hearts Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and savior. But my question is this: Where in the Bible does it say that we are “born again” by accepting Jesus Christ into our hearts as our personal Lord and Savior (and yes, show me a verse saying it the way you guys say it, in that “formula”).
There is none; you should have just asked your priest; it would have saved you all the time you’ve spent looking for it.
I agree with you and Carol Marie.
Ah, here is a classic example. This is the type of sniping sarcasm that usually leads to the deterioration of charity.