Define Born again


#1

This is from a previous thread. A desire for better communication was indicated. Definition of term is the starting point:
forum.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=329726#post329726

posted by exrc # 1115, edited by MariaPhil and Maria,

Let’s define some terms for the sake of clarification. I think if we get a fix on that, we can argue more effectively.

These definitions must however be biblical. In other words derived using only biblical references.OK?

1)Born-again

I think if you do this you will find a difference with what you say you believe and what you really believe.
In love Dan!

I edited out the other terms. I feel the discussion is best when sticking to one subject. Born Again is enough for now:)

My reply:

#1125Hi Danhttp://forum.catholic.com/images/smilies/ani/wave.gif

Let’s start with one that we completely disagree onhttp://forum.catholic.com/images/smilies/wink.gif . This definition is the root of much of the disagreements on this thread.
There are many sources and Scripture verses from the Bible.

Born Again as defined by the Early Church has always referred to Baptism. The key Bible verse is Jn 3:5. There is an excellent explanation which includes Scripture as well as history to show that this is what the early Church taught. I hope you actually choose to read it. It is not long. catholic.com/library/Bor…_in_Baptism.asp

Using Catholic Christian definitions, to be born again is when we are baptized and become adopted children of God. It is a miraculous work of God in which original sin is removed from our soul.

It is not an automatic ticket to heaven. It is also the reason that Catholics believe that we can be part of God’s family and choose to walk away from Him. There must be a commitment as an adult to continue to walk in His Grace.

This definition of born again has been around since the time of the Apostles. Although I realize you disagree with it, it is Biblical and historical. Obviously, you disagree with the interpretation of Scripture from the Bible, but then the question is why should I put your interpretation above the Catholic one, one that acurrately reflects the apostles teachings and can be proved from writings of the time, as well as Scripture? One that Lutherans follow? One that many of the “Reformed” Protestant religions follow?

Honestly, for me, the only way you could change my mind about Baptism being regenerative instead of just a public declaration reflecting an inward desire to follow Christ, would be to show me people who at the time of the apostles interpreted Scripture in the same way you do. I know you can show me Scripture, so can I. What I would need from you is proof that the early Church taught it and followed the teaching of adult only baptism as the true teaching of the apostles. That baptism was only a public declaration, not a miracle from God.

I do not expect you to suddenly say “The Catholics are right!” But I do hope you can understand some of our differences a little better.

Baptism is where we are born again into the family of God. It is a miracle not just a public declaration.

Your sister in Christ,
Maria

p.s.

Maybe we should start a new thread on this?

posted by exrc #1134
I appreciate your answer Maria, but I was looking for** what** it is, and perhaps what it procures, not how it happens.

p.s. A thread might be a good idea!

Thanks! Your friend Dan!

%between%


#2

i guess you could say the moment you repent… but since you spend your life repenting, to try to tie it to a single moment is the issue…


#3

You are correct Maria. In scripture and in the early church, born again always meant baptised.
Paul


#4

Dan,

Being born again = Baptism

Through Baptism, God removes original sin from our soul.

We become adopted children of God.

Catechism of the CC #1263
By Baptism all sins are firgiven, original sin and all personal sins, as well as all punishment for sin. In those who have been reborn nothing remains that would impede their entry into the Kingdom of God, neither Adam’s sin, nor personal sin, nor the consequences of sin, the greavest of which is separation from God.

Just a reminder. Baptism being regenerative is Biblical. See :bible1: Jn 3:5
So what does being born again procure for us? Membership into God’s family, and forgiveness of any personal sin, as well as removal of original sin.

Bold is mine. This also may be helpful Catechism of the CC #1255
For all the baptized, children or adults, faith must grow after Baptism. For this reason the Church celebrates each year at the Easter Vigil the renewal of baptismal promises. Preparation for Baptism leads only to the threshold of new life. Baptism is the source of that new life in Christ from which the entire Christian life springs forth.

Please note that Baptism is not a public declaration by man. It is a miracle by God as per Catholic teaching. So Baptism being the source of new life is refering to the grace of not God, not any work of man.

Maybe if you will now define what you mean by born again, with any Scripture and history we can compare the two.

Your sister in Christ,
Maria


#5

Okay heres my take[personal oppinion]. Born again means what it says. To be born again. Once from natural birth[flesh] and again by the power of the Holy Spirit.A new birth takes place spiritually inside us.This happens when we out of our free will we recieve Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.We repent of our sins and we become a new creation in Jesus Christ. This is the first step in our walk with Jesus Christ. His spirit which now lives and dwells in us will help us to be whom He has called us to be.We die to self and crucify our flesh dailey.This is a process,and after submitting ourselves totally to Him will we will become Christlike.We become the servants He has called us to be. Praise God for this gift of salvation. Here I am Lord ,Use me as you will. God Bless. :wink:


#6

CatechimCC #1299. The prayer of the Bishop who admisnisters CONFIRMATION "…send Your Holy Spirit upon them …guide them in the spirit of wisdom…we ask this through Christ our Lord.

When did the Holy Spirit come as tongues of fire to the Apostles? May this be called the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?

I believe that Pentacostles (?) think that when they recieve the Holy Spirit they will do some odd things such as fall down and/or laugh or babble in “tongues”. Some of them say they are not born again until they speak in “tongues”.:yup:


#7

Hi Spokenword:wave:

Okay heres my take[personal oppinion]. Born again means what it says. To be born again. Once from natural birth[flesh] and again by the power of the Holy Spirit.A new birth takes place spiritually inside us.This happens when we out of our free will we recieve Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.We repent of our sins and we become a new creation in Jesus Christ. This is the first step in our walk with Jesus Christ. His spirit which now lives and dwells in us will help us to be whom He has called us to be.We die to self and crucify our flesh dailey.This is a process,and after submitting ourselves totally to Him will we will become Christlike.We become the servants He has called us to be. Praise God for this gift of salvation. Here I am Lord ,Use me as you will. God Bless. http://forum.catholic.com/images/smilies/wink.gif

So can an infant be born again according to your definition?

Your sister in Christ,
Maria


#8

[quote=MariaG]Hi Spokenword:wave:

So can an infant be born again according to your definition?

Your sister in Christ,
Maria
[/quote]

With God all things are possible. :wink: Would God go against our free will.? :confused:


#9

Hi Spokenword,

When you say would God go against our free will, I read into that while you admit to the possibility of a born again infant, that you tend to believe that infant baptism would be going against free will?

I would say this though. Are you saved by anything you do? Isn’t it God’s Grace that saves you? Doesn’t He tell us to keep not the little Children from Him? Aren’t all men born with a desire to know Him? By allowing God to remove the original sin from an infant’s soul, aren’t you just enabling that infant to know God as far as they are able?

As I quoted above, being born again is just the start of the journey. As adults, we must continue to grow in our faith. It is our responsibility to raise and nurture the children in their faith.

Do you read the tract from CA?

Many non Catholic Christians believe to be born again is a conscious decision to follow Christ, and do not believe baptism is a miracle from God but just a public declaration. Is this what you believe? Do you realize this view is not what was taught by the apostles?(see the tract from CA, very short, an easy read! catholic.com/library/Born_Again_in_Baptism.asp)

Many Questions, better stop here. Sorry.

Your sister in Christ,
Maria
p.s.
It has many quotes from ECF who state that being born again=Baptism. It also talks about how the early Church baptized infants.


#10

[quote=MariaG]Hi Spokenword,

When you say would God go against our free will, I read into that while you admit to the possibility of a born again infant, that you tend to believe that infant baptism would be going against free will?

I would say this though. Are you saved by anything you do? Isn’t it God’s Grace that saves you? Doesn’t He tell us to keep not the little Children from Him? Aren’t all men born with a desire to know Him? By allowing God to remove the original sin from an infant’s soul, aren’t you just enabling that infant to know God as far as they are able?

As I quoted above, being born again is just the start of the journey. As adults, we must continue to grow in our faith. It is our responsibility to raise and nurture the children in their faith.

Do you read the tract from CA?

Many non Catholic Christians believe to be born again is a conscious decision to follow Christ, and do not believe baptism is a miracle from God but just a public declaration. Is this what you believe? Do you realize this view is not what was taught by the apostles?(see the tract from CA, very short, an easy read! catholic.com/library/Born_Again_in_Baptism.asp)

Many Questions, better stop here. Sorry.

Your sister in Christ,
Maria
p.s.
It has many quotes from ECF who state that being born again=Baptism. It also talks about how the early Church baptized infants.
[/quote]

Hi.Maria.I dont believe babys have a free will,so I would have to exclude them from the born again experience. However, I do believe Jesus does keep babies under His wings and under His Grace and will only hold them responsable when they are in that state of using their free will. :wink: God Bless.


#11

Hi Spokenword:wave:

Hi.Maria.I dont believe babys have a free will,so I would have to exclude them from the born again experience. However, I do believe Jesus does keep babies under His wings and under His Grace and will only hold them responsable when they are in that state of using their free will. http://forum.catholic.com/images/smilies/wink.gif God Bless.

You say you would exclude them from a born again experience. I would also. Born again experience is when an adult has a life changing experience to follow Christ. Born again = Baptism. Two different things.

I made a mistake earlier. The Born again tract is only about Baptism. Here are some on infant Baptism: bold is highlighted by me. catholic.com/library/Early_Teachings_of_Infant_Baptism.asp

Baptism is the Christian equivalent of circumcision, or “the circumcision of Christ”: “In him you were also circumcised with . . . the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead” (Col. 2:11–12). Thus, like circumcision, baptism can be given to children as well as adults. The difference is that circumcision was powerless to save (Gal. 5:6, 6:15), but “**aptism . . . now saves you” (1 Pet. 3:21). **

The first explicit evidence of children of believing households being baptized comes from the early Church—where infant baptism was uniformly
upheld and regarded as apostolic. In fact, the only reported controversy on the subject was a third-century debate whether or not to delay baptism until the eighth day after birth, like its Old Testament equivalent, circumcision! (See quotation from Cyprian, below; compare Leviticus 12:2–3.)

Consider, too, that Fathers raised in Christian homes (such as Irenaeus) would hardly have upheld infant baptism as apostolic if their own baptisms had been deferred until the age of reason.

For example, infant baptism is assumed in Irenaeus’ writings below (since he affirms both that regeneration happens in baptism, and also that Jesus came so even infants could be regenerated). Since he was born in a Christian home in Smyrna around the year 140, this means he was probably baptized around 140. He was also probably baptized by the bishop of Smyrna at that time—Polycarp, a personal disciple of the apostle John, who had died only a few decades before.

Irenaeus

He [Jesus] came to save all through himself; all, I say, who through him are reborn in God: infants, and children, and youths, and old men. Therefore he passed through every age, becoming an infant for infants, sanctifying infants; a child for children, sanctifying those who are of that age . . . [so that] he might be the perfect teacher in all things, perfect not only in respect to the setting forth of truth, perfect also in respect to relative age” (*Against Heresies *2:22:4 [A.D. 189]).

Scripture speak of the baptism of entire households. History supports the fact that the early Church always baptized infants. Respectfully, you do not follow the teachings of the Apostles, of Christ, when you deny baptism to infants.

Your sister in Christ,
Maria


#12

The real problem is that the Catholic Church has always defined born again to mean baptism. This has been true as I showed, since apostlic times. Some Protestant denominations have come along and changed the Biblical meaning of born again. They deny that this means baptism, but is a conversion experience of the heart. Although the Biblical word Born again is used, respectfully, the meaning has been warped to mean something that was never taught by the apostles.

That is not to say that adults must not have conversion experiences of the heart. A person must live their faith in Christ. But the word born again, has been highjacked into a different meaning that has been historically, apostolically, taught by Christians.

God Bless,
Maria


#13

[quote=SPOKENWORD]Okay heres my take[personal oppinion]. Born again means what it says. To be born again. Once from natural birth[flesh] and again by the power of the Holy Spirit.A new birth takes place spiritually inside us.This happens when we out of our free will we recieve Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.We repent of our sins and we become a new creation in Jesus Christ.
[/quote]

Hi SPOKENWORD! :wave:

I don’t think that Christians disagree on WHAT being born again is but rather on WHEN it occurs.

Paul specifically states that one is born again in baptism. In Romans 6:3-4 he says that it’s in baptism that one dies and is raised to new life:

*****Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? *[left]Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.[/left]

If that’s not a perfect description of what it means to be born again I don’t know what is. Likewise Paul says that whoever is in Christ is a new creation (2 Cor 5:17). How does one get to be “in Christ”? Paul says we are “baptized into Christ (Romans 6:3).”

Jesus’ comments about being born again (water being an important element mentioned by Jesus) is closely preceded by John the Baptist’s comments about baptism and immediately followed by Jesus spending time with his disciples baptising. Not at all a coincidence. This is clearly the context in which John intends his audience to understand Jesus’ words in John 3:3,5. And it is the context in which his words were understood until relatively recently. Over and over again, in the early Christian writings we see John 3:3,5 equated with water baptism. Never once does anyone equate being born again with anything but water baptism, nor does anyone refute what would certainly be heresy if it were wrong.

Where do you believe that scripture, or anyone prior to the Reformation, teaches that we become a new creation when we receive Jesus as Lord and Savior? Thanks!

In Christ,
Nancy :slight_smile:


#14

[quote=MariaG]Hi Spokenword:wave:

You say you would exclude them from a born again experience. I would also. Born again experience is when an adult has a life changing experience to follow Christ. Born again = Baptism. Two different things.

I made a mistake earlier. The Born again tract is only about Baptism. Here are some on infant Baptism: bold is highlighted by me. catholic.com/library/Early_Teachings_of_Infant_Baptism.asp

Scripture speak of the baptism of entire households. History supports the fact that the early Church always baptized infants. Respectfully, you do not follow the teachings of the Apostles, of Christ, when you deny baptism to infants.

Your sister in Christ,
Maria
[/quote]

Respectly,I dont necessarily see a household to have a meaning that there are infants in it. That is based on our assumptions. Water baptism doesnt save,its the BLOOD of Christ that saves us. :thumbsup: God Bless.


#15

[quote=Catholic4aReasn]Hi SPOKENWORD! :wave:

I don’t think that Christians disagree on WHAT being born again is but rather on WHEN it occurs.

Paul specifically states that one is born again in baptism. In Romans 6:3-4 he says that it’s in baptism that one dies and is raised to new life:

*****Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? *[left]Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.[/left]

If that’s not a perfect description of what it means to be born again I don’t know what is. Likewise Paul says that whoever is in Christ is a new creation (2 Cor 5:17). How does one get to be “in Christ”? Paul says we are “baptized into Christ (Romans 6:3).”

Jesus’ comments about being born again (water being an important element mentioned by Jesus) is closely preceded by John the Baptist’s comments about baptism and immediately followed by Jesus spending time with his disciples baptising. Not at all a coincidence. This is clearly the context in which John intends his audience to understand Jesus’ words in John 3:3,5. And it is the context in which his words were understood until relatively recently. Over and over again, in the early Christian writings we see John 3:3,5 equated with water baptism. Never once does anyone equate being born again with anything but water baptism, nor does anyone refute what would certainly be heresy if it were wrong.

Where do you believe that scripture, or anyone prior to the Reformation, teaches that we become a new creation when we receive Jesus as Lord and Savior? Thanks!

In Christ,
Nancy :slight_smile:
[/quote]

I dont have the all the answers,But I do know this. I know who I was and I know who I am now. I can only speak from what Christ did for Me. I am born again. The old is gone and the new [spirit of Christ] is in me. Water baptism was a symbol of being washed and the blood of Christ is what we have been saved by. thumbsup: God Bless


#16

You are right. Household does not mentions infant, but it does not exclude them either. However, history of the early church clearly shows how they interpreted the words.

Hippolytus

“Baptize first the children, and if they can speak for themselves let them do so. Otherwise, let their parents or other relatives speak for them” (*The Apostolic Tradition *21:16 [A.D. 215]).

Do you really think that a church 1800 years after the fact can more accurately interpret Scripture than those who talked to the apostles? Infant Baptism is Biblical and historical for the Christian Church.

Your sister in Christ,
Maria


#17

posted by spokenword

I dont have the all the answers,But I do know this. I know who I was and I know who I am now. I can only speak from what Christ did for Me. I am born again. The old is gone and the new [spirit of Christ] is in me. Water baptism was a symbol of being washed and the blood of Christ is what we have been saved by. thumbsup: God Bless

This is completely contrary to Scripture and the teachings of the Apostles.

Jn 3:5 and any of the church fathers can show you that Baptism is not just symbol but a actual miracle from God.

God Bless
Maria


#18

Spokenword,

I just wanted to tell you I in no way deny your born again experience. I too at one time would have said I was born again in September of 1991. Now, I realize that born again is Baptism. I had a born again experience. Respectfully, you are changing the Biblical meaning of born again to deny that to be born again is baptism. Baptism is regenerative and has been taught that way since the time of the apostles.

Your sister in Christ,
Maria


#19

Dear SPOKENWORD:

Churches that equate faith with reason usually believe that people themselves must make a decision for Christ. But, the Bible says that if grace is to be grace, then God is to do all the work. (Rom 11:6). Infant baptism is the purest application of God’s grace: a guilty sinner doing absolutely nothing to receive free salvation.

Your Brother,
Fiat


#20

[quote=MariaG]You are right. Household does not mentions infant, but it does not exclude them either. However, history of the early church clearly shows how they interpreted the words.

Hippolytus

“Baptize first the children, and if they can speak for themselves let them do so. Otherwise, let their parents or other relatives speak for them” (*The Apostolic Tradition *21:16 [A.D. 215]).

Do you really think that a church 1800 years after the fact can more accurately interpret Scripture than those who talked to the apostles? Infant Baptism is Biblical and historical for the Christian Church.

Your sister in Christ,
Maria
[/quote]

Again this may only be an assumption.How old are children? One year,10 years,15 years Suppose that child was born deaf or mute?.Could this be the case? Personally this argument has no effect on me. Like I said before,babies are under the wings of Christ You want to baptise babys go ahead.I personally do not have a problem with it.The proof will come down the road. God Bless.


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