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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
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Kelly Vollrath

Born Again

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Does someone have to really "feel the light' to be born again?

 

G'day Kelly,

 

Can you elaborate more, or provide an example of what "feel the light" means?

 

God bless,

William

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Does someone need to be literally "bathed in the light" of the Holy Ghost, after just hours before, frightened, feeling alone and calling on the Lord Jesus Christ with all of your heart, soul and mind in desperate need. In ignorance about the Grace and Love of our Lord Jesus Christ. For when I awoke after a short, fitful night...I wasn't frightened or feeling alone. It is the Peace That Passes All Understanding. Your body somehow seems to be filled with Light that you can feel. It lasted three days and in an instant it was gone. I called out after It But how can you catch the wind. It took me years to learn the True Meaning in the Bible. One does not chose to be Saved. In Eph. 1, Paul writes that God predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of "His Will". God chose us before the foundation of the world,... Romans 9, 27: Though the number of children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved. God doesn't love the world. God loves those He has chosen. But, you never know if you may be on His list.

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Different people experience the new birth differently. I don't recall any emotion except relief that my sins were forgiven. Over time there were changes in my life such as an increased interest in studying the Bible and serving God, and the ability to better understand what the Bible says. The changes were gradual and I never had any kind of intense emotional experience such as many other people have had.

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Hi Isidore, we are born dead (spiritually) in our trespasses and sins .. e.g Psalm 51:5; Ephesians 2:1-3. When were are "born again" .. John 3:3, God regenerates us, giving us a new heart (of flesh) and a new Spirit .. Ezekiel 36:26, and we are "made alive" spiritually in Christ .. Ephesians 2:4-5. By causing us to be "born again", God makes it possible for us to come to faith/believe and be saved.

 

Hope that helps! There's much more to it, of course, so if you have additional questions, please don't hesitate to ask :)

 

Yours in Christ,

David

1541081981_fetchid31003ampd1483779289.jpg.c2e353337568bf48274b1be288fff2a5.jpg

 

Edited by David Lee
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1 Peter 1:23- For you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.

 

2 Corinthians 5:17- Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 😇

 

 

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@David Lee Thanks for the explanation. I've heard the term used before, but never in the context of my Catholic faith. To me, it seems equivalent to "owning" your faith instead of being passive and going with the flow. I see nothing objectionable with that so long as it's not meant to be a replacement for baptism or the crucifixion. Theologically, I would say baptism itself would account for the concept in its entirety.

 

I would reject the notion that you must have a particular feeling or experience in order to be saved. God, in His wisdom, sometimes withholds experiential manifestations of grace. There are many saints in the Catholic tradition, for example, who have experienced times of "spiritual darkness" in which they couldn't feel the presence of God - I'm sure there are many holy Protestants who have experienced something similar. To base something as important as the salvation of a soul on something as arbitrary and fleeting as a feeling or emotion is folly. Instead, we must remain vigilant in our faith and cooperate with God to have the certitude of heavenly life after death, even through the times when it seems God is far away or silent.

 

That, at least, is my take. Have I been "born again?" Strictly speaking, yes, through baptism. I was born in the womb, then born again in baptism.

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@David Lee To base something as important as the salvation of a soul on something as arbitrary and fleeting as a feeling or emotion is folly. Instead, we must remain vigilant in our faith and cooperate with God to have the certitude of heavenly life after death, even through the times when it seems God is far away or silent.

 

.

 

Well said.

 

I like Barne's commentary on John 3:3

 

John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

 

 

Verily, verily - An expression of strong affirmation, denoting the certainty and the importance of what he was about to say. Jesus proceeds to state one of the fundamental and indispensable doctrines of his religion. It may seem remarkable that he should introduce this subject in this manner; but it should be remembered that Nicodemus acknowledged that he was a teacher come from God; that he implied by that his readiness and desire to receive instruction; and that it is not wonderful, therefore, that Jesus should commence with one of the fundamental truths of his religion. It is no part of Christianity to conceal anything. Jesus declared to every man, high or low, rich or poor, the most humbling truths of the gospel... It was declared to be indispensable to experience, as the first thing in religion, a change of heart and of life.

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My experience wasn't quite as remarkable as that of the OP. I did feel different though. I was very young, and I remember feeling quite joyful. I was happy that my sins could be forgiven. I was in awe that God would take us just the way we are.

 

I have experienced the kind of peace that passes understanding, but that came later. I never fully understood it until something awful happened in my life. I emerged with my sanity, by the grace and peace of God.

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@David Lee Thanks for the explanation. I've heard the term used before, but never in the context of my Catholic faith. To me, it seems equivalent to "owning" your faith instead of being passive and going with the flow. I see nothing objectionable with that so long as it's not meant to be a replacement for baptism or the crucifixion. Theologically, I would say baptism itself would account for the concept in its entirety.

 

I would reject the notion that you must have a particular feeling or experience in order to be saved. God, in His wisdom, sometimes withholds experiential manifestations of grace. There are many saints in the Catholic tradition, for example, who have experienced times of "spiritual darkness" in which they couldn't feel the presence of God - I'm sure there are many holy Protestants who have experienced something similar. To base something as important as the salvation of a soul on something as arbitrary and fleeting as a feeling or emotion is folly. Instead, we must remain vigilant in our faith and cooperate with God to have the certitude of heavenly life after death, even through the times when it seems God is far away or silent.

 

That, at least, is my take. Have I been "born again?" Strictly speaking, yes, through baptism. I was born in the womb, then born again in baptism.

 

Hi Isidore, sorry for the delay in replying to you! As for what your wrote, I agree with much of it, including the fact that the RCC relates being "born again", with/occurring as a result of, water baptism (which a couple of our Protestant denominations do as well .. i.e. Lutheran). I would also reject the notion that you "must" have a particular feeling or experience in order to consider yourself saved (though in many cases, including my own, the experience and the emotions of that moment would be extremely hard to forget :)).

 

Finally, "spiritual darkness", or a desert period when our faith seems to all but dry up is common enough, and I agree with you here as well, that we need to be steadfast .. 1 Corinthians 15:58 and, hopeful/never losing heart, by hanging onto God's great promises to us and His love for us .. Galatians 6:9; Hebrews 12:3, especially when we experience those frustrating "desert" periods in our walk (perhaps from seemingly endless persecution, etc.).

 

My own experience is as follows, I was raised in the church, baptized as an infant, went to Sunday School, sung in the children's choir, was confirmed, and then I attended regularly through college (when the "world" began to get the better of me :(). But I always believed myself a Christian, of course, that is, until the day I finally became one 2 months after my 30th birthday :) That's when EVERYTHING changed .. 2 Corinthians 5:17, and my life has remained "changed" since then, PTL (I am 30 years a Christian now).

 

Whoops, there's actually a bit more that I want to say, but I've got to run. Sorry, but I will try to return and finish up later this evening (Dv).

 

Yours in Christ,

David

Edited by David Lee
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Hi Isidore, I'm sorry about forgetting to get back to you so that we could continue our discussion about being "born again". I may or may not have time to do so tonight, but I came across part of a short lecture recently called, The Heavenly Birth, (by one of my favorite pastor/theologians, Dr. Sinclair Ferguson, that I believe might be interesting to discuss :) He certainly talks about the basics, and he goes far beyond, so if you'd like to, give his lecture a listen here. It will certainly give you a better picture of what we Protestants mean when we speak of being "born again", and I believe it's only 23 minutes long because of radio broadcast time restrictions.

 

I hope to be able to return later tonight, but if not, I will come back as soon as I can so we can continue (Dv).

 

Yours and His,

David

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