Updated: Nov 13, 2021
Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God, John 1:13.
From the response that I have received after the first two posts, I can see that a common misunderstanding among my readers is that most people equate being born again with being saved. Before I take a scalpel and carefully dissect born again from salvation, let me say this; God can do many complex things in the twinkling of an eye. We can see that in our gathering together at the rapture as outlined by the Apostle Paul.
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed, 1st Corinthians 15:22. Many things happen in the twinkling of an eye. The dead in Christ rise first. We meet them in the air. We are clothed upon with new bodies. To God, there is a chain of things that happen as complex as any chemical or atomic reaction, but only he can see it in slow motion. To the rest of us, it will happen so quickly that it is described as the twinkling of the eye.
So is our transformation in Christ. Upon receiving Jesus Christ, a swat team composed of the Father, the Holy Ghost, Jesus Christ and the seven Spirits of God in their several manifestations enters the believer. It happens in a instant, but takes a lifetime in the word of God to understand all that happened. Suffice it to say that Jesus Christ encompasses all of the promises of God.
Colossians 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
Colossians 2:10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:.
It is our honor to slowly unravel the marvels of grace and deliverance that the Lord has given us in Christ Jesus. The Apostle Paul spent 14 books of the bible carefully looking at each aspect of this great deliverance. He details each aspect of salvation in the Old Testament and relates each to its New Testament application. He holds out each as a gem in its own right. He then shows us how that God has packaged all of these things in the person of Jesus Christ.
The word "saved" is a very generic word in your King James Bible which often relates to diverse things. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee, 1st Timothy 4:16. Paul is not suggesting that Timothy's people need to be saved from sin. They need to be saved from the common pitfall's of straying from Christ. No serious student of the word of God believes that Paul was instructing Timothy in how to obtain eternal life. His use of the word "saved" is in keeping with its use in every place it is ever used.
To be saved is to be delivered. Armies are saved from defeat when reinforcements arrive. We are saved from this life in our gathering together in Christ. That is a sure hope. We are saved from sin and death. In each case the word saved could be understood as delivered. There is a knee jerk reaction by far too many to see every usage of the word saved as meaning to be born again.
In my early days of bible study, my pastor Billy Dean Randall kept a chart in which he showed 40 things that instantly happen when a person receives Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul takes great care to take each of those things and to reveal them in their own right. He does so by carefully dissecting the experiences of the prophets, Abraham, Moses, Sarah, Hagar, and Jesus Christ himself.
When a person received Jesus Christ, one of the things that happens to that person among many other things is God gives them the new birth. That is not done by their choice. It is a decision that God himself made when he chose all those in Christ to be born again. What makes the gospels and the Book of Acts so unique is that not every person is lost and undone when Jesus Christ arrives on the scene, or when the apostles begin to preach in the synagogues of Asia and Europe.
There is a transition period of time when people who are secure in the promises of God are introduced to the Messiah in whom they have long believed and is now on this earth. Do you suppose that a person living in Corinth and who by faith has obeyed the precepts of Moses and of the prophets suddenly was on his way to hell because Jesus Christ was crucified and resurrected in Jerusalem an 1800 mile journey away from them? Obviously they could not have known anything of it. God didn't just blow a whistle and cancel their salvation. There are obviously no such people alive today.
For those in that transition, especially those in the Gospel of John, God hand picks those to whom he will bestow the born again experience. He is not handpicking them to be saved, that was their choice. He is handpicking those to whom he would grant this transition. If you look at almost every verse that Calvinist use, they relate to that period of time. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, John 15:16.
Since the time of that transition, every single person who in repentance towards God and in faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ has been chosen of God to be born again. It was their choice to repent and to believe on Jesus Christ, it was God's choice that such should be born again.