WHEN NEW BIRTH IS NOT NEW BIRTH
Being born again is cliché that means little more than being a Christian to many. But Genuine Christianity is a person and not a religion so this dissolves that assumption. Being ‘born again’ is our departure from Adam’s life to Jesus’ life. What it is not is a move from bad morality to good morality. It’s following Jesus into our new covenant privileges with Him. It’s Christ’s life as yours and Christ’s relationship with the trinity as your relationship.
‘On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ John 14.20 NIV.
SHADOW AND REAL
People may take offence when it is implied that it may be that they are not sons of God or that they are not really part of the Body of Christ. Of course all people are both. But whether we are in spirit and in truth is another matter. There are many wonderful marriages. There are also marriages that are a shell in which the couple live independent lives. To live in the fullness of our inheritance we must have embraced our life in the new covenant. In a word this is oneness.
New birth is our passing from religion to Christ our life.
Genuine rebirth is our transition from the old covenant to the new. By rights this should occur at our baptism because baptism is a picture of death to Adam and our resurrection in Jesus. But in many cases it merely signals the start of a religious life as distinct from a secular one.
Some Christians have never exited the realm of the knowledge of good and evil. As Gregory Boyd observes, their law-bound religion is a Christianised version of the knowledge of good and evil – which means it perpetuates the fall in the name of God.
For some the ‘body of Christ is not what they have assumed. Because being imprisoned in the old covenant and the law the ‘body’ they are in is ‘this body of death.’ By this Paul meant the spirit and culture of the tree of death and its fruit. We can’t revive the body of death by bolting Holy Spirit onto it like a turb0charger.
‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free’ Luke 4.18 NIV. Don’t be among those who live their entire Christian life in some degree of captivity. While Jesus can release drops of water through captives He releases rivers of spirit and life through the free.
We are reborn when we agree that Christ alone is our life. Then we belong to the new covenant which is the undoing of Adam and the birth of you. This is real baptism. Frank Viola highlights this life-giving participation in the new and living way.
“By the new birth, we participate in the sonship of Jesus Christ. That sonship includes the Son’s unique relationship to His Father. In Matthew 11: 27, Jesus makes a bewildering statement. He says that “no one knows the Father except the Son.” In light of this statement, how can you and I know the Father? The answer: Jesus Christ in His infinite grace and mercy has given to you and me His exclusive relationship with His Father. When we received eternal life, we received the same relationship that the Son has with the Father.” (1)
(1) Viola, Frank. From Eternity to Here: Rediscovering the Ageless Purpose of God (p. 249). David C Cook. Kindle Edition.