"Born Again" What it means to me.
It all starts with Adam who was created pure and holy. He disobeyed and brought disobedience and the sin nature into mankind (selfishness, the drive to do what we are told not to do).
Every human, because of Adam’s sin, is born with a bondage to selfishness and disobedience. We have all sinned and come up short when it comes to pleasing God and doing His will. There have been very few humans that have been able to please God since creation and be called perfect (complete) in the eyes of God. Noah was one of several, who were called perfect. “Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.”
Jesus Christ was sent into the world, even as a second Adam, (born of a woman, without a man) by the power of the Holy Spirit. He was born without a bondage to sin, which comes through the seed of the man. He was born pure and holy, even as Adam was created pure and holy.
As Eve was tempted, so Jesus was tempted in all ways, but He did not disobey or give in to selfishness and disobedience. His passion, always, was to do the will of the Father, even in the face of a horrible death and separation from the Father, as He became sin for mankind. (Eve was enticed by the desire for wisdom, equality with God, discontentment, beauty, and a belief that she or someone else knew better than God; the idea that God was keeping her and Adam from being all that they could be by withholding the knowledge of good and evil.)
Jesus’ sacrifice made it possible for mankind to be bought back (To enable the return of the relationship that man had with God before Satan’s deception.) to be born again, to be even as Jesus was, in His Spirit, at birth, a brand new, pure and holy, ‘spiritual baby’. Because of Jesus, man, repentance and an active belief, could have all past sins wiped out and be free from the bondage to selfishness and disobedience (sin).
The Laws of God were now placed in the heart (the thoughts or feelings (mind)) of mankind; a new covenant was established, a new accountability. God now evaluated man by what he meditated on in his mind, his motives (the heart). Sin was not based on the action against a written rule, sin was based on the workings of the mind and feelings before it became an action.
The Kingdom of God was now brought to earth. If a man repented (turned away from selfishness and disobedience), he could become the dwelling place of God, even as Jesus had the Spirit of the Father dwelling in Him so the repentant man, who chose to follow, submit to and obey Christ’s teachings, could have the Spirit of Christ living within their shell of clay.
When an individual, as Jesus tells us in the book of John, is grafted into His vine, he is “in” Christ, because of the graft (new birth). Jesus said that if we did not eat His flesh and drink His blood we could not have life. The ‘sap’ of the vine is the life, the very essence of what Jesus is, which begins to flow through the branch that is grafted into Christ.
The Father is the gardener that cares for the vine and branches.
The branches that produce fruit, the Father prunes, in order for the branch to produce more and better fruit.
The branches that do not produce fruit the Father cuts off. They are gathered up and burned.
If a branch is living from the ‘sap’ flowing from the vine, the branch will produce the fruit of the vine, Jesus Christ. The branch will look just like the vine and produce the fruit of the vine.
The branch ‘must’ stay grafted by obeying the Holy Spirit and allowing the sap of the Holy Spirit to daily, 24/7, flow and feed his meditations! If the flow of spiritual sap should ever slow down, the branch will stop producing fruit and eventually die. The Gardener will cut it off; it will be burned.
Does any branch produce fruit of its own power or efforts? No, not any real branch! John 6:48-65 (The only way that you can really understand these concepts is if the Holy Spirit reveals them to you; the Father calls you; to the world it is foolishness.)
The fruit of the branch is produced from and because of, that which is flowing within the branch; the influences on which the will and mind are feeding, meditating on and obeying; or yielding to.
Matthew tells us that Jesus said, "Watch out for false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are voracious wolves. You will recognize them by their fruit. Grapes are not gathered from thorns or figs from thistles, are they? In the same way, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree is not able to bear bad fruit, nor a bad tree to bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will recognize them by their fruit.”
John tells us, “Now by this we know that we have come to know God: if we keep his commandments. The one who says "I have come to know God" and yet does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in such a person. But whoever obeys his word, truly in this person the love of God has been perfected. By this we know that we are in him. The one who says he resides in God ought himself to walk just as Jesus walked.”
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him, because all that is in the world (the desire of the flesh and the desire of the eyes and the arrogance produced by material possessions) is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world is passing away with all its desires, but the person who does the will of God remains forever.”
“…everyone who has this hope focused on him purifies himself, just as Jesus is pure.”
“Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; indeed, sin is lawlessness. And you know that Jesus was revealed to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. Everyone who resides in him does not sin; everyone who sins has neither seen him nor known him.”
James tells us that, “whoever knows what is good to do and does not do it is guilty of sin.”
Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines sin as, “The voluntary departure of a moral agent from a known rule of rectitude or duty, prescribed by God; any voluntary transgression of the divine law, or violation of a divine command; a wicked act; iniquity.”
Then the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry, and why is your expression downcast?”
“Is it not true that if you do what is right, you will be fine? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at the door. It desires to dominate you, but you must subdue it." Genesis 4:6-7