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The Moral Argument for God’s Existence.

  An atheist might say you can be good without believing in God. However the question isn’t can you be good without believing in God but can you be good without God? Here’s the problem if there’s no God. What basis remains for objective good or bad, right or wrong? If God does not exist objective moral values do not exist. Here’s why. Without some objective reference point we    really have no way of saying something is up or down. Gods nature however provides an objective reference point for moral values. It’s the standard which all action and thoughts are measured. However, if there is no God then there is no objective reference point. All we are left with is one persons view point as opposed to some other persons view point. This makes morality subjective not objective.  It’s like a preference for vanilla ice cream. The preference is in the subject not the object. Therefore it doesn’t apply to other people. In the same way subjective morality applies only to the subject. It’s not va

Born Again?

John 3:3 (NIV)
[3]  In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” 

We get the term "Born Again" for the Gospel of John chapter 3. The Christian community has limited the understanding of this term to spiritual birth. Which it is. However, Jesus meant more when He said it, then what is taught today within Christian circles.

One evening a religious leader named Nicodemus came to Jesus in secret to have a private conversation with him. Nicodemus' station in life is important to this narrative. He was a religious man within Judaism. Within his religious sphere he held a political position. Not within the Roman Empire, but within his religious community or the theocracy of Israel. He was a educated man in regards to Jewish tradition and Hebrew scripture. This is critical to this story, his ancestry would make him one of God's chosen people. A son of the Old Testament saint, Abraham. The father of the Jewish nation. God's chosen people to bring the means of salvation to the whole world. This would, so to speak, give him a front row seat in the kingdom of God. In other words if God were to establish His kingdom of earth he believed he'd be a citizen of that kingdom.

Here's where Jesus turns his world upside down and inside out. Nicodemus wanted to praise Jesus and let him know he has taken notice of his accomplishments. Keeping in mind that Nicodemus has been taught all his life that he was a descendant of Abraham, one of God's chosen people, a shoe in to be apart of God's kingdom. However, Jesus replies to his salutation and at first glance seems odd, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."

Let's backtrack here a minute. Context is essential in understanding scripture. The context of the verse in the passage. The context of the passage in the letter. The context of the letter to its original audience and the rest of scripture. Now the gospel of John was written to 1st century Christians and the issues of their day. The issues for John's audience were many however one of the main issues for John's gospel was the separation from Judaism and its teachings and traditions. There was a tension in the Christian community back then between Jewish Christian and Gentile Christians about how do we see the Old Testament is the new light of the revelation of Jesus Christ. 

"These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ." - Colossians 2:17 (NIV)

At the beginning of the Gospel of John the author wanted to convey a few themes that would run through the entire gospel. We find one of those themes in John 1:12-13.

"Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God - children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God."

What does this mean for Nicodemus? Jesus came to bring a New Covenant to both the Jews and the Gentiles. In essence Jesus was telling Nicodemus, just because you have a certain ancestry Nicodemus or adhere to the Hebrew scripture, this is not the right path be a citizen of God's coming Kingdom. This is the main thrust to this story behind Nicodemus' meeting with Jesus.

Nicodemus' had a certain mind set and it comes through with his response to Jesus. “How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!”

Nicodemus is still thinking in terms of his biological ancestry, therefore Jesus statement wasn't making sense to him. 

Jesus is stripping this idea away. He's telling him "I know you think it's about your natural birth, your ancestry. From here on out this will no longer be of any value when it comes to becoming a citizen of God's kingdom, being one of God's chosen people." Something else will take the place of what Nicodemus thought it took to see and enter God's kingdom.

We see this same idea in the writings of other New Testament authors.

Romans 2:29 (NIV)
[29]  No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God.

Romans 9:6 (NIV)
[6]  It is not as though God's word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. [7] Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham's children. On the contrary, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” [8]  In other words, it is not the natural children who are God's children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham's offspring.

Galatians 3:29 (NIV)
[29] If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Jesus knew Nicodemus was really searching for answers so he continues to spell things out for him. He responds by saying, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.  [6] Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. [7] You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.'

Some say Jesus was referring to baptism when he said "born of water". Remember the most important part of interpreting words and phrase in scripture is context. Every person on the planet has been born of water. When our mothers water breaks we are shortly there after born. (Some not so shortly). The entire context of this passage revolves around natural birth, human ancestry. There is no baptism in the context of this passage. Jesus then repeats himself with the phrase, "Flesh gives birth to flesh (natural birth), but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. (supernatural birth)" We should not go beyond this if we do we are just adding something that's not there.

"he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit," - Titus 3:5 (NIV)

Now what does being born again mean? When Jesus says, "Spirit gives birth to spirit" he referring to the Holy Spirit bringing to life the dead in sin - human spirit. Once this happen we are BORN AGAIN. We become citizens of God's kingdom therefore giving us the ability to see it and enter into it.

To become a citizen of a nation you must pledge allegiance to that nation. When you do this you enter into a social contract with that nation. This is what the Bible calls a covenant. For the nation of God or kingdom of God the New Covenant which we would recognize today as a type of contract.

Here's what's great about the gospel of the kingdom of God that Jesus and his disciple handed down to us. Jesus entered into and signed that contract with God on behave of all humanity. You see, we as fallible humans could never faithfully keep a contract or covenant with God. Record history shows the simple truth that human being are broken and we break things. Our promises to one anther, whom we see, how much more do we do this with Him whom we cant see? Why? because we have a sinful human nature. Jesus, on the other hand, was born with a perfect human nature. His human nature was without original sin. There was no dormant sin virus waiting to come alive when exposed to the law. He didn't have Sin in Him nor did he commit any sins in thought, word or deed. He would never break the covenant He made of our behalf and because of that we can receive the gift of eternal life. "If" we believe. Not in a selfish superficial way where you "say" you believe just because you want eternal life and not go to hell. And then continue to live an unrepentant life. That's not biblical belief.  Biblical belief entails, counting the cost, humility, a willingness to change, a willingness to follow Jesus. 

So Jesus said to those Jews who had believed in Him, If you abide in My word [hold fast to My teachings and live in accordance with them], you are truly My disciples. - John 8:31 (AMP)

Today we have many people who were born into a Christian family or Christian society and as a result many people think they are citizens of God’s kingdom because they were born into it naturally. Nicodemus thought the same thing however, Jesus dispelled this idea when he said we must be born again.

If we believe in Jesus and are willing to change our way of life (repent), humbly ask for forgiveness, pledge allegiance to Him and Him alone and follow Him without reservation, Jesus will send the Holy Spirit into you and give birth to your spirit and you will be born again.

What will happen when this supernatural event happens? You will have the power and ability to resist sin and live for Him. You will have a new perspective of life itself. You will have an enduring hope. You will possess the gift of eternal life. In the future you will have a new body that's not subject to aging and disease. We will also have the hope of Eden restored. You will know true love. A love that will never fade.


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