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Well what if we have a translation issue here?

January 18 2006 at 11:30 AM
gerard  (Login gerardthewatchman)


Response to Re: I don't equate 'conversion' with being 'born again' Char...

 
Possibly the term “born again” is not a proper translation from the Greek and, therefore, should not be used to refer to a Christian.
Consider this...
...it is true that as Christians we must be transformed once we repent of our sins, accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and become baptized
(Romans 12:2). This is truly a new life as well. The biblical analogy of children and babes is just as valid as the conception and birth analogy.

...is there an additional understanding of the Greek word 'gennao'?
...one should not take the position that this word can only refer to conception.
Gennao is a much broader term and refers to the whole process of conception and birth.

Many relegate “born again” solely to an instantaneous experience of becoming a Christian. “Born again [is a term] used to refer to a Christian…who is twice born—once of human parents and once of the Holy Spirit when he or she accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior.”

Is this all there is to it? Is this what Jesus meant in John 3? Is the phrase “born again” even a correct and appropriate translation?
...looking again at John 3, we must consider....
the correct meaning of the term “born again” and its role in the process of salvation.

...the Bible uses terminology relating to birth to describe certain aspects of the doctrine of salvation. Therefore, I agree Char that it is important to understand the basic stages or events in the process of salvation in order to see why this terminology was used and where it fits in the
process.

And I do think it is a process... a two step process.

Salvation is a process that includes two major events. The first event begins with being called by God, coming to understand His will, having faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior, repenting and surrendering to God, being baptized and forgiven of all past sins and receiving the
Holy Spirit.

We call this part of the process “conversion.” A Christian is said to be “converted.”
The word conversion refers to a change in the individual. A converted individual is a changed individual. Though conversion takes place at a definite time, it begins with a process (repentance) that culminates in an event (baptism).

That event defines the change that takes place in the individual as a result of God working through him. Of course, change does not stop at baptism. Repentance and overcoming are lifelong pursuits for the truly converted individual.

It is proper to say that salvation includes much more than repentance and baptism. The process is not finished at baptism and receiving the Holy Spirit. In fact, that is only its beginning.

This is the first stage or event in the salvation process. In the Bible, conversion is represented as a miraculous, life-transforming process. It begins with God opening the minds of those whom He is calling, so that they can begin to understand the Scriptures with a clarity and depth they could
never attain on their own.
If they choose to respond to God’s calling, their minds will be opened
to comprehend the Word of God, which begins to make sense to them. Also involved in the conversion process is the concept of overcoming and growing in grace and in knowledge (2 Peter 3:18), which is a lifelong process. When we receive God’s Spirit, we begin a new life of spiritual growth, of replacing our selfish human nature with God’s divine nature. After baptism, God begins to transform our lives through the power of His Spirit.


Therefore, even though conversion refers to a definite time in the past when a Christian’slife was changed, the process of salvation will not be fully accomplished until the resurrection (Revelation 20:6). This is the time when a dramatic change will take place in the individual—when he will be changed from mortal to immortal (1 Corinthians 15:53).

The hope of every Christian is to obtain eternal life through the resurrection of the dead (Titus 1:2; 3:7; Acts 24:15; Colossians 1:27). How and when Christians will enter the family and Kingdom of God has been revealed to us by the example of Jesus Christ.
It is through the resurrection of the dead. As Paul declared, our faith is in vain if there is no resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:14, 17). He mentioned before, “But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen” (1 Corinthians 15:13).

But Christ arose from the dead and is the firstfruits of those who will be resurrected (1 Corinthians 15:20). It is through the resurrection that man will be changed from mortal flesh into immortal spirit (1 Corinthians 15:42-53).
This resurrection from the dead has yet to take place. It is a future event. As Paul wrote tothe Colossians, “And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence” (Colossians 1:18).

.l..we see that Christ was “firstborn [prototokos] from the dead.” He is called the “firstborn” because He was the first to be spiritually resurrected, and up to this point in time He is the only one born of human flesh who has gone through this process.

 
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