Today Steve Ray joins me to talk about what it means to be born again. We discuss what we meant by it when we were both evangelicals, but he digs deep into scripture.
Born Again The Bible Way
Starting with the Old Testament Steve works forward to get the proper context of John Chapter 3 and what it means to be born again the Bible way.
The question comes from a passage in scripture in John chapter 3. The passage states
Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.”4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit.-John3:3-5 NRSV
In our discussion we talk about how this verse is used as a prooftext and not used in its proper context. Also how those who pose the question utilize mental gymnastics when it comes to verse five. Either that or they skip it all together.
It is a fun interview, and as always Steve lays out the Catholic position in an easy to understand fashion. As Catholics we are born again the Bible way, and Steve gives us the reasons why we can answer that question with confidence.
We are born again in baptism as the scripture quoted above states. There are many other passages that say the same. Here I leave you with a quote from the catechism before the interview.
For all the baptized, children or adults, faith must grow after Baptism. For this reason the Church celebrates each year at the Easter Vigil the renewal of baptismal promises. Preparation for Baptism leads only to the threshold of new life. Baptism is the source of that new life in Christ from which the entire Christian life springs forth- CCC 1254
You can listen to the podcast version of the interview here.
Saint Quotes And Bible Verses
The one who believes and is baptized will be saved; but the one who does not believe will be condemned.-Mark 16:16 NRSV
For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, 19 in which also he went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison, 20 who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. 21 And baptism, which this prefigured, now saves you—not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.-1 Peter 3:18-21 NRSV
Whoever is convinced and believes that what they are taught and told by us is the truth, and professes to be able to live accordingly, is instructed to pray and to beseech God in fasting for the remission of their former sins, while we pray and fast with them. Then they are led by us to a place where there is water; and there they are reborn in the same kind of rebirth in which we ourselves were reborn: In the name of God, the Lord and Father of all, and of our Savior Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit, they receive the washing with water. For Christ said, “Unless you be reborn, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” The reason for doing this, we have learned from the Apostles.-St. Justin Martyr
Moreover, those things which were created from the waters were blessed by God, so that this might also be a sign that men would at a future time receive repentance and remission of sins through water and the bath of regeneration — all who proceed to the truth and are born again and receive a blessing from God.-St. Theophilus of Antioch
This then is what it means to be “born again of water and Spirit” : just as our dying is effected in the water [Rom 6:3-4; Col 2:11-13], our living is wrought through the Spirit. In three immersions and in an equal number of invocations the great mystery of Baptism is completed in such a way that the type of death may be shown figuratively, and that by the handing on of divine knowledge the souls of the baptized may be illuminated. If, therefore, there is any grace in the water, it is not from the nature of water but from the Spirit’s presence there.-St. Basil The Great