You will know the truth and the truth will set you free
Why must I be Born Again to be Saved, and How can I be a Temple of the Holy Spirit? (John 3:3-5)
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The following is a revised extract of the free Book, Relationship Versus Religion
Relating article: How to be saved
SALVATION CAN ONLY BECOME A ‘REALITY’ THROUGH PERSONAL FAITH IN, AND SINCERE ACCEPTANCE OF JESUS CHRIST: WHICH IS THE SCRIPTURAL, SPIRITUAL REBIRTH. CHURCH DOGMAS AND THEIR SO-CALLED ‘SAVING’ SACRAMENTS CAN NEVER ACHIEVE THIS.
Humankind’s cataclysmic spiritual death in the Garden in Eden and their resultant mind bondage to darkness, cursedness, and immeasurable soulical (or mind) corruption, occurred that day when Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate of the forbidden fruit from the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil,” (2 Cor. 10:3-6; Rom. 8:5-9; 12:1-2.) This can be interpreted as an allegory of “taking in” the spiritual sin-nature of the devil by disobeying God. Consequently, death and devastation filtered through to every aspect of humanity’s physical lives as well, indwelt all their descendants, and proliferated globally as irresponsible, disobedient man multiplied and populated the planet, (Rom. 3:9-20; 5:12.)
It is important to realize that theft, murder, lies, and every other transgression of God’s Moral Law are fatal symptoms of this deadly spiritual disease or collapsed state called “sin,” which all of humanity is born into. To convert to a church with its manmade dogmas and to live only a ‘good’ religious life, can never cure this killer infection, (Luke 18:19.) All kinds of religiosity and temple or church norms and forms are futile attempts to treat this fatal disease, (Jn. 4:21-24.)
· “Sin” is actually described by the words “hamartia,” (‘a position outside God’s presence,’) and “hamartanö,” (‘to miss the mark and not to share in the prize,’ or ‘to fall short of the glory of God. Since that day in the garden, hamartia and hamartanö became the essence of humanity’s existence on earth. Hamartia and hamartanö, [the fallen spiritual state without God,] separated humanity from God, (Gen. 3:23-24!) They were entombed physically alive in a position or place of spiritual death, sin, bondage/darkness, (or deception, which is the power of Satan: 1 John 5:18-19,) and cursedness.
Yet, it was not God’s will that darkness should rule over humanity. (Follow this link to read what “darkness” actually means in this context.) In the beginning, when God created male and female human beings, (Genesis 1:27-28,) He expected of them to live in a loving relationship with Him and with one another without sin, death, sickness, sorrow, and the needless toil, (opposed to their blessed state of ease before the fall,) which marr their once perfect lives, (Gen. 3:17-19.)
To fulfill God’s vision for humanity to be delivered from spiritual death, there had to be a new beginning for humankind after the fall, (Gen. 3:14-15.) A rebirth. New life in the presence and under the freedom and blessing of God once again.
Þ As hamartia and hamartanö means ‘from the being of sin,’ and ‘to miss the mark and not to share in the prize,’ every person who choose to be saved, must know that God sent His Only Son Jesus in the “flesh” or as a mere human being to “hit the mark,” or to fully fulfill all the requirements of God’s Old Testament Law in their place, (Jn. 3:16.) This was absolutely necessary to save humanity from hamartia or from the being [or fallen place] of sin and deception.
Þ So, every human being on earth, by understanding that they are lost without God and by choosing Jesus to redeem them from darkness or “the godless position of sin,” actually choose to “eat” of The Tree of Life that was planted in Eden, (Jn. 1:11-14.) So, by accepting Jesus as their Redeemer, Savior, Blessor, and God, all true believers “take in” the Holy Spirit just as Adam and Eve “took in” the sin nature by ‘eating’ of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Þ Then, just as Adam and Eve were originally created or “born into” their perfect relationship with God in Eden, by “eating or accepting Jesus; the Bread of Life,” believers are spiritually born again by “taking in” The Tree of Life or Jesus Himself, (Rev. 22:17; Jn. 1:12-13; 3:3-5.) This is why Jesus commanded in John 6:54-58, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you…”
By understanding that we can only live or be born again spiritually by symbolically “eating and drinking Jesus’ flesh and blood,” (Jn. 5:54-58,) we can see that it is totally impossible to join a church and submit to their manmade dogmas and ceremonies to be saved, redeemed, and blessed. That is why church and other religion must be rejected so that we can “worship the Father in [born-again or new-life] spirit and truth, for God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth, [not according to the false dogmas of church religion,]” (Jn. 4:21-24.) That is why Jesus commanded us to “worship neither on this mountain [holy place or church] nor in Jerusalem, [in physical Israel,] but the Father seeks [born again] believers [from every tribe, tongue, and nation,] to worship Him in spirit and in truth,” (Jn. 4:21-24.)
Our human spirits, (entombed in the spiritual death we inherited from Adam and Eve,) must ‘come to life,’ or be born again through faith in Jesus Christ, and by our individual, willing acceptance of His complete fulfilment of the Old Testament Law in our place, (Mt. 5:17-20.) Thus, the rebirth in Christ is the only way to escape hamartia and hamartanö, or the fallen position of separation from God, to be in a right standing with God again, (Rom. 3:23-24; Eph. 2:8-15; Jn. 4:21-24.)
That’s why Christ Jesus commanded in John 3:3-5: “Except you are [spiritually] born again, you cannot see [or understand] the kingdom of God… Except you are born of water, [the truth of God’s Word, the New Testament Covenant or Gospel of Christ, of which the water baptism of true disciples is the symbol], and of the Spirit, [the conviction and supernatural work of the Holy Spirit], you cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; [carnal or manmade, like the church system and her many false dogmas,] but that which is born of the Spirit is spirit,” (Jn. 16:7-11; 6:63.)
Ephesians 5:26, “[Jesus loved His born again body or bride of believers so much that He gave Himself for her,] that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the Word…” 1 Peter 1:23, “[You were] born again, not of corruptible seed [such as manmade doctrines,] but incorruptible, through the [Water or] Word of God which lives and abides forever.”
· John wrote in 1:12-13, “As many as received Him [wholeheartedly], to them He gave power to become the children of God… Who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, [church dogmas,] nor of the will of man, but of God.” And Paul stated in 2 Corinthians 5:17 and in Galatians 2:20-21, “If anyone is in Christ, he [or she] is a new creation. Old things, [the cursed sin-state of the former life without Christ], have passed away, behold, all things have become [spiritually] new… (Col. 2:10!) I am crucified with Christ: [hamartia, the state of sin that contains my sinful desires and deeds is dead], nevertheless I live [spiritually]; yet not I, but Christ lives in me. And the [new] life which I now live in the flesh [physically as a human being,] I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.”
Only those who are born again through their personal choice to live in Jesus Christ, can ‘see,’ experience, and enter into, (belong to, share in) the spiritual kingdom of God, (Jn. 1:12-14.) Only born again believers can understand God’s Word, way and will, (Jn. 3:3-5.) Only those who live spiritually and show the fruit of the Holy Spirit can ‘prove’ to the devil, themselves, and other people that they are the children of God, (Jn. 6:63; Rom. 8:5-17.) Spirit calls and answers only to spirit.
Humanity has to live spiritually to be in contact with God through a relationship with Him, The Spirit, (Jn. 4:21-24.)
All other so-called doorways to God and His heaven are cheap imitations that lead to damnation, (Jn. 10:10.)
SINCERELY AND PERSONALLY BORN AGAIN MAN IS A TEMPLE
During the Old Testament Covenant, (which was “annulled” when Jesus died on the cross and was resurrected from the grave to establish His eternal New Testament Covenant,) the Holy Spirit did not live inside God’s believers, (Heb. 8:13; chapters 7-9.) Before the cross, the Holy Spirit only worked from the outside or “came upon” believers temporarily to equip them for a specific task, because “the [indwelling] Spirit was not yet given” until Pentecost, (Jn. 7:39 KJV; Judges 15:14; 1 Sam. 16:13.) So, during Jesus’ ministry to the Old Hebrews here on earth, which was before the cross, all His miracles was still done under the Old Testament Covenant.
However, on the Day of Pentecost, after Jesus ascended into heaven, the Holy Spirit came to consistently indwell all Jesus’ sincere disciples until the end of the world,” (Jn. 19:28-30! Acts 2:1-21; Mt. 28:19-20.) Since then, as a free Gift from the Father, the Spirit “abides” inside every Scripturally born again believer as His Personal temple: His spiritual tabernacle here on earth, (1 Jn. 2:20, 27; Jn. 1:12-13; 3:3-4; 1 Ths. 3:16-17; 6:15-20.)
For this reason, the born again believer does not merely walk ‘with’ the Spirit as Adam and Eve did in Eden before the fall; he or she walks in the Spirit. “Because you are His children [through the personal rebirth through faith in and acceptance of Jesus],” Paul explained in Galatians 4:6-7 and in Romans 8:9-16, “God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, [your born again human spirits: 1 Thessalonians 5:23,], crying, Father… Now if any person has not the [indwelling] Spirit, he or she is none of His. The Spirit Himself bears witness with our [human] spirit that we are children of God, [because we personally accepted Jesus, Jn. 1:12-13,], and if children, then… joint heirs with Christ…”
All Scripturally born again believers together make up the universal, eternal, spiritual temple of God, because the Holy Spirit continually indwells each one personally, and they are the one and only, genuine body of Jesus Christ: His holy bride.
· “Know you not that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” Paul asked in 1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19. And he proclaimed in 1 Cor. 12:27: “You are the body of Christ, and members in particular,” (Eph. 4:15-16; 5:23-27.)
Jesus declared in Matthew 18:19-20: “For where two or three are gathered together in My Name, there I Am in the midst of them, [through My Spirit Who indwells them.]” Jesus Christ manifests Himself in the midst of two or three sincere believers because His Spirit lives in them; parts of His temple are gathered together. They do not have to congregate in large numbers in a physical ‘temple.’ Every born again believer is His temple in particular and two are His temple when they meet.
Vast numbers of mere followers were never Jesus’ aim for His spiritual body of believers. He wants His body of born again believers to live in sincerity and holiness — and in a constant, living relationship with Him and with one another (Lu. 12:32.)
HOW THE HOLY SPIRIT GUIDES AND EMPOWERS THE BODY OF CHRIST FROM WITHIN HIS LIVING TEMPLE
The Holy Spirit and born again believers bear witness together and work together, (Rom. 8:16.) The Spirit does not inhabit true believers to make their choices and to do their work for them. The Spirit IS The Good Shepherd. He calls us and leads us, (He does not drive us the way Satan does); He gives us spiritual strength and direction, which flow from our born again human spirits into our minds or souls. He empowers us with revelation-knowledge of His Word to understand and to do the will of the Father, (Jn. 10:11; 16:8-15; Rom. 8:13-14; 12:1-2.)
The personally born again human spirit is a centrum where every sincere believer meets God the Father in worship and in prayer, and where God Personally speaks to every believer individually — always according to the full contextual Truth of His Word. Everything we discuss with God must be communicated in and through our born again human spirit, the personal dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, God’s inner sanctuary on the inside of every truly born again believer, (Rom. 1:9.) From there, God’s leading, teaching, etcetera, ‘filter’ into our ‘souls’ or conscious minds, (Rom. 12:1-2.)
That is why those who are spiritually alive already have the fullness or the “anointing” of the Holy Spirit inside them, because every individual, born again believer is a temple of the Holy Spirit, (1 Jn. 2:20; 27-29 KJV.)
God’s temple is never empty.
It is either the dwelling place of the Spirit, or the person does not live spiritually, (Rom. 8:9.)
As a result, it is clear that after someone chooses to believe in, and wholeheartedly accept Jesus as his or her personal Savior, Redeemer, Blessor, God, and Lord, the Holy Spirit immediately, completely, and constantly indwells the person’s blood-cleansed, born again human spirit as His spiritual temple, (Gal. 4:6-7.)
God promised in 1 John 2:20, 27, “You [already] have [present tense] an anointing from the Holy One… The anointing which you have received [past tense, when you sincerely accepted Jesus,] abides [or stays] in you…”
Thus, neither the Holy Spirit Himself, nor any of His power or the manifestation of His spiritual gifts, can be “given” by any human through the laying on of hands or otherwise. Of course we must pray for one another, and we may ask our Father for His spiritual gifts — but “he Holy Spirit distributes to each one individually [His gifts] as He wills,” to minister to His body of believers as He chooses, (1 Cor. 12:4-11.)