Author: R. C. Sproul
Publisher: Reformation Trust Company 2010
Theme: Defining "born again."
Format: eBook, Kindle
Age: Adult or young adult
Rating: 4 1/2 Stars
Source: Free copy from Ligonier Ministries. I chose to read and review.
The term "born again" is one of the most misunderstood and misused terms in defining a Christian, both in the church and in the secular world.
It is considered an evangelical term; subsequently, I'm not sure how a person of any church denomination can ignore Jesus' conversation with Nicodemus in John chapter 3.
R.C. Sproul explains, "a person is born again and then they become a Christian." A person does not become a Christian first and then later is "born again." A person is "born again" once, and it is a work of "regeneration."
What is regeneration?
- It is a work of God.
- It "procedes faith."
- It is"permanent."
- It is a "mystery" brought about "by the Holy Spirit."
- Reading the Bible, studying the Bible, praying, "all sharpen our vision." To "sharpen our vision" means we are growing spiritually in Christ Jesus.
The only place in the book where I had a difference of an opinion with, is where Sproul pointed out the error of how people express being "born again." I believe most Christians use the term "I've been born again," because it is the best way they know how to explain what has happened to them. They do not understand all the mechanics of what has happened, they are grasping at words to define what's happened.
At age ten I became a Christian, I'd been in Sunday school and church since the beginning of my life. My parents were Sunday school teachers. We talked about the Bible in our home. I did not understand a lot of things about being a Christian even through I'd been thoroughly counseled. I slowly (more like a slug) moved with the crowd that held other Christians, very little spiritual growth. At age thirty a life event left me devastated, and I grasped hold of Bible reading because it was a lifeline. This was not a one time Bible reading and then was left on the sidelines, it is a major part of my life. Daily Bible reading, devotional time, prayer time, has continued. In my thirties and forties I became active in Bible Study Fellowship, Precepts, Beth Moore and Anne Graham Lotz studies. Reading through the Bible every year and memorizing Scripture began in my early forties. Most recent is praying over Scripture. It has been a lengthy process of "growing up in respect to my salvation." See 1 Peter 2:2.
I fully agree with Sproul that it is through Bible reading and study, and prayer, that a persons "vision sharpens"--spiritual maturity takes place. Unless a Christian reads and studies the Bible, they will never move beyond the "newborn" place at first belief.
P.S. I know the Lord allowed the painful life event in my life because it caused me to depend on Him, it led me to read and study the Bible, prayer time became a continuous conversation with Him, spiritual growth began and is continuing, and being a Christian was no longer an abstract term but is a testimony of what Jesus Christ has done in my life.
A favorite quote:
"Regeneration is a spiritual reality that takes place inside a person transforming that person, but it is invisible, just like the wind."Free on Kindle.