While talking with a friend about being being born again, he asked whether a person could be born again again. Huh? It’s the question of whether we can be born again more than once. Born again again. It’s a good question, going to the heart of God’s power and plan…
35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. 37 All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”
44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.
47 Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life.
John 6:35-40, 44, 47
To be fair to all, there is some divergent thought on this topic. I will only tell you what the Bible says 😉 and if you want to know what the others believe, click here for an explanation of alternative views.
Seriously, I have firm convictions on this topic which I get from John 6 with a little help from Ephesians 1 and Romans 8. And remember when Jesus met Nicodemus at night in John 3? When Jesus told Nicodemus that he needed to be born again, Nicodemus’ response is helpful in our dialogue today. He answered Jesus, “How can someone be born when they are old? Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!” (John 3:4).
Precisely. We cannot be physically born again. We can, however, be spiritually born, as we have been reviewing this week. Once spiritually born, however, how could we enter the womb a second time to be spiritual born again again? I don’t think we can. And here’s why…
Paul defines our relationship with the Spirit of God as a seal and a down-payment or deposit: “When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory,” (Ephesians 1:13-14).
God has made the deposit for us and in us. To think that anything could erase God’s seal and deposit (especially anything we have done or might do) seems to show a lack of faith in God and an overconfidence in the power of humans. Just as salvation is a gift from God which cannot be earned (Ephesians 2:8-9), the loss of salvation correspondingly ought not to be earned either.
In fact, we have the encouragement that nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Jesus, and the list of things which we might think could separate us is long:
38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
To put these ideas in context, John paints the picture for us in John 6 that the Father in heaven gives people to the Son Jesus. Everyone person whom the Father gives to Jesus come to Jesus (which is powerful and interesting to consider another day) and (wait for it), none of the people the Father gives to Jesus are lost. In other words, the spiritual birth, including the down-payment of the Spirit in our lives, is permanent and unshakable.
The future for the children of God (who are born of God spiritually) is that Jesus will raise them up on the last day. How many of them? All of them. How many are lost? None! So can I be born again again? In order for that to happen, I would need to go from being spiritually alive back to being spiritually dead… and God has assured us that this will not happen.
If you are born again, you are spiritually alive forever. It’s guaranteed by God. If you are not born again, why not respond to God with faith in Jesus today and he will make you spiritually alive even now!