Want Some Answers ???
Hi Nicodemus, You wrote,
>>Re: Command to be born again! What do you mean by this?<<
Jesus gave the 'command', so what did He mean? Since, "All our righteous acts are as filthy rags" in God's sight [Isa.64:6]. And all mankind in Adam are "Dead in sins" [Eph.2:1]. In Christ, all can be 'made alive'. But only those born into God's family. I had a physical birth, when I was born into my earthly father's family. We all need a spiritual birth to be born into God's family. "Only a few would welcome and receive Him. But to all who receive Him, He gave the right to become children of God. All they needed to do was to trust Him to save them. All those who believe this are reborn - not a physical rebirth from human passion or plan - but from the will of God" (Jn.1.12-13). Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again... Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again." [Jn.3:3,6-7].
>>It cannot mean believing that Yeshua gave His life for us; as He was very much alive, when He Himself gave the instruction.<<
Peter also refers the new birth (1 Pe.1.23) and the young babies growing, "Crave pure spiritual milk so that you can grow into the fullness of your salvation. Cry out for this nourishment as a baby cries for milk". (2:1–3). Paul refers to the new birth (Rom.8:15-16 1 Cor.2:12, Gal.3:2-3 Titus 3.5). And John (1 Jn2.29 2.2,9). It directly relates to "believing that Yeshua gave His life for us". 'God demonstrates his love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Yeshua gave His life for us" (see Rom.5.8). "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God" [2 Cor.5:21]. God made a swap [imputation]. He imputed our sin to Christ and His righteous to us. Christ suffered death in our place and paid the penalty we had incurred.
Paul writes concerning God's children, "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his" [Rom. 8:9]. If you do not have God's Spirit you are not a child of God but unregenerate and lost in sin. That's why you need is a spiritual birth, not a religious system of rules with no guarantee of salvation.
>>It take it that you are one of those believers who take the approch that any text will do. Come on 1 rightly divide the word of truth, and prove yourself a workman of God .<<
I'm would rather the bible speak for itself, than have John Thomas or Robert Roberts govern how its read. Those who 'rightly divided scripture' escape the error of Thomas.
Hi Nicodemus, you write,
>>But it still does not imply that you have to believe the Yeshua [most of you cannot even get His name right] died.<<
Of course it does. The bible says, "if thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus as Lord, and shalt believe in thy heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved" (Rom.10.9). To believe God raised Him from the dead, one must 'believe' He "died". The Old Testament sacrifices reveal God would make a complete payment for sin and prove it by raising Christ from the dead.
By His blood ALONE God can wash away sin, not by human effort. While this seems foolish to you, to me it’s the power of God. If you are not born again (converted) you won't "enter" or even "see" the kingdom of God (Jn.1.12-13). Without this conversion, years of striving mean nothing. Without God's Spirit within, one is not a Christian [Jn.3:3 Rom.8:9]. Such unregenerate people can never have assurance of salvation and "the peace that passeth understanding" which I enjoy [Phil.4:7].
And don't worry, I have 'His name right', "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given... and his NAME shall be called... Mighty God, Everlasting Father..." (Isa.9.6). A name "above all names" (Phil.2.10) "the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ" (Titus 2.13)
>>Only that we had to change the nature of our behaviour, from that of false worship to that of true worship. i.e. Yeshua said of the Pharisees, that they were of there father the devil.<<
But man's 'nature' is "Dead in sins". The dead can't raise themselves by a 'change of behaviour'. "All our righteous acts are as filthy rags" in God's sight [Isa.64:6]. So salvation is a free gift, not from effort - "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast" [Eph.2:8-9]. The gift is given, "to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is reckoned for righteousness" (Rom.4.5). And only those washed clean, with the Holy Spirit can offer true worship (Jn4.23).
'The Pharisees' were trying 'to change' behaviour which would stop others from entering the kingdom. They were "hypocrites" because they "cleanse the outside of the cup but within" were unclean (Mt.23.25). They were "blind" by refusing to "cleanse the inside of the cup first, so the outside may become clean also" (Mt.23.25-26). The new birth is a washing clean (Titus 3.5). Without this washing and cleansing within, you are unclean to God & dead in sins.
The 'new birth' is not an end time event or received after a life of effort nor a baptism. It's the only way to become a child of God and there are no exceptions. If you are not born again you are not a child of God.
>>I suggest once again that you read the Bible not just odd verses.<<<
And I suggest you 'read the bible' again and forget the likes of Thomas and Roberts. If you are going to ask questions and expect answers, you need to realize the Bible is my yard-stick by which claims are tested. You haven't quoted ONE verse why you "believe" Christ's "death" is unimportant, yet expect to be taken serious. To accuse me of not reading or rightly dividing the bible indicates an appalling contradiction on your part.