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Wordwise Insight, Issue #112
December 14, 2013


BIBLE INSIGHTS (and Reader Q & A): Is it necessary to be born again in order to be saved?

WORDWISE HYMNS: My Blog called Wordwise Hymns for you to check out!

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Born Again

(Is it necessary to be born again?)

Note: I don't often deal with sarcastic comments like this, especially ones that contain numerous errors. But I accepted the challenge, in this case. Perhaps my comments will clear up some questions for others.

QUESTION: If the Baptists and evangelicals are correct, and their "born again" experience is the true and only means of salvation, isn't it odd that the term "born again" is only mentioned three times in the King James Bible? If "making a decision for Christ" is the only means of salvation, why doesn't God mention it more often in his Word? Why only three times? Isn't that really, really odd?

Why is it that the Apostle Paul, the author of much of the New Testament, never uses this term? Why is this term never used in the book of Acts to describe the many mentioned Christian conversions? Why is this term only used by Jesus in a late night conversation with Nicodemus, and by Peter once, in just one letter to Christians in Asia Minor?...

ANSWER: H-m-m… Well, first of all, thank you so much for your thoughtful comments. I certainly agree with some of what you have to say--sort of. I agree that it's possible to use vague or unbiblical terminology when making an evangelistic appeal. Sometimes it just confuses the issue.

One you don't mention is "God be merciful to me a sinner" (Lk. 18:13)–which is actually "the sinner's prayer," a term you apply to something else. It's a good prayer, as far as it goes, but it is pre-Calvary. It describes a repentant Jew appealing to the blood stained mercy seat in the temple. It could literally be rendered, "God be mercy-seated to me a sinner."

I would hope, whatever we tell the unsaved, we direct him to the cross of Christ, and explain that things such as the new birth are ultimately available because our debt of sin has been paid by Christ (Eph. 1:7). Central to the gospel of grace...

(To read the remainder of the article, click on Born Again.


Come and Pay Us a Visit!

I have developed a blog that is called Wordwise Hymns. As the title suggests, it is about hymns, and church music in general.

But as many of you will know, a blog is especially designed to facilitate a conversation on its particular subject. Readers can easily post comments about what they see, and I'm able to reply. I hope you will take part in the discussion!

Through 2010, almanac entries dealt with what happened in hymn history on each day of the year. Beginning in 2011, I hope to analyze hymns from a biblical standpoint, linking to the material that has come before.

My hope is that the blog will add to the value of the website and this newsletter, and promote some profitable exchanges on the subject of sacred music.

What happened on this day in hymnology? To find out, click Wordwise Hymns.

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