Back to Back Issues Page
Wordwise Insight, Issue #149
December 14, 2016


BIBLE INSIGHTS (and Reader Q & A): Is the new birth the only way to gain eternal salvation?

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

DO YOU HAVE A QUESTION? See below for how to send it to us.


Are you finding Wordwise helpful? And do you have your own website? We would be delighted if you would provide a link on your site to ours. This will enable your friends to find us too! Check the page on the Wordwise website called "Link to Us," and follow the simple instructions. Click on Link to Us.

? ? ?

LIKE TO ASK A QUESTION? On a Bible topic or passage of Scripture? Or one about a hymn or gospel song? Click on Questions from You.


Being Born Again

[In spite of the atmosphere of sarcasm in the comments, and the writer's errors at various points, he expresses a valid concern, so I tried to give him a clear answer.]

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?

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?

If you attend a Baptist/evangelical worship service, you will hear this: "You must be born again: you must make a decision for Christ. You must ask Jesus into your heart. You must pray to God and ask him to forgive you of your sins, come into your heart, and be your Lord and Saviour (the Sinner's Prayer)."

For this, you must be an older child or adult who has the mental capacity to make a decision to believe, to make a decision to repent, and to make a decision to ask Jesus into your heart.

It is very strange, however, that other than "you must be born again" none of this terminology is anywhere to be found in the Bible! Why use this non-biblical terminology when discussing salvation? Maybe "accepting Christ into your heart" is not what being born again really means. Maybe making a "decision" for Christ is not how God saves sinners!

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 ...

(To read the remainder of this article, click on Being 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.

Back to Back Issues Page