Greetings, brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series where we seek to
explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years, the heavenly
Father has revealed many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them with you. This
morning we analyze the born again experience.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
An Analysis of the Born Again Experience
"Jesus answered and said unto him, 'Verily, verily I say unto thee, except a man be born again,
he cannot see the kingdom of God.'" John, Chapter 3, Verse 3.
Psychological Conversion: A snake sheds its skin and emerges with only the capacity to become a
larger snake. The snake is the same creature.
Spiritual Conversion: A caterpillar emerges from his cocoon a butterfly. The butterfly is an entirely
Brothers and sisters, the spiritual phenomenon of being born again is an amazing achievement
whereby a material creature possesses himself of the capacity and ability to perceive spiritual reality,
to perceive spiritual truth, beauty, and goodness. This is the state the prophets of old longed for but
could not realize. It was not until the Divine Son, Jesus, incarnated in the flesh, came and made this
transformation possible. When divinity assumes humanity, inherent in such a state is the truth that
humanity can become divine. When Nicodemus came to visit Jesus he was bewildered when Jesus
told him he had to be born again. Jesus said "Verily, verily, I say to you, Nicodemus, except a man
be born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God." Then replied Nicodemus: "But how can
a man be born again when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be
born." Nicodemus did not know how to submit his will to the Father's will. It is only in the born
again experience that humanity possesses the necessary insight and wisdom to continue to live on
earth. This Son of man and Son of God renders to Caesar the things that are Caesar and to God the
things that are God. That is, he does not confuse the material with the spiritual, quantity with quality,
"for the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but joy, peace, and righteousness in the Holy Spirit."
In our present age rampant emotionalism is associated with spiritual rebirth. An emotional
experience has been substituted in the place of a genuine spiritual experience. But we shall see that
emotionalism--though sometimes associated with the spiritual experience of rebirth--is not the
spiritual experience of being born again. The riverbed is not the river. The born again experience is
one in which by faith the believer submits to doing the Father's will, to becoming Godlike. And all
who have undergone this experience emerge with the consistent desire to do good to others, to
divinely love. "By their fruit shall you know them." Let us look at the factors that go into this
Prior to the born again experience, the soil has already being prepared. A moral nature in conjunction
with the divine spirit creates the soul. Now this soul is in embryonic form upon its conception. The
task is for this soul to grow and develop to the point whereby it can discern and respond to spiritual
reality. Prior to this, the soul is dormant. The self does not comprehend spiritual reality. But in
choosing good over evil, the soul begins to mature to the point whereby it can be born again.
Spiritual choices are also moral as well as being spiritual.
The transition from an embryonic soul to a conscious soul begins only with the desire to do God's
will, the desire to become perfect even as the Heavenly Father is perfect. This desire is the response
to the impulse of the hunger for truth and the thirst for righteousness. These are initiated by the
divine spirit already living within the mind and soul of the individual. Under the super fertilizer of
the Spirit of Truth and the stimulus of the Father's spirit, when this desire and faith reach a certain
point, the soul "wakes up" and immediately begins to display the fruits of the spirit. Now the spiritual
baby does not come forth fully matured, but just as the material man recognizes the material baby,
so does the spiritual man recognize the spiritual baby. The characteristics are unmistakable. It is as
if a spigot of water is suddenly turned on; the water pressure may not be at full throttle but water still
comes out. Likewise with the fruits of the spirit displayed by this new spiritual baby; the completely
mature quality of spiritual fruits may not be evident but some are clearly recognizable. The believer
begins to recognize the difference between human self righteousness and divine self righteousness
and immediately seeks forgiveness.
This seeking of forgiveness is the process whereby we enter the kingdom of heaven, and it proceeds
in this fashion:
"Faith is the price you pay for entrance into the family of God; but forgiveness is the act of God
which accepts your faith as the price of admission. And the reception of the forgiveness of God by
a kingdom believer involves a definite and actual experience and consists in the following four steps,
the kingdom steps of inner righteousness:
"God's forgiveness is made actually available and is personally experienced by man just in so far as
he forgives his fellows." This forgiveness by God is necessary to remove the consciousness of sin
and the love of evil from the mind, and from the human point of view causes the self to abandon all
claims of wrongdoing of his brothers and sisters. This final step is the final cleansing of the mind
and soul of the believer.
"Man will not truly forgive his fellows unless he loves them as himself." This condition grows out
of the truth that all men have the same spiritual Father, and thus are related to each other as brothers
and sisters. It is the Father's love that is received by the believer that then spreads to his brothers and
sisters, which causes him to love them as he loves himself.
"To thus love your neighbor as yourself is the highest ethics."
"Moral conduct, true righteousness, becomes, then, the natural result of such love." The believer
displays what he is, thus it requires no strain to do that which comes naturally for him.
"It therefore is evident that the true and inner religion of the kingdom unfailingly and increasingly
tends to manifest itself in practical avenues of social service." Thus it becomes evident that the born
again experience is not an emotional one, but rather is a genuine spiritual experience brought about
by the desire and faith of the believer. Admittedly, there may be emotional and other psychological
components involved in the experience, but these are a reaction to the spiritual experience rather than
a manifestation of it. The manifestation is the sustained display of the fruits of the spirit. And this
advanced state of the son of man and the son of God is to be had simply by the sincere desire and
faith in response to the call of Jesus: to be perfect even as the heavenly Father is perfect.
This concludes today's message on understanding the born again experience. We hope you find
something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day.
Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry.