Understanding The “Born Again” Experince

The problem is not that we are not good enough to get to heaven, as though entry was determined by the balance of our good deeds versus our bad deeds. That’s not it at all. The problem is that we are born in a FALLEN state. Contrary to the saying that we are born with a blank slate, the truth is the opposite. We are born with a fallen human nature prone to sin. Put two young children together in a room with one toy, and you’ll see the fallen human nature readily. Oftentimes one of the first words a child learns is “no!” Getting his own way is the priority in many a young child’s life. Some behavior modification can train some of these traits away, but the fact remains that the person has a fallen nature and no amount of training or discipline will change that. If you manage to curb one bad habit, another will take its place. It’s just human nature. 

Where did this fallenness come from? 

We need to review some of the information presented in earlier posts on this site.

Why is the creation no longer “good?”

God did not create the world as it is today. In fact, after every thing that he created he said it was “good.” So …what happened?

God told the first human beings that he created that they had total freedom to partake of any of the trees growing in the lush garden that they enjoyed, except that they were forbidden to take of the “tree of knowledge of good and evil.” No, folks, it wasn’t an apple tree. It was a tree whose fruit would change their nature.  

They were fine with that, when along came the very enemy of God, an archangel named Satan, a being who desperately hates God and all that God loves, and this enemy told these two human beings that God lied to them. He told them that God doesn’t want them to know what he knows, but that if they would just taste of the fruit of that tree then they would be “as God.” 

They tried it. They took the fruit.

Jesus has said that Satan is a liar, and “the FATHER of LIES.”

“You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to
do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth,
because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his
own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.”  
John 8:44

The origin of all sin is belief in a lie. And that is the chief method that Satan uses to this day, to keep people away from God. He presents God as a harsh dictator and he lures people to sin by making sinful things look “good.” But it’s all a lie. And it leads to damnation.

This is why Jesus came. He came to SAVE fallen mankind from damnation. But one group in particular is left out — and that’s those who are righteous in their own eyes. If a man feels good about himself, if he considers himself a good person, then he will not recognize that he is a sinner and he will not realize he needs a Savior. He’s sick to the core, but he has managed to cover over that fact and convince himself that all’s well. In this category of humanity will be found the very religious. More than most, the religious person feels that because he does religious things, rituals, rites, practices, traditions …that he’s a good person. It’s very difficult to make a religious person realize that he is a fallen human being on his way to hell. Jesus came to save him from that, but getting him to recognize his need is almost impossible.

“Jesus answered and said to them,” 
 ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician,
  but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous,
  but sinners, to repentance.’”   Luke 5:31-32

He didn’t come for the righteous, they think they have no need. Concerning the self-made person with everything going for him, it will be very difficult for such a one to be “born again.”

Being born again requires that a person come to the end of himself and realize the truth about himself. If there is one element above all that keeps people from the Lord, it is “the pride of life.” Persons who are successful will hardly recognize their need. It is to the broken that the Lord comes.

“Then Jesus said to his disciples,
 ‘Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man
  to enter the kingdom of heaven.'”   Matthew 19:23

He wasn’t speaking only of material riches, obviously there are rich people who are saved. No, he’s speaking of those who are so well that they don’t realize their poverty.