This week I’ve spent a lot of time pondering the principle of becoming born again. The question that I’ve struggled with is whether the experience is an event or a process.
The first thing to recognize is that, as far as I am aware, the scriptures never refer to becoming born again, experiencing the mighty change of heart, the baptism of fire, or becoming a Son and Daughter of Christ as a process. The scriptural pattern is always an event.
What confuses the issue is the process of sanctification and conflating it too closely with the baptism of fire. Although they are both principles of the same transformative process it is important to understand their purposes separately.
The baptism of fire is the cleansing and transformative experience of receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost when one fully repents, commits to whole-hearted obedience, and is willing to sacrifice all for the redemptive power of Jesus Christ.
The fruits of having one’s baptism of fire is that the natural man is neutralized by becoming a Son or Daughter of God. One loses their disposition to do evil. They feel a pure love for all people and a desire to bless the lives of all they encounter. They thirst and hunger after righteousness. They cannot wait to study the scriptures and they immerse themselves in them.
The person that is born again loves to pray and worship the Savior. They desire that all partake of the love and forgiveness of Christ. It becomes the primary motivation and desire of their lives. They lose a taste and desire of the things of the world.
The process of sanctification is the process that we engage in after we are born again. Since the fruits of being born again will always fade, one must be in the constant discipline of sanctifying themselves. This process of sanctification leads them to deeper and more fundamental experiences in the Spirit. It is the process of receiving revelation and the continuous purification of heart.
As we are invited to endure to the end, it is my feeling that that is an invitation to endure to the end in a state of redemption. In a state of grace.
It does not mean “white knuckling it” as an active member of the church. It is to learn to endure as a Son or Daughter of God.
Being born again is being in a state of grace. It is living in a state of redemption. The power, love, light, revelation, and knowledge of Christ flows through your being. It is to experience a fundamental change in your disposition. It is to become like Christ.