Why do we have to be born again?
Isn't this supposed to be a life in which we go from doing bad things to doing good things?
The Bible does not say that Jesus came to make bad men good, but rather to make dead men live.
"The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." (John 10: 10)
Point of fact, man has two problems.
He has sin:
9What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;
10As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
11There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
12They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one." (Romans 3: 9-12)
If you do not believe this, then review the Ten Commandments, and find that you do not measure up.
It was designed that way:
"19Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin." (Romans 3: 19-20)
We are dead, separated from God, because of sin:
"1And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. 4But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: " (Ephesians 2: 1-5)
We are dead because we are separated from God the Father:
"12Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: 13(For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
15But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. 16And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. 17For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)" (Romans 5: 12-17)
Adam sinned, and through His sin we have all died. Yet Christ the second Adam came, that through Him we may all live. And not only live, but live abundantly.
I want to focus everyone on Romans 5: 17. The King James Version does not bring out the fullness and constant abundance of this passage:
"for if by the offence of the one the death did reign through the one, much more those, who the abundance of the grace and of the free gift of the righteousness are receiving, in life shall reign through the one -- Jesus Christ." (Romans 5: 17, Youngs Literal Translation)
The Amplified Bible is even more emphatic:
"For if because of one man’s trespass (lapse, offense) death reigned through that one, much more surely will those who receive [God’s] overflowing grace (unmerited favor) and the free gift of righteousness [putting them into right standing with Himself] reign as kings in life through the one Man Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One)." (Romans 5: 17. AMP)
For this, David wrote:
"5Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over." (Psalm 23: 5). And this picture of never-ending abundance speaks of God's grace. And blessed enough, David speaks of this superabundance in the fifth verse, and five is the number of grace!
Later, Paul will write:
"There is therefore now no condemnation in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8: 1)
None, not a bit.
Yet our bodies will sense reproach, there will still be reverberations of sin and shame in our bodies and in our minds. Yet sin in the flesh has also be crucified (Romans 8: 3)
So, even when we get angry, or frustrated, or fearful, we can rest in peace and grace, knowing that these upsets are not us, for we walk in the Spirit!
For this reason, Paul then writes:
"1I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." (Romans 12: 1-2)
We need to renew our minds, receiving God's grace and righteousness at all times, that no matter how many times we may fail, the grace of God works in us and we receive His righteousness because of all that Christ Jesus has done for us at the Cross.
Reject reproach of any kind, and receive Christ Jesus every day!