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In summary, from Scripture we find that the answer is no, however there is great benefit if a person continues to ‘knock at the door’, believing the gospel and turning to G-d – by doing His commandments, with their repentance and baptism (immursion) in water (ref. Matthew 5:6, Romans 3:28, 3:31).
It is hoped that this explanation is quite helpful – as without being born again Scripture states a person cannot see the Kingdom of God:
Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again. ”
John 3:3 NIV
Table Of Contents
■ What We Know
■ Brief Summary
■ You’re Not Sinning, They Are
■ Why Does Isaiah Say It Is Terror For A Believer To Understand What This Overwhelming Spiritual Scourge Means?
■ Why Can’t A Believer Overcome this Scourge?
■ Encouragement To All Believers
Let us now read and review how this was arrived at;
‘…He gave us birth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures.’
(James 1:18 NASB2020)
There is a consistent theme and trait among believers in the Holy Scriptures;
• nolonger being a slave to the sinful desires one naturally has and also inherits.
Verses like the one above might be read and then mistakenly be interpreted by some as meaning ‘some are born again here (John 3:3, 3:6-7), and then some are born again later above in the new heaven and new earth after they die’.
– Such would be an incorrect interpretation and let us now see why.
What Do We Know?
What we know is that God’s Law (the law of Moses, which consists of the famous Ten Commmandments and the rest) – is spiritual (ref. Romans 7:14).
A person who’s mind is set on the flesh, therefore cannot submit themself [fully] to it;
because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
Romans 8:7-8 NASB2020
This means that such a person will sadly be living in sin, in some way – despite them even claiming to be faithfully observant.
For example, they could still be involved in foreign worship / idolatry – e.g. worshiping the beast (devil/serpant/beezlebub), and the fruit that comes of such forbidden practice is further wanton sin (e.g. sexual immorality, liars etc. ref. Revelation 21:8).
Scripture tells us that if we are born again believing in Christ (Messiah), we cannot go on deliberately sinning – rather a believer has ‘died’ to sin;
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? Far from it! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?
Romans 6:1-2 NASB2020
Scripture goes on to confirm this by stating that those born of God (ref. John 14:1), are freed from slavery to sin and any desire of it.
Scripture confirms that this freedom is a process, by using words and phrases such as believers are ‘conformed’ to the image of God’s Son (ref. Romans 8:28).
This being freed from sinful desire and slavery to evil deeds, occurs by God giving believers His Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh) – and it is this recieving of the Holy Spirit that means a person will live forever, upon ressurection, should they continue in the way of the LORD;
For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
Romans 8:13 ESV
This ability and desire to walk in God’s good commandments and statutes is spoken of in the Tanach (Old Testament);
And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.
Ezekiel 36:26-27 ESV
Scriptures confirming that this newness and freedom from the slavery of sin, can be only recieved by believing in Christ (Messiah), are listed sequentially as follows; Isaiah 42:6, 49:8, Jer 31:31, Isaiah 28:16, 28:18, Ephesians 2:20, John 3:16.
Holy Scripture says that being born again and in turn putting the sinful deeds of the flesh to death, now, is vital as whatever we gain or are freed of here (good or bad traits and habbits), is what is secured for existence after death;
Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Matthew 18:18 ESV.
The encouragement and exhortation to a person who is not born again, tangled in sin is to stop sinning, stop forbidden practices – it says;
‘… ‘Come out of her, my people,’ so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues;’
(Revelation 18:4 NIV)
This should all briefly confirm and establish what the Holy Scriptures say about the matter of being born again in this life now, and how it means a believer can be free of slavery to, and desire of sin – and gain everlasting life.
We know this as, if a person has not put sin to death in the flesh by way of G-d’s Holy Spirit – it says they will eventually perish (ref. Romans 8:13, John 3:16).
This is all taken soberly, on the understanding that even the most faithfully righteous disciples could not observe all of the Law flawlessly – so they continued to believe for grace upon ressurection (Acts 15:8-11). This belief however is not free licence to relax commandmets and sin though (ref. Matthew 5:19-20).
What else is there to consider with regard to this topic?
You’re Not Sinning, They Are;
In another article, the spiritual phenomenon known as the ‘overwhelming scourge’ (ref. Isaiah 28:18 ESV) is touched upon.
‘…‘Whoever believes will not be in haste.’ Then your covenant with death will be annulled… when the overwhelming scourge passes through, you will be beaten down by it…. it will pass through, by day and by night; and it will be sheer terror to understand the message.’
(Isaiah 28:16, 28:18-19 ESV)
This affects those who understand the gospel message (believers) and what the scourge actually means (ref. Isaiah 28:19 ESV/NASB).
This overwhelming scourge, is what the apostle Paul speaks of in Romans 7 – it is a spiritual force (ref. Romans 7:23; ‘another law’/phenomenon emerging that a believer is conscious of) which makes one sin;
‘…I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.’
(Romans 7:23 ESV)
So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
Romans 7:17 ESV
Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?
Romans 7:24 ESV
So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.
Romans 7:21 ESV
‘…I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
(Romans 7:25 ESV)
Despite Romans 7:24 (above) confirming this spiritual overwhelming scourge means that a believer is infact not sinning, and then verse 25 confirming that it is instead the weak manipulatable body of flesh which is sinning seperate to the believer; Ephesians 6:12 brings this home further.
Ephesians 6:12 also confirms that a believer does not struggle with his flesh, rather it then expounds and states a believer struggles against the people of the world who wield these dark ‘powers’, spiritual wickedness, which then causes the body of the believer to sin;
For we wrestle not against [our own] flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Ephesians 6:12 KJV (with explanation in [brackets])
Why Does Isaiah Say It Is Terror For A Believer To Understand What This Overwhelming Spiritual Scourge Means?
‘…when the overwhelming scourge passes through, you will be beaten down by it…. it will take you;… and it will be sheer terror to understand the message.’
(Isaiah 28:18-19 ESV)
Because a believer essentially cannot totally overcome or be freed of this external spiritual provocation and torment – when it comes, until G-d allows it;
‘it will take you; for morning by morning it will pass through, by day and by night…’
(Isaiah 28:19 ESV)
Why Can’t A Believer Overcome this Scourge?
The access to such spiritual wickedness is via devil worship, and is therefore not permitted according to Torah Law;
Thou shalt have none other gods before [except for] me.
Deuteronomy 5:7 KJV (with explanation in [brackets]).
This is dark spiritual power (power of the air) and how it is linked to the devil (prince of the power of the air), is spoken of in verses such as;
‘…the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.’
(Ephesians 2:2 NASB2020)
‘You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning… there is no truth in him…. for he is a liar and the father of lies.’
(John 8:44 NIV)
‘…by Beelzebul…do your sons cast them out…’
(Contextual excerpt of Matthew 12:27 NASB2020)
Holy Scripture states that trials and persecution are fruitful for a believer and their traits;
And not only this, but we also celebrate in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;
Romans 5:3-4 NASB2020
It also speaks of the need to keep those who ‘understand the message’ (ref. Isaiah 28:19 ESV), humble, weak and yet strong;
‘…because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.’
(2 Corinthians 12:7, 12:10 NIV)
We also see an increased yearning for what is good, when amidst such trouble;
‘So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good….
I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.
Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!… I myself serve the law of God with my mind…’
(Romans 7:12, 7:18, 7:24-25 ESV)
Scripture thus indicates that to an extent, this scourge acts as a forging type of mechanism in a believer, and though they cannot overpower the scourge at it’s extremes – Scripture says;
‘…“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”…’
(2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV)
Encouragement To All Believers;
But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
Matthew 24:13 ESV
‘If you do well, will you not be accepted?.. sin is crouching at the door… you must rule over it.”’
(Genesis 4:7 ESV)
‘…To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.’
(Revelation 21:6-7 ESV)
‘And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,… “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among the people, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them , and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”’
(Revelation 21:2-4 NASB2020)
Hoping it is fruitful.
May the Holy G-d bless you beyond maximum, believing in His risen Son the Lord Jesus Christ (Adonai Yehoshua HaMoshiach). Amen.