You Cannot Be Born Again Without First Dying to Self

In an earlier article, I had touched on the importance of being born again as a condition for inheriting eternal life (Proof text — John 3:3 [NLT; with emphasis mine]: “Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.””). Now, let me show you what it means to be born again.

However, a person cannot be born again, unless he/she first dies:

For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:3; New American Standard Bible; emphasis mine)

You might ask, “What do you mean to say that I must die? Are you asking me to commit suicide?

No! (and God forbid that you attempt suicide!) It is to self that you must die of, as the Aramaic Bible in Plain English version of Colossians 3:3 makes clear: “For you have died to yourselves and your lives are hidden with The Messiah in God.” (emphais mine)

The specifics of what this entails is detailed for us further in the chapter:

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.[b] You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. (Colossians 3:5-10; NIV)

In addition, you need to die to the things of this world:

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. (Colossians 3:2; ESV)

But you might protest and say: “What you ask is very difficult to do!

Indeed, it is, which is exactly why the Lord Jesus Christ told those who wished to be His disciple to “count the cost“:

26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. 27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? 29 lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, 30 saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. 31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. 33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:26-33; Authorised KJV; emphasis mine)


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