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Sunday, February 2, 2014

"Born Again" - What Do Jehovah's Witnesses Believe it Means?

Jehovah’s Witnesses believe everything the Bible teaches about Christ. If anyone did not confess Jesus as
Lord and Savior and demonstrate that confession by their actions they would not be accepted as a Jehovah’s Witnesses.

But when it comes to what it means to be “born again” we must be aware of different definitions. Most people have been taught that being "born again" simply means taking on a new (Christian) life or accepting Jesus as our savior. So, according to that definition Witnesses could answer: "Yes, all Witnesses are born again," since we must accept Christ as our Lord and Savior.

However, Witnesses are very careful to use Scriptural terms in their proper sense, so we would also mention that the Scriptural meaning was a different from this common definition and our belief must agree with that.

In Scripture the term "born again" is only applied to those who have been "adopted" as sons of God and heirs with Christ for a resurrection to the heavens. They are said to be "God's children" in a special sense because of this new and special "adoption" to a heavenly life (1Pet.1:3-4,18-19, 23; Rom.8:13-17; Heb.12:23). These are "born again" because their future is life in the heavenly realm rather than God's original earthly purpose for humankind. This was a new arrangement for humans put in effect only after Christ came to earth. (Jn.1:9-13; Jas. 1:17-18; 2Cor.5:17).

Those who have an earthly hope have no need for a "rebirth" to heavenly life. They are simply God's children in the same way Adam, Abraham and other pre-Christian humans were. They are dedicated to doing God's will for them-- which is to be faithful and fulfill God's original purpose for the earth (Gen.1:28; 2:15; Ps.37:29; Rev.21:3,4).

This is confirmed throughout the Bible. At Mt. 5:5 Christ adopted the words of Ps.37:10,11,29 to show that the future would be a peaceful earth as God originally decreed. Also God’s will would ”be done on Earth as it is in heaven" shows His stated purpose for righteous ones is to live for "eternity on earth."

At Mt 19:28 Jesus spoke of a "regeneration" (PALINGENESIA). It is God's stated purpose "to gather all things together again in the Christ, the things in the heavens and the things on the earth" (Eph.1:10).

Similarly we have the contrast in Rom. 8:19-22 between the "son's of God" who are revealed and the "creation" who also are "children of God." Both groups will gain freedom from sin (1Jn.3:2; 1Cor.15:48-49; Phil.3:20-21).

So the belief in two groups, one with a heavenly future and one with a future on paradise earth is clearly taught in many scriptures. Most religions just ignore the explicit statements by Jesus and the Scriptures which show that most humans will enjoy everlasting life on earth.

Witnesses understand the different nuances between being "born again" and being "born of God." So, unlike other religious writers who do not completely understand the Bible, our literature properly makes a differentiation when the Scriptures are using terms in technical ways and general statements.

Unlike other religions, we accept the strong Scriptural evidence of two groups of Christians both who gain salvation, one spoken of as a limited number who would be "born again" as kings in heaven and then a great multitude of subjects who "inherit the earth." Most religions ignore the explicit statements by Jesus and the Scriptures which show that most humans will enjoy everlasting life on earth (Mt.5:5; 6:10; Ps.37,9,10,29; Isa.66:19-24; 24:1-6; Rev.21:3,4; cf. Jn.3:13; Ac 2:34)

The above is the selected best answer to this question by Bar_Anerges.

Also see:

BORN AGAIN - Links to Information (INDEX; Watchtower Online Library)

BORN AGAIN - What Does It Mean? (w09 4/1 pp. 1-2; Watchtower Online Library)

Being Born Again—The Road to Salvation? (w09 4/1 pp. 3-4; Watchtower Online Library)

Born Again (Search Results From the Watchtower Online Library)


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