Hope for Today

You are here:

What is Faith? – Part 4: How to Live After Being Born Again

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Email
Print

Hello everyone, thank you so much for joining me on the Hope for Today broadcast. I’m your host Doran Wengerd – Founder of Wengerd Ministries – where we are Delivering Hope to Every Heart.

I’m continuing the series today called “Hope in the Spirit”, I want to talk about something today that can very easily be overlooked or at least misunderstood as people learn about becoming “Born Again”.

I’ve titled this message today: The Truth about Dying

Now, I know we’ve talked before about the fact that we are given the Righteousness of Jesus when we accept the free gift of salvation. This all happens when we believe the message of Jesus by Faith.

But…what exactly happens at that point, and what is our responsibility from that moment on? What does it mean to Truly be Born Again? This is not really as complicated as it may seem at times, but there are things we do need to understand to go deeper.

All people are born in SIN from the moment they enter the world. This is not because of something that any of us did to deserve but simply a result of what happened with Adam and Eve at the beginning of time.

Let’s begin in Genesis 2:8-9

Gen 2:8
The LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed.

Gen 2:9
And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

So we see that every tree was growing there, but 2 trees are specifically mentioned as special and significant. They were the Tree of Life, and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

Now, let’s skip down to verses 15-17

Gen 2:15
Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.

Gen 2:16
And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat;

Gen 2:17
“but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

Notice here that God only had 1 rule for Adam. He said “You can eat of every tree in the Garden and enjoy the fruit of it, but you can NOT eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil”

It was this one simple rule that tested the heart of mankind to see if he indeed would love God completely and obey everything HE had said.

Now, if we go to chapter 3 we can see what happened. Let’s read Genesis 3:1-7

Gen 3:1
Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”

Gen 3:2
And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden;

Gen 3:3
“but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ”

Gen 3:4
Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.

Gen 3:5
“For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Gen 3:6
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.

Gen 3:7
Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.

Now, let’s look back again at what God said would happen in Genesis 2:17

Gen 2:17
“but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

So, what happened when they ate? Did they die…? Or, did God lie about what would happen…? It sure seems like they kept living because they didn’t just fall over dead.

I want to describe to you the literal meaning of what God said in this verse. God said literally, “In the day that you eat of it……Dying, you shall Die!” The original Hebrew has a double use of the same word “DIE”, which describes a double death that would happen.

The first death is a spiritual death, which is still the same effect of SIN that we experience today. It is not that your spirit ceases to exist, but rather that it is separated from God. The second death is a physical one that happens as a result of the spiritual separation from God.

This second death begins with the aging process that is a natural result of being born in SIN. I believe that Jesus came to redeem our bodies, and even aging should have less and less power over us the more we spend time in HIM (but we’ll talk more about that later…)

When their spirits experienced separation from God, they immediately became fearful and they hid themselves from each other and from God. This is the same tendency that we have when we find ourselves in sin of any kind.

I want you to look again now at Genesis 3:7. Notice the first word there is the word “Then”. That shows us that immediately when they ate of the fruit, something very significant happened. Let’s read that verse again.

Gen 3:7
Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.

The word “THEN” is our clue that the moment the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil slid down their throats, their spirits literally disconnected from God, and their bodies began the aging process. Dying (spiritually), they shall surely Die (physically).

James 2:26 describes this same thing.

James 2:26
For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

James is saying this as a matter of common knowledge, but I’m not sure it is as commonly understood as it was then. He is basically saying, “When your spirit leaves your body, it will die physically”.

This is why the redemption from Jesus absolutely MUST be accepted while we are alive. If we die physically in a state of spiritual separation from God, we are lost forever!!

However, if we die physically but our spirits have been “Born Again” into spiritual connection once more with God, we go immediately into Him and into His presence.

I do NOT say this however, that DEATH should ever be viewed as our savior. Death was never in God’s plan, and it is still not in His plan. Remember John 10:10

John 10:10
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

God can only ever bring LIFE, because He is LIFE. Every connection with God will cause us to LIVE.

There are several other verses that I’m sure you’ve heard or read before, but I have almost always heard them used in context with dying physically.

I’m sure these verses do apply to dying physically, but look closely as we read and notice that Paul talks about mortality being swallowed up by LIFE….not by death. There is another meaning here that we have been missing in what Paul was describing.

Let’s read 2 Corinthians 5:4-8

2Co 5:4
For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life.

2Co 5:5
Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

2Co 5:6
So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord.

2Co 5:7
For we walk by faith, not by sight.

2Co 5:8
We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.

When we know the TRUTH about Death, we no longer fear it, because the physical death has no power over us any more. Why do we have to be dead to be in the presence of the Lord?

Paul actually had this happen multiple times while he was alive. His spirit would literally leave his body and he was caught up into the presence of the Lord. I don’t think we should make this the only meaning, but we should not limit our understanding from this happening.

So, what does it mean in Genesis 3:7 when it says, “the eyes of both of them were opened…”? What “eyes” is this referring to?

I believe we have 2 completely separate sets of eyes that we can see with. The eyes that were opened when they sinned were the physical eyes of their bodies. Up to this point they saw everything through the eyes of their spirits. This means they could see all things spiritual and physical together.

When their physical eyes were opened they could no longer connect to the spirit world. That is why they didn’t know they were naked up to this point. The view they had of each other was of the purity and perfection in the spirit.

Look how Paul describes our spirit eyes in Ephesians 1:18

Eph 1:18
the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,

He calls them the “eyes of your understanding” because we literally have spiritual eyes, which bring understanding when we are able to see clearly with them. The beginning of this happens during dreams, and visions, and times with the Lord….when you begin to see things in your heart.

Now do you remember 2 Corinthians 5:16-17

2Co 5:16
Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer.

2Co 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

This SIN of Adam separates every human from God, but everyone still has a deep desire to be reconnected to God. This is the message that God has given us to take to the world.

Be reconciled to God and be Born Again spiritually. Have the eyes of your heart and understanding opened to see as you were created to see. And take that message of reconnecting with God to the lost and physically dying people around you.

This is THE GREAT EXCHANGE:

Jesus took what we deserved and DIED in our place, so that we could get what he deserved and LIVE forever connected with God from this moment throughout all of eternity!!

Now that’s GOOD NEWS!!!

AMEN!

Thanks for listening, and God Bless you!

“Now may the God of Hope fill you with all Joy and Peace in BELIEVING, that you may ABOUND in Hope by the power of the Holy Spirit”

Other Videos

From Seed to Fruit

On this HOPE For Today Bible Study episode, Doran discusses the importance of planting seeds with an understanding of God’s will on your life.

Read More »