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Foundations and the New Birth

Copyright © Andrew J. Shreeve 2009

 

Not laying again the foundations of repentance from dead works, and faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of the resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgement

Hebrews 6:1-2

 

The apostle Paul lists six foundations in the above verses. In this teaching, I will discuss these foundations in the light of the new birth.

 

Repentance from Dead Works: at the heart of the gospel is the truth that our justification before God comes through faith, and not by our own works[1]. If we could be saved through our own good works, or ability to perfectly keep God’s holy laws, it would have been unnecessary for God to manifest himself in human form, by Jesus Christ[2]. Central to the gospel is Jesus Christ taking the penalty for our sins, and we receiving, or appropriating, this remission of our sins through faith in Jesus’ blood[3]. So, to be born again we must cease, or repent, from the idea that we can save ourselves through ‘good works’, and rather base all our faith on the blood of Jesus Christ, which was poured out to take away all our sins.

 

Faith Towards God: God requires every human to exercise faith in His Son Jesus Christ, to be saved from judgement for their sins[4]. God took on human form in the historical person of Jesus Christ. Conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, Jesus of Nazareth lived a sinless life[5]. His death on the cross of Calvary; followed by His descent into hell[6], resurrection from the dead on the third day, and His ascent into heaven to take His blood into the heavenly temple[7], constitute His key actions for the successful redemption of sinful humanity. God has redeemed humanity from their sins through Jesus Christ. For a human to receive this redemption, and escape eternal condemnation, they must exercise faith in what Christ has done on their behalf. When a person exercises this faith towards God they are born again[8].

 

The Doctrine of Baptisms: there are three baptisms: a spiritual baptism into the body of Christ[9]; water baptism, signifying that the spiritual baptism into Christ has taken place[10]; and the baptism with the Holy Spirit[11].

 

When a person is born again their spirit dies and is recreated[12] with Christ. This is a new spiritual creation by God. The new spirit is created as a member of a larger spiritual body – the spiritual body of Christ. The new spirit is created righteous and holy[13]. The new spirit has risen with Christ and is seated with Christ in heaven[14]. The baptism into the body of Christ has placed our spirit ‘in Christ’.

 

Water baptism should only be for those who have been baptised into the body of Christ, and not for small infants as they have no ability to exercise faith. The word ‘baptism’ means to be fully engulfed, or surrounded; therefore water baptism is full immersion in water.

 

The baptism with the Holy Spirit is only for those who have been born again. A pattern for the baptism with the Holy Spirit, in the book of Acts, is for leaders of the church to lay hands upon a believer after water baptism[15].

 

Laying on of Hands: is used to administer the baptism with the Holy Spirit, healing[16], and to pray various blessings on God’s people[17].

 

The Resurrection of the Dead: central to being born again is belief that Jesus Christ rose from the dead on the third day, and is presently alive in heaven[18]. Through faith is Christ we will also be raised from the dead, unto eternal life with God[19].

 

Eternal Judgement: every human is eternal, as we are all created in the likeness of God[20]. After we die, or leave this body, we will all still exist for eternity. Our eternal destination will either be with God, or apart from God. The only way we can be with God is through faith in Jesus Christ, as only through faith in Jesus’ blood can we be made holy, like God[21]. Every person will face eternal judgement by God[22]. God’s judgement will be final and irrevocable[23]. If we have faith in Jesus Christ, God will accept us to be with Him forever. For those who have not accepted Jesus Christ, God will have no option but to reject them (due to God being holy, and their unremitted sin) and they will initially be cast into hell[24]. Eventually the unbeliever will be cast into the lake of fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels[25].

 

Conclusion: through reading this teaching you may have become aware how far many Christian denominations have strayed from foundational biblical truth. It is also sobering to be freshly reminded that those who have not been born again are literally on the highway to hell. It is we who are born again, who are in Christ, who have been charged with the responsibility of reconciling those who are yet to believe on Christ[26].

 

Pray with me; “Father in heaven, thank you that I have been born again. I am not trusting in my good works, but rather in Jesus’ shed blood for the remission of all my sins, and my justification before you. I believe in the work which you have initiated through Jesus Christ, and believe that this work of Christ is able to eternally save me. Thank you that as a born again Christian my spirit is baptised into the spiritual body of Christ. If I am yet to do so, I will seek to be baptised in water and baptised with the Holy Spirit. I believe that Jesus is alive in heaven, and when I die I also will be raised from the dead. Thank you that through faith in Christ my sins are eternally remitted, and I am saved. Help me to reconcile others to Christ, that they may also escape the eternal judgement of their sins. I pray these things in Jesus Christ name, Amen.”


 



[1] Romans 5:1, Ephesians 2:8

[2] Galatians 5:4, 1 Timothy 3:16

[3] Romans 3:25

[4] Acts 4:12

[5] Luke 1:27, 34-35, 2 Corinthians 5:21

[6] Acts 2:27, 31

[7] Hebrews 9:11-12

[8] Romans 10:13, 1 Peter 1:23, John 3:3, 7

[9] 1 Corinthians 12:13

[10] Matthew 28:19, Acts 2:38

[11] Luke 3:16, Acts 1:5, 8, 2:4, 8:14-17, 19:2, 6

[12] 2 Corinthians 5:17, Colossians 3:3, Romans 6:2-3

[13] Ephesians 4:24, Romans 6:7, 1 John 3:9

[14] Ephesians 1:20-21 2:1, 6, Colossians 3:1

[15] Acts 8:12, 15-18, Acts 19:5-6, Acts 2:38

[16] Mark 16:18

[17] Acts 13:3

[18] Romans 10:9

[19] 1 Corinthians 15:51-53

[20] Genesis 1:26-27, Colossians 3:10

[21] 1 John 1:7, Hebrews 10:19

[22] Hebrews 9:27

[23] Luke 16:26

[24] 1 John 5:11-13, 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9

[25] Revelation 20:14-15, 21:8

[26] 2 Corinthians 5:18

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Andrew Shreeve Ministries is led by the Holy Spirit, committed to the integrity of the Word of God, walking by faith and focused on preaching the gospel to all nations...

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