What does Jesus Mean when He Says we Must be Born Again?

How Can I Be Reborn?

“No one can see the kingdom of God without being born again.”

What the heck does that mean? People who ask you, “Have you been born again?” think that they’ve got it all figured out . . . and that you probably don’t. But there’s no need to argue with them.

When Jesus spoke these words about being born again, he followed them up by talking about being “born of the spirit.” He was talking about spiritual rebirth.

What does that mean?

It means becoming a new person.

We all have our faults and flaws. Some of them are obvious, some are hidden. When we engage in them knowingly and intentionally, they are called “sins.” The only way we can become reborn as a new person is to stop engaging in wrong and hurtful desires, thoughts, and actions, and start living from new and better motives and views of life.

This requires a lifelong process of learning, self-examination, prayer, and a conscious effort to put our old self off and our new self on. Rebirth may start with the conversion experience that some people call being “born again,” but it then continues for the rest of our life.

Born Again?

One fine night about two thousand years ago a Pharisee named Nicodemus snuck out to see Jesus. Unlike most of the Jewish leaders, he liked Jesus. In fact he proceeded to butter him up with fine words about how Jesus truly was a teacher from God, and yada yada.

Jesus ignored the flattery. He had no time to waste, and got right into the advanced teaching:

“Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born again.”

Nicodemus asked, “How can anyone be born after becoming old? Can someone enter a second time into the mother’s womb to be born?”

“Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and the spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, but what is born of the spirit is spirit.” (John 3:3–6)

Clearly, Nicodemus didn’t know what Jesus was talking about. And Christians have been debating it ever since.

It should at least be clear that Jesus is talking about spiritual rebirth.

But what exactly is that?

Spiritual rebirth: a step-by-step guide

We could debate the opinions of various Christian churches. But you and I have no time to waste either. So let’s dig right into what Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772) says about how to be born again and become a new, spiritual person.

Swedenborg wrote extensively about what it means to be reborn. He also gave a quick, step-by-step rundown of what we have to do to be reborn:

If we want to be saved, we have to recognize our faults and regret them.

We recognize our faults when we learn what sorts of things are wrong, see them in ourselves, admit them, take responsibility for them, and criticize ourselves for them. When we do this in front of God, we are recognizing our faults.

We regret our faults when, once we have admitted them and asked with a humble heart for help in giving them up, we stop acting on them and start living a new life in harmony with the rules of kindness and faith. (New Jerusalem 159–161)

Let’s take a closer look at each of these steps.

1. Learn what is right and wrong

Before we can change our lives for the better, we have to know the difference between right and wrong. Otherwise, how would we know what’s broken and needs fixing?

This isn’t something we can just do once and be done. Learning the basics, such as the Ten Commandments, is a good start. But we need to keep taking more “advanced classes” throughout our lives. Why? Because we’re always facing new, different, deeper, and more complex issues in life, and each one requires new and deeper understanding of right and wrong.

We always need to engage our minds in seeking out new ideas, new understanding, new spiritual truth. We can do this in whatever way works best for us. The important thing is: never stop learning!

2. See what is wrong in ourselves

Once we’ve learned something about what’s right and wrong, it’s tempting to turn our critical gaze outward and see what’s wrong with everyone else. That’s easy! Unfortunately, we can’t fix anyone else. So it’s time to heed a variation on the beloved Serenity Prayer:

God grant me the serenity
to accept the people I cannot change
courage to change the person I can
and wisdom to know that it’s me.

Only when we start turning our critical eye on our own thoughts, feelings, words, and actions can our knowledge of right and wrong become effective. Before we can change for the better, we must identify what needs changing in ourselves.

Unfortunately, many of us think we’re just fine the way we are. I do my job. I’m polite to people. I’m a nice person. I don’t need that old repentance stuff!

If that’s what we think, we’re fooling ourselves. There are probably ten or twenty people out there who could easily identify several critical faults in us but are too polite (or too scared) to tell us.

So how can we identify what’s wrong in ourselves?

Swedenborg offers a helpful mind game: Think of what we would do if there would be no bad consequences. Would we slug that annoying person who works in the next cubicle? Slip some twenties out of the cash register at work? Put out a contract on our most hated politician?

Be honest!

Now we can begin to identify the evil impulses that our destructive words and actions come from.

One more thing: It does no good to pronounce a blanket condemnation on ourselves. “I’m an awful person!” “I’m a terrible sinner!” “What a jerk I am!” It may sound repentant, but it gives us nothing to work on.

We have to look for specific faults to tackle. A hot temper. A critical tongue. Sloppy work habits. Procrastination. Dishonesty. Pick one—not one that’s too hard at first—and make that your self-fixer-upper project. Success in this first project, even if it’s a small one, will give strength and confidence for more difficult battles to come.

3. Admit it

This one’s easy to describe, but hard to do. All it involves is saying: “Yes, that’s what I do!” “Yes, that’s how I feel!” “Yes, that’s how I think!”

But it’s not easy to admit that we’re at fault. The human mind is capable of amazing contortions to avoid seeing faults and bad habits in ourselves that are blindingly obvious to everyone else.

So this step is simple . . . and hard. Once we’ve identified something specific that’s wrong with ourselves, don’t turn our eyes away, but look it straight in the face. Admit that we’re feeling, thinking, and doing something that’s wrong.

4. Take responsibility for it and criticize ourselves for it

Now comes something even harder: taking personal responsibility for our wrongs.

This is where we are most likely to get derailed from our process of spiritual rebirth. We may be very honest about everything wrong with ourselves. “Yes, I’m a complaining, self-centered whiner.” But the next step is critical. We can either take responsibility for it, or we can blame it on someone else.

It would be a lot easier to say, “What do you expect? Look at how my parents raised me! Look at the way I have to live! Look at all those jerks I have to deal with every day! It’s not my fault!”

As long as we blame everyone else for our problems, we’ll keep right on living the same way. If it’s someone else’s fault, that person has to change, not me. And even if they did change, we’d just find someone else to blame. But the worst part is that when we blame other people or blame our rotten circumstances, we give away the power to change our own lives for the better.

It is only when we take responsibility for our own faults that we acquire the power to change them. Maybe our parents did do a number on us. Maybe life is unfair. But the way we are is now our problem, not theirs. And it’s our job to fix it.

Once we make the difficult but critical step of taking personal responsibility for our faults, we can get on with the task of changing ourselves for the better.

Isn’t this all kind of negative?

Why all the focus on evil? Why not just look for the positive? Isn’t looking at what’s wrong with ourselves just going to drag us down?

Not if our goal is to make things better.

Let’s say you’re driving in your car and you start hearing a noise. How will each approach work?

Look for the positive: Hmm, I hear a funny noise. But there are so many good things about this car. It gets so warm when I turn on the heat! And the windshield wipers do such a good job! No sense getting all negative and focusing on that noise that’s getting louder and louder. The car isn’t shaking—it’s got massaging seats! . . . Hey! Why did the car stop? Oh well. I’ll just get out and meet all those nice people who are honking their horns at me. They must really love me!

Identify the faults: Hmm, I hear a funny noise, and it’s getting worse. I’d better take the car to a mechanic and get it fixed. It might be expensive, but I can’t have the car breaking down on me.

We focus on our faults because “that’s where the money is.” In other words, we focus on our faults because that’s how we get the greatest benefits.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s good to see the good in ourselves too. After all, in the beginning God made everything in creation “very good” (Genesis 1:31). That includes us!

But by now we’ve lost our “new car smell.” The parts are beginning to wear out and break. No matter how much we “think positive,” we’re not perfect. And if we’re willing to see, identify, and deal with the parts of ourselves that aren’t working properly, we can get to work fixing ourselves so that our life won’t break down.

Why focus on the negative? Because identifying and dealing with the negative will make things a lot more positive for us.

We now return to our regularly scheduled step-by-step program.

5. Do all of this in front of God

This step may be the most important one of all. There are many reasons we could stop lying, cheating, stealing, and so on. We could do it to stay out of trouble, save our own skin, or make a profit based on a reputation for honesty and hard work.

But when we admit our wrongs in front of God, we’re saying, “I need to change not just because it’s good for me, but because it’s what God wants me to do. I need to stop doing what’s wrong simply because it’s wrong.”

If we change our behavior for self-centered and materialistic reasons, we’ll slip right back into those bad ways of living as soon as we decide that being honest, fair, and thoughtful is not a benefit to ourselves anymore.

But if we change our behavior out of a conviction that the way we were living is wrong, and that we must start living rightly according to God’s standards, then we can make a permanent change in our life.

6. Ask with a humble heart for help in giving it up

Maybe we can correct some of our simple bad habits by our own efforts. But when it comes to the deeper ones, we’re no match for them on our own. Praying to God involves recognizing that we’re not strong enough to overcome our deeper evils without God’s help.

We may also need to ask for help from trusted people around us. Close friends and family members, ministers, counselors, fellow recovering alcoholics or addicts, organized programs that address our particular issue . . . all of these can help give us the strength and guidance we need to stay the course until we have overcome.

Then, when we do overcome, we can remind ourselves that on our own we would have failed, but with the help of God and other people, we were able to change our lives for the better.

7. Stop acting on it

Are you with me so far?

Then it’s time to stop talking and get to work! It’s time to end our wrong behavior. Using all the tricks we can learn and all the help we can get, it’s time to face our bad habits . . . and stop doing them.

There are as many ways of doing this as there are people and personal faults. One way is to say to ourselves, “I know I want to do this right now, but it’s wrong, it’s against God’s commandments, and I’m not going to do it!” Yes, it will be a struggle. We will go through many trials and temptations. But it is possible to change.

8. Start living a new life in harmony with the rules of kindness and faith

If we are determined not to live the wrong way, we’ll have to replace it with living the right way. We must “cease to do evil; learn to do well” (Isaiah 1:16–17).

If we don’t replace our old destructive habits with new and better ways of living, we’ll fall into the trap that Jesus pointed out:

When an unclean spirit comes out of anyone, it goes through dry places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, “I will return to the house I left.” When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean, and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first. (Matthew 12:43–45)

When we finally succeed in evicting our old bad habits from our mental and spiritual house, we must bring in new good habits to take up residency there.

For example, if our old habit was to complain about everything, then in order to permanently break that habit we must replace it with a good habit of finding something positive to say about the person or situation we’re currently encountering. No matter what our particular wrong attitude or behavior is, there will be something positive to replace it. That’s how God made us.

A new self

The best replacement is the replacement self. As we go through this process with our various faults and flaws, we gradually find ourselves becoming a new person: more loving, more thoughtful, wiser, more helpful to others. In the process, we gain an inner joy and peace that we never knew before.

That’s what Jesus meant when he said, “You must be born again.”

This article is © 2013 by Lee Woofenden

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About

Lee Woofenden is an ordained minister, writer, editor, translator, and teacher. He enjoys taking spiritual insights from the Bible and the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg and putting them into plain English as guides for everyday life.

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Posted in Spiritual Growth, The Bible Re-Viewed
33 comments on “What does Jesus Mean when He Says we Must be Born Again?
  1. jahnosecret says:

    Thanks for another in-depth and enlightening article with much food for thought and further contemplation.

  2. gary says:

    Isn’t it odd that if Baptists and evangelicals are correct that their “born again experience” is the true and ONLY means of salvation, the term “born again” is only mentioned three times in the King James Bible? If “making a decision for Christ” is the only means of salvation, why doesn’t God mention it more often in his Word? Why only THREE times? Isn’t that REALLY, REALLY odd?

    Why is it that the Apostle Paul, the author of much of the New Testament, NEVER uses this term? Why is this term never used in the Book of Acts to describe the many mentioned Christian conversions? Why is this term only used by Jesus in a late night conversation with Nicodemus, and by Peter once in just one letter to Christians in Asia Minor?

    If you attend a Baptist/evangelical worship service what will you hear? You will hear this: “You must be born again: you must make a decision for Christ. You must ask Jesus into your heart. You must pray to God and ask him to forgive you of your sins, come into your heart, and be your Lord and Savior (the Sinner’s Prayer). You must be an older child or adult who has the mental capacity to make a decision to believe, to make a decision to repent, and to make a decision to ask Jesus into your heart.”

    It is very strange, however, that other than “you must be born again” none of this terminology is anywhere to be found in the Bible! Why do Baptists and evangelicals use this non-biblical terminology when discussing salvation?

    Maybe “accepting Christ into your heart” is NOT what being born again really means. Maybe…making a “decision” for Christ is NOT how God saves sinners!

    Gary
    Luther, Baptists, and Evangelicals

    • Lee says:

      Hi Gary,

      Thanks for stopping by, and for your thoughtful comment.

      As Jesus explained to Nicodemus, I do believe that we need to be born again, spiritually. This is not a simple matter of accepting Jesus–although that might be the beginning of a process of being born again. Being born again in the way Jesus teaches it involves a lifetime of putting away our old self and putting on a new self that is in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26), so that we become “a new creation” in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).

      • gary says:

        But is there a specific time of being born again, or is it a life long process? Can a Christian ever know for sure that he is born again…right now?

        Five questions that Baptists and Evangelicals should ask themselves

        1. Does the Bible state that a sinner is capable of choosing righteousness/choosing God?

        The Bible states that the sinner must believe and repent, but are these actions initiated and performed by man of his own intellectual abilities, or are faith, belief, and repentance a part of the entire “package” of salvation? Are faith, belief, and repentance part of the “free gift”? Does God give you faith, belief and repentance at the moment he “quickens” you, or does he require you to make a decision that you want them first, and only then does he give them to you?

        2. Is there any passage of Scripture that describes salvation in the Baptist/evangelical terms of: “Accept Christ into your heart”, “Make a decision for Christ”, “Pray to God and ask him to forgive you of your sins, come into your heart, and be your Lord and Savior (the Sinner’s Prayer)”. Is it possible that being “born again” is something that God does at a time of his choosing, and not something that man decides to do at a time of his choosing? Is man an active participant in his salvation in that he cooperates with God in a decision to believe, or is man a passive participant in his salvation; God does ALL the work?

        3. Is the Bible a static collection of words or do the Words of God have real power, real supernatural power? How does the Bible describe the Word? Is it the meaning of the Word that has power or do the words themselves have supernatural power to “quicken” the souls of sinners, creating faith, belief and repentance?

        4. Does preaching the Word save everyone who hears it, or only the “predestined”, the “elect”, the “called”, the “appointed” will believe when they hear the Word at God’s appointed time?

        5. WHEN does the Bible, if read in its simple, plain, literal rendering, say that sins are forgiven and washed away?

        Gary
        Luther, Baptists, and Evangelicals

      • Lee says:

        Hi Gary,

        Thanks for your further comments. You raise some good questions. Perhaps I will take some of them up in future articles.

        For now, I will say that I believe both that “God does all the work” and we must also cooperate with God by “working out our own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12) as if it depended upon us alone. This is a fascinating and often confusing topic. A clear understanding of it helps to banish many common misconceptions about the teachings of the Bible. I look forward to posting an article about it in the future.

        Meanwhile, consider this: A garden hose does not do any of the work of sending the water through its coils. But if the nozzle on the hose is closed, no water will flow through it. Our “work” in salvation is opening up the “nozzle” of our hearts, minds, and lives so that God’s love and wisdom can flow through us, and cleanse us in the process.

        I will also say that I do not believe there is any such thing as predestination, unless it means “predestination” to heaven. God is not malicious, and will not create anyone predestined to eternal torment. If we go to hell, it must be because of our own choices and actions, not because God has created us to go there–something too horrible and cruel to attribute to God, who is love (1 John 4:8, 16).

      • Shirley says:

        I was not very good when I was a child, my parents told me not to steal but I did. Even though, I know this act was wrong but I still do it. Now it seems that everybody on earth knows. I regret all the actions, I believed my parents will always be there for me, but ……….

        • Lee says:

          Hi Shirley,

          Thanks for stopping by, and for your comment.

          Sooner or later our secret actions do come out into the open. Now that “everybody on earth knows,” perhaps it’s time for you to turn over a new leaf. It may not be easy. You may have to fight hard to overcome your ingrained habits. You may need to seek professional help in doing so. But it’s the right thing to do.

          And when you’ve started a new life and left the old one behind, you’ll feel much better about yourself and your life. I hope this article will help you to accomplish that.

  3. gary says:

    Thank you for your response, Lee.

    Your comment “we must cooperate with God” is troubling to me. Isn’t that what Catholics teach: man must assist/cooperate with God to complete his salvation?

    In the second chapters of Ephesians and Colossians, God says that the sinner is spiritually dead. A sinner may be able to choose what breakfast cereal to eat in the morning; what shirt to put on that day; who to marry; and what career to pursue, but the Bible clearly states in the above passages and in Romans that sinners hate God and do not seek righteousness. Sinners cannot choose God. Dead men cannot “turn on the faucet”.

    I would encourage you to read all the passages of Scripture that discuss these terms: “predestined”, “the elect”, “the called”, “the appointed”, and without any denominational bias, accept the plain, simple interpretation of God’s Word. God decides who will believe! Here is one passage:

    Acts 13:48 (ESV)

    And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed.

    You can’t get much clearer than that: God decides who will believe.

    The Calvinists will tell you that since God decides or appoints those who will believe, that means that God also chooses who will go to hell. This seems very logical and reasonable…however it is COMPLETELY unscriptural. God desires all to be saved. Christ died for all. God desires that no one perish. So, yes, God predestines the Elect, but man damns himself to hell. Doesn’t seem logical? Since when is God Almighty confined to work within human logic and reason? What sense/logic doesn’t it make to say that Christ is the Son of God, but yet eternal just as his Father. How can someone be a son without a beginning?? It doesn’t make sense. It defies logic and reason! So what! God said it so believe it.

    The same with the Doctrine of Predestination. God chooses who will go to heaven. Sinners send themselves to hell by rejecting Christ!

    Yes we cooperate with God to “work out our salvation” but that is AFTER we are already saved! That is the process of Sanctification. However, the work of Justification is 100% an act of God! The sinner does not assist or cooperate in becoming righteous. Christ, and Christ alone, makes the sinner righteous.

    • Lee says:

      Hi Gary,

      I’m aware that Calvin believed in and taught predestination. But I believe this is a misunderstanding of the teachings of the Bible. I do not think the Greek words for “predestination” mean what Calvin taught.

      In August I will write and post a piece on how God is everything and does everything, but we must still open ourselves up to God. It is for a talk I am giving. [Edit: The talk has a different focus than originally planned, but I’m linking to it anyway.]

      For now, I will simply say that if there is nothing we can do to cooperate with God, why does the Bible so often command us to believe in God and obey his commandments? If all is predestined, 90% of the Bible is meaningless. If all is predestined, it is useless for us to believe in God and live a good life, because God has already chosen who will go to heaven anyway, regardless of what we believe or do.

      This is not what the Bible teaches. I leave you with two Bible passages:

      From the Old Testament:

      See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, death and adversity. If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I am commanding you today, by loving the Lord your God, walking in his ways, and observing his commandments, decrees, and ordinances, then you shall live and become numerous, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to possess. But if your heart turns away and you do not hear, but are led astray to bow down to other gods and serve them, I declare to you today that you shall perish; you shall not live long in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess. I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and holding fast to him; for that means life to you and length of days, so that you may live in the land that the Lord swore to give to your ancestors, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. (Deuteronomy 30:15-20)

      If all is predestined, why does God tell us that we have a choice between life and death?

      And from the New Testament:

      “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’ Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25:31-46)

      If we are not meant to do anything for our salvation, why does the Lord command us to do these good things for our neighbor, and tell us that those who do will go into eternal life, but those who do not will go away into eternal punishment?

      • gary says:

        The key to these passages is this: to WHOM is God speaking? Sinners or Believers?

        Believers very definitely have a free will to serve God. We can obey God or not. We can follow his commands or reject them and sin. That is why Lutherans do not believe in “eternal security”.

        Christians do good deeds after we are saved out of love for our Savior, not to help earn salvation. However, the believer who turns his back on God and lives a life of willful sin, may wake up one day in hell!

        No good works, indicates no faith, which may mean no salvation. Works don’t save us, but they are an indicator of true faith. “Faith without works is dead”.

      • Lee says:

        Hi Gary,

        I’m aware that this is official church doctrine in some of the Christian sects. But the Bible does not make these distinctions about who God is talking to. The Bible is addressed to everyone, saint and sinner alike. Read Isaiah 1:1-20. Then read Ezekiel 18. Then read Luke 15:1-7.

      • Daniel says:

        Think he was also talking about a inwards journey towards the soul ( a night of the dark soul) a journey of darkness in to the light of “God” aka being re-birthed. i’m sure it can happen many ways.

  4. isaiah41v10 says:

    You do not refer to the work of the Holy Spirit in writing God’s law on our hearts and giving us the power to change. We need to acknowledge our dependence on Christ – to abide in Him. When I came to Jesus and asked Him to be Lord of my life and admitted my complete failure to be a good person on my own, He started an astonishing process of transformation that is still continuing. I don’t really feel that I am the one instigating it, however, it is His leading me in ‘paths of righteousness. ‘ Our work is to believe in Him and cooperate with Him, the shepherd.

    • Lee says:

      Hi isaiah41v10,

      Very good points! Thank you. Although we may feel that we are doing it ourselves, it is really God–meaning Jesus Christ–doing the work from within. Once we realize this, and ask the Lord to change our heart, mind, and life, the transformation can go on the “fast track.” Those who are not Christian may not feel the presence of God in such a personal way. But I believe it is still the Lord God Jesus Christ who transforms all willing souls.

  5. carlosbaker says:

    god is good and those that do not belevin have mercy on them

  6. wesley hill says:

    I think being born again is the process of transformation brought on by the renewing of your mind or atleast this is where it starts. It is the enemies desire to create doubt in the believers mind to try and turn their heart. Jesus used clear unrefutable scripture to discredit the lies of doubt and temptation to sin. we should do the same. Unlike Christ who was born without sin we were born into sin. We all started out as sinners. For this reason I believe that being born again is the transformation in our minds and hearts to choose to feed our spirit man and turn against the desires of the flesh that we were born with. It is our spirit that is reborn as we choose to feed it instead of the worldly flesh.

  7. Santha Kumar says:

    Very good site.Thanks.

  8. Mary says:

    I enjoyed it. It makes lot of sense. I have a friend who is born again and I am a strong catholic. I believe in Jesus and Mary. My friend says I shouldnt worshipl all the idles. We don’t worship them, we asked to pray for us.

    • Lee says:

      Hi Mary,

      Thanks for stopping by, and for your comment. I’m glad you enjoyed the article!

      Since I am not from a Catholic background, I don’t have the same beliefs about Mary as you do. However, I do understand that for many Catholics, invoking Mary and the other saints gives a sense of spiritual connection with God.

      Still, my own belief is that the only one to pray to or to invoke is the Lord God Jesus Christ. He is able to hear and respond to all of our prayers without the need for any human, saint, or angel intermediaries.

      Godspeed on your spiritual journey!

  9. Lee says:

    To a reader named Jesse:

    About why I didn’t approve your comments to appear publicly, please see our Comments policy.

    You seem to be posting the same material in various places on the web, but I don’t see how your comments respond to anything I said in this article.

    It is also not clear to me from your comments exactly what point you are making. If it’s about unbelievers (non-Christians) going to heaven, you might want to read these articles here first:

    In that last article, see especially the sections starting with the heading, “What is Redemption?”

  10. Lee says:

    Hi Jesse,

    If you want to unsubscribe from the blog, just click on the “Unsubscribe” or “Manage Subscriptions” link on any email from the blog. You must do this yourself. I do not have the ability to unsubscribe readers.

  11. Robert says:

    Lee. I am in agreement with your teaching on this blog. I would like to endorse what you say regarding predestination. In Deuteronomy. The Lord sets before us the choice between Blessings and curses. In chapter 30.15. It states God speaking. See l have set before you, this day life and good and death and evil. Therefore we have a choice. It is repeated in v.19 with the Lord urging us to choose life.

    • Lee says:

      Hi Robert,

      Thanks for stopping by, and for your comment. Yes, if we don’t have any choice, but everything is predetermined, then this life is meaningless. However, the Bible makes it very clear in many places that we do have a choice.

  12. uafalck says:

    Lee,

    I am a junkie and ultimately realized that much of my recurring cycle of addiction/sin is due to my spirit not coming to terms with the status of my soul. Once the soul starts to die as a result of sin/addiction, the spirit starts to cry out in fear. As an addict, we persist in our ways because our sense of dread becomes overbearing and the lure of sin overtakes us over and over, because why not after you believe you are condemned. But this is the work of the evil one. If you stop evil, God will open the way for you.

    Thanks for your faith in God and biblical wisdom. It is a big comfort. Blessings.

    Adam

    • Lee says:

      Hi Adam,

      Thanks for stopping by, and for your comment. Yes, I have long thought that people resort to various addictions due largely to their being a serious emptiness of soul, or inability or unwillingness to face issues that are essentially spiritual, and covering that over with various substances and activities that then start a vicious cycle, otherwise known as an addiction. I’m glad the articles here are helping you. Annette and I wish you all the best in moving forward, however much struggle it may be, toward a healthier spiritual and physical life.

  13. Susan says:

    Hi Gary
    I just read your piece online about ” spiritual insights for every day life ”
    Do you have a book out that goes more into depth about this?
    Thank you for your time

    • Lee says:

      Hi Susan,

      Thanks for stopping by, and for your comment.

      Did you mean to address your comment to me? If so, what subjects are you particularly interested in?

  14. Van says:

    I can’t thank you enough for this study. It has really made me face some hurdles that I need to overcome in my Walk with the Lord. I will be attending and speaking at my church women’s retreat in a few weeks. It’s a small Body, but can I share some of your concepts with them also? Thanks again for Blessing me!

    • Lee says:

      Hi Van,

      Thanks for stopping by, and for your comment. Yes, it would be fine to share these ideas around as you see fit and are moved to do so.

      Godspeed on your spiritual journey!

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Lee & Annette Woofenden

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