Irwinville Primitive Baptist Church

How one is Born Again

Revised

Jesus said, “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must
be born again.” John 3:7

To be born again is to be “…born of God.” 1 John 3:9,
1 John 4:7, 1 John 5:1 and 1 John 5:18

Bible Quotations
King James Authorized Version of 1611

By
Tom Hagler, Jr.

September 21, 2006

Notice!
Copyright laws do not protect this book. It may be copied in
whole or in part. Additional copies may be obtained from
Tom Hagler, 5 Somerset Court, Augusta, Georgia 30909.

Introduction

This small booklet is Brother Tom Hagler’s most
recent writing. Ever since I have known Brother
Tom, he has had a great desire to share the joy,
comfort and peace of the scriptures with anyone
who has the love of God in their heart. He has often
stated how he would love to be able to write it in
such a way that all of his friends and all of God’s
children could see the simple beauty of the
scriptures, and the joy of knowing God’s salvation of
his children.
This work endeavors to get to the essence of one of
the main doctrinal differences between those who
believe God is completely sovereign in the “new
birth”, and those who believe there is something the
poor sinner must or can do to be born again. Most,
if not all, Primitive Baptists have maintained that
God is the One who born His children again, without
the aid of any man or means of men. Many of
God’s sincere born again children from other
religious beliefs, hold to the position that it is
something they did, or must do to be born again and
thus save themselves or others. There is the
dilemma, is it of God? Or is there something we
must do to be born again?

It is this question “How is one born again?” that this
book will focus your attention and hopefully answer
for you. It is my prayer that as you read it and
check it against the word of God, that the Lord
would bless you as the apostle Paul prayed for the
church at Ephesus “That the God of our Lord Jesus
Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the
spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of
him: The eyes of your understanding being
enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of
his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his
inheritance in the saints,” Ephesians 1:17-18

Elder Dwayne Hooven

Acknowledgements
Elder Dwayne Hooven is pastor of Augusta Old Line
Primitive Church, where I feel fortunate to be a member.
He has made many important suggestions to a number of
my books and booklets to improve readability as well as
valuable advice on doctrinal issues.

My former pastors, Elder Harold Hunt, Maryville, TN, and
Elder Sam Bryant, Hoover AL, have always encouraged
me in writing and offered me the benefit of their great
wisdom in doctrinal matters. Their suggestions to this and
all my books have been invaluable.

The preaching of Elder Sonny Pyles has been the source
of the idea and expressions used in several chapters of
this book (as noted). In my opinion, he is the greatest
preaching evangelist alive today. He has been of
tremendous benefit to many Primitive Baptist Elders as
well as church members and has strengthened the Lord’s
churches all across America. He has been a great blessing
to us all.

My granddaughter Rachael and her husband Robbie
Mundy have been of great benefit to me as proofreaders
correcting my poor and unprofessional grammar.
Finally, I would like to express my appreciation to my
brother Danforth W. Hagler for his advice and insight as a
Presbyterian. Many people cannot see the forest for the
trees; however Danny has always had the gift of taking a
complicated subject and finding the key issues that makes
the whole more understandable. The idea for the fifth
chapter entitled “What is the point of it all?” came from him.
Minor revisions as suggested by friends were made on
pages 2, 3, 49, and 50…plus other minor corrections.

Dedicated to…
…my friends who are open to consider in more detail how
God, without help from any person, is able to give eternal
salvation to His children. This booklet will examine more
closely what a number of Bible verses actually state, and
then compare Scripture with Scripture.
If one finds this doctrine comforting to the soul, and feels it
honors God and unlocks the meaning of so many things in
the Bible that were once a mystery, it is my suggestion that
this person visit a Primitive Baptist Church…come and
see, as Philip told Nathanael:
• John 1:45-46 “Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith
unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in
the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of
Nazareth, the son of Joseph. And Nathanael said
unto him, Can there any good thing come out of
Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.”

Foreword

This booklet will examine briefly how one is born again. A
widely held view by many from different denominations is
that if you would only accept Christ as your personal
saviour, and invite Him into your heart, then you will be
born again. I am not aware of any Bible verse that supports
that view. Several Bible verses are mistakenly offered as
proof for this opinion. This booklet will attempt to
demonstrate how these particular verses mean something
completely different, thereby rejecting this assertion.

The first chapter entitled “Spiritual life by regeneration” will
give clear Scriptural proof of how a person is actually born
again. Also in this chapter, we will consider the meaning of
John 1:12 and Romans 10:9 that are often misunderstood.

The second chapter is entitled “Belief…the cause or the
effect?” It offers conclusive proof that one’s belief in Christ
as the Son of God is the effect or evidence one is already
born again. Four proof texts, 1 John 5:1, John 5:24, John
6:47, and Acts 13:48, will be presented to support this
view. Since it is impossible for something to be both the
cause and the effect, three important Bible verses
mistakenly used to prove belief in Christ is the cause of
regeneration will be examined. These verses are Romans
1:16, 1 Corinthians 1:21 and John 3:16. These three Bible
verses will be explained in context, and in the exact
grammar as written, thereby explaining their actual
meaning.

The third chapter entitled “More than one salvation taught
in the Bible,” demonstrates the Bible does not always use
the word salvation just to mean eternal salvation. There
are other meanings that are obvious once you consider the
context, grammar, and other proven Scriptural principles.
No Scripture will ever contradict any other Scripture.

The fourth chapter entitled “What the gospel is not,”
considers Bible verses mistakenly used to teach
regeneration by gospel preaching, such as James 1:18,
1 Peter 1:23, 25, Hebrews 4:12, and 1 Corinthians 4:15.
Each of these Bible verses will be explained considering
context, grammar, and other Scripture, in order to reject
this false understanding. It is then necessary to explain
what these verses actually teach. We will see there is
absolutely nothing a person can do to be born again....God
is completely sovereign in eternal salvation. No human can
help or hinder God in this action. We will then briefly cover
the important purpose of the gospel preserved by God for
our benefit during this lifetime.

The fifth chapter is entitled “What is the point of it all?” If
one understands they can do nothing to inherit eternal life,
they may ask that question. Why should one obey the
Lord’s commandments? Why not eat, drink, and be merry,
for tomorrow we die? They may even think God is
unrighteous by not allowing man to do something so that
he can obtain eternal salvation! Hopefully these questions
are answered to the reader’s satisfaction. More on the
purpose of the gospel will be given.

The sixth chapter entitled “Those who are unregenerate,”
deals with the condition and nature of a person not born
again. Since a person may feel sorry for the unregenerate,
it might be helpful if one understood the attitude and nature
of an unregenerate. It is also important to understand more
about the unregenerate in order to fully appreciate what
the Lord has done for His elect children.

Since I do not expect everyone will agree with the meaning
assigned to every verse quoted, I invite readers to give me
an explanation as to their interpretation. I need and want
constructive criticism. Please send any comments to Tom
Hagler, 5 Somerset Court, Augusta, GA 30909.

For one final thought, Acts 17:2 states, “And Paul, as his
manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days
reasoned with them out of the scriptures.” Let’s follow this
example, and reason together from Scripture.

Tom Hagler

Table of Contents
SPIRITUAL LIFE BY REGENERATION ..................................................1
How a person is born again ..................................................................3
John 1:12-13 ..........................................................................................6
Romans 10:9..........................................................................................7
Conclusion .............................................................................................8
BELIEF…THE CAUSE OR THE EFFECT?.............................................9
Belief is the effect of eternal life ............................................................9
Romans 1:16....................................................................................... 13
1 Corinthians 1:21............................................................................... 14
John 3:16 ............................................................................................ 15
World............................................................................................... 17
Summation of thoughts on John 3:16............................................ 18
World Verses in John 17................................................................ 19
Conclusion .......................................................................................... 20
MORE THAN ONE SALVATION TAUGHT IN SCRIPTURE ............... 22
Eternal Salvation................................................................................. 23
Salvation from physical danger.......................................................... 25
Conversion or temporal salvation ...................................................... 27
Conclusion .......................................................................................... 34
WHAT THE GOSPEL IS NOT................................................................ 36
Four problem verses for the doctrine presented ............................... 37
Comments on James 1:18............................................................. 39
Comments on 1 Peter 1:23, and 25 .............................................. 40
Comments on Hebrews 4:12 ......................................................... 41
Comments on 1 Corinthians 4:15.................................................. 42
Brief purpose of the gospel ................................................................ 43
Conclusion .......................................................................................... 44
WHAT IS THE POINT OF IT ALL? ........................................................48
Purpose of the gospel .........................................................................49
Conclusion...........................................................................................58
THOSE WHO ARE UNREGENERATE..................................................59
Conclusion...........................................................................................64

Spiritual life by regeneration

A common belief among many Bible believers is that if
one would only accept Christ as their personal saviour,
they will be born again. I do not believe there is even one
Bible verse to support that opinion. However, Scripture
does support how God makes a great number of
individuals acceptable to Him. Consider the following:
• Ephesians 1:4-6 “According as he hath chosen us
in him before the foundation of the world, that we
should be holy and without blame before him in
love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of
children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the
good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory
of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in
the beloved.”

Only Jesus gives spiritual life, and He limits spiritual life to
only those the Father gave Him to save. Jesus made this
point very clear as He prayed just before His crucifixion.
• John 17:1-3 “These words spake Jesus, and lifted
up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is
come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify
thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh,
that he should give eternal life to as many as thou
hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they
might know thee the only true God, and Jesus
Christ, whom thou hast sent.”

As many as means not one more and not one less. Jesus
has power over all flesh, so He could save everyone.
However, this verse says Jesus limits eternal salvation to
those the Father gave Him to save. This happens to be a
very large number, as given in Revelation 5:9 and 7:9.

How one is Born Again
2

Those Jesus saves include those who die as infants (it is
the position of the writer that the non-elect do not die
young…see more on this below), or those elect who have
a mental deficiency, or the elect who live in a remote
place and never hear the gospel preached. It also
includes those of the elect of God who hear the gospel
preached, but reject it for one reason or another.
One example of a child of God turning down the
opportunity to follow Christ as a disciple would be found in
the story of the rich young ruler, Mark 10:17-27. This
account opens with this young man asking Jesus, “Good
Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” We
know this young man already possesses eternal life
because in Mark 10:21, “Then Jesus beholding him loved
him…” Jesus knows His children, so if He ever loves a
person, this love began from before the foundation of the
world, and it will last until the end of time on into heaven.
This man had youth, power, and riches; however,
because of the deceitfulness of his great wealth, he would
not take up his cross and follow Christ as a disciple into
the Lord’s church. The Lord’s church offers the child of
God a wonderful salvation during this lifetime…something
the rich young ruler never experienced as far as Scripture
reveals...yet he is now in heaven.
Regarding my opinion that the non-elect do not die young,
as noted above, this position was arrived at based on
Scriptural evidence. In every case I know of, the
unregenerate do not die young. The wicked are described
in Job 21:7-15, “They spend their days in wealth, and in a
moment go down to the grave.” In the example of the rich
man and Lararus, Luke 16:19-31 (quoted on pages 63
and 64)…the rich man lived a full life. Next, the final
judgment was explained in Revelation 20:12-15. Verse 12

Spiritual life by regeneration
3

describes the unregenerate by stating, “the dead were
judged out of those things which were written in the
books, according to their works.” A dead fetus would have
no works. Also, Romans 9:22 states, “What if God, willing
to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured
with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to
destruction;” This verse eliminates the possibility of any
non-elect infant deaths. Finally, when David lost his son
by Bathsheba, notice 2 Samuel 12:23, “But now he is
dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back
again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.”
David had no doubt that he would go to his child in
heaven after his death. He did not worry that his dead
child may not be in heaven. There is no Scripture to my
knowledge that supports the position of non-elect infant
deaths. We know that a dead fetus is guilty of sin
according to Psalms 51:5, “Behold, I was shapen in
iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.” However,
I believe non-elect infants live long enough so their evil
carnal nature produces works of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-
21) to such a degree that much will be “written in the
books” to be judged by God at the final judgement.
How a person is born again
First, we need to see how one is born again. Jesus says it
is by His voice through the Spirit of God, as follows:
• John 5:25 “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is
coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the
voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall
live.”
This is not the second coming of Christ because that is
mentioned three verses later in John 5:28-29, “Marvel not
at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in
the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they

How one is Born Again
4

that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and
they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of
damnation.” The next two verses are similar to John 5:25
as they declare that regeneration is from the voice of
Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit…by the Seed of God,
which is Christ, as follows:
• Jesus says in John 6:63, “It is the spirit that
quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words
that I speak unto you, [they] are spirit, and [they]
are life.”
• 1 Peter 1:23 “Being born again, not of corruptible
seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God,
which liveth and abideth for ever.”
One is born again by Jesus Christ, the living Word of God
(John 1:1-4, 14), and Jesus Christ is referred to as the
incorruptible Seed of God in the following two verses:
Galatians 3:16, “Now to Abraham and his seed were the
promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many;
but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.”, and
Galatians 3:19, “Wherefore then [serveth] the law? It was
added because of transgressions, till the seed should
come to whom the promise was made; [and it was]
ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.” Man’s
seed generates physical life, and the Seed of God,
Jesus Christ, regenerates an elect of God to spiritual
life for eternal salvation.
God quickens His children to life, and the dead surely can
do nothing to help God in the resurrection from death.
• Ephesians 2:1 “And you [hath he quickened], who
were dead in trespasses and sins;”
The process of a person obtaining this spiritual life from
God takes place in an instant of time sometime between

Spiritual life by regeneration
5

conception and death, and is described as being
translated by the following Bible verse:
• Colossians 1:13 “Who hath delivered us from the
power of darkness, and hath translated [us] into the
kingdom of his dear Son:”
Being born again is described in the Bible as given above
by several different expressions. We have been born
again, regenerated, quickened (resurrected), or
translated. In this miraculous event that yields eternal
salvation, God is always active and the person dead in
trespasses and in sins (Ephesians 2:1) is always passive.
It is Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit, alone and
unaided, that gives (not offers) eternal life to the elect of
God. The sinner (as well as any other human), is not
involved…they cannot help or hinder this action by God.
In the following Bible verses, notice that God is sovereign
in giving eternal salvation. There is no place for humans to
make any contribution at all:
• 2 Timothy 1:9 “Who hath saved us, and called us
with an holy calling, not according to our works, but
according to his own purpose and grace, which
was given us in Christ Jesus before the world
began.”
• Titus 3:5 “Not by works of righteousness which we
have done, but according to his mercy he saved us,
by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of
the Holy Ghost;”
• Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace are ye saved
through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the

How one is Born Again
6

gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should
boast.”
• Matthew 1:21 “And she shall bring forth a son, and
thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save
his people from their sins.” This verse does not say
Jesus will try to save His people if they will only
cooperate. It just says He shall save His people
from their sins.
Clearly, the above Bible verses show that God is
sovereign in our eternal salvation, and man contributes
nothing to the process. Still, some people have tried to
use a few Bible verses to show that man does participate
in this great work.
John 1:12-13
One Bible verse commonly used to support the notion that
one “accepts Christ” is as follows:
• John 1:12 “But as many as received him, to them
gave he power to become the sons of God, [even]
to them that believe on his name:”
Notice the grammar in which it states “as many as
received him.” It does not mean as many as will receive
Him, but rather, as many as have already received Him.
Also, a believer is already born again. Even so, the
answer is found in the very next verse:
• John 1:13 “Which were born, not of blood, nor of
the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of
God.”
Only God’s will accomplishes one’s spiritual birth or
regeneration. We know from John 3:3 that Jesus told

Spiritual life by regeneration
7

Nicodemus, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see
the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus did not know what Jesus
meant, as noted in John 3:4. A few verses later, Jesus
explains to Nicodemus how regeneration occurs.
• John 3:8 “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and
thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell
whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every
one that is born of the Spirit.”
A person cannot control where or when the wind will blow,
or, where or when the Spirit of God will give spiritual life.
Therefore, spiritual life cannot come from preaching the
gospel or baptism, since we can control the time and
place for both.
Romans 10:9
This is another Bible verse many refer to in order to make
the point that the lost sinner must reach out to Christ and
accept Him as Saviour, before Christ will grant eternal
salvation. Consider this verse:
• Romans 10:9 “That if thou shalt confess with thy
mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine
heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou
shalt be saved.”
The 9th chapter of Romans deals with God’s sovereignty
in eternal salvation and the 10th chapter of Romans with a
child of God’s duty towards God in this lifetime. Romans
10:2 states “…they have a zeal of God, but not according
to knowledge.” Only God’s born again people have “a zeal
of God.” The unregenerate carnal mind hates God, as
stated in Roman 8:7, “Because the carnal mind [is] enmity
against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither
indeed can be.” As for Romans 10:9, confessing Christ as
our saviour, acknowledging what He did for us, is not the
same as accepting Christ. This has to do with gospel

How one is Born Again
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conversion unto discipleship in the Lord’s church.
Discipleship offers a wonderful salvation the child of God
can enjoy in this lifetime in fellowship with Christ and His
people. It is something only a born again person would
desire.

Conclusion
Hopefully the Bible verses presented clarify that spiritual
life gained from regeneration is something only God can
give to the elect of God, and no human plays any part at
all in assisting God. Regeneration is by the will of God,
and not the will of man, as John 1:13 makes very clear. In
other words, the notion that one must accept Christ as
personal Saviour and invite Him into their heart in order to
be born again is false.
Romans 10:9 points out a person that hears the gospel
preached (only God’s children can hear: John 8:47, “He
that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear
them not, because ye are not of God.”), should confess
Christ (Romans 10:9), and by way of baptism, follow
Christ into the Lord’s church (Mark 16:16). For a person to
have the desire to seek and to obey God, this person
would have to be already born again. This principle will be
explained in more detail in the next chapter entitled,
“Belief…the cause or the effect?”
Understanding that we can do nothing to obtain eternal
life, we may ask, what is the point of it all? Why should I
obey the Lord’s commandments? Why not eat, drink, and
be merry, for tomorrow we die? They may even question if
God is unrighteous by not allowing man to act in some
way so as to obtain eternal life! The answers to these
questions are considered begining on page 48.

Belief…the cause or the effect?
9

Belief…the cause or the effect?
Some years ago, Elder Sonny Pyles (Graham, Texas)
preached a sermon entitled Three Essential Facts. The
first essential fact was “cause and effect.” The second
essential fact was that more than one type salvation is
mentioned in the Bible…that is the subject of our next
chapter. Elder Pyles mentioned that if we are blessed to
understand only one or two of these concepts, then we
will be a long way down the road to understanding what
Jesus has done for us.
Belief is the effect of eternal life
The principle of cause and effect applies to belief in
Christ. The question to be answered is, “does our belief in
Jesus Christ as the Son of God obtain eternal life for us,
or does our belief in Christ give evidence we are already
eternally saved?” Is belief in Christ the cause, or is it the
effect (or evidence) we are eternally saved? This chapter
will show that the Bible clearly teaches our belief that
Jesus is the Christ, the eternal Son of God, is evidence
that we are already a child of God.
Belief in Christ cannot be both the cause as well as the
effect of eternal life. It is impossible for it to be both; it
must be either one or the other. For real world examples
of cause and effect, consider a person that has high fever.
A medical doctor would say the fever is an effect or
evidence of some sickness. The doctor would then look
for the cause of this problem. The doctor would never
consider the fever to be the cause of the sickness. It is
impossible for something to be both the cause as well as
the effect of an occurrence.

How one is Born Again
10

Let’s consider another real world example. Imagine that
an electric lamp does not work. The fact that the lamp
does not work is the symptom, evidence, or effect that
points you back to the cause of the problem. The cause
may be a burned out light bulb, faulty wiring, unplugged
cord, a popped circuit breaker, etc. You could not say that
the lack of light is the cause of the problem. The absence
of light when the lamp is turned on is the effect.
We should take the time now to prove with Bible verses
that the Scriptural position is that our belief in Jesus Christ
is clearly the effect or evidence of eternal life. Our belief
cannot possibly be both the cause (a condition that one
must meet) as well as the effect or evidence. Consider the
following:
• 1 John 5:1 “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the
Christ is born of God:” A person who believes that
Jesus is the Christ is already born of God.
• John 5:24 “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that
heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent
me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into
condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”
Not “will have” eternal life, but “hath,” or “already
has” eternal life.
• John 6:47 “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that
believeth on me hath everlasting life.” Again the
same grammar…not will have, but “hath,” meaning
already has eternal life.
• Acts 13:48 “And when the Gentiles heard this, they
were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and
as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.”

Belief…the cause or the effect?
11

Those who were previously ordained were the ones
that believed. Belief is evidence of eternal life, not
the cause.
Our faith is listed as one of the nine evidences we are
indwelled by the Spirit of God. Notice the “fruit of the
Spirit” given in the following verses:
• Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love,
joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness,
faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is
no law.”
The fruit of an apple tree is an apple. First the apple tree
must exist, and then later the tree produces the apple as
fruit. In the same way, a person must first be born of the
Spirit in order to have the Spirit of God dwelling within
him. 1 Corinthians 3:16, “Know ye not that ye are the
temple of God, and [that] the Spirit of God dwelleth in
you?” The person is then able to produce the fruits of the
Spirit of God. An unregenerate person cannot exercise
faith which he does not have by believing that Jesus is the
Christ. After he has been born of the Spirit of God, and
has the Spirit of God dwelling within him, the person will
have faith, the seventh item listed as “fruit of the Spirit”.
Some argue that all people have a little faith. However,
the Bible clearly states all people do not have faith. The
Bible verse which says exactly that is as follows:
• 2 Thessalonians 3:1-2 “Finally, brethren, pray for
us, that the word of the Lord may have free course,
and be glorified, even as it is with you: And that we
may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked
men: for all men have not faith.”

How one is Born Again
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For this reason, the gospel is delivered by a child of God
who has faith to other of God’s children who also have
faith. The gospel cannot be delivered from those who
have faith to those who are without faith. Notice what is
stated by Romans 1:17 “For therein is the righteousness
of God revealed from faith to faith:” In others words, the
gospel is the power of God only to regenerate children of
God who have faith. 1 Corinthians 1:18 also says exactly
that, as follows: “For the preaching of the cross is to them
that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is
the power of God.” Not will be saved, but to those who are
already saved, preaching is the power of God.
Finally, the theory that a person must believe in Jesus
Christ as the Son of God in order to obtain eternal life has
a problem because of what Jesus said in the Gospel of
John:
• John 10:25-30 “Jesus answered them, I told you,
and ye believed not: the works that I do in my
Father's name, they bear witness of me. But ye
believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I
said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know
them, and they follow me: And I give unto them
eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither
shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My
Father, which gave [them] me, is greater than all;
and no [man] is able to pluck [them] out of my
Father's hand. I and [my] Father are one.”
• John 8:46-47 “Which of you convinceth me of sin?
And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? He
that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore
hear them not, because ye are not of God.”

Belief…the cause or the effect?
13

Jesus clearly states to His audience that they cannot hear
or believe because they are not God’s children. Their
eternal salvation does not depend on their decision to
accept Christ. The problem is they have no spiritual life.
Those people above addressed by Jesus do not have the
ability to understand spiritual matters. This principle is also
proven by the following verse:
• 1 Corinthians 2:14 “But the natural man receiveth
not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are
foolishness unto him: neither can he know them,
because they are spiritually discerned.” (a natural
man is unregenerate)
Next, we should consider Bible verses mistakenly used to
prove that if we will only believe, then we will have
everlasting life.
Romans 1:16
We will now consider a Bible verse in which the principles
of cause and effect have not been properly understood.
As shown above by very clear Bible verses, only a child of
God who is already born again can believe in Christ.
Notice this Bible verse that is too often misunderstood:
• Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel
of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to
every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also
to the Greek.
The statement “to every one that believeth,” means to
everyone that now believes, not to everyone that will
believe. Since a believer is already a child of God, the
statement could be changed to read “to everyone that is a

How one is Born Again
14

child of God.” The gospel of Christ is the power of God
only to those who are already eternally saved. Another
Bible verse that says exactly that is as follows:
• 1 Corinthians 1:18 “For the preaching of the cross
is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us
which are saved it is the power of God.”
Notice that preaching of the cross, or, the gospel of Christ,
is only foolishness to those who are unregenerate;
however, it is the power of God to those who are already
born again. This verse takes the same position as
Romans 1:16, so Romans 1:16 could be quoted as
follows:
• I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it
is the power of God to everyone that is a child
of God, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
1 Corinthians 1:21
Notice again 1 Corinthians 1:18 as quoted above. Only
three verses later, we have another very interesting Bible
verse, as follows:
• 1 Corinthians 1:21 “For after that in the wisdom of
God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased
God by the foolishness of preaching to save them
that believe.”
Since 1 John 5:1 states, “Whosoever believeth that Jesus
is the Christ is born of God:”, then preaching of the cross
saves them that are already saved eternally. Preaching
saves the saved. That principle is what Peter preached to
some born again Jews in Acts 2:38, 40: “Then Peter said
unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in
the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye
shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost…And with many

Belief…the cause or the effect?
15

other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save
yourselves from this untoward generation.” You cannot
save yourself for heaven, but baptism into the Lord’s
church gives the Lord’s children a great salvation in this
lifetime.
John 3:16
Now we should consider John 3:16. It is one of the most
misunderstood verses in the Bible, in my humble opinion.
For this reason, considerable time will be taken for a
detailed study. This verse is another example of the
principles of cause and effect not being taken into
account. Remember, it is impossible for something to be
both the cause of an occurrence, as well as the effect or
evidence that the cause was to produce. It cannot be both
cause and effect.
In many instances, an attempt is made to use this
important Bible verse to prove the manner in which we
can be born again, rather than to declare the eternal
security of God’s children it actually teaches. A person
would mistakenly say that God loves the entire human
world, and if one will only believe that Jesus is the Christ
(the eternal Son of God), then this person will obtain
everlasting life. However, based on the actual grammar
and Bible principles already established, we can
determine the actual meaning of this important Bible
verse.
We will consider John 3:14-18. These verses as they
appear in the King James AV 1611 Bible are as follows:

How one is Born Again
16

• John 3:14 “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in
the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be
lifted up:”
• John 3:15 “That whosoever believeth in him should
not perish, but have eternal life.”
• John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he
gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever
believeth in him should not perish, but have
everlasting life.”
• John 3:17 “For God sent not his Son into the world
to condemn the world; but that the world through
him might be saved.”
• John 3:18 “He that believeth on him is not
condemned: but he that believeth not is
condemned already, because he hath not believed
in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
Note: The words above that are underlined, world and
believe, are for emphasis.
The following consideration will primarily provide Bible
based definitions for the words “world” and “believeth,”
and will show which “world” is under consideration in John
3:16. The expression “whosoever believeth” has already
been dealt with…belief is evidence a person is already a
child of God. One who believeth not may not be a child of
God…they may not be one of His sheep. However, this
scenario does not consider the case of a child of God
guilty of unbelief, which is also possible.

Belief…the cause or the effect?
17

World
Let’s first consider “world.” One must know which “world”
is the object of God’s love. We know that in John 17:9,
Jesus prayed just before He was crucified: “I pray for
them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast
given me; for they are thine.” This prayer clearly
demonstrates that a world exists that God does not love.
In fact, in the 17th chapter of John, “world” is mentioned 19
times by Jesus in this prayer, and it refers to at least four
different “worlds” (shown later, beginning on page 19).
The reader should independently verify this fact.
Further, consider the “world” mentioned in Luke 2:1. This
verse states as follows: “And it came to pass in those
days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus,
that all the world should be taxed.” Does this verse refer to
the whole human world being taxed? Of course not! It
means the whole Roman world. However, many people
make this mistake regarding John 3:16. In light of John
17:9, John 3:16 clearly has reference to the “elect world”
which God chose before the foundation of the world.
Ephesians 1:4 states: “According as he hath chosen us in
him before the foundation of the world, that we should be
holy and without blame before him in love.” The elect
world is the object of God’s love in John 3:16.
One should notice another comment by Jesus. In Matthew
7:22-23, Jesus states: “Many will say to me in that day,
Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in
thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done
many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them,
I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
Jesus, being God manifest in the flesh, knew about these
people. Jesus obviously means He never knew these
people intimately. They were never the objects of His love

How one is Born Again
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(foreknowledge) from before the foundation of the world.
God only loves the “elect world.”
Summation of thoughts on John 3:16
Instead of teaching how one is to be born again, these
verses in John 3:14-18 assure a child of God that his
eternal salvation is secure. Based on the explanation
above, John 3:14-18 could be rewritten so as to clearly
show which world is the object of God’s love. In addition, a
person that believes that Jesus is the Christ is already a
child of God. The phrases “believeth in him” or “believeth
on him” could obviously be replaced with the phrase “a
child of God.” The phrase “that believeth not,” could be
replaced with “is not a child of God,” or “is not of His
sheep.”
John 3:14-18 could then be rewritten as follows:
• And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the
wilderness, even so must the Son of man be
lifted up on the cross of Calvary: That
whosoever is a child of God should not perish,
but have eternal life. For God so loved the elect
world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that
whosoever is a child of God should not perish,
but have everlasting life. For God sent not His
Son into the world to condemn the elect world;
but that the elect world through Him might be
saved. He that is a child of God is not
condemned: but he that is not a child of God is
condemned already, because he is not of His
sheep.

Belief…the cause or the effect?
19

World Verses in John 17
The following section is the prayer Jesus prayed in the
17th chapter of John just before he went to the cross.
Jesus mentioned “world” 19 times to refer to at least 4
different “worlds.” The reader should independently
determine which “world” is under consideration in each
verse. Notice my suggested meanings:
C = Created world: H = Human world: NE= Non-Elect
world: E = Elect world
John 17:5 “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine
own self with the glory which I had with thee before the
worldC was.”
John 17:6 “I have manifested thy name unto the men
which thou gavest me out of the worldH: thine they were,
and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.”
John 17:9 “I pray for them: I pray not for the worldNE, but
for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.”
John 17:11 “And now I am no more in the worldH, but
these are in the worldH, and I come to thee. Holy Father,
keep through thine own name those whom thou hast
given me, that they may be one, as we are.”
John 17:12 “While I was with them in the worldH, I kept
them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept,
and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the
scripture might be fulfilled.”
John 17:13 “And now come I to thee; and these things I
speak in the worldH, that they might have my joy fulfilled in
themselves.”

How one is Born Again
20

John 17:14 “I have given them thy word; and the worldNE
hath hated them, because they are not of the worldNE,
even as I am not of the worldC.”
John 17:15 “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out
of the worldH, but that thou shouldest keep them from the
evil.”
John 17:16 “They are not of the worldH, even as I am not
of the worldC.”
John 17:18 “As thou hast sent me into the worldH, even so
have I also sent them into the worldH.”
John 17:21 “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art
in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that
the worldE may believe that thou hast sent me.”
John 17:23 “I in them, and thou in me, that they may be
made perfect in one; and that the worldE may know that
thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast
loved me.”
John 17:24 “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast
given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold
my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me
before the foundation of the worldC.”
John 17:25 “O righteous Father, the worldNE hath not
known thee: but I have known thee, and these have
known that thou hast sent me.”

Conclusion

Clearly, our belief that Jesus is the Christ is an evidence
we are already a child of God. It is the “effect” of being
Belief…the cause or the effect?
21
already born again. Our salvation cannot depend on
something we must try to do. Belief cannot be both the
cause and the effect.
Understanding that nothing can be done to inherit eternal
life, one might ask, “what is the point of it all?” Why should
I obey the Lord’s commandments? Why not eat, drink,
and be merry, for tomorrow we die? They may even
question if God is unrighteous by not allowing man to act
in some way to obtain eternal life! The answers to these
questions are considered beginning on page 48.

How one is Born Again
22

More than one Salvation taught in Scripture
The purpose of this chapter is to consider how the Bible
uses “save,” “saved” or “salvation” to mean several
different things. This is the second essential fact taught by
Elder Sonny Pyles in his sermon entitled Three Essential
Facts.
Too often the Bible believer assumes that the word “save”
means only saved eternally, which is not the case. When
one becomes aware of the different ways the Bible uses
this word, he is more likely to consider the context and
grammar, as well as comparisons with other verses, and
not jump to a hasty conclusion. We are told to “Study to
show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth
not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
(2 Timothy 2:15)
One of the most important principles of Bible study is to
“rightly divide” the Scripture. The Bible contains examples
in which the meaning of the word “save” is obvious. For
two simple examples, notice the meaning of “save” in the
following:
• 2 Corinthians 11:24 “Of the Jews five times
received I forty stripes save one.” Obviously, Paul
means he received forty stripes except (or less)
one, for a total of thirty-nine stripes.
• Matthew 19:11 “But he said unto them, All men
cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is
given.” Obviously “save” in this verse means
“except.”

More than one Salvation taught in Scripture
23

The above verses could not be confused with saved
eternally; however, they show that one should at least
pause briefly to consider other possible definitions when
the meaning is not so obvious.
Eternal Salvation
To begin our study, let’s first look at verses that teach
eternal salvation. Very little, if any, disagreement should
exist concerning their meaning. Notice that these verses
clearly state that the sinner has nothing to do with his
eternal salvation. Eternal salvation is totally a work
performed by God, alone and unaided. This fact is most
important to remember. Consider the following:
• 2 Timothy 1:9 “Who hath saved us, and called us
with an holy calling, not according to our works, but
according to his own purpose and grace, which
was given us in Christ Jesus before the world
began.”
• Titus 3:5 “Not by works of righteousness which we
have done, but according to his mercy he saved us,
by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of
the Holy Ghost;”
• Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace are ye saved
through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the
gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should
boast.”
• Matthew 1:21 “And she shall bring forth a son, and
thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save
his people from their sins.” This verse does not say
Jesus will try to save His people if they will only

How one is Born Again
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cooperate. It just says He shall save His people
from their sins.
Notice the prayer Jesus prays to the Father just before
He is crucified. John 17:1-2 “These words spake Jesus,
and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the
hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may
glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh,
that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast
given him.” Jesus has power over all flesh, and this verse
says He gives eternal life to as many as the Father gave
Him to save. “As many as” means not one more or not
one less. Apparently, Jesus did not just make a way of
salvation possible if the sinner would accept Him as their
personal saviour, but rather, He actually saved eternally
everyone the Father gave Him to save, without the loss
of even one. John 6:37-39 quoted below is also very
strong on this point. Jesus saved everyone chosen by the
Father as declared in Ephesians 1:4: “According as he
hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world,
that we should be holy and without blame before him in
love:”
As noted above, Jesus Christ saves all those chosen
before the foundation of the world by the Father, and He
saves them eternally without the loss of one. This fact is
also clearly stated by Jesus in John 6:37-39, as follows:
• John 6:37-39 “All that the Father giveth me shall
come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no
wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to
do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
And this is the Father's will which hath sent me,
that of all which he hath given me I should lose

More than one Salvation taught in Scripture
25

nothing, but should raise it up again at the last
day.”
The reader may remember the Bible verses already
quoted that prove the spiritually dead sinner can neither
hear (John 8:47), understand (1 Corinthians 2:14), nor
believe (John 10:26) things of God, and their carnal mind
is enmity against God (Romans 8:7). In this condition, the
unregenerate must have a Saviour that does everything,
because the dead can do nothing for themselves. Only
God can quicken the dead, as given in Ephesians 2:1
“And you hath he quickened, who were dead in
trespasses and sins:”
Before we look at other “save” Bible verses, remember
how clearly the language used above teaches that eternal
salvation is totally the work of God, and that our personal
failures in this life do not hinder God from accomplishing
His purpose.
Salvation from physical danger
The following Bible verses deal with physical dangers
which could result in physical suffering and physical
death. No one would misunderstand these verses and
think eternal salvation is the subject. Notice how these
Bible verses with “save” or “saved” mean a timely
deliverance from a timely danger:
• Exodus 14:28-30 “And the waters returned, and
covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the
host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them;
there remained not so much as one of them. But
the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the
midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall unto

How one is Born Again
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them on their right hand, and on their left. Thus the
LORD saved Israel that day out of the hand of the
Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon
the sea shore.” The Lord saved the children of
Israel that day from physical death at the hands of
the Egyptians. No one would make the mistake of
thinking these verses had anything to do with
eternal salvation. “Saved” in these verses mean a
timely deliverance from a timely danger.
• Acts 27:31 “Paul said to the centurion and to the
soldiers, Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot
be saved.” Obviously, Paul means saved from
physical death due to drowning. Once again,
“saved” in this verse means a timely deliverance
from a timely danger.
• Matthew 14:29-30 “And he said, Come. And when
Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on
the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the
wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to
sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.” Peter was
asking Jesus to save him from drowning; he was
not asking Jesus to save him eternally. Peter was
asking for a timely deliverance from a timely
danger.
• 1 Timothy 2:15 “Notwithstanding she shall be
saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and
charity and holiness with sobriety.” Everyone would
agree that saved in this verse does not mean
saved eternally. The verse means a timely
deliverance from a timely danger.

More than one Salvation taught in Scripture
27

After considering the above Bible verses, one should have
no problem understanding the correct meaning of the
word “save” or “saved.”
Conversion or temporal salvation
The term “temporal salvation” or “conditional time
salvation” is not found in Scripture. It is a term that
describes gospel conversion unto discipleship in the
Lord’s church. This conversion is a blessing called
salvation to be enjoyed in this lifetime, conditioned on
continued obedience. This salvation is also a timely
deliverance from a timely danger. This timely deliverance
is a salvation from physical suffering or death from the
chastening rod of God against His disobedient and
rebellious children, as opposed to eternal suffering in hell
(called the second death). For a good Scripture reference,
consider the following:
• 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 “Know ye not that ye are the
temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth
in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him
shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy,
which temple ye are.” (Also Hebrews 10:26-31)
Now let’s get a little more complicated. Not everyone
agrees on the meaning of the following eight Bible verses.
Even so, unless the Bible has contradictions (and we
know that it does not), then these verses cannot refer to
eternal salvation, but rather must refer to a timely
deliverance from a timely danger for God’s children. In
other words, they must reference the salvation obtained
by conversion, or “conditional time salvation,” available to
an obedient child of God who denies himself, and takes
up his cross to follow Christ as a disciple into the Lord’s
church.

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1. 1 Timothy 4:16 “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the
doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt
both save thyself, and them that hear thee.”
Surely Paul believed Timothy was already saved eternally.
Surely he did not think Timothy could eternally save
himself and those that heard him by taking “heed unto
thyself, and unto the doctrine, etc.”, or he would be
preaching a works salvation about which Timothy and
those that heard him could boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 states,
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of
yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man
should boast.” Also, Titus 3:5 says the same, as follows:
“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but
according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of
regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.”
Obviously, Paul meant that if Timothy took heed to the
doctrine and continued in it, he could save himself and
those that heard him from the untoward generation of that
day. Peter preached this same salvation in Acts 2:38-40.
This passage deals with God’s born again children
following Christ as disciples. Not all of God’s people will
agree to be disciples. Those who will not follow Christ as
His disciples will never lose eternal salvation, but their
disobedience will result in their loss of blessings available
in the Lord’s church. Becoming a disciple of Christ offers
us protection from our own sinful nature and the
consequence of our sins. Our sins will lead us to suffering
chastisement in this life as in 1 Corinthians 3:16-17,
Hebrews 10:26-31 and 12:5-11. Since chastisement could
result in not only physical suffering, but also physical
death, one could say the salvation called for by 1 Timothy
4:16 is a “timely deliverance from a timely danger” or
“conditional time salvation.”

More than one Salvation taught in Scripture
29

2. 1 Peter 3:20-21 “Which sometime were disobedient,
when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days
of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few,
that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure
whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not
the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer
of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection
of Jesus Christ:”
In what sense did water save Noah and his family? Also,
this verse says that baptism now saves us in the same
way that the floodwaters saved Noah and his family. We
remember how wicked man was in the days of Noah, as in
Genesis 6:5 “And God saw that the wickedness of man
was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the
thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”
Also, much violence existed, as in Genesis 6:13 “And God
said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me;
for the earth is filled with violence through them; and,
behold, I will destroy them with the earth.” Returning to
1 Peter 3:20-21, the only logical meaning for how the
floodwaters saved Noah and his family is that it saved
them from the “wickedness “ and “violence” of that time. It
was a “time salvation.” Noah and his family were saved by
floodwaters from the untoward (unruly) generation of that
day. This salvation is compared to how we are now saved
by baptism. To prove this fact more clearly, see Acts 2:38,
40: “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be
baptized….” Now, verse 40 states, “And with many other
words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves
from this untoward generation.” A believer is saved
through obedience to the gospel and baptism, but the
salvation is not eternal. Rather, it is a salvation from the
wicked untoward generation in which we live. The same

How one is Born Again
30

principle applicable in the days of Peter (Acts 2:40), or in
the days of Noah (1 Peter 3:20-21), is applicable today.
An individual needs to be obedient to gospel
commandments through “good works” in order to be
saved by discipleship in the Lord’s church.
3. Mark 16:15-16 “And he said unto them, Go ye into all
the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He
that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he
that believeth not shall be damned.”
Baptism saves one “from this untoward generation” (Acts
2:40), which is a salvation in this life for a born again child
of God. For further proof on this verse, notice that “every
creature” refers to a born again person. When referring to
a person, creature is defined by this Bible verse:
• 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if any man be in
Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed
away; behold, all things are become new.”
Also, we know a believer is someone that is already saved
eternally, as proven in our second chapter beginning on
page 9. Several Bible verses were used in this chapter to
prove our belief in Christ is the effect of having spiritual
life, including the following verse:
• 1 John 5:1, “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the
Christ is born of God:”
We also learn that if this creature (born again person)
rejects the gospel message in unbelief and refuses to be
baptized, then he will be damned (suffer chastisement, not
eternal damnation) as follows:
More than one Salvation taught in Scripture
31
• Luke 12:47 “And that servant, which knew his lord's
will, and prepared not himself, neither did according
to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.”
From this verse we should see that Mark 16:15-16 offers a
timely deliverance from a timely danger, or “conditional
time salvation.”
4. Philippians 2:12-13 “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye
have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but
now much more in my absence, work out your own
salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which
worketh in you both to will and to do of his good
pleasure.”
These verses refer to a “works salvation,” so it cannot
mean eternal salvation based on the Bible verses quoted
earlier. “Fear and trembling” reminds one that God
chastens His rebellious and disobedient children.
Remember the Corinthian brethren who were guilty of
taking the communion service unworthily? This is a good
example of how we can suffer because of our rebellious
and disrespectful attitude:
• 1 Corinthians 11:28, 30 “Wherefore whosoever
shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord,
unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of
the Lord…For this cause many are weak and sickly
among you, and many sleep.”
Disobedience cost many of these Corinthians their health
and some their physical life. God’s children who possess
faith need to demonstrate “good works.” As James 2:20
says, “But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without
works is dead?” Good works can never produce eternal

How one is Born Again
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salvation, but, for an obedient child of God, discipleship
yields comfort and spiritual happiness. This salvation
offers a timely deliverance from a timely danger, or in
other words, “conditional time salvation.”
5. Romans 10:13 “For whosoever shall call upon the
name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Notice the action needed by the person in order to receive
salvation. As above, this verse refers to a “works
salvation,” so it must mean the salvation that was
preached by Peter in Acts 2:38-40, “save yourselves from
this untoward generation”. The obedient child of God
gains this salvation when he repents of his sins (Acts
3:19), confesses Christ as his Saviour (Romans 10:9),
and submits to baptism (Mark 16:16).
Notice that the 10th Chapter of Romans is addressed to
God’s born again children, as proven by Romans 10:1-2,
“Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel
is, that they might be saved. For they have a zeal of God,
but not according to knowledge.” The unregenerate do not
have a zeal of God because their “carnal mind is enmity
against God.” (Romans 8:7) Romans 10:1 says, “that they
might be saved.” This salvation is conditionally based on
works that will later be explained, such as confessing
Christ as saviour in the 9th verse. To confess Christ is not
the same as to accept Christ. Ephesians 1:6 says “To the
praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us
accepted in the beloved.” God made us accepted, not the
opposite, where we accept Christ. The unregenerate hate
God, their “carnal mind is enmity against God” (Romans
8:7).

More than one Salvation taught in Scripture
33

The Bible verses quoted above speak of a salvation that is
in addition to eternal glory. Another verse states this fact
exactly, as follows:
6. 2 Timothy 2:10 “Therefore I endure all things for the
elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation
which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.”
The elect are God’s children, chosen by the Father as
stated in Ephesians 1:4. Paul endures all things with the
hope they may also obtain something that is in addition to
eternal glory. That something is “the salvation, which is in
Christ Jesus,” the salvation Peter proclaimed, “Save
yourselves from this untoward generation” (Acts 2:40).
Another verse that says the gospel saves God’s children
who are already eternally saved, is as follows:
7. 1 Corinthians 1:21 “For after that in the wisdom of God
the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by
the foolishness of preaching to save them that
believe.”
We remember that someone who believes that Jesus is
the Christ is already saved eternally. This fact is stated in
1 John 5:1 as follows: “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is
the Christ is born of God:” It is also clearly stated in John
6:47 “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me
hath everlasting life.” This salvation must be a salvation
from this untoward generation, as Acts 2:40. Therefore,
preaching the gospel only benefits those who are already
saved eternally. Actually, 1 Corinthians 1:18 states this
fact exactly, as follows: “For the preaching of the cross is
to them that perish (unregenerate) foolishness; but unto
us which are saved (eternally) it is the power of God.”

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Another verse that is related to this subject is not always
understood properly, in my opinion. Consider the
following:
8. Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide
is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to
destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way,
which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”
The strait gate leads to the abundant life (John 10:10, “I
am come that they might have life, and that they might
have it more abundantly.” It does not mean eternal life. If
this verse refers to eternal salvation and eternal
destruction in a flaming hell, then it would support a works
salvation. It must have reference to “a timely deliverance
from a timely danger.” This advice about how we should
conduct ourselves during our lifetime must offer us
“conditional time salvation.” We can save ourselves from
this untoward generation (Acts 2:40, “Save yourselves
from this untoward generation”) that tempts us to lead an
evil life that will result in God chastening us. This salvation
is a timely deliverance from timely dangers.

Conclusion

Hopefully, this chapter has created enough interest in the
words “save,” “saved” and “salvation,” so that the reader
will always more closely examine how the Bible uses
these words before jumping to a hasty conclusion as to
their actual meaning.
While there are many deep subjects in the Bible that are
difficult to understand, salvation should be straightforward
and simple for God’s children. The sovereignty of God

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verses in Romans 9 do not conflict with the responsibility
of man verses given in Romans 10. His people can rejoice
in knowing that eternal salvation is totally in God’s hands.
The gospel is sent to His elect children offering a salvation
from this “untoward generation” (Acts 2:40), free of the
chastening rod of God (1 Corinthians 3:16-17, Hebrews
10:26-31 and 12:5-11), in fellowship with Christ
(Revelation 3:20-22) in His church. This salvation may be
referred to as “conditional time salvation.” Time salvation
is gospel conversion unto discipleship in the Lord’s church
conditioned on continued obedience. The Lord then
showers blessings upon His obedient children that can be
enjoyed in this lifetime…yielding the abundant life! Jesus
declared:
• John 10:10 “…I am come that they might have life,
and that they might have [it] more abundantly.”

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What the gospel is not
The previous chapters have attempted to show that the
eternal salvation of God’s elect children was settled by
God before the foundation of the world, as Ephesians 1:4
states, “According as he hath chosen us in him before the
foundation of the world, that we should be holy and
without blame before him in love:” This salvation is
assured without implying the need for the gospel as noted
in Romans 8:28-39…consider just the last two verses:
• Romans 8:38-39 “For I am persuaded, that neither
death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor
powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor
height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be
able to separate us from the love of God, which is
in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
The gospel and gospel preaching are involved in a child of
God’s conversion to discipleship. If the child of God is
blessed to hear the gospel preached, he will have the
opportunity to obey or disobey. However, it is important to
remember that many of God’s children (saved eternally)
are either not obedient to the gospel or they may never
hear the gospel preached as in the case of infant deaths,
those with mental afflictions, and those in remote parts of
the world.
While the arguments presented in the previous chapters
do seem to be conclusive, some Scripture references
appear to teach that God uses the gospel (for man’s
religious practice) as a divine instrument infused with a
God given power to achieve eternal salvation. Many of
God’s children believe the gospel must be coupled with

What the gospel is not
37

the “work of the cross,” in order to make the death, burial,
and resurrection of Jesus….effective unto eternal
salvation.
In this chapter, we will examine principle passages which
appear to teach that God uses the gospel as a “means”
for eternal salvation. We must explain the meaning of
each verse in light of all other Scripture on eternal
salvation. Every passage must be taken in context, and
the grammar taken exactly as written in the AV 1611 King
James Bible. This exercise is necessary to show there are
no contradictions in the Bible concerning these particular
verses.

Notice: Most of the material which follows is found in the
booklet “Utility of the GOSPEL” by Elder Conrad
Jarrell…printed 1977.
Four problem verses for the doctrine presented
Consider the following Scriptures that appear to teach that
God uses the gospel as a “means” in the spiritual birth.
• “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth,
that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his
creatures.” (James 1:18)
• “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of
incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and
abideth for ever….And this is the word which by the
gospel is preached unto you.” (1Peter 1:23 and 25)
• “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and
sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even
to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the
How one is Born Again
38
joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the
thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)
• “For though ye have ten thousand instructors in
Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ
Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.”
(1 Corinthians 4:15)
The above verses may lead one to consider that a person
is “born again” by the preached word (or the gospel) even
though we have given compelling arguments to the
contrary. If we remember 2 Peter 1:20, “Knowing this first,
that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private
interpretation”…we understand there are no contradictions
in the Bible. With this fact in mind, let us examine the
above four verses.
To begin, most of our problems are resolved if we
understand which “word” is under consideration in the
above Scripture. As 2 Timothy 2:15 states, we should be
“…rightly dividing the word of truth.” Many words will have
more than one meaning.
Now, let us examine the word “word.” Three different
“words” are used in the Bible: the written or spoken word
(rhema in Greek), and the living Word (Logos in Greek).
Jesus Christ is the living Word (Logos) of God. If we can
prove the above “word” verses refer to Jesus Christ, the
living Word of God, and not to the spoken word, or written
word, then, to a great degree, we will have been
successful in reconciling these verses.
In the following two Bible verses Jesus Christ is the
“Word” (Logos in Greek). This fact is rarely if ever
disputed:

What the gospel is not
39

1. “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the
Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three
are one.” (1 John 5:7)
2. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was
with God, and the Word was God. The same was in
the beginning with God. All things were made by him;
and without him was not anything made that was
made….And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt
among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the
only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”
(John 1:1-3, 14)
John is not the only apostle to refer to Jesus Christ as the
“Word” (Logos in Greek) of God. Luke, a Greek medical
doctor, made the following statement: “Even as they
delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were
eyewitnesses, and ministers of the Word.” (Luke 1:2) One
cannot be an eyewitness of the written or spoken word,
but can be an eyewitness of the living Word. The word
“eyewitnesses” in the original Greek language had one
meaning, and one meaning only. It was used to mean a
direct vision of deity…as in Greek mythology. However, in
this case, Jesus Christ was deity. Also, in this context,
“ministers of the Word”…would mean “body servants” of
the living Word…Jesus Christ. The twelve disciples were
literally body servants to Jesus.
Comments on James 1:18
Using the previous logic, James 1:18 is resolved, “…Of
His own will begat He us with the Word of Truth….” Jesus
did say, “…I am the way, the Truth, and the life….” John
14:6. Jesus is the living Word of Truth. James 1:18 could
be quoted as follows: Of His own will begat He us by
Jesus Christ.

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Comments on 1 Peter 1:23, and 25
The verses in 1 Peter can be resolved in the same way.
Verse 23 states, “Being born again, not of corruptible
seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word (Logos in the
original Greek language) of God, which liveth and abideth
forever.” How could a written or spoken word be living?
Jesus Christ does live and abide forever. Jesus Christ is
also referred to as the Seed of God, as follows:
• Galatians 3:16 “Now to Abraham and his seed
were the promises made. He saith not, And to
seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed,
which is Christ.”
• Galatians 3:19 “Wherefore then [serveth] the law?
It was added because of transgressions, till the
seed should come to whom the promise was made;
[and it was] ordained by angels in the hand of a
mediator.”
Now, back to the passage we were considering. Two
verses later, in 1 Peter 1:25, we have, “And this is the
word (rhema in Greek) which by the gospel is preached
unto you.” Since the word preached is a different Greek
word, this difference should make it clear we are born
again by the living Word (Logos), Jesus…and informed of
this “good news” by the gospel…the written word (rhema).
This principle is plainly stated as follows:
• 2 Timothy 1:9-10 “Who hath saved us and called us
with an holy calling, not according to our works, but
according to His own purpose and grace, which
was given us in Christ Jesus before the world
began, But is now made manifest by the appearing
of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished

What the gospel is not
41

death, and hath brought life and immortality to light
through the gospel.”
Could this principle be any clearer? Jesus Christ, the
incorruptible Seed of God, gives spiritual life. In John 5:25,
Jesus says: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is
coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of
the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.” The gospel
makes manifest, or brings to light, what Christ has done
for His regenerate children.
Only God can give life, and He does not need help from
the dead, alien, and unregenerate sinner. After all, the
spiritually dead are dead. Ephesians 2:1 states, “And you
hath He quickened, who were dead in trespasses and
sins…” This good news is brought to light through the
gospel.
Comments on Hebrews 4:12
Hebrews 4:12 states “For the word of God is quick, and
powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing
even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the
joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and
intents of the heart.”
The written word cannot be “quick,” or alive. This “Word”
must be the living Word of God--Jesus Christ. Also, this
verse says that the Word of God is a “…discerner of the
thoughts and intents of the heart.” How could this be the
written word? The living Word…Jesus Christ…is a
discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Jesus
Christ, through the Holy Spirit, dwells within the heart of a
child of God, as 1 Corinthians 3:16 states, “Know ye not
that ye are the temple of God, and [that] the Spirit of God

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dwelleth in you?” Finally, in Hebrews 4:14, we have
absolute proof:
• “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that
is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God,
let us hold fast our profession.” (Hebrews 4:14)
By reading Scripture in context and reading all Scripture
on the subject, one should have no problem reconciling
any seeming contradiction.
Comments on 1 Corinthians 4:15
The final verse to consider states, “For though ye have ten
thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many
fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through
the gospel.” This verse seems to have the apostle Paul
claiming that he is their spiritual father. However, we
remember Jesus said in Matthew 23:9, “And call no man
your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is
in heaven.” Now, since Paul is an inspired apostle, he
could not say anything contrary to the teachings of Jesus.
Also, in Galatians 4:19, Paul appears to say he is a
spiritual mother. This verse states, “My little children, of
whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you.”
We cannot believe that Paul thought he was spiritual
father to the Corinthians, then later tell the Galatians he
was their spiritual mother. The answer to this dilemma is
found in verse 14…1 Corinthians 4:14 states, “I write not
these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn
you…” The apostle Paul was using figurative language.
He was the spiritual father to the Corinthians in the same
way that one would say George Washington is the father
of our country. No one in the United States seriously

What the gospel is not
43

considers this statement to mean George Washington is
their literal ancestor.
Brief purpose of the gospel
Hopefully, the previous explanation has proven through
Scripture what the gospel is not. God does not use the
gospel and gospel preaching to assist man in securing a
place for the sinner in heaven. God is sovereign and all
powerful. He is not hindered in any way by weak and
sinful man. However, the gospel is most important for the
born again child of God during this lifetime. The gospel
makes conversion possible, offering the penitent sinner
fellowship with Jesus and salvation during this lifetime
from the wicked world. Just as Peter said in Acts 2:40,
“…Save yourselves from this untoward generation.” We
know we cannot save ourselves for heaven.
God’s born again children are responsible and held
accountable by God in this life for their own actions, even
though it will not change their eternal destiny. Through the
providence of God, events may be changed (the Lord
willing) as a result of prayer. Many examples in Scripture
prove this fact. “…The effectual fervent prayer of a
righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16)
God has provided the gospel for conversion, to call His
children to repent. Acts 3:19 states “Repent ye therefore,
and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when
the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of
the Lord;” Obedient children of God should deny
themselves, and confess Jesus Christ as their Saviour,
Romans 10:9, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth
the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God
hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

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God’s children who believe should be baptized, Mark
16:16, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved;
but he that believeth not shall be damned.” Conversion
provides the comfort of the Holy Spirit in fellowship with
Jesus Christ and His disciples in the church. What a
wonderful salvation for God’s people while in this lifetime!
While the church is not used by God to regenerate His
elect, it is a hospital for sinners. The Church does heal
and nourish the Lord’s people with spiritual food….the
preached Word…so that they may grow in grace and in
understanding to enjoy an abundant life. Jesus said in
John 10:10, “I am come that they might have life, and that
they might have [it] more abundantly.”

Conclusion

To my knowledge, the previous four verses are the most
persuasive passages in the Bible for the position that the
gospel is used by God to offer eternal salvation to the
whole human race. If this is the case, then hopefully I
have proven they mean something altogether different.
The voice of Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit, the
living Word of God…and not the gospel … calls to life the
elect of God. This process is how a child of God is born
again.
• John 5:25 “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is
coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the
voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall
live.”
• John 6:63 “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh
profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you,
they are spirit, and they are life.”

What the gospel is not
45

God, alone and unaided, gives spiritual life (being born
again):
• John 3:8 “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and
thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell
whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is
everyone that is born of the Spirit.” Man cannot
control the wind…nor can man control the Spirit of
God.
Spiritual life is given to those He chose before the
foundation of the world:
• Ephesians 1:4-6 “According as He hath chosen us
in Him before the foundation of the world, that we
should be holy and without blame before Him in
love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of
children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the
good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory
of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in
the beloved.”
God brings His children to life directly without man’s
assistance.
• John 1:13 “Which were born, not of blood, nor of
the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of
God.”
God regenerates, or quickens, through the Spirit, by the
voice of the living Word of God….Jesus Christ.
• John 6:63 “It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh
profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you,
they are spirit, and they are life.”

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The sovereign God of the universe, who created all things
in the universe, is also sovereign regarding who He will
have in heaven. The elect of God (Ephesians 1:4-6),
whether an unborn baby, the mentally deficient, those in
remote parts of the world, or those who in rebellion reject
the gospel, every elect child of God is secure in their
eternal salvation. This doctrine is predestination. God has
pre-determined the final eternal destination of His elect
children. He will not lose even one.
To better see God’s sovereignty and predestination,
consider the following verse:
• Romans 9:15-16 “For He saith to Moses, I will have
mercy on who I will have mercy, and I will have
compassion on who I will have compassion. So
then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that
runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.”
Restated, in regeneration God gives His children a new
nature called “a new creature” in 2 Corinthians 5:17:
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:
old things are passed away; behold, all things are become
new.” In 2 Corinthians 1:22, this new nature, or “new
creature,” is referred to as follows: “Who hath also sealed
us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.” This
down payment (earnest) is referred to in Ephesians 1:14
as follows: “Which is the earnest of our inheritance until
the redemption of the purchased possession…”
Hopefully, this chapter has shown what the gospel is not
as well as the purpose God actually intended for the
gospel. The gospel is for the conversion unto discipleship
in the Lord’s church. The gospel brings to light, or makes
manifest, what Christ has done for us, as stated in

What the gospel is not
47

2 Timothy 1:10, “But is now made manifest by the
appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath
abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to
light through the gospel:”

How one is Born Again
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What is the point of it all?
Several questions can be asked at this point in the study.
Understanding nothing can be done to inherit eternal life,
one may then ask, “What is the point of it all? Why should
I obey the Lord’s commandments? Why not eat, drink,
and be merry, for tomorrow we die?” One may even
question if God is unrighteous by not allowing man to act
in some way to obtain eternal life! This chapter will
attempt to give a more complete answer to these
questions.
Paul brings up the question of the righteousness of God in
relation to God loving Jacob and hating Esau even before
these twin boys were born, and before they had done any
good or evil. It is most important to consider the following
Scripture:
• Romans 9:10-16 “And not only [this]; but when
Rebecca also had conceived by one, [even] by our
father Isaac; (For [the children] being not yet born,
neither having done any good or evil, that the
purpose of God according to election might stand,
not of works, but of him that calleth;) It was said
unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is
written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
What shall we say then? [Is there] unrighteousness
with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses, I will
have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will
have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
So then [it is] not of him that willeth, nor of him that
runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.”
God loved Jacob and hated Esau even before these twin
boys were born, and before they had done any good or
evil. From what we know of Esau and Jacob, it seems to

What is the point of it all?
49

me we would like Esau more than Jacob. However, God
loves the new nature He gives in regeneration. God
makes it very clear that eternal salvation is not according
to our good or bad works, but rather is based solely on His
election. God has mercy on those whom He chose from
before the foundation of the world…and none other.
• Ephesians 1:4-6 “According as he hath chosen us
in him before the foundation of the world, that we
should be holy and without blame before him in
love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of
children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the
good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory
of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in
the beloved.”
Now, we should consider, “what is the point of it all?” An
elect child of God is first quickened by God into spiritual
life sometime between conception and death…“And you
[hath he quickened], who were dead in trespasses and
sins;” (Ephesians 2:1) The good news is we have been
saved eternally to live in heaven with God. The possible
bad news is that God holds His children accountable
during this lifetime, which is why the gospel is so vital.
Purpose of the gospel
We will now revisit the purpose of the gospel. While it
plays no part in achieving eternal salvation for the elect of
God, there is nothing else as important to a child of God
during his lifetime than the gospel of Jesus Christ.
As a dear sister in San Diego was kind enough to point
out, “we would all do better to treat others as heavenbound
versus hell bound.” An elect unregenerate or a

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back sliden child of God may appear to us as one who is
eternally hell bound. Our patience in sharing the gospel
may eventually lead them to repentance, yielding a great
deliverance in this lifetime, if God is in the matter. If the
child of God is obedient (some are not) to the gospel
commandments, he will repent of his sins…
• Acts 3:19 “Repent ye therefore, and be converted,
that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of
refreshing shall come from the presence of the
Lord;”
…confess the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour…
• Romans 10:9 “That if thou shalt confess with thy
mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine
heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou
shalt be saved.”
…and as a believer, submit to baptism.
• Mark 16:16 “He that believeth and is baptized shall
be saved; but he that believeth not shall be
damned.” Damned in this verse means
chastisement in this lifetime, not eternal damnation.
The above Bible verses mention conversion, or a change
in one’s life, in order to be saved. Since the child of God is
already saved eternally, this action offers a salvation that
is in addition to eternal glory. Paul mentions this additional
salvation in the following Bible verse:
• 2 Timothy 2:10 “Therefore I endure all things for the
elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the
salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal
glory.”

What is the point of it all?
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Notice that Paul endures all things so that the elect may
obtain salvation; however, we know that the elect are
already heaven bound. But Paul endures so they may
also (in addition to) obtain by their effort and obedience,
the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with (in addition to)
eternal glory. This salvation in addition to eternal glory
could be called gospel conversion unto discipleship in the
Lord’s church, and is a salvation to be enjoyed in this
lifetime, conditioned upon continued obedience to God’s
laws. This description of gospel salvation may also be
called “conditional time salvation.” Or, it could be called
gospel salvation that is conditioned upon continued
obedience, and that it is in addition to eternal glory.
In Acts 2, Peter is preaching on the day of Pentecost to
people who were already born again, based on the
following:
• Acts 2:37 “Now when they heard [this], they were
pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to
the rest of the apostles, Men [and] brethren, what
shall we do?”
The unregenerate have a heart of stone, and would have
found this gospel message foolishness. However, these
people were condemned by their guilty conscience, and
called out, “what shall we do?” Peter then gives them the
answer they wanted to hear:
• Acts 2:38 “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and
be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus
Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive
the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

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• Acts 2:40 “And with many other words did he testify
and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this
untoward generation.”
The salvation Peter told them they would receive is from
this “untoward” (stubborn or unruly) generation, and is a
salvation that a person can achieve for himself by
obedience to the gospel. This salvation is in addition to
eternal glory. In the next Bible verse we have the
following:
• Acts 2:41 “Then they that gladly received his word
were baptized: and the same day there were added
[unto them] about three thousand souls.”
Based on this verse the purpose of Peter’s gospel
preaching was to bring God’s children to the church. The
last sentence in the second chapter of Acts, Acts 2:47
states, “…And the Lord added to the church daily such as
should be saved.”
The type of salvation received in baptism is pictured in the
salvation of Noah and his family from the flood, as follows:
• 1 Peter 3:20-21 “Which sometimes were
disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God
waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a
preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were
saved by water. The like figure whereunto even
baptism doth also now save us (not the putting
away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a
good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection
of Jesus Christ.”

What is the point of it all?
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Notice that the above verse did not say Noah’s family was
saved by the ark from the water (flood), but rather, they
were “saved by water.” The salvation “by water” for those
on the ark could only be a salvation from the wicked,
untoward generation of that day. The salvation gained by
baptism must also be the same for us today, as it was in
Peter’s day when he admonished those he was preaching
to in Acts 2:38-40. Peter first states: “Repent, and be
baptized…,” (v. 38), then he states, “Save yourselves from
this untoward generation.” (v. 40)
The many Bible verses already quoted obviously
demonstrate that we cannot save ourselves eternally.
These verses prescribe many righteous works that a
person must perform in the conversion process.
Therefore, conversion cannot be the same as
regeneration, because no works are involved in
regeneration, as follows:
• Titus 3:5 “Not by works of righteousness which we
have done, but according to his mercy he saved us,
by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of
the Holy Ghost;”
• 2 Timothy 1:9 “Who hath saved us, and called us
with an holy calling, not according to our works, but
according to his own purpose and grace, which
was given us in Christ Jesus before the world
began,”
Clearly, the value of religious conversion and the method
of worship are related to benefits or suffering in this life for
God’s born again children. For this reason, it may be
called gospel salvation, or “conditional time salvation.”

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As children of God, we have set before us the opportunity
of obeying God’s commandments, and, as a result, to
enjoy a life with blessings from God. On the other hand, if
we are tempted to follow the wicked, untoward generation
Peter referred to, and rebel against God by not obeying
His commandments, then we will suffer in this life, and
may even die prematurely. This suffering will not be
eternal in hell, but temporal in this life. This fact is very
clear in the following verse:
• 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, “Know ye not that ye are the
temple of God, and [that] the Spirit of God dwelleth
in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him
shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy,
which [temple] ye are.”
Notice also the warning given below:
• Hebrews 10:26-31 “For if we sin wilfully after that
we have received the knowledge of the truth, there
remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain
fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation,
which shall devour the adversaries. He that
despised Moses' law died without mercy under two
or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment,
suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath
trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath
counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he
was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done
despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know him
that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will
recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord
shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into
the hands of the living God.”

What is the point of it all?
55

The above warning for God’s children in the New
Testament refers back to the children of Israel in the Old
Testament. Their suffering and death should be a warning
to us. In fact, they had also been warned before they
crossed the River Jordan to possess the Promised Land.
This warning by God was given through Moses. However,
we must first prove that all the children of Israel Moses led
out of Egypt were all born again children of God. Notice
the following:
• 1 Corinthians 10:1-6 “Moreover, brethren, I would
not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our
fathers were under the cloud, and all passed
through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses
in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the
same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same
spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock
that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. But
with many of them God was not well pleased: for
they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these
things were our examples, to the intent we should
not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.”
Notice how many times all is repeated. Five times we are
told that all those Moses led out of Egypt did eat and drink
of that spiritual Rock that followed them, “and that Rock
was Christ.” Also, compare this wording to statements by
Jesus in the Gospel of John:
• John 6:53-56 “Then Jesus said unto them, Verily,
verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the
Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in
you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my
blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the
last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood

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56

is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and
drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.
Obviously, all those Moses led out of Egypt were God’s
children. Notice now the warning God gave the children of
Israel through Moses before they entered the Promised
Land:
• Deuteronomy 30:15-19 “See, I have set before thee
this day life and good, and death and evil; In that I
command thee this day to love the LORD thy God,
to walk in his ways, and to keep his
commandments and his statutes and his
judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and
the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land
whither thou goest to possess it. But if thine heart
turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be
drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve
them; I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall
surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your
days upon the land, whither thou passest over
Jordan to go to possess it. I call heaven and earth
to record this day against you, that I have set
before you life and death, blessing and cursing:
therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed
may live:” (Verse 31:1 says “And Moses went and
spake these words unto all Israel.”)
God is not telling His people they will suffer eternal
damnation. God’s people already have spiritual life or
eternal life. Eternal means non-ending, so God is clearly
referring to things in this life by saying “ye shall not
prolong your days upon the land,” as opposed to eternal
damnation. This refers to “time” by living a longer life in
peace and happiness through obedience or a shorter life
of suffering by rebellion.

What is the point of it all?
57

The nation of Israel was warned by God concerning the
necessity of obedience to God’s Laws after they enter and
possess the Promised Land. However, in the opening
chapters of Judges we find that they violated this warning
time and time again and suffered the consequences
(timely suffering and death, not eternal damnation), as
follows:
• Judges 2:13-14 “And they forsook the LORD, and
served Baal and Ashtaroth. And the anger of the
LORD was hot against Israel, and he delivered
them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them,
and he sold them into the hands of their enemies
round about, so that they could not any longer
stand before their enemies.”
Clearly, our religious practice (our worship of God) affects
our present lifetime, but does not affect the eternal
salvation of God’s elect children. Elder Harold Hunt,
Maryville, Tennessee, has said, “Gospel salvation has
nothing to do with our eternal destiny, but it has everything
to do with our welfare in this life. The well being of
individuals and nations, of entire civilizations and cultures,
are impacted by the influence of the gospel. Every other
consideration fades into nothingness compared with the
influence of the gospel.” The obedience of God’s people
within nations affects these lands, as clearly pointed out in
the following verse:
• 2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people, which are called
by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray,
and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways;
then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their
sin, and will heal their land.”
The tremendous benefit to nations that occurred during
the Protestant Reformation as a result of gospel preaching

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and the gospel conversion of God’s people is an
interesting study. Those nations that embraced the
Reformation were blessed to enjoy the Industrial
Revolution. Nations like Spain that did not, also did not
enjoy the Industrial Revolution. America has been
tremendously blessed since our beginning. Notice the
nations of Central and South America over the past two
hundred years. These nations are rich in natural
resources, but the argument can be made that their
religion is the problem. This problem is evident in nations
all over the world today where various pagan religions are
practiced. As Elder Hunt observed, “every other
consideration fades into nothingness compared with the
influence of the gospel.”

Conclusion

When God begins a work in the heart of one of His elect
children, He will finish it to the end. The Lord’s children
may rebel, and as a result suffer greatly in this life to even
include a premature death. However, the Lord never fails
in the eternal salvation of His elect. Jesus said in John
10:10, “I am come that they might have life, and that they
might have [it] more abundantly.” This chapter is entitled
“What is the point of it all?” The abundant life is the point
of it all!!! Christ wants His obedient children to enjoy the
many blessings one could call the abundant life that are
available in His church in fellowship with Him and His
disciples.

Those who are unregenerate
59

Those who are unregenerate
The study of a few things the Bible teaches about the
unregenerate may be helpful. The tender hearted child of
God may feel sorry for the unregenerate, and feel it is
wrong they have no chance to repent of their sins and be
saved to live with God in heaven. They assume the
unregenerate would love God if given the opportunity.
They need to understand there is no virtue in the
unregenerate at all, and none are righteous, nor fear God,
nor seek after Him in any way. Consider the following
Scripture:
• Romans 3:10:18 “As it is written, There is none
righteous, no, not one: There is none that
understandeth, there is none that seeketh after
God. They are all gone out of the way, they are
together become unprofitable; there is none that
doeth good, no, not one. Their throat [is] an open
sepulchre; with their tongues they have used
deceit; the poison of asps [is] under their lips:
Whose mouth [is] full of cursing and bitterness:
Their feet [are] swift to shed blood: Destruction and
misery [are] in their ways: And the way of peace
have they not known: There is no fear of God
before their eyes.”
We have already pointed out that the unregenerate carnal
mind is enmity (hostility or hate) against God, as follows:
• Romans 8:7 “Because the carnal mind [is] enmity
against God: for it is not subject to the law of God,
neither indeed can be.”
We also know the unregenerate is an enemy of God, as
made clear in the following Bible verse:

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• Romans 5:10 “For if, when we were enemies, we
were reconciled to God by the death of his Son,
much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by
his life.”
The nature of the unregenerate is summarized in the
following Bible verses:
• Galatians 5:19-21 “Now the works of the flesh are
manifest, which are [these]; Adultery, fornication,
uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft,
hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife,
seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders,
drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which
I tell you before, as I have also told [you] in time
past, that they which do such things shall not inherit
the kingdom of God.”
While the previous verses are clear about the nature of an
unregenerate, the Book of Job gives one of the best
descriptions, as follows:
• Job 21:7-15 “Wherefore do the wicked live, become
old, yea, are mighty in power? Their seed is
established in their sight with them, and their
offspring before their eyes. Their houses [are] safe
from fear, neither [is] the rod of God upon them.
Their bull gendereth, and faileth not; their cow
calveth, and casteth not her calf. They send forth
their little ones like a flock, and their children
dance. They take the timbrel and harp, and rejoice
at the sound of the organ. They spend their days in
wealth, and in a moment go down to the grave.
Therefore they say unto God, Depart from us; for
we desire not the knowledge of thy ways. What [is]
the Almighty, that we should serve him? and what
profit should we have, if we pray unto him?”

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Note that the rod of God is not against the wicked. The
rod of correction is only against God’s children, as follows:
• Hebrews 12:5-11 “And ye have forgotten the
exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto
children, My son, despise not thou the chastening
of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and
scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye
endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with
sons; for what son is he whom the father
chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement,
whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards,
and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of
our flesh which corrected [us], and we gave [them]
reverence: shall we not much rather be in
subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For
they verily for a few days chastened [us] after their
own pleasure; but he for [our] profit, that [we] might
be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for
the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous:
nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable
fruit of righteousness unto them which are
exercised thereby.”
In addition, the unregenerate cannot hear, understand, or
believe things of God. Consider again (from the chapter
“Cause and effect”) the following unregenerate people that
Jesus says cannot hear, understand or believe spiritual
things of God:
• John 8:43-44 “Why do ye not understand my
speech? [even] because ye cannot hear my word.
Ye are of [your] father the devil, and the lusts of
your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the
beginning, and abode not in the truth, because
there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he

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speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father
of it.”
Clearly these people were unregenerate. Now, notice
what Jesus says to these people two verses later.
• John 8:46-47 “Which of you convinceth me of sin?
And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? He
that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore
hear them not, because ye are not of God.”
Jesus does not tell these people their problem is a failure
to perform some act. He doesn’t even tell them that they
only need to accept Him as their personal Saviour.
Rather, He tells that they are unable to even hear
because they are not of God. (If it had been a matter of
their making a decision for Christ, surely this is the time
and place for Jesus to make this point. He did not!)
The above people addressed by Jesus just do not have
the ability to understand spiritual matters. This principle is
also proven by the following verse:
• 1 Corinthians 2:14 “But the natural man receiveth
not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are
foolishness unto him: neither can he know them,
because they are spiritually discerned.” A natural
man is unregenerate.
Finally, the unregenerate are unable to believe that Jesus
is the Son of God, even though they witnessed His
miracles:
• John 10:25-30 “Jesus answered them, I told you,
and ye believed not: the works that I do in my
Father's name, they bear witness of me. But ye
believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I
said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know

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them, and they follow me: And I give unto them
eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither
shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My
Father, which gave [them] me, is greater than all;
and no [man] is able to pluck [them] out of my
Father's hand. I and [my] Father are one.”
Why didn’t Jesus say if they would just accept Him as
their personal saviour, and invite Him into their heart, then
they would be born again? In fact, Jesus said the exact
opposite! He informed them they did not have the ability to
believe because they were not God’s children.
The parable of the rich man and Lazarus tells a lot about
the condition of the unregenerate, as follows:
• Luke 16:19-31 “There was a certain rich man,
which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and
fared sumptuously every day: And there was a
certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at
his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with
the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table:
moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And
it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was
carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the
rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he
lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth
Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And
he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on
me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of
his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am
tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son,
remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy
good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but
now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And
beside all this, between us and you there is a great

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gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from
hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us,
that [would come] from thence. Then he said, I pray
thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him
to my father's house: For I have five brethren; that
he may testify unto them, lest they also come into
this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him,
They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear
them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one
went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And
he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the
prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though
one rose from the dead.”
Notice that even if the rich man had returned from the
dead, and appeared before his five brothers, his brothers
would not have heeded the warning of eternal damnation
in a flaming hell. If the unregenerate will not be persuaded
by someone they know returning from the dead, then how
could they possibly be persuaded by gospel preaching?
They do not feel they are wicked, lost sinners in need of a
Saviour. They would say that is just foolishness…as
mentioned in 1 Corinthians 1:18 and 2:14.

Conclusion

The unregenerate hate God and their unregenerate carnal
mind is enmity against God (Romans 8:7). The
unregenerate is an enemy of God (Romans 5:10). The rod
of God is not against the unregenerate (Job 21:9,
Hebrews 12: 8), and they do not desire to know God’s
ways or to serve Him. They question the value of praying
to God (Job 21:14-15). They cannot hear things of God:
Those who are unregenerate
65
• John 8:47, “He that is of God heareth God's words:
ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of
God.”
…understand things of God:
• 1 Corinthians 2:14, “But the natural man receiveth
not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are
foolishness unto him: neither can he know them,
because they are spiritually discerned.”
…or believe that Jesus is the Son of God:
• John 10:25-26, “Jesus answered them, I told you,
and ye believed not: the works that I do in my
Father's name, they bear witness of me. But ye
believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I
said unto you.
The unregenerate consider the gospel only foolishness!
As quoted many times, 1 Corinthian 1:18 states, “For the
preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness;
but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” As
with the rich man and Lazarus, even if one they know
returned from the dead to warn an unregenerate person
that they are facing an eternity in a flaming hell, they
would not believe it, and would only consider it
foolishness!

Hopefully this explanation will help a child of God to
understand the basis of God’s judgement. If one can see
there is no virtue or redeeming value at all in the
unregenerate, they may understand why God would say:
• Romans 10:15-16 “For he saith to Moses, I will
have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will

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have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
So then [it is] not of him that willeth, nor of him that
runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.”
A few verses later God continues:
• Romans 9:19-24 “Thou wilt say then unto me, Why
doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his
will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest
against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that
formed [it], Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not
the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to
make one vessel unto honour, and another unto
dishonour? [What] if God, willing to shew [his]
wrath, and to make his power known, endured with
much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to
destruction: And that he might make known the
riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which
he had afore prepared unto glory, Even us, whom
he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the
Gentiles?”
We may not fully understand until we see God in person,
so until then, we can offer thanks for His amazing grace
and mercy in saving anyone from Adam’s race. We are all
unworthy, and deserve no mercy.
The good news is that God has saved a very great
number for heaven. Notice this final Bible verse:
• Revelation 7:9 “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great
multitude, which no man could number, of all
nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues,
stood before the throne, and before the Lamb,
clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;”
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