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Topic: The New Birth

Jesus' Two Births

by Darrel Cline

Jesus said that we have to be born again in order to enter the Kingdom of God. (061) In this Christmas season [Editor's note: this article was written on December 8, 1993.], it is interesting to note that even Jesus was begotten twice. Most of us are aware that He was begotten by the Spirit in the womb of Mary--because that is why Christmas exists as a holiday. But, I would venture to guess that most of us are completely unaware that He was begotten again at a later time. I mention this because it might be helpful for us to understand His requirement upon us to be born again if we understand that even He was begotten twice.

Now, before I lose you altogether, let me show you from the Bible the two begettings of Jesus. The first one, about which we are all familiar, is the one recorded in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. This is the one that is the basis for Christmas. And, though there are many who doubt and debate whether it was as described (a virgin conception and birth), no one actually has any problem with the reality that Jesus was born, and that His birth is the foundation of Christmas.

The second begetting of Jesus is not nearly as well understood. But the same Bible that tells of the first begetting also tells of the second. In a prophetic statement, found in Psalm 2:7, the Messiah is said to have been told by God, "Thou art My Son, Today I have begotten Thee." This statement, made prophetically about the coming Christ, is quoted three times in the New Testament: in Acts 13:33, in Hebrews 1:5, and again in Hebrews 5:5. My point is simply this: it was prophesied that the Christ would be told by the Father that today He was begotten. This means that Jesus was born once of Mary and begotten again by the Father at a later time.

In order to understand this, let us consider the text of Acts 13:33: "God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee" (KJV). Here the apostle Paul says that Psalm 2:7 was a prediction of a begetting of the Christ that would occur at the point of His resurrection from the dead. He also says that the prophecy was fulfilled by the resurrection of Jesus from the grave by the power of the Father. The author of Hebrews echoes this claim by telling us that this second begetting is what makes Jesus different from the angels (1:5) and capable of being a priest after the eternal order of Melchizedek (5:5).

So, Jesus was born; and then born again. He was born into this earthly realm through the virgin's womb in order to take on human life. And He was born again into resurrection life through the combined action of His own power (John 10:18), the power of the Father (Ephesians 1:20), and the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 1:4). So, not even the King of the Kingdom got into the Kingdom without being born again.

This will help us in the articles to come as we continue to ask the questions: How is a person born again?, and What does it mean to be born again?. But let me just ask this in closing: Have you been born since you were first born?

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This is article #062.
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