I was excited to read this next book in the series as it seems the "born again" concept ignites many intense discussions among new and mature Christians. This is definitely one of the more difficult biblical notions to grasp.
Sproul begins the book by discussing if being "born again" is a necessity to the Christian life. I appreciate that he took the time to reveal this need rather than claiming it as an assumption. Obviously he concludes that it is required for one to be an authentic believer in Christ. He primarily utilizes John 3 where the interaction between Jesus and Nicodemus is described. He pays careful attention to the details of the story: Nicodemus' purity in his question and Jesus' simplistic answer.
He moves on by communicating the fundamentals of regeneration (Sproul's technical term for "born again"). In five sections, he delivers a clear and persuasive characterization of the role regeneration plays in a believer's life. Each section is described as follows: Regeneration is_
ÃÂ· A Mystery - regeneration is and always will be a mystery to us, but more so to those that are still living in darkness. Only God can enlighten us to such a mystery.
ÃÂ· The Beginning - regeneration is simply the beginning of our relationship with Christ. We cannot be part of God's eternal purpose in His Kingdom without being born again.
ÃÂ· A Sovereign Work of God - regeneration is only possible through the work of Christ. By no means can our good works provide the born again experience.
ÃÂ· Immediate - regeneration is an instantaneous transformation. Although the maturity of a believer is a process, the born again experience is immediate.
ÃÂ· Permanent - regeneration cannot be reversed. Sproul supports the argument "once saved, always saved".
I particularly enjoyed two aspects within the book:
ÃÂ· He briefly explained the redundancy of the term "born again Christian". In the New Testament, "born again" is synonymous with being "a Christian." So essentially we are saying "a Christian Christian." Although most Christians would understand the general implications of such a term, it's grammatically incorrect.
ÃÂ· He included a personal aspect in the book as he revealed the background of his own "born again" experience along with his wife's. I believe he included this portion to allow his readers to understand that every "born again" experience is unique - it will never be black and white.
Although the concept of "born again" is not a prominent description, Sproul persuasively maintains that it's vital to our biblical understanding of a relationship with Christ.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher as part of their review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."