The Born-Again Experience: Now or Later? Part 2
Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics

Authored By  :
Bill Kochman

Published On :
September 11, 1999

Last Updated :
January 3, 2009


Defining The 'Treasure', Holy Ghost Power, Our Inheritance -
Our Resurrected Bodies, Spirit Of Promise, Quickened Bodies,
Spiritual Rebirth, Spirit Of Christ Dwells In Us, Promise Of
Eternal Life, Dead In Sin, Spiritual Salvation Now, Physical
Redemption Later, Miracle Of Butterflies, Coming Glorified
Resurrection Bodies, No Partial Birth Or Embryonic State




I concluded part one by asking, what is this 'treasure' of
which the Apostle Paul speaks? If we look at the verse which
comes right before the one which contains this word, and if
we then compare the two with another verse which my friend
shared with me, it becomes evident that the 'earnest of the
Spirit', and the 'treasure in earthen vessels', are the very
same thing. In other words, Paul is saying that it is in
fact the Holy Spirit itself; which is the Spirit of Truth
which shines the Light and Knowledge of God's Word into our
hearts; thus resulting in our spiritual Salvation. While the
translators of the Bible have divided Paul's thoughts into
two separate verses, I am joining them together below so
that you can plainly see that Paul is actually saying 'ye
were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the
earnest of our inheritance':

"For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness,
hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the
knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the
excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us."
2 Corinthians 4:6-7, KJV

"In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of
truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that
ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of
promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the
redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of
his glory." Ephesians 1:13-14, KJV

In other words, the Holy Spirit is the down payment of our
coming inheritance; it is just a small part of what is yet
to come. As further proof that the 'treasure in earthen
vessels' is also a reference to the Holy Ghost, that is, to
the 'earnest of the Spirit', notice that Paul employs the
phrase 'that the excellency of the power may be of God'.
This is not the only place in the Scriptures where the Holy
Spirit is associated with Divine Power. Please consider the
following examples:

"And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost
shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall
overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall
be born of thee shall be called the Son of God."
Luke 1:35, KJV

"And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee:
and there went out a fame of him through all the region
round about." Luke 4:14, KJV

"And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but
tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with
power from on high." Luke 24:49, KJV

"But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is
come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in
Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the
uttermost part of the earth." Acts 1:8, KJV

"Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay
hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost." Acts 8:19, KJV

"How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and
with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that
were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him."
Acts 10:38, KJV

"And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to
the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:"
Romans 1:4, KJV

"Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in
believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of
the Holy Ghost...Through mighty signs and wonders, by the
power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and
round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel
of Christ." Romans 15:13, 19, KJV

"And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words
of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of
power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of
men, but in the power of God." 1 Corinthians 2:4,5, KJV

"For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in
power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye
know what manner of men we were among you for your sake."
1 Thessalonians 1:5, KJV

So as can clearly be seen, this 'treasure' which we have in
our Earthly bodies, which Paul tells us is the down payment,
or 'earnest of our inheritance', is the Power of the Holy
Ghost. The next obvious question is, exactly what is our
inheritance? As we saw earlier, it is the full 'purchased
possession'; that is, it is the Redemption of our physical
bodies, which will then be rejoined with our saved spirit.
Here again is a verse which I shared with you in part one:

"And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the
firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within
ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption
of our body." Romans 8:23, KJV

As we saw in part one, Jesus Himself promised us the Gift of
the Holy Spirit, which would serve as our Teacher and Guide
into all truth. I believe that it is for this reason that in
the previous verse from his Epistle to the Ephesians, Paul
refers to it as the 'Holy Spirit of promise'. This fact is
verified for us by a number of other verses found in the New
Testament:

"And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but
tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with
power from on high." Luke 24:49, KJV

"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father
will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and
bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said
unto you." John 14:26, KJV

"Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will
guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself;
but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he
will shew you things to come." John 16:13, KJV

"And, being assembled together with them, commanded them
that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the
promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of
me." Acts 1:4, KJV

"Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and
having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost,
he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear."
Acts 2:33, KJV

"That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles
through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of
the Spirit through faith." Galatians 3:14, KJV

"In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of
truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that
ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of
promise," Ephesians 1:13, KJV

So the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of promise, is the 'earnest',
or down payment, of our inheritance, which currently dwells
within our physical bodies. It is a treasure and a part of
our inheritance, but it is by no means the full thing. So
the question we must ask ourselves is, what part is it? It
can't possibly be the physical part, because we know that
the Redemption of our bodies won't happen until the Lord
returns; therefore, it must be the spiritual part; it must
be directly related to our spiritual Salvation. Now, allow
me to remind you of a verse which I shared with you in part
one:

"It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth
nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit,
and they are life." John 6:63, KJV

Now notice carefully what Jesus says here. He tells us that
the Spirit quickens, and that His words are Spirit and Life.
Exactly what does that word 'quicken' mean? It is derived
from the Greek word 'zoopoieo', pronounced dzo-op-oy-eh'-o,
which my Greek lexicon defines as follows:

----- Begin Quote -----

1) to produce alive, begat or bear living young
2) to cause to live, make alive, give life
2a) by spiritual power to arouse and invigorate
2b) to restore to life
2c) to give increase of life: thus of physical life
2d) of the spirit, quickening as respects the spirit,
endued with new and greater powers of life
3) metaph., of seeds quickened into life, i.e. germinating,
springing up, growing

----- End Of Quote -----

So what Jesus is actually saying in the previous verse, is
that it is the Spirit which makes us alive. Not only that,
but it is the Spirit which restores life, and endues us with
New Life. Furthermore, Jesus is plainly telling us that His
words are Spirit, and that they give us this Life. In other
words, when each one of us hears the message of Salvation,
and receives it into our heart, we are filled with the
Spirit, and are brought back to life. In fact, we are given
Eternal Life. This is precisely why Jesus said:

"And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never
perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand."
John 10:28, KJV

So again, the Lord is telling us that when we accept His
words into our hearts by faith, we are quickened; that is,
we are brought back to spiritual life, by His Spirit which
takes up residence within us; because as He said, His words
are Spirit, and they are Life. We become one with the Word,
and He becomes one with us. This is the only possible way
that we can gain this New Life, this Eternal Life, because
He is the only one who has overcome Satan and Death through
His Sacrifice on the Cross, and subsequent Resurrection from
the Dead. Without the Spirit of Christ dwelling in us, we
are totally lost. It is for this reason that the Apostles
Paul and John wrote such verses as the following:

"But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be
that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not
the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." Romans 8:9, KJV

"That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye,
being rooted and grounded in love," Ephesians 3:17, KJV

"To whom God would make known what is the riches of the
glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in
you, the hope of glory:" Colossians 1:27, KJV

"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom;
teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and
spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the
Lord." Colossians 3:16, KJV

"Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because
he hath given us of his Spirit." 1 John 4:13, KJV

Notice that in that last verse, John makes a rather clear
connection between Christ dwelling in us, and the Gift of
the Holy Spirit. John appears to be saying that the very
fact that we have each been given a certain measure of the
Holy Spirit, is proof that Christ dwells in us. In other
words, John seems to be making a direct connection between
the born-again experience, which is a result of accepting
Christ, and the Holy Spirit. This relationship between the
promise of the Holy Spirit, and the Gift of Eternal Life is
supported by other verses as well. Just as I have shown you
that the Holy Spirit was promised to us, Eternal Life was
also promised to us. Consider the following verses:

"But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the
promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that
believe." Galatians 3:22, KJV

"For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is
profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that
now is, and of that which is to come." 1 Timothy 4:8, KJV

"Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God,
according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus,"
2 Timothy 1:1, KJV

"In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie,
promised before the world began;" Titus 1:2, KJV

"And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament,
that by means of death, for the redemption of the
transgressions that were under the first testament, they
which are called might receive the promise of eternal
inheritance." Hebrews 9:15, KJV

"For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the
will of God, ye might receive the promise."
Hebrews 10:36, KJV

"And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even
eternal life." 1 John 2:25, KJV

Now, obviously, the reason that we each had to be brought
back to life, the reason that we had to be quickened, is
because before knowing Christ, and before we accepted His
loving Atonement, we were dead in our sins; as is quite
apparent by the following verses:

"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is
eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Romans 6:23, KJV

"And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of
your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having
forgiven you all trespasses;" Colossians 2:13, KJV

"And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and
sins;...But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love
wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath
quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in
heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he
might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness
toward us through Christ Jesus." Ephesians 2:1, 4-7, KJV

Please notice that in writing of our spiritual rebirth, Paul
does not appear to be speaking of it as something which will
happen some time in the future; he seems to be addressing it
as an already accomplished task. He is clearly writing in
the past tense. He is telling us that we were brought back
to life, we were quickened, the very moment that we trusted
in Jesus Christ, and received of His Holy Spirit. To further
strengthen this view, consider the tense of the following
verses. You will notice that Paul writes 'we have', and not
'we will have' or 'we shall have'.

"In whom we have redemption through his blood, the
forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;"
Ephesians 1:7, KJV

"In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the
forgiveness of sins:" Colossians 1:14, KJV

Notice though, that in the verses from his Epistle to the
Ephesians, right after stating these things, Paul switches
to the future tense and tells us that even though we have
already been brought back to life, or quickened, through our
faith in Jesus Christ, he realizes that we currently do not
possess very much physical proof that these things are so;
thus he offers us encouragement by saying that 'In the ages
to come', we are going to receive the full assurance of
these things, because we are finally going to receive the
full possession; we are going to receive our new Glorified
Bodies; and then we will fully know and understand God's
grace and kindness, which will be bestowed upon us because
of the Sacrifice of His Son. In other words, Paul is saying
'This is what you've already got'; past tense, 'but this is
what you are going to get'; future tense. Paul is very
consistent with this message. Consider another verse I
shared with you a moment ago:

"For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is
profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that
now is, and of that which is to come." 1 Timothy 4:8, KJV

Can you see how clear that is? Paul says 'the life that now
is, and of that which is to come'. In other words, we have
Eternal Life right now; we have already been born again, or
quickened by the Spirit; but it is only a small portion of
that which is yet to come. We have already been given a
sufficient measure of the Spirit to bring us back to life,
but it is nothing compared to the things which will yet be.
Jesus Himself told us that He came to give us Life, that is,
Eternal Life, but even more abundantly; but that isn't going
to happen just yet. We only have a little bit of it, but we
do have it here and now by faith:

"The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to
destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they
might have it more abundantly." John 10:10, KJV

The Apostle John adopts the very same attitude. He plainly
wants us to know that we already have Eternal Life now; we
have already been reborn in this current life, and that it
is not something which will occur in the future. There is no
need to wait for our spiritual Salvation, because that is
already ours now, by faith in Jesus Christ. Please notice
that John uses the present tense; thus indicating that he
views our spiritual rebirth as already being an accomplished
task. In fact, if you look at the very first verses, he
places the rebirth experience in the past by saying 'which
were born'. So John is saying 'We believed, we received, and
we were born again'; and obviously, we still are born again.
If we try to put some of these verses in the future tense,
so that they can apply to the Resurrection of the Dead, they
make absolutely no sense whatsoever in my view:

"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: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the
flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."
John 1:12-13, KJV

"Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed
remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of
God." 1 John 3:9, KJV

"Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and
every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God."
1 John 4:7, KJV

"Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of
God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him
also that is begotten of him...For whatsoever is born of God
overcometh the world: and this is the victory that
overcometh the world, even our faith...He that hath the Son
hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not
life. These things have I written unto you that believe on
the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have
eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son
of God....We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not;
but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that
wicked one toucheth him not." 1 John 5:1, 4, 12-13, 18 KJV

So you see, we have Eternal Life now, by faith, just as we
are told in Hebrews 11:1. We cannot see it yet, because we
have not yet received the final 'purchased possession'; that
is, we don't possess our new resurrected, glorified bodies;
but it is nevertheless already ours, because God's Word says
so.

It is for these reasons, that I believe that our spiritual
Salvation, our spiritual Rebirth, occurs the minute in which
we accept Christ; because that is what the Holy Scriptures
plainly state in my view. Jesus clearly said 'I give unto
them eternal life', and not 'I shall give unto them eternal
life'. We received New Life, a New Birth, a Second Birth,
the very moment in which we trusted in Him. That is when we
were quickened. That is what all of these verses seem to say
to me. We have already received our 'earnest', we've already
received our down payment, through the quickening of the
Holy Spirit, which we now have in these 'earthen vessels',
in these 'temples of the Holy Ghost', in these 'tabernacles'
of the flesh, here and now.

So, to reiterate this point, all we are doing right now, is
waiting to receive the rest of the purchased possession; the
full possession; that is, the transformation of our bodies,
at the time of Christ's Return. That is when we will finally
be perfected; that is when we will all finally be complete;
because that is when our saved spirit will be reunited with
our new, transformed and quickened bodies, so that we can
totally enjoy our Eternal Life fully and abundantly, without
any further restrictions by these weak physical bodies of
flesh. Notice what Paul says in the following verse:

"But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead
dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall
also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth
in you." Romans 8:11, KJV

Now please notice, that in the verses I shared with you a
moment ago from his Epistle to the Ephesians, Paul was
clearly speaking in the past tense in reference to our
spiritual quickening; however, in the above verse, he is
clearly speaking in the future tense. Why is this? If you
look at the topic of this verse, it becomes quite obvious.
Just as Paul spoke in the future tense in previous verses
when discussing the quickening of our mortal bodies, he is
doing the same thing here. So this seems to be yet another
confirmation, that he views our spiritual quickening, that
is our spiritual Salvation, as an accomplished task when we
accept Christ, while he views the Redemption of our physical
bodies as a future event at Christ's Coming.

Please notice also, that while Pauls speaks of our physical
transformation as a future event, he seems to be speaking of
the in-dwelling of the Holy Ghost as an already accomplished
event. He states 'his Spirit that dwelleth in you'. In other
words, if the Holy Spirit dwells in you now, then you must
already possess Eternal Life; you must already be born again
now, and not later. In fact, indirectly, it may be that Paul
is stating that the Redemption of our physical bodies, may
in part be a result of the Holy Spirit which already dwells
within us. To say it another way, the catalyst for change,
the catalyst for our physical transformation at the time of
the Second Coming, already exists in our body this very
moment. Allow me to share a very graphical example which
just now came to me. It is possible that I may share this
same example in other articles as well. In his Epistle to
the Romans, Paul wrote:

"For the invisible things of him from the creation of the
world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that
are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they
are without excuse:" Romans 1:20, KJV

This verse simply means that we can know and understand
God's Power, and that He truly does exist, merely by looking
around us at the physical creation. God can, and does, speak
to us, and teach us, by way of His Holy Spirit, in a myriad
of ways; if we are willing to take the time to listen. For
example; consider the lowly caterpillar. By all outward
appearances, unless we were already familiar with the life
cycle of the caterpillar, we would never possibly imagine
that someday, it will be transformed into a beautiful winged
creature which will be freed from the bounds of the Earth,
so that it can soar freely in the sky; yet that is precisely
what is going to happen.

Pretending that we are not aware of its life cycle, our
erroneous assumptions are based upon its outward appearance.
There is no hint whatsoever of the glorious transformation
to come. All we can see is a fat, multi-legged, hairy body,
which lumbers along, looking for the next juicy leaves to
eat; however, just like those of us who have accepted Christ
into our lives, it too already possesses the 'earnest of its
inheritance'. Just as we now possess the Spirit, and have
thus already been born again, within its body, it possesses
the chemicals which will someday result in it casting off
its Earth-bound state, so that it can be freed once and for
all; yet due to our ignorance of its life cycle, we might
totally deny this fact, because we can't see it yet. Just as
our change is timed for the future, the caterpillar's change
is also timed for the future. Barring premature death by its
enemies, it is a sure event; just as the Redemption of our
physical bodies is also a sure promise. In both cases, the
catalyst is already present. The promise has already been
given.

So similar to the lowly caterpillar, our Salvation is also a
two-fold process. We receive the Salvation of our spirit now
through the process of being born again when we accept Jesus
Christ as our Lord and Saviour, which also results in the
in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit; and we will experience the
Resurrection, Transformation and Redemption of our physical
bodies, at the time of Christ's Return when body and spirit
will finally be reunited. As I share in other articles, the
Scriptures are full of wonderful verses which tell us of our
coming change. Consider the following:

"For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be
conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the
firstborn among many brethren." (Romans 8:29)

"Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of
every creature:" (Colossians 1:15)

"For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle
were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made
with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan,
earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which
is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be
found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan,
being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but
clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life."
(2 Corinthians 5:1-4)

"Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned
like unto his glorious body, according to the working
whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself."
(Philippians 3:21)

"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet
appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall
appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he
is." (1 John 3:2)

"There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial:
but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the
terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and
another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars:
for one star differeth from another star in glory. So also
is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption;
it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; it is
raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in
power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual
body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual
body. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a
living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that
which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The
first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the
Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that
are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that
are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy,
we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Now this I
say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the
kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit
incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all
sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the
twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet
shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and
we shall be changed." (1 Corinthians 15:40-52)

If you are interested in learning more about this glorious
future event, may I suggest that you read such articles as
the series 'Death: Final Battle, Final Victory', and 'The
Great Tribulation And The Rapture'. For now though, let us
backtrack in our thoughts for a moment. If my understanding
of the Scriptures is correct; if it is indeed true that we
are fully born again in the Spirit at the time in which we
accept Christ, then it only seems logical that there should
be some Scriptural evidence which discusses this New Life in
Christ. One thing of which I am certain, is that, just as in
the physical birth process there is no such thing as partial
birth, the same rule applies to the Spirit. Either a person
is fully born again at the time he receives Christ, or else
he isn't. There is no such thing as some kind of temporary
embryonic state which lasts until Christ's Return.

In the final part of this series, I will be presenting my
Scriptural evidence in order to validate this point. This
will also include looking at such topics as human pregnancy
and childbirth, new creatures in Christ, spiritual milk and
meat, no growth without birth, spiritual pride, knowledge
versus love, spiritual children, the inner spiritual man,
spiritual maturity and spiritual fruit, the blindness of the
Jews, the children of the Kingdom cast out, the Invisible
Kingdom, the veil removed, and Christ's Millennial Rule with
a Rod of Iron. I trust that you will join me.

⇒ Go To The Next Part . . .


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