Fiji's Family Network
The New Testament Greek does not have two words to differentiate between being merelybegotten and actually being born. The Greek word in all cases, gennao, actually includes the entire process from begettal to the birth.Strong’s Concordance defines it as follows: “to procreate (properly of the father, but by extension of the mother); figurative to regenerate:—bear, beget, be born, bring forth, conceive, be delivered of, gender, make, spring.” English has two separate, distinct words for this process. The King James Version of the Bible bears this out, at times translating gennao as “begotten” and other times “birth.”
It is the context that must determine what the Greek word actually denotes. (Translators were not always right.) If it refers to us receiving God’s Spirit now, while in the flesh, we know this refers to begettal, since the Kingdom is not yet here and no fleshly human is spirit and sinless! But if it refers to us being like God, not able to sin or living forever, we know that is the true, spiritual birth!
Now, understand this. Before a human being can be physically born, the baby must be begotten. Romans 8:16 shows how this relates spiritually as well. “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” Notice, humans have a spirit. Job 32:8 states, “But there is a spirit in man.…” Spiritual begettal, which makes us God’s children, is when the Spirit of God combines with this human spirit—just like the male sperm combines with the female ovum to create a child.
So how and when is one spiritually begotten? When does this Spirit of God enter the mind? Peter said, “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 [Spirit]” (Acts 2:38).
This is why Christ, in John 3, mentioned being born of water first. This is the spiritualbegettal, when man is forgiven of his past sins and receives the gift of the Holy Spirit. Upon receipt of this Spirit, man becomes a member of God’s spiritual family in embryo!
“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” (Gen. 1:26). Man looks like God in physical form—he has His likeness. This is proven in the sense that the Word became flesh and looked like the Father (John 14:9). But in order to be a member of God’s family, man had to gain the image of God! He needed the character of God, the mind of God. He needed to think like God
Physically, the purpose of conception is to make another human being similar to the parents—with two eyes, two ears, a nose, a mouth, two arms, two legs, etc. BUT AT THE MOMENT OF CONCEPTION, THE BEGOTTEN DOES NOT LOOK LIKE A HUMAN BEING. It looks like a cell! It actually takes over nine months to come to the complete “image” of a human being. Over the months, little by little, the embryo takes on the features of a human. Soon, an independent heart, a toe here, a finger there, and so on. The same applies spiritually. When man is begotten of God, he actually seems to have none of God’s image—he may not act like or think like God. But over time, he begins to take on the features, the character of God. The equivalent of an arm might develop, or a leg, until he is fully ready to be born as a spirit being into the family of God.
“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” (Rom. 8:11). The Spirit of God in a human being is what quickens his or her body to be changed into spirit composition. It happened first to Christ. That is why He is called the “firstborn among many brethren” (Rom. 8:29). To this point, He is the only one born again, because He is the only one who was flesh and is now a Spirit member in the God family. And how did it happen to Him? By the resurrection. “For the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be RAISED incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (I Cor. 15:52). Those dead at the return of Jesus Christ, when He comes to establish His KINGDOM on earth, will be resurrected incorruptible, spirit children in the image of God.
This is the most fundamental truth to God’s plan for humanity—the very reason life exists on this planet! God is making a family. He intends that every single willing human being be born again into His family. It starts at the birth of water (being baptized and forgiven of our past sins) and the receipt of God’s Spirit, and then growing as a baby would in gestation until the embryo has formed the image of God—when the human, by the guidance of God’s Spirit, learns to think and act like God. Finally, he or she will be changed to a spirit member of God’s family—unable to sin and able to live that way forever. He or she will be, as Christ said, like the invisible wind and a part of an invisible Kingdom, or family. The parallels are astonishing!