When someone uses the term “born again” it really means that one is born of God. In the first chapter of John we read “As many as received him (Christ), to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in his name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”
Recently I was involved in an interesting conversation with the guys in the small group Bible study at the jail. One of them asked me about Cain. He asked, “Was Cain the son of the devil?” I thought hmm? What an interesting question. I told him I believe the Bible is clear that Adam and Eve were Cain and Abel’s parents but that is in the natural realm. Then I remembered something found in 1 John that reads “For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another; not as Cain, who was of the evil one and slew his brother.” So right there in black and white it says “Cain was of the evil one.”
The conversation then turned to the fact that we all have earthly, physical parents but we all have a spiritual father as well. There is a Father behind the Father if you will. Like Cain and Abel we can have blood relatives that are spiritually of a different Father.
Jesus seemed to always find himself in confrontations with the religious leaders of his day and on one particular occasion they discussed Fathers. In John 8 we read where the religious leaders get angry with Jesus because he promises them freedom and they say, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that you say, ‘You will become free?” I’m not going to go into the fact that Abraham’s descendants spent over 400 years in slavery in Egypt. Jesus turns the conversation to Fathers saying, “I speak the things which I have seen with my Father; therefore you also do the things which you heard from your father.” The conflict is fueled because the Jews were claiming Abraham as their father, but Jesus was talking about their spiritual father. The religious leaders seem to get more and more fired up as Jesus finally just tells them straight out “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father.” Jesus is showing us that all of us have a father either the devil or God. We are born a sinner (born of the devil) therefore we must be born again (born of God). We have to be born into God’s family; it isn’t just some decision we make. It is a birth from above!
In Ephesians 2 Paul tells us we, as believers, used to walk according to the world—“the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.” The guys in the Bible study were totally in to what I was showing them in the scriptures and really getting it. I told them “What you guys are seeing here is something that most, either don’t see, or simply don’t want to see.” It’s understandable that no one wants to believe they used to be the child of the devil and controlled by him. I know for me, looking back on my life, I can see that I was definitely being manipulated and wasn’t acting solely on my own.
Sometimes when someone starts talking like this some have the tendency to think you are shifting blame onto the devil. This is not at all what I’m saying here. I believe the one who breaks the law is guilty of breaking the law, but what I am saying is behind it all there is a spirit and we are of one or the other we are not acting independently. We are of our father one way or the other. As Jesus said, “He who is of God hears the words of God…”