Brought Forth from Above
by Arlen L. Chitwood

        Foreword       Chapter 1      Chapter 2

        Chapter 3     Appendix 1     Appendix 2

       Appendix 3     


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       Foreword       Chapter 1      Chapter 2

       Chapter 3     Appendix 1     Appendix 2

      Appendix 3     


The birth “of God [Lit.: out of God]” (John 1:13) or “again [Lit: from above]” (John 3:3, 7) is almost universally taught in Christendom as having to do with a birth experienced by unsaved individuals, occurring at the moment they believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pass “from death to life.” That is, the Spirit breathing life into an unsaved individual, based on Christ’s finished work at Calvary, is looked upon as the birth “out of God,” “from above,” seen in these verses.

The problem is that this is not the manner in which the matter is introduced in John 1:13; nor is this the manner in which the matter is continued in John 3:3, 7; nor is this the manner in which the matter is seen in either 1 Peter or 1 John.

This is not to say that the Divine work surrounding an unsaved individual believing on the Lord Jesus Christ and being saved is not to be viewed in the same manner, i.e., as being brought forth “out of God,” “from above.”  Rather, it is to say that the verses being used (John 1:13; 3:3, 7; 1 Peter 1:3, 23; 1 John 2:29; 3:9; 4:7; 5:1, 4, 18) do not refer to this initial work of God through the Spirit.  Instead, they refer to subsequent works of God through the Spirit — subsequent works (pl.) because that connected with the bringing forth “out of God” is not the same in each instance.

The work surrounding an unsaved individual, “dead in trespasses and sins,” passing “from death to life can only be a divine bringing forth “out of God “from above.” However, Scripture never uses the type terminology seen in the referenced verses from John’s gospel, his first epistle, and 1 Peter relative to this divine work, unless possibly a verse such as Isaiah 66:8 would be referring to this facet of Israel’s future acceptance of Christ.

There can be no divine work performed among man (either saved or unsaved man) apart from this work occurring “out of God,” “from above Such would be impossible.

And, in this respect, the verses from John’s gospel, his first epistle, and 1 Peter do describe the source of the work of salvation by grace (for it is the same, it has to be — i.e., out of God, from above), though these verses do not pertain to this work per se.