As a child growing up in church it was common to hear sermons expounding on the conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus as recorded in the gospel of John. The theme of those sermons was the answer to the question “What must a person do to be born again?” And the popular answer to that question was “To be born again you must believe upon Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.” The preacher emphasized that being born again is a choice that a person makes to follow Christ. In other words, upon being convicted of their sins by the Holy Spirit, a person decides whether or not they want to be born again. That is, a person has free will to accept or reject the new birth being offered to them; they have decisive control over their eternal destination. Some may understand this as the doctrine of self-determination. Continue reading