DO HUTTERITES BELIEVE IN BEING BORN AGAIN?
Written by: Paul Wipf on Saturday, March 29th, 2014
The Lord also said, “Truly I tell you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” (John 3:5) If one is born again he can see the kingdom but he cannot enter it unless he is born of water and the Spirit. We know that no one can really see and truly value the Kingdom of God until he is born again, born from above. (John 3:3, Matthew 13:44-46) And no one can actually enter the Kingdom of God until he has repented of his sins and has his clean heart immersed in the Holy Spirit of God. (John 3:5, Matthew 3:11, Acts 1:8, Matthew 12:43-45, Luke 11:24-26)
If there was any religious faith that based itself squarely on the reality of being born again spiritually – of the newbirth in Christ – it certainly includes the Hutterites! Today, with outside and inside forces attacking our faith, this fact needs to be underscored, and documented in some detail.
Here is what Peter Riedemann says in the official Hutterian Confession of Faith: “Since we are to be born of God in the spiritual way of Christ and not in the human way of Adam, we must carefully consider how the birth of Christ took place. It occurred . . . in faith and through the working of the Holy Spirit. Whoever wishes to have Christ’s nature and character must also be born of God. That person must, with Christ, be God’s child. This is what Peter says with the words, ‘You have been born anew, not of mortal but of immortal seed, and this seed is the word of truth.’
“Here is how this birth takes place. If the Word is heard and believed, then faith is sealed with the power of God, with his Holy Spirit. The Spirit immediately renews the person after that person has been dead in sin, restoring to life the one who stands before God in righteousness. That person has been made into a new creature, a new person after God’s likeness, and has become renewed in this likeness. Whoever is born in this way should receive baptism as a bath of rebirth. This signifies being inscribed in the covenant of the grace and knowledge of God” (Confession of Faith, p. 110).
“The Spirit leads people into all truth, motivating all they do and fulfilling God’s will. In that way people begin a new life in the power of God. Paul says, ‘Whoever is in Christ, is a new creature.’ . . .
“. . . Where does that knowledge and good conscience come from? It only comes from a heart awakened through the Word of God. God will cause the Word to flourish and to increase in a person. He will uproot all that is carnal and implant what is godly. From that originates the new birth, of which Christ says, ‘Unless a person is born anew of water and of the Spirit, entrance into the kingdom of God is not possible.’ The meaning is that whoever is instructed by the Word of God and believes it, will have his faith sealed by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Through that, one is renewed or born again and led into a holy, godly life. That person may then receive the water of baptism as a sign of the death of the old self. (Confession of Faith page 196-97).