“I was saved in…” or “I was born again in…” are both sentiments regularly expressed by well-meaning evangelicals. They mean to testify to the power of the Lord to save and to the reality of salvation in our time. We should affirm that both statements are mistaken. First, all believers were saved when Jesus died and was raised from the dead. That is the decisive accomplishment of salvation. What people mean by the expression “I was saved in…” is “I was given new life in such and such a year” or “the Holy Spirit applied to me Christ’s work for me in such and such a year.” Now these expressions are more accurate but they remain somewhat problematic. The same applies to the expression, “I was born again in such and such a year.” Again, we trust that believers are affirming that they were given new life by the sovereign grace and power of the Holy Spirit. We should affirm this but the idea that a believer knows precisely when the Holy Spirit did his mysterious applying work is still a bit presumptuous. According to our Lord Jesus in John 3 and the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 2:1–4, we know that the Holy Spirit has worked sovereignly, powerfully, wonderfully to raise us from spiritual death to spiritual life (to use the imagery to Ephesians 2), we know that the Holy Spirit has given us life from above or again (ἄνωθεν). The word our Lord uses in John 3 can mean both things and John regularly writes in a way that requires us to consider two senses at the same time. This may well be one of those cases.
AGR airs daily on KARI in the Pacific Northwest (4:30 PM), in San Diego on KPRZ (1:30 PM and 4:00 PM), in KRDU in Fresno (4:00 PM), KPDQ in Portland (1:30 PM and 4:00 PM), GraceRadio 107.9FM in Modesto (7:00 AM and 7:00 PM), and weekly on CJFW in Terrace, B.C. Canada (7:30 PM Sundays), and 8:00 AM and 9:00 PM (Sundays) on CFIS 93.1 FM (Prince George, B.C.). AGR also airs on KVOH out of Zambia into the larger African continent.
Here is part 1 of our discussion: