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I have often imagined living as a Jew before Christ and can never really hold the thought that I would enjoy it that much. At first it seemed like a bit of a poor attitude on my part, but then I thought maybe it is just that life seems so much better after Christ? This leads me to a more formal theological question. 'Does the Bible say that it is better to have been born after Christ?' If it is better after Christ, in what specific ways?

Note: When I say as a Jew before Christ, I am imagining myself back then so that it is 'a believing Jew', who believed in the coming Christ and inherited eternal life just as those born after.

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I think it's more a case of believing in him, then when you are born. Because don't forget there are still Jews now. And its best to think you feel good because you accept Jesus as your savior. Not inherently better than others because they don't. Jews, Muslims and Atheists are are people too and most of them feel pretty good about their lives as well Meaning feeling better then someone else because of any reason. Doesn't feel right and very Christian to me –  Tim Dev Apr 26 at 8:16
    
@TimDev - I added a note to clarify my question. I forgot to add as I was imagining 'myself' back before Christ I was assuming a person who believed in Christ, just as I do today. The question is not about basic faith in Christ, but about the time we are born as both person's are assumed to have faith. –  Mike Apr 26 at 12:42

3 Answers 3

Was it better to have been born after Christ? Perhaps a good starting point would be to determine what was different after Christ’s incarnating. Jesus confirms that the Holy Spirits relationship with man would change after He was established at the right-hand of God the Father:

John 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:

John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

The Spirit of the Father that raised Jesus from the dead now dwells in us:

Romans 8:1-11 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death…But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

Salvation of one’s soul was available before the cross; however the salvation of one’s life was not. This may seem contradictory but let me explain. Consider Jesus and Nicodemus:

John 3:5-10 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit…Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?

Notice that this conversation takes place prior to the finished work on the cross and notice that Jesus is chastising Nicodemus for not knowing that one must be born of the Spirit. Man's soul has always been saved by the grace of God through the window of faith. However, after the cross the Holy Spirit gives birth to the presence of Christ in our heart. In that we may serve Jesus as Lord. Before the fulfillment of the gospel man was not able to serve Jesus as Lord because man was not aware of whom the Lord was. We have the benefit of serving Jesus as Lord not just by the knowledge of the Gospel, but by the presence of the Holy Spirit that testifies of Christ. Here is a verse that depicts our current condition:

Colossians 3:13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

We Christians are uniquely equipped with the Holy Spirit whom bears out the will of God the Father, which is Jesus Christ. We are those that are truly related to the Son of God. Jesus made this statement about those that are His relatives:

Matthew 12:50 …whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

The doing of the will of the Father requires the presence of the Holy Spirit and only that life made manifest by the Holy Spirit will stand the test of fire.

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I think you are on the right track, for surely it was better that Christ should ascend to the Father and send the Spirit. However the Spirit was there before being sent, its just that the degree of pouring out of the Spirit was so much more that it almost seems as though their was no salvation of the soul, Spirit,etc. before Christ. The principal benefits seem to be in the degree of knowledge, Spirit and not to mention the freedom of so many burdensome ceremonial laws meant to endlessly nag a guilty conscience without effectively explaining the relief of which they pointed to obscurely. –  Mike Apr 27 at 7:48
    
It will take a fairly complete answer for me to up vote on this one as there are no copy and paste clear solutions out there that I know of. and uet everybody instinctivley knows it is better after. cheers –  Mike Apr 27 at 7:49

Matthew 13:17 NKJV

for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

For the end result of Jesus will end all arguments (anger), depression, anxiety (mental disorders), death, and wipe away every tear.

Ephesians 4:31 NKJV - Ending Anger

Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.

John 3:18 NKJV - Ending Depression

He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Matthew 6:25-34 NKJV - Ending Anxiety

“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Revelation 21:4 NKJV - Ending Death and Crying

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

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This isn't an actual answer of OP's question. –  Tim Dev Apr 26 at 8:12
    
@TimDev I would agree with you if the end all arguments(anger), depression, anxiety(mental disorders), death, and every tear being wiped away was not considered an advantage. Yet since these advantages "In my opinion" are available to us now, and now being after Jesus was born. Then I still stand saying yes the bible is saying that is better to be born after Jesus. Yet forgive me. For maybe I am missing some detail that I need to add in. Can and may you specify as to exactly how I am not answering this question please? –  Only he is good. Apr 26 at 8:19
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Even with above reasons, its seems believing is a requirement not date of birth. Which isn't actually mentioned. And even people who were born before Jesus could be saved by him. I'm just saying I don't think a timeline is a constraint for god or jesus saving people who believe an deserve saving according to the bible. There was plenty of saving before jesus according to the bible. And we know there is plenty sorrow after his birth. –  Tim Dev Apr 26 at 8:38
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I like that, so I gave you a plus. I am by the bibles definition considered a gentile. And without "The son in action" would never known about the advantages of faith. For the continued belief from God's perspective is this "Do not give what is holy to the dogs..." (Matthew 7:6 NKJV) Therefore since before I understood faith I was a dog, and now understand (at least about faith) by the grace of God. Then it has been better for "me", that I have been born after the works of Jesus. I being one, is greater then zero, therefore I confirm that it is better because I exist and am who I am now. –  Only he is good. Apr 26 at 14:54
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arguments (anger), depression, anxiety (mental disorders) -- How are arguments and anger, anxiety and mental disorders related? –  Flimzy Apr 26 at 18:33

Your question seems a bit 'fuzzy' to me, because you ask for a biblical basis for it being 'better', and yet you talk about 'enjoying it', so I'm not sure what kind of 'better' you're getting at.

Anyway, I'm going to take your question at face value, though - given your rep - I can't help thinking that you already know this.

To be honest, offhand I can't think of any explicit references, nor even implicit ones. But it seems to me that the OT hope for any 'afterlife' was at best a hazy kind of 'maybe'. In that sense, the only thing that an OT Jew had to 'look forward to' was death.

So assuming that your hypothetical 'after Christ' self was a Jew (or gentile) who believed that Christ was the Messiah, and that his resurrection 'proved' that there was life beyond death for us too, I expect that your appreciation of the here-and-now would be improved by not having the existential angst about the 'what next?'.

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Don't mind me I am a little picky on answers to this question because what one has to assume is that in both cases a believer has eternal life, so in general life is good. However would you really have enjoyed going to the temple and sacrificing animals compared to going to church the way we do today? I think your answer is actually along the right mindset but it can actually be dug up logically and factually from arguments in the scripture, especially from Hebrews. Of course personally I would rather be a Christian today. Cheers. –  Mike May 27 at 13:11
    
By the way thanks for the edits on another post! I sometimes have a few errors when finger typing answers on my phone :) –  Mike May 27 at 13:14

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