the new birth

‘There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus said unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.’John 3:1-7

Before I was ‘born again’ i.e. before I became a Christian, I used to laugh at and was very derisory of the term ‘born again Christians’ but really, the only class of Christian is the ‘born again’ class. If you have not been born again, quite simply, you are not a Christian and you have not been saved.Jesus said, ‘You MUST be born again’ and unless we have received that ‘born again experience we will face judgement and future punishment in the lake of fire (although I now believe that punishment will be temporary!).

Let’s spend some time looking at what the Bible tells us of this ‘born again’ experience. If it’s in His will and in His timing He’ll show Himself to you. It’s then your choice to make. Either go on living in this world with all its problems, or turn to Jesus, put your faith and trust in Him, and He promises to wipe out your sinful past, and promises to come and take you to be with Him at the appointed time, in paradise. This world has nothing for us, our hope is what the Bible calls the b

‘blessed hope’ and that is in the future when we will have new bodies and forever be with the Lord!

What the ‘New Birth is Not

You cannot join the family of God, you must be born into it, and that is by a work of God, not by ourselves.You cannot earn it of your own will or efforts, neither can you receive it by someone else praying for you.

‘For by grace are ye saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.’Ephesians 2:8-9

Obeying the commandments, joining a church, being baptised and confirmed or doing good will not save you. Remember that Nicodemus was a Pharisee, a very strict religious person. He celebrated the Jewish festivals, paid tithes, prayed and fasted, made sacrifices to God and he tried to keep the law. Despite all this Jesus said to him, ‘You must be born again.’ 

Being born again is not just turning over a new leaf – it is a work of God and you really do become a new person. Some people think they are saved from future punishment just because they went forward at a meeting, or recited the ‘sinner’s prayer, but if there is no change in their lives then they haven’t been born again!

How Do I Receive The New Birth?

There is only one way to be spiritually reborn and that is through Jesus. The Bible tells us

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shall  be saved.’Acts 16:31

Jesus followed on His conversation with Nicodemus saying:

For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.’John 3:16

He also said to His disciples:

‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father, but by me.’ John 14:6

So, the new birth is available to everyone called and chosen by God- all we have to do is to accept Jesus as Lord of our lives – it’s that simple! You see, it’s a gift from God – all we have to do is open the gift.You simply need to give up trying to run your own life – instead trust, receive and depend on Jesus – He died for you, to bring you back to God.  Jesus said:

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.’ Revelation 3:20

If you hear His voice today, do not harden your heart. Turn to Him.

In whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession.’Ephesians 1:13-14

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.’2 Corinthians 5:17

If you have been born again you have the seal of the Holy Spirit on you guaranteeing your inheritance. And what is your inheritance. Well, your inheritance is what you can expect when you get to heaven. I can’t even begin to describe how good that’s going to be. One thing I do know is that:

‘Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.’ 1 Corinthians 2:9

What are the Results of the New Birth?

When you turn to Jesus and you are born again you become a child of God, with all the rights and privileges that Jesus has before the Father. Isn’t that amazing!! Read this from the Bible.

‘But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.’John 1:12

‘According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.’Ephesians 1:4

So we are children of God, the Holy Spirit is living in us, and is gradually changing us so we will become more like Jesus.

‘For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many bretheren.’Acts 8:29

Why then do we still sin? Why then do we still face daily battles and why is life still so hard sometimes? Well, the victory we have as born again Christians does not mean we won’t have problems. Jesus himself tells us, ‘In the  world ye shall have tribulation’ (John 16:33) so we shouldn’t be surprised when it comes along. Even in the tough times, though, Jesus is with us. He said, ‘I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.’  (Mathew 28:20). That’s the victory and the peace we have – knowing that Jesus is with us whatever we go through and that one day we will be like Him and with Him. It is important to recognise that there will be a constant battle between our new selves and our old selves.

Paul described this battle in Romans 7 and here in his letter to the Galatians.

‘For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.’Galatians 5:17

Furthermore, the Bible tells us:‘If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.’1 John 1:8 and

‘Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.’1 John 3:9

So it is possible, no a guarantee, that a child of God will commit sin but it is impossible for the genuine born again Christian to live a life of sin.When we do sin we grieve (see Ephesians 4:30) or quench (see 1 Thessalonians 5:19) the Holy Spirit and the Spirit’s grief then becomes what we feel – hurt and heartache. So we cannot live a life of sin but when we do commit a sin we feel bad about it and have to come before our Father in heaven to confess it and receive His forgiveness.

As a born again Christian

Your vision and understanding will be enhanced. Jesus told His disciples,‘… when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth.’John 16:13

Your heart undergoes a revolution. God promised to do this through the Prophet Ezekiel over 500 years before Jesus was born.

‘A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.’Ezekiel 36:26

When you are born again you will have a fresh appreciation of the social problems around you. Your heart will beat with compassion for those who are less fortunate than you and you will want to reach out to them and help them.The new birth is instant, as soon as you accept Jesus, but the changes in you will be gradual and will not end until we get to heaven.

The Bible promises us that the Holy Spirit will impart these characteristics into us over time : ‘Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith.’Galatians 5:22

These ‘fruits of the Spirit’ will grow in us as we live the Christian life and follow Jesus. 

In the meantime, remember to ‘smell the roses’. Enjoy what God has given you right now. Trust in God and trust in His promises to you, His precious child.

‘Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.’        Jeremiah 17:7-8

Amen! 

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Responses

  1. This is very enlightening——will continue to follow.
    What’s a good online bible study that would explain situations like–Exodus 4: 23 —“And I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn.”

  2. Thank-you for taking the time to share with us on your site.
    Love in Christ,
    Michael and Diana


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