(John 3:3) “I tell you the truth, unless a man is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Without the Spiritual rebirth from above we will never enter heaven neither will we be able to understand spiritual truth. Without the direct ministry of the Spirit to our spirit we will forever remain in spiritual darkness, ignorance and sin. Now it is the work of the Holy Spirit to reveal the Lord Jesus Christ for who He really is to men. (1 Corinthians 12:3) You can listen to testimonies of others, study the Bible about Jesus, read devotional books, but never receive the New Birth. You will only be born again when the Holy Spirit takes that testimony, that sermon, that devotional book or that Bible study and applies the truth directly to your heart and mind. If you wish to have the assurance that you are born again then it’s not enough just to study the Bible you must ask God to witness to it’s truth in your heart.
The seed of God’s word can only take root and produce life in receptive heart soil. If you will open your will and mind to God to receive His truth; then the Holy Spirit will enable you to believe in Jesus Christ as your own personal Saviour and Lord. The key to your new birth is the surrender of your will. Peter said, “We are witnesses to these things and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him” (Acts 5:32). Once the Holy Spirit testifies to your minds and heart about Jesus then all of your ignorance and scepticism concerning Him will be gone.
What is the New Birth?
(Ephesians 2:1-5) Read these verses.
Every man, woman and child born into the world are spiritually dead no matter how excellent in character they may be or how religious their parents may have been. We are, by nature, moral and spiritual corpses. We do not love God naturally because our minds and hearts are evil from birth. David said; “Surely I have been a sinner from birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me” (Psalm 51:5). Jeremiah also said; “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately evil, who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). The Apostle Paul himself also said; “The sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God” (Romans 8:7-8).
The New Birth is “the impartation of spiritual life through the Holy Spirit into those who are spiritually dead towards God.” When we are born again we are made alive to God and able to relate to Him personally. The Holy Spirit Himself is the source of this new spiritual life from God. As Titus says; “He saved us, not because of righteous things we have done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5).
When the Holy Spirit comes into our lives He enables us to relate to God as our Heavenly Father. We have within us the child like capacity to trust Him with our whole life and to completely depend upon Him for all off our needs. “Because you are son’s, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba Father.” (Daddy) (Romans 4:6).
Now the instrument that the Holy Spirit uses to produce the New Birth in us is the Word of God. As Peter said; “He (God) has given us His very great and precious promises so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires” (2 Peter 1:4). James also said; “He (God) chose to give us birth through the word of truth” (James 1:8). The seed is the Word of God, the soil is the human heart and the water is the Holy Spirit who waters that seed so that it can produce spiritual fruit in the life. The preaching of the word in itself will not bring about the new birth unless the Spirit of God takes that word and makes it come alive on the inside of us. The Lord Jesus confirmed this truth when He said; “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit (Spirit) and they are life” (John 6:63). Paul also backed up this truth when he said; “The letter kills but the Spirit gives life” (2 Corinthians 3:16). Again he said; “You show (by your changed life) that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the Living God not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts” (1 Corinthians 3:3). So then, the New Birth occurs when God breathes His own spiritual life and nature into those who are spiritually dead in sin.
Why do we need to be Born Again?
1. We need to be Born Again because our minds are naturally blind to spiritual truth and realites as taught in the Word of God.
(1 Corinthians 2:14) “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God for they are foolishness to him and he cannot understand them because they are spiritually discerned.”
If you do not have the Holy Spirit living on the inside of you then you will never be able to accept the Bible as God’s Word. You will not understand it neither will you be able to obey what it says. No matter how much you read it you will not receive revelation from it unless the Holy Spirit illuminates your heart and mind to understand it. If you are living just a natural life without the supernatural power of God in your life then God’s truth will be foolishness to you. You won’t even see your need for it in your life. You need the Holy Spirit in you to understand the things of God.
2. We need to be Born Again because our affections are misplaced and corrupted by the sinful nature within us.
(Galatians 5:19-21) “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious, sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery: idolatry and witchcraft; hatred discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissension’s, factions and envy: drunkenness, orgies and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the Kingdom of God.”
We are born into this world spiritually ignorant of God and His Word. By nature our affections and desires are only set on pleasing our selves and doing those things that grieve God. We can’t help ourselves. We love the things that God hates and hate the things God loves. By nature we love ourselves, we love money, we love pleasure and are proud of ourselves and conceited. Human nature, even at it’s best, is still infected by selfishness and rebellion towards God and his Word. (Romans 3:10-18)
3. We need to be Born Again because our wills are hostile to God.
(Romans 8:7-8) “The sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.”
Without the supernatural intervention of the Holy Spirit it is impossible for any of us to submit our wills to God’s will because by birth and by nature we are rebels and under God’s wrath. There is no way any of us can enter God’s Kingdom by our own efforts. (Ephesians 2:1-3) (Read) (1 Corinthians 15:50) (Romans 3:23)
4. We need to be Born Again because we are bound for hell and judgment and ultimately for the lake of Fire.
(1 Corinthians 6: 9-10) “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the Kingdom of God.”
(Romans 6:23) “The wages of sin is death.” (Physical and spiritual death is implied)
The Bible describes what the second death is like. “But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars – their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death” (Revelation 21:8). Compare: (Revelation 14:9-11)
The Results of the New Birth?
1. Through the New Birth we are given a new intellectual nature.
(1 Corinthians 2:15) “The Spiritual man makes judgments about all things but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment. For who has known the mind of the Lord (by natural ability) that we may instruct Him. But we have the mind of Christ.”
When we are born again God doesn’t just re-shape our minds and intellect but actually imparts to us the intellectual nature of Jesus Christ Himself. We are given a mind that is open to God’s Word and able to comprehend what He is doing. We will be able to understand the Bible in a new way that we never could before. It will become a living book to us. We will have a new appreciation of God as our heavenly Father and provider of all of our needs. We will see Jesus for who He is and be able to accept the Bible as the Spirit-breathed Word of God. In fact we are given the mind of Christ to enable us to think and act like He does.
2. Through the New Birth we are given new affections and desires.
(Galatians 5:22-25) “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Jesus Christ have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”
When we are born again we receive new spiritual taste buds. We begin to love what God loves and to hate what God hates. We will want to read and study our Bibles. We will want to listen to good Bible teaching and to pray. We will want to have fellowship with other believers. We will want to please the Lord at all times and in every way. We will want to witness to others about Jesus and have an awareness of a world in need of Christ. We will want to obey God’s Word and do those things that please Him. (1 John 3:22)
It will affect the things we do, the places we go to and the kinds of entertainment we pursue. The most significant marks of every born again man or woman will be a desire to live by a faith that operates by love. (Romans 5:5) (Galatians 5:6) The old man (the self-nature) with it’s passion and desires inside of us will give way to the new man inside of us (the new nature) supernaturally imparted to us by the Holy Spirit.
3. Through the New Birth we are given a new will.
(Romans 6:6, 11-14, 17-18) Read these verses.
When we are born again we receive a new will, one that is in harmony with the will and purposes of God. Our will is no longer set on just pleasing ourselves. Doing God’s will for our lives will become our first and foremost desire and priority. What pleases God will be everything to us. If we want to be born again we must be willing to surrender our wills unconditionally to Him without reserve. Just having an emotional experience isn’t enough. Our experience, if it is genuine, will change our wills. We can be reading the Bible, attending church and even be involved in church activities but if we have never surrendered our wills, by faith, to the Lord Jesus Christ then we have never really been born again. Of course we cannot do this in our own strength and ability; however, God will regenerate us spiritually if we really want Him to do it.
An outward conversion to the Lord Jesus Christ, if it is to be real and lasting, must be the result of an inward regeneration by the Holy Spirit. A person may be converted a 100 times by the act of their will but they can only be born again once. A person who has been born again will never be the same again after this experience. The whole course of their life will change. (1 John 3:9) (2 Corinthians 5:17)
The doctrine of the New Birth sweeps away false hopes for acceptance with God. Morality isn’t enough, respectability isn’t enough, intellectual knowledge isn’t enough, and religion is not enough. We must be born again if we would ever hope to see or enter into the Kingdom of God. The Word of God, through the Holy Spirit, comes to the person weighed down with sin and afraid of hell and says, you can be saved from the fires of hell right now.
The Word of God comes to the person filled with hopelessness and despair and who feels that there is no hope for them and says to them you must be born again, you can be born again. You can start life all over again. You can have all of your sins forgiven and cleansed. You can be made new all over again. The question remains have you been born again? You can be a church member and partake of communion and even sit on a church board but not be born again. If you have never been born again you can be right now!
Will you now repent of all of your sin and be willing to change the attitude of your heart from a Christ hating, Christ rejecting way of life to a Christ loving, Christ accepting way of life. You cannot do this in your own strength but with the help of the Holy Spirit you can. Right now will you call upon the Lord Jesus to save you? The Spirit of God is ready and able to make you all over again on the inside and impart to your spirit God’s own divine nature through the Word of God. If only you will let him do it now!
(Romans 10: 9-13) “That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the scripture says, “Everyone who trusts in Him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile-the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on Him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Right now if you will thoroughly repent of all of your unbelief and sin and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ you will be saved! As it is written; “Now is the day of salvation, now is the acceptable time. Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts!”