Many of you may remember, back in the day, the term Born Again was being used quite often. It is based upon the words of the Lord Jesus Christ to Nicodemus. But, what exactly does Born Again mean? Pastor Jake lays that out for us quite thoroughly.
You Must Be Born Again
by Pastor Jake
Romans 3:10 [NASB]
Romans 3:10 [AMP]
As the Apostle Paul quotes the psalmist in Psalm 14:2, God is represented as looking down from heaven to see if there is anyone who feared and sought after Him; and yet He, who cannot be deceived, could find none! Therefore we may safely conclude there was none to be found who is in right standing before God.
This is true of every soul of man, past and present, in his degenerate state. He is not in right standing with God, there is no righteous principle in him, and, consequently, no righteous act can be expected from him.
There is none who seeks for God;
Romans 3:11 [NASB]
According to the Scriptures, all are born and live in the “kingdom of darkness.” These are ignorant and fail to understand the things of God. Furthermore, there are none who seek to know God — none that endeavor to know and do His will. None who seek to be acquainted with His character. A man who indulges in wickedness is not concerned about a relationship with his Creator. Hence, a disposition NOT to seek God is full proof of depravity.
There is none who does good,
There is not even one.”
Romans 3:12 [NASB]
There is none who does good, no, not one.”
Romans 3:12 [AMP]
Depraved men are useless, good for nothing; they are spiritually decomposed and a stench in God’s nostrils: God viewed the whole mass of mankind as slain, dead, and heaped together to putrefy because of their sin nature. This is what is termed the total corruption of the human nature; they are not only infected but they are also infectious. Every child born of man is infected with his sin nature.
We have read above, “There is none righteous” (Romans 3:10); here we read, “There is none who does good.” The first may refer to the lack of a righteous principle. The second, to the necessary consequence of the absence of such a principle. If there is no righteousness within, then certainly there will be no acts of righteousness without.
Romans 3:23 [NASU]
Romans 3:23 [AMP]
All have sinned therefore all are equally helpless and guilty; and, as God is no respecter of persons, all human creatures being equally His offspring, and there being no reason why one should be preferred before another, His endless love and mercy has embraced ALL.
Man was created in the image of God to glorify and bring honor to God. But when men sin, the image of God is dishonored among men. Thus all have fallen short of the glory of God or have not been able to bring glory to God. Furthermore, man does not do God any favor by claiming to be a child of His while continuing to willfully sin.
The world was in a ruinous, condemned state, about to perish everlastingly; and was utterly without power to rescue itself from destruction. Oh, what a need for the love and mercy of God to save man from such a state of degeneracy!
Romans 5:8 [NASU]
Romans 5:8 [AMP]
God has exhibited or showed His love in this unusual and remarkable manner; His kindness; His grace; His willingness to submit to sacrifice to save the souls of men who of course were His enemies. In this, His love surpasses all that has ever been manifested among people. Christ died in men’s stead to save them from death. He took his place; and by dying Himself on the cross, saved those who would believe and place their trust in Him from dying eternally in hell.
Romans 6:23 [NASU]
Romans 6:23 [AMP]
The death here mentioned is the “second death,” eternal damnation — hell. Every sinner earns his wages by long, severe, and painful service to a relentless taskmaster. Enslaved to sin from early in life until late they toil; divine justice would be in their debt if God did not pay them their due wages.
A man may merit hell, but he cannot earn eternal life; that is the gracious gift of God that comes through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Jesus first introduced the doctrine of the new birth for the salvation of the soul of man while speaking to Nicodemus.
John 3:3 [NASU]
John 3:3 [AMP]
“Unless one” is a universal form of expression designed to include all mankind. Of “each and every man” it is certain that unless he is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God. It includes, therefore, men of every character and rank and nation, moral and immoral, rich and poor, in office and out of office, old and young, bond and free, the slave and his master, Jew and Gentile.
It is clear that our Savior intended to convey to Nicodemus the idea, also, that “he” must be born again. It was not sufficient to be a Jew, or to acknowledge Him to be a teacher sent by God that is, the Messiah; it was necessary, in addition to this, to experience in his own soul that great change called the “new birth” or regeneration.
The Greek adverb translated “again” can also mean “from the beginning,” suggesting a new creation; and also “from above” (that is, from the Holy Spirit of God). Only as a person has a spiritual generation — a birth from above — will he be able to see the kingdom of God.
John 3:4 [NASU]
John 3:4 [AMP]
We may learn from this that things, which are at first incomprehensible or apparently absurd, may when explained become clear. The doctrine of regeneration, so difficult to Nicodemus, is plain to a “child” that is born of the Spirit.
Nicodemus was trying to reason these things that Jesus spoke by way of his intellect. Jesus answered him saying, I tell you the truth,
John 3:5 [NASB]
John 3:5 [AMP]
When man is born the first time, he is born of the flesh; or rather he is born into the sinful nature of Adam and does not know the love of God. When man is born a second time, he is born of water and the Holy Spirit; he is taught the word of God through the Scripture by the Holy Spirit. It is said that he is sanctified “by the washing of water with the word” (Ephesians 5:26 NASU), “he becomes a new creature” and is baptized in water as a sign of his new covenant in Christ for salvation.
John 3:6 [NAS]
John 3:6 [AMP]
Once man is born of the Spirit he is now a “new creature,” and a spirit being as it was in the beginning. He now has experienced the love of God and he knows love for God is love (1 John 4:7-8).
John 3:7-8 [NASB]
John 3:7-8 [AMP]
Jesus explains that being born of the Holy Spirit is a matter of hearing and believing the word of truth, not a matter of sight or feeling; it is by faith (Romans 10:17). Like the wind when it blows, the Holy Spirit brings a refreshing and change in ones life.
“Nicodemus answered and said to Him,‘How can these things be?’ Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not understand these things?’”
Again Jesus says to him, I tell you the truth,
John 3:9-13 [NASB]
John 3:9-13 [AMP]
First Jesus told Nicodemus that, to see the kingdom of heaven, he must be born again. Then He introduced Nicodemus to faith. Now He tells him no one else has ascended into heaven to bear witness of the truth, but He Himself, who was in heaven, has bore witness of the truth and has descended from heaven to bring that truth to man.
To better understand the “new birth,” we look again at the conception of Jesus in the womb of Mary. When God’s messenger came and spoke the word of God to Mary — she believed. The moment she believed, the Holy Spirit caused her to conceive in compliance to the word of God. Thus Jesus was conceived and born of the word and the Spirit.
As the word of God is spoken through His chosen or anointed messenger concerning salvation through Jesus Christ, and a person hears and believes (much in the same way as Mary heard and believed) a new spirit born of the word of God is conceived in the inner most being or “womb” of the believer’s soul, by the power of the Holy Spirit, thus the believer is “born again” of the word and the Spirit. The soul is now restored to a “living soul.” The spirit born of the word of God is then nourished by the Tree of Life in the person of the Holy Spirit, in the womb of the believer’s soul, until the person’s whole being (soul and body) is swallowed up by the spirit born of God; and so he is a son of God.
Meanwhile the old sin nature undergoes the circumcision of the cross, through repentance and faith in Christ Jesus and the unclean flesh is crucified and buried with Christ; the likeness of the serpent is dead. In this new birth the soul is set free from the prison of death.
The Apostle Paul writes,
Titus 3:4-7 [NASB]
Titus 3:4-7 [AMP]
Regeneration and renewing (or, being born again) by the Holy Spirit is a change brought about in a person’s being that restores him to a living soul and fellowship with God through the Spirit. This may be viewed in three parts; the first part is man must believe. Jesus speaks of and explains the “law of the Spirit of life” while speaking with Nicodemus and concludes it with the words of this beautiful covenant of faith through God’s message of love for man.
John 3:16 [NASB]
John 3:16 [AMP]
The Apostle Paul writes of the same law in this way:
Romans 10:8-10 [NASB]
Romans 10:8-10 [AMP]
Regeneration begins the moment that God, through His word, reveals sin and convicts the sinner of his sinfulness. This is a gift of faith; when a person believes it in obedience to faith; by the grace of justification through the gift of faith God grants repentance.
Thus the second part of regeneration is repentance. Repentance is the empting of one’s soul of sin and preparing the heart for the sowing of the good seed, the word of God. This is accomplished only through convictions brought about by the Holy Spirit; resulting in a deep sorrow and being remorseful for the extreme evilness and savage cruelty of crimes committed against God and all His creation. Just as the farmer tills the soil and prepares it for the sowing of the seed, like so is the work of the Holy Spirit in the heart of man.
The word of God requires a heart that is open to receive God’s instruction. That heart must divest itself of sinful rebellion against God. True repentance results in love toward God and a change in ones attitude and behavior that conforms to the word of God. Therefore, repentance is the act of obedience to God’s word in turning away from a life of sin.
The third part is faith in God. Faith in God results in a person turning toward God for life in Christ Jesus (Matthew 18:3). All three parts are gifts from God by revelation and take place in unison. So we see the three-part conversion is to believe in Christ Jesus, repent from sin, and turn to God in faith. Such a threefold conversion is absolutely necessary for one to be restored to agreement and oneness with God that he might enter the kingdom of heaven.
2 Corinthians 5:17 [NASB]
2 Corinthians 5:17 [AMP]
The phrase to “be in Christ,” means to be united to Christ by faith — to be in Him so as to derive all nourishment and support from Him, and to be sustained entirely by Him (John 15:1-8). The term denotes a tender and close union. It implies that all support is from Him. All strength is derived from Him. It denotes further that those of faith shall partake of His fullness, and share in His glory in order that man may once again be in God’s image and glorify Him. Selah.
by Pastor Jake
The expression “born again” means to be brought into life a second time by a new birth—a new beginning. The first birth is of the flesh born into the sin nature of man. The new or second birth is a life “begotten” of God; it is an operation of the Holy Spirit upon a human soul that was in a state of spiritual death because of the sinful flesh, whereby in response to faith in Christ crucified (John 3:14-16; Galatians 3:24), the believing one, “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1), is quickened into spiritual life and made a partaker of the divine nature and of the life of Christ Himself (Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 2:10; Colossians 1:27; 1 Peter 1:23-25; 2 Peter 1:4).
James C Sanford
by Keith Green
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||Romans 3:23 Or sinned|
|2.||↑||John 3:3 Or from above|
|3.||↑||John 3:7 Or from above|
|4.||↑||Titus 3:7 Or of eternal life according to hope|
|5.||↑||John 3:16 Or unique, only one of His kind|
|6.||↑||John 3:16 Jesus, God’s only Son, the One who is truly unique, the only one of His kind.|
|7.||↑||Romans 10:9 Or because|
|8.||↑||Romans 10:10 Lit to righteousness|
|9.||↑||Romans 10:10 Lit to salvation|
|10.||↑||2 Corinthians 5:17 Or there is a new creation|