The statement was made by Jesus, and it is recorded in the Word of God, the Bible. He said, "Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again" (John 3:7). Let me point out who it is that made this statement. Jesus is God come in the flesh by way of the virgin birth. The Bible said, "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel" (Isaiah 7:14). The word Immanuel means "God with us". The one who spoke to the man Nicodemus was "God...manifest in the flesh" (I Tim. 3:16). Jesus was talking about a second birth which was not physical, but spiritual.
At your physical birth you entered into a world of sinners who would eventually die. Our original parents disobeyed their Creator and death has been the lot of us all since that day. The Bible says, "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned" (Romans 5:12). Again we read in the Bible "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment" (Hebrews 9:27). After our death, there will be a judgment carried out by our Creator, who is God. This is an indication that death does not end our existence. There is a strange idea held by sinners that when they die, entrance into Heaven is automatic. The man that Jesus spoke to wanted that to happen, but Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3). Again, Jesus said unto him, "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God" (John 3:5).
Our first birth was through the water surrounding our body in the womb of our mother. Our second birth would be through the Spirit of God. Thus, we read, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit" (John 3:6). The first birth was physical. The second birth must be spiritual. The second birth is a requirement for Heaven, which is the future kingdom of God. There were many who thought entrance into Heaven would be certain, but Jesus said, "Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?" (Matt. 23:33). Jesus spoke these words to men who were known to be religious, but He said they were on the road to Hell. What He said was true of everyone, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23). Just as there is a second birth, there is a second death. Jesus gave this information to John, and he wrote, "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire" (Rev. 21:14,15).
To be born again is not something that we have the power to bring about. It is an accomplishment of God through the Person and the Work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Through the Word of God we learn who Jesus is, and what He did to save us, and give us life eternal. Jesus was the sinless Son of God who gave himself to die for our sins, the just for the unjust. The Bible says, "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom. 5:8). God gave it to the prophet Isaiah to say, "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all" (Isaiah 53:6). The Bible says, "Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures" (I Cor. 15:3,4). Again we read, "But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God" (Hebrews 10:12). His work was done and it is up to you to believe it for your personal salvation. When John the Baptist saw Jesus, he said, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). In order to be born again you must trust in Jesus to save you from your sin and to receive eternal life, "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him" (John 3:36).
Jesus died for your sins and He wants to take you to where He is in Heaven. He told those who trusted in Him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6). That made entrance into Heaven exclusive through Him. Peter made it clear when he said, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). The Bible says, "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: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God" (John 1:12,13). Notice the new birth is something God does for those who receive Jesus.
Their new birth did not come to them through their parents. Physical life came from them, but spiritual life does not come through their genes. Mom and Dad may be born again, but that will not save you. Spiritual life does not come through your own self-effort. The Bible says, "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" (Eph. 2:8,9). Salvation is the gift from God for you when you receive it by faith. Seeking to reform your life will not bring you a new birth. All the religions in the world will not give you a new birth. The new birth must come in reliance upon the work done on your behalf by Jesus, "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree" (I Peter 1:23). The new birth is not by the will of man. There are people who will try to put themselves between you and your faith in Jesus alone. They may try to add some religious ritual to your life to make you acceptable to God. God has already made acceptance for those who put their personal trust in Jesus.
When one is born again, he is God's new creation. The Bible says, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away: behold, all things are become new" (II Cor. 5:17). Just as there was a time and a place when we were born physically, there will be a time and a place when we would be born spiritually. Have you been born again? Do you know the time and the place when you trusted (received) the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour? Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life" (John 6:47). Before He returned to His Father in Heaven, Jesus prayed to His Father for His believers, "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent" (John 17:3). There you have the definition of eternal life. It is the knowledge of the true God, and of the Son of God whom He has sent to save you. Do you know Jesus Christ? Many people know the name Jesus, but they do not know Him personally in their heart.
The heart has everything to do with your salvation, "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Rom. 10:10,13). Jesus made it very plain that a sinner will not see or enter the kingdom of Heaven unless his sins are forgiven and he is born again. When Jesus said "Ye must be born again" He was letting us know that it was essential in the nature of the case. Our sinful nature was judged at the cross when He took our place and died for sin (our sinful nature) and for our sins. The Bible tells us what God did at the cross, "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him" (II Cor. 5:21). To those who are born again God said, "Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin" (Rom. 4:7,8). The word "impute" means to put to one's account. God imputed our sins to Jesus' account, and imputed his righteousness to our account. All of this became ours when we received Jesus by faith as our only sufficient Saviour.
Have you had the new birth? Do you know for sure that if you died today you would go to Heaven? If you are trusting in anything or anyone other than Jesus Christ, you are making an eternal mistake. The will of God was made very clear to us when Jesus said, "And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day" (John 6:40). Peter had seen the risen Lord Jesus, and he encouraged faith in Him when he wrote, "Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls" (I Peter 1:8, 9).
The salvation of a soul is a personal choice that each one makes concerning God and His Son. The Bible says "And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life" (I John 5:11,12). Eternal life is a present possession of each one who has been born again. To them Jesus says, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life" (John 6:47). Jesus is coming again, "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. and so shall we ever be with the Lord" (I Thess. 4:16,17). He left His disciples with these words, "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also" (John 14:1-3).
Jesus is coming again!
Have you received Him as your personal Saviour?
Jesus said, "Ye must be born again."
Used with permission of the Author.
Dr. Paul L. Freeman
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Washington, IL 61571
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