YOUR MESSAGE THIS WEEK
BEING BORN AGAIN
“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,” John 3:3
Our reading this week is from an interesting discussion between Jesus and Nicodemus Jn.3:1-21. Nicodemus was a Jew, a Pharisee, a ruler of the Jews, a member of the Sanhedrin (the ruling body of seventy people Jn.3:1 and a teacher of Israel Jn.3:10. This implies that he was knowledgeable, religious, devotedly moral, externally following every detail of the law and yet on the inside, he was not sure whether he was in the kingdom of God. He came to Jesus by night, probably because he was timid but he needed His help. What follows is an important revelation on how to enter the Kingdom of God.
BEING BORN AGAIN
Jesus told Nicodemus that “Unless a man is born again……., he cannot enter the Kingdom of God”. Jn.3:5. Jesus’ reply to Nicodemus was against the Jewish teaching that they were assured of a place in God’s Kingdom because they were descendants of Abraham. Jesus made it plain clear that a man’s first birth does not assure him of the kingdom – only being born again does. Jesus further explained that the new birth involved being “born of water and the Spirit” HYPERLINK “http://www.studylight.org/desk/index.cgi?q1=John+3:5-8&t1=en_nas” \t “_blank” Jn 3:5-8.
Being born again is to have a new spiritual life because our original perfect spiritual life was lost (died) when Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate the forbidden fruit. God had already warned Adam that; “…in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Gen 2:17. This means that everyone must be born again to get the spiritual life otherwise he/she is ‘spiritually dead’ (Rom. 5:14; Eph.2:1,5; Col.2:23.
If any man is in Christ Jesus, he is a new creation 2Cor.5:17. He is born again! The new birth is not “the natural birth which is perishable “but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God” 1Pet.1:23
THE BASIS OF THE NEW BIRTH
Our new birth has its basis in three pillars:
The Love of God: God did not wait for the world to turn to Him before He loved the world. He loved and gave His only begotten Son to the world when we were all still lost! Jn.3:16 God does not want anyone to perish or be condemned, but to have eternal life. Jn.3:16-17. God’s love for man is what made Christ’s sacrifice and the new birth possible! 1Jn. 4:9-10
The Sacrifice of Christ: Jesus compared His eventual crucifixion to Moses’ lifting up of the serpent Jn. 3:14; Num. 21:4-9 in order to save those that were perishing Jn. 3:15
Man’s faith: God loves the world, but the world does not receive or benefit from that love until it believes in Jesus, the gift that the Father gave. Belief is more than intellectual awareness or agreement. It means to trust in, to rely on, and to cling to. Those who believe in Jesus will not perish, but have everlasting life Jn. 3:15-16. The new birth requires faith in Jesus; without faith, being born of water is meaningless, and born of the Spirit impossible Mk. 16:16; Jn. 8:24; Ac.8:36-37
This new life is not earned by works but is a gift from God Eph 2:8. It is received by “believing in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead and confessing with your mouth that Jesus is Lord” Rom. 10:9.Jesus came to bring salvation, but those who reject that salvation condemn themselves Jn.3:18-20. We never need to leave the reason for anyone’s condemnation at God’s door. We are to continue proclaiming this gospel, telling the world of God’s immense love and His plan for the salvation of the lost till our Lord returns or He call us home!