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You Must be Born Again
by Steven Laird
4/03/2021 / Bible Studies
The word of God, the Bible, tells us that you must be born again or born anew. This requirement comes directly from our Lord Jesus. This is accomplished through saving faith and all that was accomplished at the cross. The acceptance of His sacrifice initiates the miracle working power of the Holy Spirit. When one receives Christ, he/she are immediately changed they are no longer the same person they were. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17) Through the power of God the Holy Spirit indwells the believer and the process of sanctification begins conforming us in the image of Christ.
It is important that we understand this and more so in the church. Why? There are some who are attending churches all over the world that have not received the Holy Spirit and worship a form of godliness (2 Timothy 3:5). Because a person professes Christ or professes spiritual or religious understanding does not always mean they have received Christ and are born again. Religion is a great deception of the enemy and has been used by him for centuries to attack the church. False conversions have always been present in the church and always will, but I believe that number is growing.
Jesus confirms this truth
Matthew 13:24-30 (NKJV)
24 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field;
25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way.
26 But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared.
27 So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’
28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’
29 But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them.
30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”
A wheat and a tare growing along-side each other are indistinguishable. The only way to tell the difference between the two is to wait until they both mature in the spring and then the harvest where they will be separated. This is the example our Lord gives regarding true and false Christians. You and I do not have the eye of Christ to know the difference. So, what is our responsibility? Matthew Henry in his commentary of the Book of Matthew states it quite well. They must not be cut off but be instructed with meekness and this is what we will do in this study. Before we go any further Paul said in 2 Peter 1:10 make your calling and election sure so I also now say to you.
Why must we be born again? (Born from above)
1 There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.
2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”
3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”
5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’
8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
Being born again is not a request but a requirement for anyone that would profess faith in Christ. Jesus was referencing the spiritual, for the kingdom of God is spiritual not an earthly kingdom. John 4:24 says, God is Spirit, and those that worship Him must worship in Spirit and Truth. If one is not born again they cannot enter or see the kingdom of God. This is a work of God by the power of His Holy Spirit to open the eyes of our heart to His kingdom in which we will enter when we are called to be with the Lord. So what happened that made being born again requirement? To answer this question we must journey back to the beginning of time.
Created in God’s Image
26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
As stated God created man and woman in His own image. They were created whole or holy. They were complete with a body, a soul, and spirit. Their body was free from sin, sickness and death and a body unlike any other created being. They were also created with a soul unlike they animal kingdom that does not have a soul or spirit. The soul gave them their identity and was ruled by their heart and mind. God created them with a spirit that gave them awareness of God and a desire to worship and commune with Him. All three body, soul, and spirit worked in unison and brought glory to God. This was Gods design for man and woman but it was lost in the garden when Adam and Eve sinned, but how was it lost?
1 Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”
2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden;
3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ”
4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.
5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.
7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.
8 And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.
Satan attacked the soul with its emotions and the body carried out the desire of the heart. This tactic used by the enemy of our souls has been going on since the beginning of time. For all that is in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–is not of the Father but is of the world. (1 John 2:16) Satan always mixes truth with lies as he did with Adam and Eve. It is true they did not die physically, but their bodies would die eventually; they died spiritually. Instead of running to God they ran away from Him and man has been running ever since. The greatest lie of the enemy in our time is that we are ascending to God when in actuality we have been descending since the fall. We are not getting better we are getting worse.
The communion they had with God on a regular basis was now gone. Because of their sin they would no longer be able to be in the presence of a holy God. Their body, soul, and spirit died that day and has been passed down to us. Our bodies begin the process of aging from the moment we leave the womb ending in death. (Genesis 3:19) Our souls no longer belong to God for we have become wise in our own eyes and foolish in our thinking. (Isaiah 5:21) (Romans 1:22) Our spirit no longer seeks after God or is aware of Him and our foolish hearts have been darkened. (Romans 3:11) (Romans 1:21)
As mankind continues its downward spiral of sin apart from Christ all are deserving of His wrath.
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.
20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,
21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,
23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man–and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.
24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves,
25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.
27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.
28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting;
29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers,
30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful;
32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.
This is where mankind finds itself, a life of sin descending into depravity. It is a bleak and hopeless situation in need of a miracle. Salvation is that miracle, but the church is in a more
precarious situation for this attack on the church is subtle. There are those frequenting churches that have deluded themselves by reciting a prayer and believing the prayer has saved them. You might be asking yourself, ‘This is a Christian Article Directory we are all Christians’. Are you? Have you been born again? Is there anything different about you and if so? What? In our new believer’s class this is a question we ask and they are excited to share what is different about them and you should be too.
As stated earlier, man’s body, soul, and spirit died in the garden and because of this, we are in need of a rebirth. In Ephesians 2:1 it says, and you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins. The Word of God says apart from Christ we are dead. Paul speaks of his body of death in Romans 7:24. We are not in a terminal condition we are dead and cannot be brought back to life. As Adam and Eves descendants this condition has been passed down to us. Apart from God intervening on our behalves we are lost, but God has intervened in our behalf through faith in Jesus Christ in all that was accomplished at the cross. He took our debt of sin and paid the price for our redemption, but again there must be a rebirth that takes place, a radical change.
How does this happen?
Genesis 2:7 (NKJV)
7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
When we receive Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit a new life is breathed into a us and we become born again. The very Spirit of God indwells us and we are changed no longer the same person we were. There is a change that we can point to. Our body, soul, and spirit have been restored and we are reconciled back to God. No longer deserving of His wrath He now sees the righteousness of Christ in us. This is the difference between religion and someone that has received Christ. As stated earlier a born-again believer will be able to expound what is different about them. There is a remarkable radical change, a miracle if you will, that happens in a person. We become new creation in Christ.
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
I deny the crucified Christ, it is I who live, not Christ in me, and the life I live in the flesh I live for myself by my own power, for I am the captain of my soul and bow to the god of self.
Which one are you?
Galatians 2:20 is the anthem of every born-again Christian!
It is no longer you that lives your old self is dead and gone and Gods Holy Spirit dwells within you enabling you to live the Christian life. If you are seeking to live this life without Christ, I have good news for you. You don’t have to carry this burden any longer it will eventually become so heavy that you will no longer be able to carry it and turn to Jesus or your heart will harden and you will deny Him. The downward spiral of sin in your life will continue and you will draw farther and farther away from God.
He sees your burden and lovingly desires to take it from you. Along with that burden is the burden of sin that you carry. Ask God to reveal your sinful condition to you before your heart grows hard. Let Him know of your desire to be born again. God is no respecter of persons and loves you as He does me. He has been patiently waiting and this is the time he has appointed to breathe life into you.
John 1:12-13 (NKJV)
12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:
13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Don’t Come to Church Come to Christ!
I have been a Christian for twenty six years now and in that time the Lord has given me a desire for the new believer.
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Read more articles by Steven Laird
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