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#5 "Ye Must Be Born Again"
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#5 "Ye Must Be Born Again"
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John 3:3
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.

    Discovering the meaning of salvation in Christ Jesus, is based on these words spoken by Him, as recorded in the Gospel of John, above. We must examine exactly what God meant when He said this- if we would have eternal life. Again, Jesus said, "Ye must be born-again", and that requirement for entry into the Kingdom of God cannot be over emphasized. Where you will spend the next 50,000 years and beyond into all eternity, depends on whether or not you have been born from above.

1. Born Again Does Not Mean Practicing Religion
    The setting in which Jesus of Nazareth spoke these words is during an encounter between Himself and Nicodemus, a Pharisee (religious priest or rabbi) that occured one night:

John 3:1-12
1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
3 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.
4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

    This meeting took place at night, probably because Nicodemus was a religious leader of the Jews would have been aware of the distain held by his peers against Jesus, some of whom may have been already contemplating His death. To be associated with Jesus at this point in time was very dangerous.

    In other words, today if one feels like going to church on any given Sunday, or suddenly declaring themselves to be Christian, they do so without inhibition. But during Christ's ministry on earth, to follow Him could mean at risk of life. It might be interesting to note that seven of the eight writers of the New Testament were brutally murdered, with John being the only exception. This may be the reason for the meeting at night.

    Nicodemus was drawn to Jesus, who had already performed many miracles and spoken words about the Kingdom of God like no other. Nicodemus approached Jesus with flattering words, but Jesus immediately immediately told Nicodemus the most important fact in life that He could share; that was- the requirement to enter into His Kingdom, which is to be born again. And that, my friend, is the most important thing that I can pass along to you.

    Evidently, it mattered not that Nicodemus was a religious leader of the Jews, being a rabbi and teacher of Israel. Even he needed to be born again of the Spirit of God. Therefore the practice of religion alone will not suffice as that is not God's plan of salvation. Nicodemus lacked the re-birth in the Spirit of God.

2. A Baffled Nicodemus; What does this mean?
    Nicodemus not knowing what the born-again experience meant, continued to question Jesus, only thinking of the physical concept of birth;

John 3:4
Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?

    And anyone else might ask the same question. But Jesus, our Saviour, gave the explanation of what it means to be "born again";

John 3:5
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
John 3:6
That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

    To be "born of the Spirit" is the described in the above two verses of scripture is everything you need to know about being born-again. Look again at the words of Christ; "That which is born of flesh is flesh" ...completely void of the Spirit of God. But "that which is born of the Spirit is spirit", actually given life from the Father in Heaven, Himself.

    There is one occassion in the scriptures, where Jesus of Nazareth gave a specific definition of the essence of God's being, when He said in John 4:24;

John 4:24
God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

    Almighty God, the Creator of all things, is a Spirit. He exists beyond and greater than the universe which He has made. For one to become a child of His, they must be born of God, that is-- born of His Spirit. This is understood more clearly, when we look at the spirit that exists in us prior to being born from above. See this description of every man born into the world, and the human nature that exists in them;

Romans 3:9-19
9 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;
10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:
14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
15 Their feet are swift to shed blood:
16 Destruction and misery are in their ways:
17 And the way of peace have they not known:
18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.

    In step #1 we realized the holiness of God and in step #2 we saw the staggering contrast between the Spirit of God and the spirit of Man. In step #3 we saw that salvation in Christ's shed blood is the atonement for this depraved condition of man's soul described in the above passage. By the grace of God, in step #4 we saw hearts moved by the Divine influence of God, to reconsider their position and seek the righteousness of the Heavenly Father. Now-- let's understand what it means to be born of God.

4. Born of God; [John 1:11-13]
    Here's an illustration; My name is Michael Stevenson. I am a member of the Stevenson family simply because I was born into the Stevenson family. My father's name was Stevenson, I was born of him, so being his son, I too, am a Stevenson, born and bred. My name is not Johnson, Smith, Warner, or Richman, because I was not born into those families.

    The same situation exist now, between God and Man in being born of the Spirit. Only those people who have been born of God, i.e., into His family, are children of the Heavenly Father. Only those born of the Spirit have His Spirit living and dwelling inside of them. Only these will be called the "sons of God" (1st John 3:2). Anyone *not born of the Spirit, is not a child of God.

John 1:11-13
11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
12 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:
13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

    See here above that to be born of the Spirit, has nothing to do with the flesh, nor with the physical, but is something that God does, not Man. It is God who does the spiritual birthing- issuing and imparting His very Spirit into a brand new creation. It is your place to call upon His name, asking for this wonderful gift to be applied to your lost soul. And God has promised that all who do will be saved (Romans 10:13)! At the moment that you are born of God, His Spirit will actually take up residence within you. Your spirit becomes one with His Spirit, and is "of" His Spirit, because you have been born of His Spirit. Your desire will be to seek His will in your life, the only substance capable of satisfying your newly created soul. By God's grace and mercy- may He bring understanding of these truths to a fruitful reality in your heart... today!

5. Call on His Name- Today, Asking to be Born of His Spirit

John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

    The price has been paid, the atonement for sin has been made. This gift of life that God gave to the world has come to you. It is for you to receive this truth into your heart by faith, in calling out and asking the Heavenly Father to give this same gift to you. The Apostle Paul described the moment of salvation in this way, as is recorded in the book of Romans, chapter 10;

Romans 10:8-13
8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

    This is the promise of God made to you, and all who would turn to Jesus in faith and in repentence. This is salvation by grace, through faith, understanding that by the law, (keeping the ten commandments or doing good deeds or simply having church membership) no one can be saved. The reason is the requirement for shed blood for the atonement of sins.

Heb 9:22
And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

    Thus- the reason for the ancient animal sacrifices of Israel. But now, once and for all, Jesus-- the LAMB of God has been sacrificed for our sins, and in Christ shedding His blood for you you are no longer indebted to God for them, they have been erased. Think on this grace as you read God's invitation to reason about these things;

Isaiah 1:18-20
18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:
20 But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

    This miracle of the washing away of sins, can happen now by understanding that;

Ephesians 2:8
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

    Grace is the Divine influence on your heart to draw you to this provision for salvation already in place for your receiving. Faith is believing God's word to the point of acting on that faith. Believing that when you call upon His name He will be faithful to forgive you of your sins- to wash you in the blood of Jesus- and then doing so.

1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

    His Spirit will dwell in you- actually take up residency in your heart in the presence of the Holy Ghost.

John 14:23
Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

    Act now, on God's comprehensive overview of salvation-

Acts 2:38
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    Believe- that *your name will be written in the Book of Life..

Revelation 20:15
And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

    Believe- that God loves you and always has-

Romans 5:8
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

    And now having faith in God's Word, you can be Born-Again or saved, right now! This relationship is between you, and Him. If you are not saved and you want to be, then speak to God in this prayer to Him, now. Not "repeat" the prayer but pray to God from your heart, remembering that He said, "with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."

Dear Heavenly Father-
I am trusting Jesus, your Son, as my LORD and my Saviour. Father, I believe that Jesus died for my sins, which I confess before your throne, right now. Wash me in the blood of the LAMB. I ask that you forgive me of my sins, and fill me with your Holy Spirit, that I may be BORN-AGAIN, and become your child. I receive you, now, into my heart by faith, LORD, and believe that you have saved me.

I believe that you have written my name in the Lamb's book of life. I believe that I will dwell with you forever in your Heavenly Kingdom. Thank you dear Heavenly Father, and now I ask that you would work in my life to conform me to your image that I may serve you, and I look for your glorious coming again,to establish your Kingdom- Amen.

    Friend, if you prayed that prayer of faith I must call you now my *brother in the LORD and rejoice with the angels of heaven because you have been born-again and are saved. Remember this date- because it's your *real birthday. It's your re-birth day... the one that will count throughout all eternity.

Lord, I pray to be born of your Spirit

    
 

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 Web Author:Michael Stevenson