School of Christ Study to show thyself approved unto God

See all Christianity 101 Entries

Ye Must Be 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 With that statement, Jesus revolutionized the world. He made it clear that the only way to “qualify” for Heaven is to be born again. You can’t earn it or merit it; you can’t buy it or demand it. All you can do is appeal to God Himself. In fact, Jesus goes so far as to say in John 3:7 “Ye must be born again.” The key word being “must.” So lets’ take a look at what being “born again” actually means.

In John 3:1-8, Jesus lays out one of the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith: regeneration or spiritual birth. Jesus makes it plain in this teaching that without this new birth one “cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (verse 5). In other words, unless one is born again they cannot receive the gift of eternal life and salvation through Jesus Christ. For human beings this is the most important thing we need to understand.

Spiritual birth is a re-creating and transformation of the person by God the Holy Spirit (John 3:6; Titus 3:5). Through this process eternal life from God Himself is imparted to the believer (John 3:16; 2 Peter 1:4; 1 John 5:11). He becomes a child of God as well as a new person (John 1:12; 2 Corinthians 5:17). He no longer conforms to the world but is now created after God “in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:24).

All of us are sinners apart from Christ. Because of our inherent natures we’re incapable of obeying and pleasing God (Psalm 51:5; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 8:7-8). That’s why we must be born again/regenerated.

Regeneration comes to those who acknowledge their sins before God, repent of those sins, turn to God and place their faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior (Matthew 3:2). None of these things are optional.

Being born again/regeneration involves a transition from our old life of sin to a new life of obedience to our Lord Jesus Christ (Galatians 6:15; Ephesians 4:23-24; Colossians 3:10). Someone who is truly born again is immediately set free from the bondage of sin (Romans 6:14-23). In its place we have a spiritual desire and disposition to obey God and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. Those who are born again live righteous lives, love other believers, avoid a life of son and do not love the world any longer (1 John 2:29; 1 John 4:7; 1John 3:9; 1 John 2:15-16).

Once you’re born again, you can’t make sin a habitual practice in your life. In other words, you can’t remain a child of God without a sincere desire and diligent effort to please Him (1 John 1:5-7). It should go without saying that when you’re born again/regenerated you need to do what you can to avoid evil. Thankfully, this can be accomplished through the grace given to believers by Christ and through a sustained relationship with Christ along with a dependence on the Holy Spirit Himself (1 John 2:3-11, 15-17, 24-29; John 15:4; Romans 8:2-14).

Those who continue to live in immorality, living by the world’s way demonstrate that they are NOT born again and remain children of Satan, regardless of what they may say about their “faith” (1 John 3:6-10).

Just as someone can be born of the Spirit by receiving the life of God, he can also extinguish that life by ungodly choices and unrighteous living. In other words, it is possible to die spiritually. Scripture makes it clear, “if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die” (Romans 8:13). Consequently, sin and the refusal to follow the Holy Spirit extinguishes the life of God in the soul of the believer and causes spiritual death and exclusion from the kingdom of God (Matthew 12:31-32; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:19-21; Hebrews 6:4-6; 1 John 5:16).

Finally, we can’t compare spiritual birth with physical birth. The relationship between God and the believer is a matter of spirit rather than flesh. So, while the physical tie of a father and son can never be annulled, the father and son relationship which God desires with us is voluntary. Therefore, it’s not indissoluble during our probationary time on earth. Our membership in God’s family remains conditional on our faith in Christ throughout our earthly existence. This is demonstrated by a life of sincere obedience and love (Romans 8:12-14; 2 Timothy 2:12).

Please don’t misunderstand; I’m not saying that when you sin you’ve permanently destroyed the relationship. What I AM saying is that returning to the old life of sin will ultimately lead to spiritual death. I say that because that’s what the Scripture warns us of (Romans 8:13; James 4:4; Hebrews 10:26-31).

If you haven’t been born again, I would encourage you to click the link above: “Are You a Good Person?” Pay close attention to what you read and then be honest before God. It will change your life!

go back