Salvation & being Born Again
Since sin is the root cause of all our troubles, we must deal with our sin first if we want less troubles in our lives. How do we get rid of sin? God tells us in His Word that by nature we are dead in trespasses and sin and that we are alienated from the life of God . Just as a body without physical life is declared physically dead, so anyone who is separated from God is described in the Bible as spiritually dead. As long as we remain spiritually dead, we cannot know God.
We all need a new life. We need to be cleansed from sin and its penalty and restored to fellowship with God who made us all. That is what Jesus Christ meant when He said we must be born again . Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God . Without the experience of the new birth we have no hope of enjoying the glories of heaven nor escaping the terrors of hell. Have you been born again?
The greatest attribute of God is that He is a God of love. He loves you and me. He loves all sinners and wants to save every one of us from hell and the terrible results of our sin. His Word tells us, But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us . 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 . God hates sin because of what it produces war, sickness, poverty, etc., but God loves the sinner.
Note: If you are from a Muslim background for additional information about Jesus.
Human Nature Does Not Naturally Go Toward Goodness Morality And Integrity
The human heart is born with a propensity to the spirit of darkness and disobedience.
Have you measured yourself by the Ten Commandments, lately? Every one of us comes up terribly short. Yet, the Word of God says, If stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.
This is why Jesus told Nicodemus, You must be born again.
The Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus, That you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God in true righteousness and holiness.
That is very clear, true righteousness and holiness does not come from good works but from putting on the new man.
Diagnosis: We Are Dead
The text where we take our beginning is Ephesians 2. Two times, in verses 1 and 5, Paul says that we are dead in our trespasses. Verse 1: You were dead in the trespasses and sins. . . . Verses 45: But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ by grace you have been saved. So two times Paul describes us as dead.
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We Were Dead In Trespasses And Sins
Dead implies lifeless. Not physically or morally lifeless. Ephesians 2:1: We are walking and following the world. Verse 2: We have passions of the flesh, and we carry out desires of the body and the mind. So we are not dead in the sense that we cant sin. We are dead in the sense that we cannot see or feel the glory of Christ. We are spiritually dead. We are unresponsive to God and Christ and this word. Consider now how this is unfolded in nine other descriptions of our condition before new birth happens.
What Does ‘you Must Be Born Again’ Mean
Though it is impossible for someone to be physically reborn, anyone can seek a spiritual rebirth. When we invite Jesus into our life, we begin a new way of living, and experience a realignment of our values, attitudes and even goals.
In using this term, the Lord illustrated the scope of change that can happen within a person. He was also declaring the power and grace of God to create such a transformation.
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Has Believing In Christ Changed You
Fourth, this communication has one consistent effect: it motivates us to be like Christ in holiness and righteousness. New birth and spiritual fruit cannot be separated.
Our hearts cannot feel a growing conviction about the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ and not long to imitate what we see. This is what Paul meant when he also wrote, We all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit . We will always imitate the object of our worship. That is why John inexorably connects new birth with a changed way of life. We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers .
How Is A Person Born Again
Jesus was the first person to be born again. He was baptized in the Jordan River, after which God anointed him with holy spirit. Jesus was thus born again by holy spirit as a son of God with the hope of returning to life in heaven. God fulfilled this hope by resurrecting Jesus as a spirit creature.Acts 13:33.
Others who are born again are also baptized in water before they receive the holy spirit. * They then have the sure hope of life in heaven, which God will fulfill in the resurrection.1 Corinthians 15:42-49.
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Have You Experienced Real Conviction
First, the medium of communion with God is a growing conviction of faith. Remember, Faith is . . . the conviction of things not seen . True faith empowers us to increasingly see truth through Gods eyes from a divine perspective. We taste and see that the Lord is good . New birth equips us to increasingly taste spiritual truth. The primary way we taste is through conviction.
For example, I recently read Pauls description of mans sinfulness in Romans 3:920. As I read their throat is an open grave they use their tongues to deceive, God opened my heart to see that this was often me. Then the thought that God had loved me, even in this condition, overwhelmed me. The result was a new conviction about the depth of Gods love and mercy. My soul soared in gratitude, and I felt a heightened desire to serve and live for God.
This is what takes place when the Holy Spirit speaks to us. We see spiritual truth with Gods eyes, and conviction is always a byproduct.
Many reading these words have experienced similar encounters with God. It can take place while reading Scripture, while listening to a sermon, while busy jogging, driving, or vacuuming the living room. To the degree that this communication happens, everything changes.
How Should We Live After Were Born Again
The birth of a baby is a wonderful event. But its only the beginning of the babys growth and development.
In the same way, being born again is just the beginning of our Christian life. So what should we do after were born again?
After being born, a babys primary need is to breathe and eat. A newborn doesnt need teachings or textbooks on how to behave. It needs air and nourishment. As long as it receives the proper nourishment, it grows spontaneously, without any striving or effort. The baby simply breathes and eats, and thus grows through all the stages of life into adulthood.
Its the same with our Christian life. Once were born again, our most important need is to spiritually breathe and be nourished so this new life in our spirit can grow. We can do this by praying, and spending time in Gods Word. As we grow, well express the life of God more and more in our daily living.
We could only touch on this wonderful matter of being born again with Gods life briefly here. The New Testament Recovery Version contains a number of rich notes on this topic, including more on 1 Peter 1:3 and the following verses. If you live in the United States, we encourage you to order a free copy so you can read them and gain a fuller appreciation of regeneration.
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Born Of The Flesh Our Sin Nature
For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23
For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23
What exactly is sin? If you asked ten different people, you might get ten different answers. Some might say that sin is doing something wrong or breaking the law, while others might say that sin is hurting another person or taking an innocent life. Still others might deny the very existence of sin, saying that there is no such thing as right or wrong in short, that there are no real absolutes in this world. However, most people agree that there are certain actions that are wrong, and should be punishable by fines, imprisonment or even death.
Even the person who doesnt believe in right or wrong would have a hard time observing a maniac rape and murder a small child, and say that what happened to them was not a crime.
Sin is a terminal disease that eats away at the very heart of this planet. It destroys individual people, families, cultures, even the earth itself. Our world is defiled by it, yet most people cannot even give a definition of the word, or grasp the true gravity of the situation. What is sin? Surely sin is more than ten different opinions from ten different people. Is there any final authority on this subject?
Nothing in all creation is hidden from Gods sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Hebrews 4:13
Has Something Happened In Your Heart
Second, the location of this interaction with God is the heart, not simply the mind. In the work of sanctification, God never bypasses the mind. The intellect is crucial. Although the conviction that points to new birth passes through the mind, however, it occurs in the heart. With the heart one believes and is justified . Faith is the candlestick, noted Charles Spurgeon, which holds the candle by which the chamber of the heart is enlightened.
We use the expression from the heart to describe something done with enthusiasm and joy something done because we want to. By contrast, we say my heart wasnt in it to describe behavior done strictly from a sense of duty. Although some duty always characterizes Christianity, fundamentally it is a heart religion.
Before conversion, our hearts might be into material wealth, popularity, entertainment, or career success. After conversion, we are increasingly into God himself . Increasingly, he becomes our hearts delight. John Bunyan described the Holy Spirits heart conviction as God branding our hearts with a hot iron.
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Remedy: God Made Us Alive
And the remedy for this in verse 5 is: God made us alive. You will never experience the fullness of the greatness of Gods love for you if you dont see his love in relation to your former deadness. Because verse 4 says that the greatness of his love is shown precisely in this: that it makes us alive when we were dead. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ. Because of his great love for us, he made us alive. If you dont know that you were dead, you will not know the fullness of the love of God.
I take this miracle, he made us alive, to be virtually the same as what Jesus calls the new birth. Once we had no spiritual life, and then God raised us from that state of spiritual deadness. And now we are alive. This is the same as Jesuss saying that we must be born of the Spirit and It is the Spirit who gives life .
Nicodemus And The Lord Jesus
Lets look at the story of Nicodemus in John 3. Nicodemus was a moral man who was held in high regard in his community. He came to Jesus one night privately and said to Him, Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher.
Nicodemus may have wanted Jesus to teach him how to improve himself even more so he could be perfect. But before Nicodemus could say anything else, Jesus told him in John 3:3:
Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Nicodemus didnt seem to have any moral or sinful problems. So this word may have surprised him. It might surprise us also, especially if we think only people who are obviously immoral or unethical need to be born again.
But its not only the sinful or immoral people that need to be regenerated. Every human being needs to be born again in order to receive the divine, eternal life of God.
No matter how noble, good, or upright we are, without being born again, we only have our human life we dont have the life of God. But God wants us to have His life. Thats why He created us.
So how can we have the eternal life of God? The Lord Jesus said we must be born anew, that is, born spiritually with the life of God.
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Step : Repent Of Any Known Past Sin
Sins do not automatically disappear from our heart the moment we first believe in Jesus, therefore repentance is very important, because it removes sin from the heart . There are nine steps to a complete repentance, which are as follows:
Believe in Jesus . There can be no true forgiveness without this because he has paid the price for our sins to be forgiven , and he is the one who delivers us from sin . Pray to God for forgiveness . Confess each sin to God . Be sorry for your sin . Forsake the sin . Destroy all association with past sin . Make restitution where possible . Renew your heart and mind with God’s word . Obey God’s word and do good .
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How Do We Know If We Are Born Again
Many see being reborn and being saved as very closely related. Being saved means escaping Gods wrath because we have professed our faith in Jesus. At that moment, we are also reborn spiritually. Both phrases refer to our new state as children of God. They hint at the lifelong journey weve started of becoming more like Christ as well.
The Old Testament prophet Ezekiel mentioned them in a beautiful passage of hope God offered the Israelites.
For I will take you out of the nations I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. Then you will live in the land I gave your ancestors you will be my people, and I will be your God. I will save you from all your uncleanness .
Becoming a born-again believer is a huge, and also intensely personal, decision to make. And because the first work God does is internal, it may take time for any outward changes to appear. But each of us goes through a similar journey to get there that includes:
If you declare with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved .
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You Should Not Be Surprised At My Saying You Must Be Born Again John : 7
You’ve probably heard the phrase, “You must be born again,” during a sermon. But what does this mean exactly?
When Nicodemus, a prominent Pharisee and member of the Jewish Sanhedrin, came to Jesus with questions about His teaching and the nature of salvation, Jesus provided the perfect synopsis of the Gospel, which included one of the most important metaphors and doctrines of the Christian faith. Jesus answered and said to him , no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again. .
At the time, the idea of being born again confounded the inquisitive Nicodemus, who asked, how can someone be born when they are old? Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mothers womb to be born! . Though educated in matters of the Old Testament and Jewish law, Nicodemus struggled to grasp the deeper meaning of Jesuss words. He was not alone. Many have wrestled with the spiritual truths of Jesuss teaching and the implications of Christs call to discipleship in their lives. So what does it really mean to be born again and what does this look like for Christians and those called to follow Christ?