BE SURE TO LOOK TO THE LORD TO OPEN THESE TRUTHS OF HIS TO YOU…
It is ALWAYS VERY important to go beyond our opinion about eternal matters – about God and our salvation. But few doctrines (Bible teaching) affects us as much as the teaching on ‘Salvation’. If my understanding about ‘Salvation’ is wrong in the eyes of God, then I will not have Him to be my Father in this life, and will not be accepted into Heaven after this life! And I will be thrown into hell, the lake of fire, forever! (Revelation 20:15 KJV).
We MUST take the Lord, and our eternal souls, as seriously as the Lord demands. Matthew 7:22-23 is just one example where the Lord warns us of the reality that many of the people who claim to believe in Him, don’t believe in Him as He requires so that they may be saved / born again. If we don’t make sure that our belief, our faith, in Him is acceptable to Him. Then we most likely WILL be among those whose belief is insufficient according to the Lord!
Let’s have a look at Matthew 7:22-23…
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess [SAY] unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Here the Lord Jesus is looking ahead to the day of judgement. Where He tells us that there will be MANY active church people that He will be rejecting from entering Heaven, because He doesn’t know them. They were never saved / born again! Even though they claimed to prophecy / preach, “in thy name”, cast out devils, “in thy name”, and do many wonderful works, “in thy name”. The Lord is not even speaking about the many millions of people who attend church, but never serve him!
How incredibly tragic! All because they were careless in their personal responses to Him reaching out to save them! They did not take the Lord as serious AS HE REQUIRES THEM TO! And so they did not take their eternal souls AS SERIOUS AS HE REQUIRES THEM TO!
As we present ‘How To Be Born Again’ in these studies, from the teaching of the Lord Jesus in John 3. Ask the Lord to help you understand ‘how to be born again’ AS HE WANTS YOU TO UNDERSTAND!
From the Lord Jesus in John 3 we are taught by Him…
1. MAN’S NEED: – We MUST All Be Born Again To ‘See’ And ‘Enter’ The Kingdom Of God
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.
John 3:7 “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.”
In verses 3, 5 and 7 the Lord Jesus tells us that we must be, “born again”. And that unless we are, “born again”, we cannot, “see”, or, “enter”, the, “kingdom of God”. Therefore it is vital that we get to know what the Lord Jesus meant when He said that we must be, “born again”…
The Lord Jesus, starting where Nicodemus’ understanding of ‘birth’ is – the physical birth. He uses the physical birth to introduce the spiritual birth needed to, “see”, or, “enter”, the, “kingdom of God”…
5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, [TRUELY, TRUELY] I say unto thee, [TO YOU] 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.
John 3:8“The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit”.
The Lord tells us that the second birth is a ‘spiritual birth, “of the Spirit”‘ – the Holy Spirit (v5, 6 and 7). Just as we have all had a ‘physical birth, OF physical parents’ that gave us life in this physical world. We must also have ‘a spiritual birth, OF the Spirit of God’, to give us spiritual life, eternal life, with God.
In verse 5 the Lord Jesus explains the spiritual birth by starting with the physical birth which Nicodemus understands (v4 above). Nicodemus would know that at birth the ‘mother’s water breaks’ and helps push her baby out:
V 5/ “…, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”
Then again in verse 6 the Lord again speaks of both the physical and spiritual births using a more straight forward discription:
V 6/ “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”
And so just as our physical births have given us physical life in this world, and life with family and friends. A spiritual birth into the kingdom of God will give us spiritual life with God. A spiritual life that begins the moment we are born again. And so the relationship with God, as Father, begins in this life, and not only after we leave this world and go to Heaven.
1.1. The Spiritual Birth Is Brought About By The Holy Spirit
The miracle of the spiritual birth is brought about by the Holy Spirit…
5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, [TRUELY, TRUELY] I say unto thee, [TO YOU] 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.
Once a person is, “born again”, or, “born of the Spirit”, they are brought into the, “kingdom of God”. Where those who have been born again are called, “the children of God”…
1.2. The Spiritual Birth Makes Those Who Have Been Born Again Children Of God
Not only is the Holy Spirit involved in the spiritual birth, but He also brings those who are born again to know that they are, “the children of God” (v16 below). And to love God as their, “Father” (v15 below)…
15 for ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye [you] have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby [THROUGH WHOM] we cry, Abba, Father.
16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
We are then, through the spiritual birth brought into, “the kingdom of God”, which is the ‘family of God.’
If we must be born again in order to become sons, or daughters, of God, how does one get born again? What must we do?
2. GOD’S PROVISION: Christ Died On The Cross For Man’s Sin. So That Whosoever Believes In Him Should Not Perish, But Have Eternal Life With God
14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so [IN THE SAME WAY] must the Son of man be lifted up:
15 That whosoever [WHOEVER] believeth [BELIEVES] in Him should not perish [DIE IN THEIR SIN], but have eternal life [BE BORN AGAIN INTO THE FAMILY OF GOD].
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever [WHOEVER] believeth [BELIEVES] in Him should not perish [DIE IN THEIR SIN], but have everlasting life [BE BORN AGAIN INTO THE FAMILY OF GOD].
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth [BELIEVES] on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath [HAS] not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
1 Peter 3:18 “For Christ also hath [HAS] once suffered for sins [ON THE CROSS], the just for the unjust [ALL PEOPLE], that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh [ON THE CROSS], but quickened [RAISED FROM THE DEAD] by the Spirit:”
The Lord Jesus speaks to Nicodemus of His (Jesus’) coming death on the cross. The Lord tells Nicodemus that He must be lifted up on the cross to die for our sin (See also 1Peter 3:18).
The Lord uses the crisis of the Israelis in the wilderness to help Nicodemus – and us – understand how we must look to the Lord Jesus by faith to gain eternal life (be born again). We must look to Him by faith, believing that He died on the cross to bring us to God, or to reconcile us to God (1 Peter 3:18)…
2.1. The Brass Serpent Illustration
As recorded in Numbers 21, Israel were complaining against the Lord and Moses for the conditions that they were living under. And so the Lord sent poisonous snakes among them to punish them for their wicked dissatisfaction of His provision. And it is recorded how many of them were bitten by the snakes and died. The punishment brought them to realize their sin, and they confessed to Moses that they had sinned against the Lord. And asked Moses to ask the Lord to take away the poisonous snakes. The Lord’s answer to them was that Moses must make a brass snake which he must put up on a pole. So that when anyone was bitten they could look at the brass snake and be healed by faith.
The Lord could have simply removed the snakes, but it seems that the Lord wanted them to exercise faith in Him. And so they were given a very unusual way of dealing with the deadly poisonous snakes, and their bites. And so, when any of them were bitten they had the choice – look to the brass snake and believe God that they would be healed, or don’t look at the brass snake, in faith, and die. This took faith in what God said. They had to believe God that looking at the brass snake would heal them. And so those that believed God looked to the brass snake and were healed. But those that did not look at the brass snake, when bitten, were not healed and they died. It was that simple.
The brass serpent lesson very well illustrates how we must be born again. We are born again by looking to the Lord Jesus Christ, dying for us on the cross, by faith. That just as the bitten Israeli was to look at the brass snake by faith to be saved from certain death. We are to look to the Lord Jesus, lifted up on the cross and dying for our sin, by faith. And just as the Lord, through Moses, told the Israelis that looking at the brass snake would heal them. the Lord Jesus is telling us, in the Bible, that with the same kind of faith as the Israelis, we must believe in the Lord Jesus dying for our sin on the cross. Believe in Him so that we would be saved, that we would be born again into the kingdom of God. That we would be brought into the Family of God.
2.2. What Does The Lord Mean By ‘Believe’?
Sometimes when we use the word ‘believe’ we mean that we have ‘a little confidence’ in the ‘thing’ believed, or the ‘person’ requiring our ‘belief’ / confidence. Our ‘belief’ is not very strong because we are not completely convinced to have stronger ‘belief’, or stronger confidence. In another situation, or with someone else, when we use the word ‘believe’, we are talking about complete confidence. Where, in our minds we have no doubt in the situation, or the person. What kind of ‘belief’ does the Lord require of us for us to be born again?
The Lord used Phillip to explain the required ‘belief in Christ’ this way…
35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.
36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?
37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
Only someone who has been born again may be baptized, and so Phillip told the eunuch, “If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest.“ His belief in Christ had to be strong, serious belief, with all of his heart!
THE LORD LED THE APOSTLE PAUL to preach belief / faith in the Lord Jesus Christ adding the term, “repentance toward God”, to make certain that those to whom he preached to, properly understood what ‘believing in Christ’ / ‘having faith in Him’ means…
20 And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house,
21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, AND faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
He taught that we must BOTH, ‘repent toward God’, AND have, “faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” If we only want to be ‘saved’, ‘born again’, AND ARE NOT PREPARED / WILLING to live a life of being under God’s authority, then we will not be saved, or born again! “Repentance toward God”, means changing our thinking, our attitudes, towards Him. It means being willing to yield our wills under His authority. If our ‘belief’, our ‘faith’, in Christ is weak, is not committed, then we will not be born again!
2.3. Those Who Do Not Come To Christ VS Those Who Do
Let’s now look and see how the Lord Jesus said the same thing in different words, to Nicodemus. Explaining the internal challenge we all face before we can know the reality of being saved / born again…
19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
2.3.1. Those Who Do Not Come
V19/ Christ is the, “light”, that, “is come into the world”, to show us how life with God works. Most people’s problem is that they do not want God’s perfectly pure, and holy ways. Most rather choose their own evil independent ways.
V20/ The reason for most people hating, and rejecting Christ is because they know that their life styles will be rebuked by Him. And they are not willing, or not able, to turn from their sinful ways (Luke 13:24)…
Luke 13:24 “Strive to enter in at the strait [NARROW, DIFFICULT] gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.“
2.3.2. Those Who Do Come
V21/ Those that, “doeth truth”, come to, “the light [CHRIST]“. They are the people who get saved / born again! These are truthful because of the successful work of God in them…
126.96.36.199. Through The Witness To God Inherent In Man [PUT IN MAN BY GOD] (Romans 1:18-32 KJV).
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world 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 that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
i.e. Just as the Lord built in man the inherent [BORN WITH] knowledge of how to breath. The Lord also built in man the inherent knowledge of His existence.
188.8.131.52. Then Through The Inner Witness Of The Holy Spirit (John 16:7-11 KJV).
7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter [HOLY SPIRIT] will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
9 Of sin, because they believe not on [IN] me;
10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye [YOU] see me no more;
11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world [SATAN] is judged.
Here the Lord Jesus tells His disciples of the Holy Spirit Whom He would send into the world after He left the world. This coming of the Holy Spirit happened on the Day of Pentecost. See Acts 2. One the Holy Spirit’s ministries was to work in the hearts and minds of those who have not been born again. To convict them of, “sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment”.
184.108.40.206. And Lastly, Through The Co-Operative Witness Of The Spirit Sent Human Witnesses / Preachers, AND The Inner Working Of The Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:6-9)
1 Corinthians 3:6-9
6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.
9 for we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.
The Lord has chosen to work with His children in ministering to others. In the case of a child of God sharing / preaching the Gospel, the child of God gives the Truths from the Scriptures about the need to be born again, and how to be born again. And at the same time the Holy Spirit works in the heart and mind of the person being shared the Gospel. Ultimately it is the inner working of the Holy Spirit that convinces the lost person to believe in Christ – IF they choose to respond to the inner working of the Holy Spirit and believe in Christ.
Some are successfully wooed to believe in Christ with all their hearts. Or, as in the words of Paul: some are brought to be ‘repentant towards God, and have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.’ These are saved / born again.
3. WHAT WILL YOU DO?
Everyone must make their own choice regarding the Lord Jesus. Do you believe the record in God’s book that everyone MUST be born again by looking to the Lord Jesus by faith? And will you trust Him to save you and make you a son or daughter of God? You too must make your choice. A choice that will have consequences for all of your life in this world and in eternity to come!
The Bible says that we must in faith, “receive Him” (John 1:12), or “believe” in Him (John 3:14-18), in order to become a son or daughter of God (John 1:12). I ask you now, has the Spirit of God been working in your heart and mind to believe in the Lord Jesus with all of your heart? This is not casual / careless / uncommitted belief / faith in Christ. It is belief with all of your heart that the Lord requires…
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.
Will you privately tell God that you truly believe in the Lord Jesus to save you from your sin?
AND THEN …
Ask the Lord to help increase your faith, and to lead you to live a life that is consistent with your being a son or daughter of God.
If you have believed in the Lord Jesus to save you and make you a son or daughter of His. Read your Bible each day asking the Lord to open His Truths to your understanding. Teaching you what it is to be a child of God in your daily life. If you are English speaking I strongly recommend the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible as it has not been changed as the modern English bibles have. And if you are Afrikaans then I highly recommend you read the Ou Vertaaling [OLD TRANSLATION] (1953) as it too is a complete bible without changes as other modern Afrikaans bible have been changed. Whatever your language is ask the Lord to guide you to a good Bible. One of the tests of a good Bible is whether the whole of 1 John 1:9 is in that Bible. It should be like the following with the Trinity teaching in it…
1 John 5:7 “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”
Ask the Lord to lead you to a local church where you will be taught God’s Word (the Bible) as it should be taught. Keep looking to Him to guide you to His truth. Never be shy or afraid to question Bible teachers and preachers. Only God is without fault, and He wants you to ‘know’, ‘understand’ and ‘live’ HIS TRUTH.
At this website you can read and download Bible Studies to help you establish a solid Bible foundation in the Christian Faith. Naturally the next study you should do is ‘Assurance Of Salvation’ available from the Kingsway Bible School website as well. Then, I also highly recommend the eBook, “The Spiritual Life Is Life WITH God”, that has been prepared to make clear what the Bible describes as the daily life with God. And how the Holy Spirit will continue to lead you throughout your life if you let Him. Which will prevent you from being misled by one of the endless wrong beliefs being taught today. This eBook is available from the Home page of this Bible school website.
Download A Copy Of The Above Study…