Gospel Insights

by Michael Smith

 

Chapter Thirteen

CAN WE BE BORN AGAIN?

Jesus ... said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee,
Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
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?
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 3:1-21)

 

Jesus told Nicodemus that we must be "born again", else we will not see God's Kingdom, and entrance to heaven when we die will be denied to us [1].  We have been born physically but we must also be born spiritually: "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit".  As it is so important, how then can we be born again?

John the Baptist, the Lord Jesus, and the apostles, when preaching the gospel, all started by saying that we need to repent.  That is, we need to give up or turn away from all that is wrong in our lives, because it is our sin that has separated us from God.  As we saw in Chapter One, the basic problem is that every one of us is a member of the fallen human race, and so we have all come far short of God's perfect standards of righteousness [2].  Though our bodies are alive: breathing and moving, and our souls (mind, will, emotions) are functioning; our spirits are dead (please see the section 'Loving God With All My Spirit' in Chapter Twenty-Three).  But God's Word also tells us that because of God's deep love for us, He became a man and allowed Himself to be nailed to a cross to pay the penalty for our sin, so that we can be forgiven and become as if we were sinless in God's sight [3].  So, to be born again, we must recognise that we are hopelessly lost sinners, believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died in our place, ask God for His forgiveness for all our previous sins and selfish desires and habits, and surrender them into God's hands for Him to deal with.

Having been cleansed from all sin by the blood of Jesus shed at Calvary, God 'fills' our spirits with His Holy Spirit [4], and writes our names in the Lamb's (Jesus') book of eternal life.  We are now born again, and the Holy Spirit leads us in God's ways day by day: empowering us to share our faith with others that they too may be born again, renewing our minds and teaching us the will of God for us through the daily reading of His Word, enabling us to pray aright, and strengthening us with His peace regardless of our outer circumstances whether they be good or bad (We look at each of these aspects on the Christian life in Chapters Nineteen, Twenty, Twenty-One, Twenty-Three, and Twenty-Six.)

Provided we remain faithful to the Lord and walk closely with Him, obeying Him and quickly bringing to Him any sin for His forgiveness, we shall never forfeit God's gift of eternal life and will go to be with Him when we die.


A Prayer

Lord God, I know I am a sinner and can't save myself.
Thank you that you sent your Son, Jesus Christ, to die for me.
I want to be born again.
Please forgive me all my sins, and come into my life, and fill me with your Holy Spirit.
Thank you Lord.  Amen.

 

Footnotes

[1]  Please note that being born again, as described by the Lord Jesus and the apostles and disciples in the Holy Bible, has nothing to do with the Eastern belief of reincarnation which states that at death the soul leaves the body and is then 'born again' into another body.          [2]  Romans 3:23.          [3]  Romans 6:23;  1 Peter 3:18.          [4]  John 3:5-8.

 

 

 

Chapter Twelve   |   Chapter Fourteen   |   Back to Contents

 

 

Michael Smith 2013