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What does it mean to be 'born again'
When you accept Jesus into your life - when you allow His Holy Spirit to live and dwell within you then God will convict you when something is wrong. It is God who gives you a conscience to understand right from wrong. God may even reveal things to you in order to nudge you to do something or say something in order to accomplish some task that will glorify Him.
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Writer: Billy Graham | billygraham.org
Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." John 3:3 (NLT)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 (KJV) verse 3
Our first birth gave us physical life; the new birth gives us spiritual life and membership in God's family (John 1:13Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.John 1 verse 13).
To be born again is to have the Holy Spirit transform our hearts from indifference and hostility toward God to a love of God and a desire for righteousness and holiness. The only way one can come to God and experience what it means to be "born again" is through repentance of sin and faith in Jesus Christ; read John 14:6Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.John 14 verse 6.
The Bible clearly teaches in Ephesians 2:8-10(verse 8) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:
(verse 9) Not of works, lest any man should boast.
(verse 10) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.Ephesians 2 verses 8-10, Titus 3:5Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.Titus 3 verse 5, and Romans 10:13For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.Romans 10 verse 13 that salvation is a gift; it cannot be earned in any way.
What is the "new birth"?
The Holy Spirit convicts you of your sin, disturbs you about the fact that you’ve sinned against God. And then, secondly, the Holy Spirit regenerates you. That’s when you’re born again. And then, the Holy Spirit comes to live in your heart, to help you in your daily life. You don’t leave here alone without any help. The Spirit of God goes with you from now on, to give you assurance, to give you joy, and to produce fruit in your life, and to teach you the Scriptures.
To receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord means more than accepting Him as a fact of history, a teacher, or an example. It means more than giving mental assent to the fact that Jesus died on the cross for the sins of the world. It means that one turns from sin and with his or her whole heart trusts in Christ as personal Savior and Lord. God makes that one a new person; see 2 Corinthians 5:17Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.2 Corinthians 5 verse 17. The Bible says,
To all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. John 1:12 (NIV)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.John 1 (KJV) verse 12
Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17
The New Birth
Writer: R.A. Torrey | 4 October 2010 | www.billygraham.org
One of the most fundamental and vital doctrines in Christianity is the doctrine of the New Birth.
Our Lord Jesus teaches in the third chapter of John that the necessity of the New Birth is universal. In the third verse He says,
Verily, verily I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 3:3 (KJV)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 verse 3
Not one single man or woman or child will be able to see the Kingdom of God except they be born from above.
The necessity of the New Birth is not only universal, it is imperative.
The necessity of the New Birth is not only universal, it is imperative. Our Lord Jesus says to Nicodemus, "You must be born again," not merely you may be, but "you must be" (John 3:7 (NKJV)Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.John 3 verse 7)
Jesus taught that the necessity of the New Birth is also absolute. Nothing else will take the place of the New Birth.
Why is the New Birth absolutely necessary?
Verse 6That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.John 3 verse 6 tells us why. The reason is because
"that which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit."
All that we can get by our human parentage, no matter how godly or pious or moral or cultured, is that which is natural and not spiritual, and the Kingdom of God is spiritual. In order to enter that Kingdom we must be born of the Spirit.
What must we do in order to be born again?
- First of all, we are born again by the Holy Spirit’s power. The Holy Spirit is a living person, and by His transforming power working directly in our spirits, we are regenerated.
- The New Birth is wrought through the instrumentality of the Word of God. We read in 1 Peter 1:23Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.1 Peter 1 (KJV) verse 23,
- The New Birth is wrought by the Holy Spirit through His Word in us when we look to or believe on Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus has been made in the likeness of sinful flesh and lifted up on the cross of Calvary, where He made a perfect atonement for sin, and as soon as we look at Him on the cross and put our trust in Him as our sin-bearer, in that moment we are born again."
Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, through the Word of God.
R.A. Torrey (1856-1928) was an American evangelist, pastor, educator and writer. Adapted from The Voice of God in the Present Hour, by R.A. Torrey.