This is not a directive to keep checking whether or not you are born again.
No, though sadly some believers do worry that they are not truly born again. Get once and for all the gospel truth ever firmly fixed in your mind and heart.. believe… just believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you are saved – forever. No, the majority of truths in Paul’s epistles are for the saved man or woman, so that we can live the life that is best for us, as directed by the Holy Spirit.
You must be born again, were the staggering words Nicodemus heard that night – words that must have echoed around his head and reverberated through his mind as he came to terms with the inner spiritual darkness, in which he himself was groping.
The New Birth
Imagine the turmoil he must have encountered as he discovered that unless he received the new birth, of which Christ spoke, he could not enter the kingdom of God. His forefathers had been waiting for this promised kingdom for centuries and recently the Baptist had been crying in the wilderness, repent, the kingdom of God is at hand – and now Nicodemus discovered he himself was excluded unless he was born again.
We have been set from sin and from serving the fleshly old sin-nature because we are born from above.
Submission to the Spirit
From rebirth, ALL believers start to have this inner conflict with these two actively opposing forces, and so a believer must learn to walk by means of his new born again spirit, and this can only be done through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit.
Silently comes the kingdom into the heart of a man, and who can judge the heart of a man and witness the new birth save the Lord alone? But the results of that silent birth should by degrees be visible, until Christ be formed in you. And then cultivate silence for God often speaks in silences.
And through Whom a new creation was formed – by Whom new creatures are born from above into newness of life. The former race bore the marks of its origin – fallen Adam. The new race is to bear the marks of its Founder and Fount – the last Adam; the Lord from Heaven; The Son of God and Son of Man.
Work of Christ
If we don’t repent or change our mind – we remain dead in our trespasses and sins. When we do repent or change our mind about God’s free gift of grace, that is offered to all sinners who are dead in trespasses and sins we are born again.. and the Holy Spirit places us in Christ as part of God’s family – FOREVER. Let us never add to the amazing work of Christ on the cross when by His blood alone He paid the price for your sins and mine. But rather let us simply accept God’s free gift of grace – by faith alone.
You have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding Word of God. 1 Peter 1:23 But to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ - the power of God and the wisdom of God. 1 Corinthians 1:24
The new birth is born through a deep conviction of sin and repentance. The new Christian often continues with a deep devotion to the Saviour. The early christian walk is frequently surrounded by great works and witness.
The risen life of Christ is to be the inner experience of all that are born from above. The resurrected life of Jesus is to be the vital expression of the Christian’s new life. Because Christ rose from the dead His risen life is imparted to all who trust in Him.
The Narrow Way
It is to the Christian and not the unbelieving man that Christ told us that the way is straight and the way is narrow, and few there are that find it – for once born from above, the believer has two choices.
Law of Death
The truths that Nicodemus learnt on his night visit to Jesus Christ were staggering. During an evening conversation his long-held religious values had been fragmented. The requirements of the Mosaic Law were impossible – unattainable to mortal man! The notion of a new birth with a new life – was beyond the concept of human reason!
Everyone that is born from above is called according to the purpose of God. Every believer has a calling; an eternal calling – a great purpose in time and eternity, and God’s purpose is entwined and interlinked with Christ – Who is to be all in all.
1) Past:- that once for all salvation of the spirit: I am born again – blameless. 2) Present:- that ongoing, lifelong salvation of the soul (our new live in Christ and not the old sinful Adamic nature): I am being sanctified – blameless. 3) Future:- the soon to be salvation of the body: glorified, I will be glorified – I am being saved – I will be saved – all blameless.
We are born again of Christ and not from the old corruptible old Adamic seed: you are not born not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible. 1 Peter 1:23 We are born a new creation in Christ.
The unsaved sinner has the need of a Saviour and the Spirit convicts him of this need. When the unsaved sinner has been born again this initial need is satisfied – and from that day he is accepted in Christ..
He is given a new life – a born again life – the life of Christ – Christ’s very own life.
It was living his life, through the new-life in Christ, that was given to Paul – when he was born again, that was Paul’s open secret of how to live the victorious Christian life. It was living this new-life in Christ that broke the power of sin in Paul’s life. It was living this new-life in Christ that delivered Paul from the body of death. And it is living our Christian life, by means of the new born-again life of Christ in us, that will give you and me the victory over the power of sin in our lives too.
Two Distinct Factions
The human race is divided into two camps – two parties – two distinct factions. Every member of the human race is either connected with Adam or with Christ. Initially, every person is connected with Adam from the moment we are born.. but those believing in Jesus are removed from Adam and put into Christ – forever. Those that move from Adam to Christ are born again into a new life.
Every member of the human race that trusts Christ – is born again into Christ. All who trust Christ as Saviour become God’s children and joint-heirs with Christ. All in Christ have been regenerated, forgiven, and clothed in His righteousness.
The choice depends on whether or not they choose to trust Christ as their Saviour. Those choosing to trust in Jesus are immediately transferred from Adam into Christ – they are born again into a new and abundant life and are given eternal life.
Everyone that’s “born again” is in Christ – but all the unsaved are outside of Christ.
Justification and Sanctification
It is also vital also to rightly divide between justification and sanctification. 1) Justification – the salvation of the spirit : born into the family of God. 2) Sanctification – the salvation of the soul... living as a child of God. 1) Justification – born again once and in eternal union with Christ forever. 2) Sanctification – growing in grace throughout life.
The moment we were born from above we were positionally sanctified for we were placed into the body of Christ by the Spirit – and we are forever positioned in Him. The instant we are saved, we are set apart unto the Lord.
Placed in Christ
When we were born again, we were placed in Christ – baptised into His body. When we were born again we were moved from being 'in Adam' to being 'in Christ.' When we were 'in Adam' we were imputed with Adam’s old sin nature, but when we were reborn 'into Christ' we were imputed with His righteousness. Sin shall not have dominion over you, for ye are not under the law, but under grace. Romans 6:14
It is all false, wherever we may find it, whether associated with religion or not.... The Christian Faith embraced as a religion, a philosophy, or as a system of truth and a moral or ethical doctrine, may carry the temporary stimulus of a great ideal; but this will not result in the regeneration of the life, or the new birth of the spirit.
Paul warns us to sift through our attitudes and search our motives – so examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. These instructions are not to the unbelievers, but to Christians. This examination does not mean check out to see if you are born again – this is an instruction to see if you are on the road to spiritual maturity.
This passage simply means this:- Once you’ve been born again – and believed Christ died, was buried and rose..
Spiritual and Carnal
A spiritual Christian is the one that is growing in the faith – maturing. A carnal Christian is the one that is not growing in the faith – not maturing. A carnal Christian can also be called a fleshly believer... born again but not growing – born again, but not growing in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour.
John the baptizer pointed away from self to the one true Light, and the mission of each believer, born from above, is to bear witness of the Light: for He is the true light that cometh into the world.
The basis of union with God is that God's own Life is given to us in new birth, and upon that God builds everything, on that He counts for everything.
God's hope is in His own Life, not in ours, and He puts the basis of His hope within at new birth, and on that basis He proceeds to the development of all His thought, and the realization of all His intention.
Although we were not made righteous in a practical way – for we still have an old sin nature, this was the point we were positioned “in Christ” – and imputed with His righteousness – and from then on we had a right standing with God – JUSTIFIED. This is the point in time when we were born again – by believing in the work of Christ.
Born again in Christ, (the 2nd man) -a believer inherits righteousness, obedience, and life.
Eph.2:1 Only those born again, of the Spirit, are placed under the headship of the Last Adam.
The mode of acquiring a new, redeemed nature from the 2nd man is a spiritual birth. As Jesus told Nicodemus: marvel not that I said unto thee, ye must be born again.
By the simple act of being born again, we instantly partake of the Latter’s holy nature: that which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” John 3:6.
It was Jews and converts to Judaism that witnessed the wonderful works of God. It was 3000 Jews and converts to Judaism that were born again on that special day. It was Jews and converts to Judaism who became the founders of the Christian faith – and it was Jews and Jewish converts to whom Peter addressed his glorious speech.
Being born again is the first completed step of the rest of your Christian life, and the majority of Scripture tells about this journey through life – a journey through life of sanctification.
Being 'born again' is not the ultimate goal of the gospel, but the first. New birth is a prelude to the lifelong process of sanctification – spiritual growth. Sanctification develops into the intimate relationship God desires with each of us.
Within the inner ‘being’ of man are two continuously conflicting camps:- the old sin nature (the flesh or self-ego) is gained from the old birth in Adam, while the new life in Christ (the spirit of life in Christ Jesus) comes from our new birth.
So it all resolves itself into the need, in the first place, for what is meant by being born from above: an entirely new nature and disposition, to begin with, and then a letting God do His work of conforming us to the image of His Son.
A Worthy Calling
Our initial salvation when we were born again is a gift of grace – received by faith. Our Christian walk as we grow in grace is also a gift of grace – received by faith. And as we grow in grace and in a knowledge of Him, so we will reflect our Lord – and we will walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which we have been called.
The truth of the gospel that Peter taught on that day, caused over 3000 men of Israel to repent of their sins and to be born again into the newly formed Body of Christ. But Peter was to astonish these fledgling believers, and those that were listening to his teaching even more, by announcing that this same Jesus was not only resurrected from the dead as David foretold, but He had ascended into heaven in power and great glory and been exalted by God to sit at His right hand where He is now seated on God's heavenly throne.
Jesus used the illustration of light in much of His earthly teaching, and the apostle John and other New Testament authors frequently referred to Christ as 'the Light Who came into the world' and we rejoice to know that darkness can never overcome Him.A thick darkness has enveloped this fallen world system due to man's sin, and the eyes of every soul born into this sinful race, is shrouded in a deep blackness that can only be removed by the true Light of God Who came into the world in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ – the Light of the world.Without Christ, the deep darkness of man's inner soul remains blinded to the truth of the glorious gospel of grace, which points to Jesus as the true Light Who alone lights the hearts and minds of all who believe on Him.While He was in the world the Lord Jesus remained the Light of the world, but those who have been born from above have been instructed to walk in the light as He is in the light, and have been given the responsibility to be salt and light in a fallen world, by pointing the way to Christ.Two thousand years ago, heavenly Light shone out of the darkness and by God's grace, the beauty of His Light and Life has shone into our hearts and given us the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Jesus Christ.God's Word of truth continues to unfold Christ's Light into our hearts and into the lives of those who have trusted His sacrificial work on the Cross and glorious Resurrection.
From start to finish, the book of Galatians outlines the deep concern that the apostle Paul showed for the Christians in Galatia who, having been saved by grace through faith in Christ for the forgiveness of their sins and having been born from above, chose to give up the glorious liberty they had in Christ (salvation, through the hearing of faith) for the meritorious work and legalistic bondage from which they had been set free.
John is writing to Christians and, like Paul, he is keenly aware that born again believers can be enticed away from a loving dependence upon the Father into a carnal reliance on the things of this world.
It is the Spirit of God Who witnesses to our spirit and Who teaches and trains us to do the good and eschew the evil - and it is by the work of the Holy Spirit that we are born from above into the family of God..
The curse of the Law has been lifted, the sting of death has been removed, and we have been born into the family of God and become part of a totally new creation in Christ, with our sins forgiven and our eternal life secure.As born again citizens of heaven, we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
All have been freed from the slave-market of sin, for we all have been redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, forgiven of our sins, justified in the eyes of God, regenerated, sealed, adopted, and born again.
Every child of God that has been born from above and placed into the Body of Christ by the Spirit is equally enriched, and knowing the superabundant riches of God’s gracious enrichment, should we not walk in utter devotion to the God Who has so blessed us?
But when as believers we submit to the Holy Spirit, we discover a higher law working within (the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus) that gives power to the new-life-of-Christ within which we received when we were born again - bringing us to certain victory.
In verse three He replied, Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Our physical birth rendered us incapable of entering heaven, for tainted flesh and blood cannot enter into God's perfect kingdom which is why sinful man must be born again.
Once we have been saved by grace through faith... once we have been born again of the Spirit, we become a spiritual being.
We are born from above, and until the day when we go to be with Jesus, we sojourn on earth within our fallen body - waiting for that great day of resurrection when this mortal body will be clothed with immortality and this perishable body will be replaced with an imperishable one.
who are saved by grace through faith and have been made a new creation in Christ and await the full the final consummation of our new birth.. (when our mortal bodies put on immortality and corruption is replaced with incorruption), so too the creation itself awaits in eager expectation for that day when God's curse on creation will be finally lifted.
But Paul had taught them that all their own acts of righteousness are filthy rags in the eyes of God... and that the only acts of righteousness that God will ever receive from His born again children are those that are carried out by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit by faith in Christ - as He lives in us.
Paul had already gone through this 'birthing' experience with these believers, when they were born again and brought into the family of God.
Not only did the Lord set the mountains in place and fixed the foundation of the world so fast they cannot be moved, but He also gave us a new birth by the message of truth so that we would be the firstfruits of His new creation - His blood-bought children, heirs of His promise, and joint-heirs with Christ.
for unless a man is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Having been born from above we are part of a spiritual Body.
There are times that we become overly familiar with terms such as 'born again', 'a new creation in Christ', 'made the righteousness of God in Him', 'accepted in the Beloved', 'ministers of reconciliation', 'ambassadors of Christ', 'seated with Him in heavenly places', 'hid with Christ in God', ' Christ in you the hope of glory' or 'bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh'.
We are made a new creation in Christ and given life-eternal when we are born from above - and it is given once, for all, by grace through faith in Him.
May we read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest the instructive and informative teachings in Hebrews and take special heed of those passages that war us against insulting our God and Saviour Who died for our sin and rose again so that through faith in Him we might be born from above, declared righteous, and receive the riches of His goodness and grace freely and without cost.
How important to remember that the old 'me' is dead and that I have been 'born from above' into spiritual union with Christ, and my new life is hidden with Christ in God.
How glorious to understand that we who are 'born again' are dead to sin and that the power of sin has been broken in our lives - and that the day is coming when our bodies will be made perfect, for we shall be with Christ Jesus our Lord and see Him as He is.
This is a truth that should rejoice our heart every moment of the day. By virtue of our new birth and spiritual resurrection, we have been placed into an eternal, spiritual union with Christ and been made part of His spiritual Body, which is the Church.
Paul directed Titus to guard the flock and expose false teaching, through the establishment of a doctrinally sound leadership of elders throughout the island of Crete.Paul's letter to Titus reaffirms, in writing, the responsibility that was laid on his shoulders: It was for this reason I left you in Crete, the older apostle wrote to his younger assistant, that you would set in order what remains, and appoint elders in every city – as I directed you.We discover from other passages, that Titus was a Greek by birth who was born again through the ministry of Paul.
From the moment we are born from above we receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance with all who have been positionally sanctified... and from that time on, we begin a lifelong process of progressive sanctification... as we are changed from glory to glory into the image and likeness of the Lord Jesus.
As children of God, we have been born from above and have a new human spirit, our new life in Christ.
Before we were born again, we had a spirit that was dead in trespasses and sins, but when we accepted Christ as our Saviour we were given a new life in Christ, a new, free, human spirit, which is able to commune with His Holy Spirit Who is enabled to guide us into all truth.
A life that is lived in spirit and truth is a life that is led by the Holy Spirit of God Who came to indwell our hearts and guide our lives the moment we were born from above, and He speaks to us quietly through our enlivened human spirit.
It is the new, born again life of Christ that we received when we were born from above that carries out any good works that we do so that others may see our good works and glorify our Father Who is in heaven.
There is also ONE baptism, and although many like to suggest that baptism in this verse refers to water baptism, it is the baptism of the Holy Spirit in the life of all who are born from above, about which he is speaking... for as Paul writes to the Corinthians: We were all baptised by one Spirit, so as to form one body-whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free.
The moment that we are born again, we are made a new creation in Christ.
It is the new, born again life we received at salvation that must grow.
All that is connected with the old creation in Adam is eternally doomed, which is why God is not going to transform the old sin nature but the new life in Christ, which we received when we were born again.
It is only those that have trusted Christ as Saviour who are able to act justly and be merciful and walk humbly before their God, for only those that are born from above have been endowed with the new-life in Christ, the godly nature of Christ Jesus.
Indeed, all who are born from above have the permanently indwelling Holy Spirit of God within their heart and He is the One Who searches the deep things of God and reveals them to us - through the God-breathed Scriptures.
But now Christ is our merciful and faithful High Priest, for His death tore down the barrier between man and God so that all who believe on His name are born from above, adopted into God's family, are living stones, a spiritual house, and holy priesthood.
As born again believers, we are given a new nature (which is the very life of Christ), when we trust in Him for salvation.
However, Paul makes a big distinction between those that saved by grace and the unsaved natural man - those that are born again and those that are dead in their sins.
For those that are spiritually minded carry out their good works from their new born again nature from Christ which is imputed to us at salvation, rather than reverting back to their old, carnal nature which was inherited from Adam - a fallen, sinful nature is the birth-right of all humanity.
Paul had taught them the truth of the gospel of grace, so that by faith in Jesus, they had been born again, forgiven of their sin, transferred from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God's dear Son, and received the gift of eternal life.
The time was fast approaching when there would be a new and perfect sacrifice, a new living Temple made without hands, a new birth, a new creation, a new dispensation when those that worship God would worship Him in spirit and in truth.
Three long years had passed since that night when Nicodemus first started to understand that he must be born again, but as the day of Jesus' death grew ever closer, when He would finally be lifted up like that brass serpent in the wilderness, we read these poignant words from our Saviour own lips: I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.
We are not the sort of Christians that revert back to the former, legal system that believers followed before the Cross... we are not those who shrink back to perdition. There may be times when a believer does shrink back through fear, lack of faith, leaving our first love, or falling into some fleshly lust but we must never forget that ALL truly born again believers are held securely in the hands of God - and cannot shrink back unto perdition.
For an unbeliever, the saving of the soul is salvation by grace through faith, BUT when we are already born again, the saving of our soul occurs when a believer lives their life for Christ and dies to self.
We, who are been born again by grace through faith, can see an astonishing parallel between Esther's story of deliverance for her people, and God's redemptive plan of salvation for the whole of mankind.
And since we have been born from above and have tasted of the goodness of God, we are entreated by Peter to live our lives in submission to Him so that we may grow in grace and increase in spiritual wisdom and knowledge.
He reminds us that in Him we have been born again to a living hope and have an inheritance that is kept for us in heaven.
If as born again believers we have indeed tasted and seen that the Lord is good, we should be motivated to live as unto the Lord, to thirst after the pure milk of the Word, to abstain for ungodly actions and attitudes, and to walk godly in Christ Jesus.
He talked of man's relationship with God as His children, which was something that these idolators related to, but he did not mention that we were dead in our trespasses and sin which has estranged us from the living God until by faith we are born again into His family.
Scripture however clearly teaches that there is no such thing as the 'universal Fatherhood of God' where all men are saved - for ye MUST be born again to be brought into eternal fellowship with God through faith in Christ.
How we praise God that we were not only born into the human race but that by faith in Christ we were born again into His heavenly family and have become part of the new creation in Christ.
Having been born again of the Spirit, we are called to trust in the Lord with all our heart, and we also have a biblical responsibility to walk in His ways and humble ourselves before His face, as outlined in the epistle of James.
How blessed are those that are born again in Christ in this dispensation of grace, for we are also chosen as His own inheritance - we too identify as sons of God and joint-heirs with Christ.Jesus is not only the great Sustainer of nature and the generous God of providence, but He is our peace and hope, love and joy, and He is our Comforter, Defender – our Saviour and Friend.
We are born from above, regenerated, sealed, adopted, baptised into the Body of Christ, and permanently in-dwelt by the Holy Spirit Himself, and He calls us to walk in spirit and truth and to live godly in Christ Jesus.
There are two creations living side by side; those with their feet firmly fixed in the old creation in Adam (who are part of the kingdom of darkness), and those with their hearts resting in heavenly places in Christ Jesus (who are part of the kingdom of light and have been born again into the new creation in Christ).
God purposed that through the sacrificial blood of His only begotten Son, members of the first, fallen creation, could be born again as sons of God and become part of a new creation, a perfect creation - by faith.
When we are born from above, we are given Christ's LIFE as well as the assurance that a day is coming when our fallen bodies will be changed in a moment - in the twinkling or an eye - at the last trump, and this mortal body shall take on immortality and this corruptible frame shall put on incorruption.
May we who are already born from above remain in a state of godly humility and grieve over the hardness of sinners who stand guilty before our gracious and merciful God, and may we ever seek to walk before Him in spirit and in truth.
And that price was paid by Jesus Christ the sinless Son of God at Calvary - but it is only by faith in the sacrificial offering of Himself upon the cross can that heavenly forgiveness become ours - for we must be born from above..
Not only did the believers at Corinth have to be taught Christians principles, but they had to be reminded to leave behind the human wisdom of the society in which they lived, once they were born from above.
And here in this important chapter on spiritual birth and a heavenly inheritance, we discover a great and respected teacher of the Law ignorant of the heavenly implications of the new, spiritual birth (in Christ), and the eternal consequences of being born from above.
Can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? He was not making some sarcastic suggestion when he asked the Lord Jesus: Can a man be born again when he is old?
Christ also knew that being 'born-again' into a new race (where the sinless Son of Man is the federal head), means being born from above or being born spiritually (being imputed with Christ's own righteousness - Who is the federal Head of the new creation).
It meant a new birth, a spiritual birth into a new creation, a spiritual transfer from the 'old creation' in Adam to the 'new creation' in Christ for all who would believe.
Christ knew that it was only by being born again that a man can enter the kingdom of heaven.
The Lord Jesus warned us that as servants of God who have been born from above, we will be hated by the world in the same way that the world hated Jesus when He walked this earth: If you were of the world, He explains, the world would love you - because the world loves its own.
But the moment that we were born again we were given life - spiritual life - life from above.
If, by grace through faith in Christ, we have been made alive (or 'born again' as the Bible calls it) by the Spirit of God, we also need to live the rest of our lives in the same way - by means of the enabling power of the Holy Spirit.
If we live by the Spirit (salvation - born again) let us also walk by the Spirit (sanctification - live our life).
But the question is often asked: If we have been born again and made alive by the Spirit of God, how do we walk by the Sprit for the rest of our lives?
Having been born from above, we not only enjoy a new relationship with our Heavenly Father, but we have also become part of a wider and growing body - a new establishment, the Church, who are all members of Christ's Body and the holy Temple of the living God.
We discover in this verse that false brethren had secretly been brought into the Body of Christ. It appears that Jewish teachers had disguised themselves as born again Jewish Christians and had infiltrated the Body of Christ at Antioch.
We started our old sinful, guilt-ridden life, as part of the first creation in Adam when we were born into the human race BUT we started our new life in Christ the moment that we were born again by the Spirit of God, the moment we first believed.
For although our old sin nature was severed forever at the Cross when we were born into the family of God and given the new-life in Christ, our sinful nature remains with us, lusting against the new-life in Christ that is born from above.
In point of fact, this is simply a reference to the new life in Christ that is given to each sinner by the Spirit of God, the moment that we believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and are born again.
We did not have to do anything extra for we were placed into Christ from the very moment we trusted in Jesus, and when we are 'born from above' we are baptised into the Body of believers.We not only died with Christ and were buried with Him, but we rose with Him into newness of life and became a new creation in Christ.
The unregenerate man is born in sin, he is a slave to sin, and remains separated from his Creator throughout his life – until and unless he is saved by grace through faith in Christ.However, the man that is born from above is no longer a slave to sin.
We received justification when we were born again and we have the promise of resurrection, rapture, and a glorified body in the days to come... and we have God's assurance that we have salvation from the wrath to come.
He would find out that all that needed to happen was to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and he would be spiritually born from above - for as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the perfect Son of Man (the eternal Son of God) be lifted up so that Nicodemus, together with all who trust in Christ's finished work at Calvary, might be saved.
Whatever the reason that this ruler of the Jews came to see Him at night, the Lord Jesus recognised a man who was earnestly seeking the truth, and so begins the most wonderful passage that outlines to whosoever will, how to be saved - how to be born again - how to be born of the Spirit - how to become a Christian - how to see the kingdom of heaven - how to have their sins forgiven - how to gain eternal life:
All those that are blood-bought children of God and who are walking in fellowship with the Lord Jesus can be said to be walking in the truth of His Word – for those that are born again and living in fellowship with the Lord are those that are living their life in through their new, born-again spirit (their new life in Christ), and not living as carnal believers who continue to live their Christian lives under the influence of the old sin nature.
Paul was a man who interceded for others in the body of Christ and often we discover him to be lifting up Christian brothers and sisters in pleading prayer ..earnestly asking the Lord that all who are born from above might mature in the faith, grow in grace and in accordance with the riches of God's super-abundant glory and His perfect will.
We can yield to the Holy Spirit doing a work in our new, born again life that we received at rebirth OR we can resist the work that the Holy Spirit desires to do in our new life and continue to live a carnal type of life under the power of the old sin nature (the old life that still fights for supremacy).
It contains vital truth for all born again Christians and reminds us of the importance to mature in the faith, to work the works of God, and to live the sanctified life of a Christian who is walking in spirit and in truth.
We who have been positioned in Him through faith, will in like manner be raised from the dead - both spiritually and physically, for the Holy Spirit is the One Who gave us spiritual life when we were born again and He is the same Spirit Who will give life to our mortal bodies at the resurrection of the dead - for He is indwelling our bodies and empowering our lives.
Peter begins his first epistle with a most glorious doxology, praising God and exalting His holy name - Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, he writes who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
We are blessed to know that we have been saved by grace through faith in Christ. We have been born again into the heavenly family of God, as part of a new and better creation with a perfect Federal Head - we are members of the New Man, Christ Jesus.
It is the one in which believers engage as an outward sign of the inward change, because they trusted Christ's sacrifice for sin, and were born again of the Spirit Who baptised them into the body of Christ.
This proud lawyer was under the false illusion that he could DO something to gain eternal life and Christ used the Mosaic Law to demonstrate that this man needed to be born again and to be saved, in order to receive eternal life as God's free gift - but when a man or woman does not realise that they are lost and without hope in the world, they falsely consider that they can merit eternal life by good deeds or works of the Law.
He was the Saviour Whom prophets foretold would save His people from their sins, and long after Jesus explained to Nicodemus that a man must be born again to receive eternal life, we discover a lawyer who was an expert in the Law of Moses, who also came to the Lord Jesus to a seek an alternative way of salvation by asking the question, Teacher, what must I DO to INHERIT eternal life?
Having been born from above, Peter wanted to ensure that all his readers appreciated that by faith in Him, they had escaped all the shocking corruption and evil desires of the world, which are conceived and incubated in the heart and mind of fallen man.
Before we were born again into the family of God, we were without Christ, without a heavenly citizenship, without a covenant relationship, without God's promises, without access to the throne of grace, and without hope in the world.
And once that hidden heart decision to trust in Christ for salvation is met, the man or woman is immediately born from above by the power of the Holy Spirit and is freely able to confess with their mouth that Jesus is Lord, for as the apostle John reminds us: Every spirit who confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and the Spirit of God abides in him.
He reminds us that our security rests firmly on the never-changing veracity of the eternal and inerrant Word of God: For you have been born again... not of seed which is perishable, but of imperishable SEED - that is, through the living and enduring WORD OF GOD.
But by faith in the finished work of Christ, we have been born anew - born from above - born of the Spirit - born again.
We have been born again of imperishable Seed through the power of the Holy Spirit - and the imperishable Seed is the Word of God.
Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God and new birth happens when the truth of God's Word is translated from intellectual, head knowledge into confident, heart faith through the convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit of God.
In the parable of the sower we discover that the Seed is the Word of God and in this passage, Peter restates this truth: You have been born again of imperishable Seed - which is through the living and enduring Word of God.
We are all sinners and the wages of sin is death - but God loved the world so much that He gave His only begotten Son to be the substitute for man's sin so that by faith in Him, we may be born again into newness of life and transferred from the fallen race of sinful Adam into a new creation of the eternal Christ.
Before their salvation, the Corinthians believers had been led astray by mute idols of wood and stone, that neither spoke nor lived, but despite being born from above, there were some deep concerns about the lack of spiritual growth among these believers.
where we all inherit an old sin nature and are estranged from God - so too by faith we are born again into a NEW creation by SPIRITUAL means and returned into fellowship with God.
Just as we were born into the literal, physical world, through the will of our parents and encased in the bloody membranes of physical birth in order to become a fully-fledged member of the human race - so too we have to be born into the spiritual realm - 'born-again' as the Lord Jesus called it in John chapter 3 - born from above into the heavenly, spiritual sphere..
and for that reason God planned and purposed how man could be redeemed - by being born again into the spiritual realm.
BUT as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name - who were BORN into the spiritual realm - who were born (again), not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man - but born from above, by the power of God.
His plan is that the new-life-in-Christ that we received when we were born again, grows in grace and in a knowledge of the Lord Jesus, and that the beautiful character of Jesus is formed in us, as we live our lives in spirit and truth by submitting to the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit within.
As born again believers, the old life that we received from Adam, through our earthly parents, was crucified with Christ on the Cross of Calvary and must remain nailed to the Cross if we are to stand fast in our new-life-in-Christ, walk in newness of life, and be led by the Holy Spirit of God.
As born again believers, we receive a new nature that needs to be nurtured and fed throughout our earthly Christian walk, and it is only accomplished in the power of the Holy Spirit.
The moment that we were born again, the Holy Spirit takes us from the kingdom of darkness, places us into the kingdom of God's dear Son, and we are baptised into the body of Christ and become one with Him.
But Paul reminds us at the start of chapter 2, of what we once were before we were redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, forgiven of our sins, born from above, baptised into the Body of Christ, and made children of God through our position in Christ, as a result of His finished work at Calvary.
The moment we were born from above, all the advantages of our heavenly citizenship became ours, but it is only as the believer continues to abide in Christ and submit to the Holy Spirit within, that Christ can produce the fruit of the Spirit through his disciple.
Let us celebrate this marvellous truth from the apostle Peter, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
And since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, we have a firm assurance and an established confidence that God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep through Jesus.Death is a natural part of life that affects every member of the human race, but for those who have been born from above, death takes on an entirely new and wonderful perspective.
It is only by faith in Him that can we be born from above, as His spiritual seed, become part of the new heavenly creation in Christ, and are promised positions in His coming earthly kingdom - when all His enemies will have been placed under His feet.
Throughout His writings we discover Paul using similar stark - and sometimes uncomfortable comparisons, between what we were before salvation and what we should be, now that we have been born from above.
We are to have our body washed through the sanctifying work of the Holy Ghost at rebirth; when we were born from above, placed into the Body of Christ, set apart unto God, and made holy by the washing of water with the Word of God.
Because of their new birth and position in Christ, their future inheritance, their identification with Christ's holiness, and their Christian standing in the community, these elders in the Church are exhorted by Peter to take care of their brothers and sisters in Christ.
But what does it mean that, he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin? When we are born again, we do not automatically become sinless, even though we have been covered in Christ's righteousness.
We, as born again believers who have been saved by grace through faith, are eternally redeemed.
He identified with our sin and became sin for us so that we might be forgiven, redeemed, born again, and returned into fellowship with the Father.
Jesus shed His blood on the Cross for our transgressions and rose again the third day so that we might be born from above, born anew, born of the Spirit of God, positioned in Christ, clothed in His perfect righteousness, and accepted in the Beloved for His name's sake.
Areas such as our new birth and the deity of Christ together with the subjects of our justification, sanctification, growing in grace, and our Christian development, are areas that both apostles taught in their writings, together with Christ's sinless life and His eternal power.
However, these two emboldened believers had already been born again of the Spirit and received forgiveness of their sin from the true Passover Lamb - the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world.
No born again believer can ever fall so far from grace that he is unable to have sweet fellowship with our Father in heaven re-established - For if any of us do lack the spiritual qualities that God desires of all His children..
It is through Israel that He can refer to Himself as 'the root and stem of David', but it is to the Church, which is His body, that Jesus is able to declare, I, Jesus, AM the bright morning Star. The day is fast approaching, when Jesus will come in the clouds, as that bright morning Star, to gather to Himself, those who have been born again - by grace through faith, in His sacrificial work at Calvary.
Becoming a Christian does not simply mean we changed our minds, but our entire citizenship and way of living. When we are born again, the Spirit makes us totally different beings with a new and beautiful focus.
And just as the Spirit of God caused the breath of life to trigger the creation into being and breathes new life into the one who is born from above, He is also the One Who causes flowers to fade and the grass to wither with a single blast of His nostrils.
May our lives be so saturated with the attractiveness of our Saviour that His beauty is reflected in us, so that others may see our lives and glorify our Father in heaven, so that by grace through faith in Him, they may turn from their sinful ways, trust in the Lord with all their heart, and be born again into the family of God - to His praise and glory.
All those that have been born from above and have been clothed in the righteousness of Christ our Saviour, are called by our great Creator God, to worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness, to sing joyful praises to Him with our lips and in our hearts.
God in His grace has promised that He who started a good work in each of our lives... which was when we trusted His Word and were born from above, is faithful to complete it in the day of Christ Jesus - simply because we believed His Word.
God is no respecter of persons and there is not one man or woman that is excluded from God's gracious gift of salvation, for everyone that believes that Jesus is the Christ and is begotten of God – born of God – born-again – born from above.
Whosoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is begotten of God – he is born again – born from above – saved by grace through faith.
The gift of God to all that are born from above into the family of God is that we become God's very own children.
Jesus warned us that just as He was despised and rejected of men, we too would have to face difficulties and severe trials, we too would share in His sufferings, for because of our new birth we are eternally identified with our Lord in ALL things.
What a privilege to realise that when we are born from above and anointed by the Spirit of truth, He will teach us what we need to know, as we abide in Him, rest in His love, and trust His Word, in every area of our lives.
Certainly the foundations of Church age doctrine were laid by God's chosen apostles and prophets as recorded in the Scriptures, but all of us who have been born again by grace through faith in Christ are exhorted to abide in Christ and all of us have been given a responsibility of advancing the glorious gospel of God.. in the place where He has appointed us.
The Lord's Supper encourages all who have been born again by grace through faith in Christ, to look back and reflect with grateful wonder and praise on Christ's immense sacrificial offering of Himself on Calvary's Cross for the sin of the whole world.
Although we are many in number, we are united together in Christ... in that we all partook of the saving grace of God, by faith, when were born from above.
The Holy Spirit is in the world quietly and unceasingly convicting every unbeliever of sin, of righteousness, and of judgement, but when trust in Christ's sacrificial work on the Cross is realised and unbelief is replaced with faith, the invisible, indiscernible, unfathomable work of the Holy Spirit results in the invisible, indiscernible, unfathomable mystery of the new birth.
May each one of us who are born from above similarly seek to foster the same internal qualities of heart and mind - the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious in the sight of God.
It tells us that there is no condemnation to those that are in Christ Jesus (to those that are born again), because they are positioned in Christ, imputed with His righteousness, baptised into the Body of Christ (which is the Church) and accepted in the Beloved.
The greatest enemy we encounter is death - but Christ won that battle on our account, and by faith in His death, burial, and resurrection, we too have victory over death, and will be resurrected from the dead - because all born again children of God are given eternal life.
The writer of Hebrews is talking to Christians who have accepted the Lord Jesus as Saviour, being born again and in so doing, have entered into Christ, have become a part of His Body, and have entered into the rest of Jesus.
Both Jew and Gentile have fallen short of the glory of God and both need to be redeemed, forgiven, justified, born again.
His blood paid the price for our sins and we are declared righteous, simply by believing on His name, and it is by the power of the Holy Spirit that we are born from above and become a new creation in Christ, which gives us access into the very throne-room of our Father in heaven.
Having been saved by the Spirit they tried to live in their own strength - no wonder Paul exclaimed, you foolish Galatians. After having begun their Christian life by the power of the Spirit when they were born again, they were seeking to be made complete by their limited fleshly works!
Only those that are born from above have the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus within... and only they can walk in newness of life and show forth the righteousness of Christ in their daily living.
Those who have not been born from above are incapable of practicing the righteousness that comes from God - and this lack of godly love is what identifies them as being children of the devil.
May we who have been born from above, mature in the faith, walk in spirit and truth, grow in grace, and abide in Christ Jesus our Lord, day by day... so that His life and love, goodness and grace, may pour into our hearts from Him, and stream out in love to others.
And it was in the power of the Holy Spirit that we were born from above and placed into the family of God.
He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the power of the Holy Spirit, and then generously poured out the riches of the Holy Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ, simply because we trusted Him as our Saviour.
Throughout the book of Galatians, the apostle Paul seeks to demonstrate that salvation by grace through faith in Christ is not only the first step in the Christian life, when a sinner is born from above, but that we are also to live our entire Christian life from that point forward, by grace through faith in Christ alone.
Paul wanted to explain that believers are not ONLY justified by grace through faith when we are born again - but we are also being sanctified progressively throughout our Christian life... by grace through faith.
That hope began the moment we were born again, when we were taken from the kingdom of darkness into the arms of our beloved Saviour, but it was planned in the heart of God in eternity past and it was cemented in heaven the moment Christ burst from the tomb and broke the power of sin, and death, and hell.
He died for sin..when we were born from above to free us from the bondage of our old inherited sin-nature, and He gave us new spiritual life. At salvation we were actually imputed with Christ's resurrected life so that we could function without being under bondage to sin.
What an astonishing mystery, which must quicken the hearts of all who are born from above.
There are many who have been born from above, but not all choose to abide in the truth of His Word and, as a result, can become prey to a different gospel, or hearken to teachings that twist or distort the truth of God's Word.
They could 1) choose to learn of the Lord Jesus and become His true disciple so that they would grow in grace and become spiritually mature, or 2) they could remain in spiritual infancy, born again but not growing.
In Him was life. Of Him and through Him and to Him are ALL things, and God is quietly moving His creation to its ultimate goal, where Christ is all in all and we who are born again, are positioned in Christ, and Christ in God.