You Must Be Born Again!

by Pastor Art Kohl

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 3:3. "Marvel not that I say unto thee, ye must be born again," John 3:7.

Introduction No other statement has had as much impact on man and his search for salvation and eternity in Heaven than this one. It is narrow. It is all inclusive. It is not an option. Most important, it is the words of Christ Himself. It cannot be ignored. It is mandatory that we be born again. Therefore, we must know exactly what Christ means by this statement. Have you been born again? Are you sure? Be sure!

1. Who Was Jesus Speaking To? If you will read the entire story in John 3:1-8, Jesus is talking to a man named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. He is one of the most religious men alive in his day. He was a Rabbi, a nationally known religious leader. He is not only a Pharisee, but, a member of the Sanhedrin, the council of the 70 most outstanding Jews. Yet, to that man, Jesus said, "You must be born again" and "If you are not born again, you will never see Heaven!" Are you religious? As religious as Nicodemus? Then if what Christ said is true, you must be born again too, or you will never see Heaven!

2. It's A Spiritual Birth Physical birth is an experience that is universal. It is an event. All people of all lands and nations can identify with it. Jesus compares our spiritual needs to a physical birth, saying, "You must be born again." Nicodemus asked 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?" (verse 4) Jesus answered, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit." Jesus confirmed that we must have two birthdays if we are going to go to Heaven. A physical one and a spiritual one! Have you had yours?

3. Why Must We Be Born Again? When God created Adam, he was perfect. And God "breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul," Genesis 2:7. He created Eve and brought her to the man and placed them in the Garden of Eden. "And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die," Genesis 2:16-17. God promised that man would die the same day that he ate of the tree. Man did eat of the tree, but did not die that same day. Did God lie? Was God wrong? No! Man did not die physically, but he did die spiritually. "For the wages of sin is death." Romans 5:12 puts it this way, "Wherefore as by one man, sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." And Ephesians 2:1 "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins." So man died in a spiritual sense, though he lives on physically.

4. What Then, Is Being Born Again? Just as you were born into your family once and received your families' name, so you must be born again into God's family. Not by a physical birth, but by a spiritual birth. How does this birth take place? "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 1:12. Notice it happens when we receive Jesus Christ as our Savior. It does not take place when we have a reformation, or a renewal or make some resolution, but when we have a rebirth.

How is this accomplished? By God! Notice the next verse- John 1:13, "Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." God convinces us by His Word that we are sinners. Then He convinces us by His Word that our sin nature has brought about a spiritual death in us (again look at Romans 5:12.) Then He convinces us by His Word that Christ paid the penalty for our sins by His death on the cross. Christ was buried, but rose again. Finally God convinces us by His Word that we must accept Jesus Christ personally by receiving Him as our Savior. (John 1:12). Then, according to His Word, we become part of His family as children of God. Just as by physical birth you became your father and mother's son or daughter, now by spiritual birth, you became the Heavenly Father's son or daughter, by receiving Jesus Christ as our Saviour.

Some may say, "But I don't understand this." Jesus said you wouldn't! Nobody completely does. To Nicodemus He said, "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 everyone that is born of the Spirit," John 3:8. No doctor completely understands the miracle of physical birth. No one completely understands the supernatural miracle of spiritual birth. It must be accepted by faith "But without faith, it is impossible to please him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him," Hebrews 11:6. Faith is taking God at His Word.

5. Personal Testimony Having been brought up in a somewhat religious background, religion brought no peace to my heart and soul. At age 12, I was almost killed in an accident which made me think of eternity and my relationship to God. I realized something was missing in my life that religion had not given me. I heard a country preacher explain the new birth from the Bible. Jesus said that I had to be born again. I wasn't. At age 13, I received Jesus Christ as my Savior. I put my faith in what He has done for me, not in what I can do for myself. I was born again. God gave me new life. I've never regretted it. I'm not perfect and still sin, but I am now a child of God, born from above, by personal faith in Jesus Christ. Are you?

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