You must be born Again (Vital key of the Kingdom)
Nicodemus, a religious leader and ruler of the Jews was stunned by Jesus’ words,
“ You must be born again”
He had already acknowledged his belief, that Jesus Christ had come from God.
“For no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” Chapter 3 of the book of the Gospel of John records this intriging conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus giving us a vital key to the kingdom of God.
Many believers and unbelievers still use the words of Jesus “Born Again” and many like Nicodemus are still confused by these words.
How can a man be born again when he is old ?
How can he enter his mother’s womb again ?
But Nicodemus was thinking in terms of the Flesh. (or intelligence)
“That which is born of the flesh is flesh, that which is born of the spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I say unto you, you must be “Born Again.”
Jesus also explained that unless a person is born again, he cannot see or enter the kingdom of God. Obviously, this “Born Again” experience, whatever it is, is absolutely necessary and of utmost importance. Jesus said imperatively, “ You must…” A command from the Son of God. We cannot take it lightly.
You can imagine the incredulous look on the face of Nicodemus. He couldn’t believe such a thing. All his life he had been taught that good works was the key to heaven, and that if he
observed all the laws and requirements of God he would have entrance into heaven. He said to Jesus, “ How can these things be?”
Jesus was talking about things of the spirit. He compared the spirit with the wind.
You cannot see it, you don’t know where it is coming from or where it is going. But it is real, and you see it’s effects. You hear it. You see what it does to the trees. You see the leaves that are caught up in the wind. You see the little swirl of dust. You feel the wind on your face. Jesus said, “ So is every one who is born of the Spirit.”
The Flesh versus the Spirit
The problem was that Nicodemus, like all human beings, was of the flesh. He was born of the earth. Flesh is mortal. It is subject to death, decay and corruption. It is filled with self-pity, self-pride,self-love.
An awesome fact exist about the flesh: everything we see, everything visisble, even our own bodies, are perishable. Many people try everything imaginable to ignore or forget it, but the fact always remains. The Bible says in 2 corinthians 4:18 “Things which are visible are temporary but things which are invisible are Eternal.
The truth is that we dwell in a mortal body which will soon return to dust. What then of the spirit which lives in the body?
Could this be you?
Assume for a moment that this is you. Your body has returned tothe dust. Your spirit is carried in teh presence of your creator. There you stand, stripped of all your possessions, all your friends, all your accomplishments. Former titles, salary levels, bank accounts, and club membership mean nothing.
God looks at you with love and compassion, yet in holy and righteous judgement. In that awful moment He asks, “ What reason can you give Me to come and spend eternity with Me, in what is called heaven?”
“Why, I’ve lived a good life,” you say. Or, “I worked hard and provided for my family.” Or, “I was a member of a church and I have kept the 10 commandments” ( though only Jesus has kept all the commandments)
You go on and on. And in each instance God would shake His head and say “I’m sorry, I love you, but I cannot let you into heven with Me. You are relying on your good works, and by the works of the flesh shall no man be justified. Romans 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law, there shall no flesh be justified in his sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
You must be “Born Again” of My Spirit in order to enter heaven.”
It is clear that our old state, our old nature and even all our good deeds are insufficient.God is totally and absolutely Holy and Righteous. God is Perfect. We can’t fellowship with Him now or in the next life in the inperfection of our present nature. Perfection and inperfection are incompatible. “ All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” By our very self-seeking nature we are sinful and inperfect. And sin results in death, and eternal separation
From God. It is obvious that we need a new nature, a nature that God can look upon with acceptance. A nature that stands justified before Him. We need a New Birth. You must be “Born Again.”
4 Important facts that you should know about the New Birth.
A free Gift :
First, it is free, a gift from God!
We cannot earn it, we cannot work for it, so that no one can boast, and no one can boast before God.An imperfect creature cannot earn or deserve such merit from a Holy God.
“ For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
This free Gift comes by Grace. Grace is unmerited favor. Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Only God’s supreme love makes such a free and wonderful gift possible.
God paid the price, sin must be punished. God is Holy and righteous and must judge sin for he has decreed that. Not to do so would deny His very nature..
No greater love than this.
In history, this is the most magnificent and incomparable act of love. God took our sins and death upon him. Jesus took the punishment in our place. He became our substitute.
“He who knew no sin was made sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in him”. To reconcile the world unto God, he totally identified with our sinful nature. Jesus Christ emptied himself, taking the form of a bond servant, being made in the likeness of men and became sin for us, though sinless himself so that we may have the free gift of forgiveness and life. And being found in the appearance of man, He humbled himself, by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Philippians 2:6-8
John 3:16 says “ For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believes in Him, should not perish but have eternal life.
This is why Christ chose to die- to make the supreme love gift of taking all of our punishment upon himself, to reconcile the world unto God, so that we might have the free gift of forgiveness ans life.
The mystery solved ( 2nd important fact)
This new nature is actually the nature of the “Only Perfect Person” who ever lived, and that is Christ Jesus. The Only Perfect and the Only acceptable to God.
Being “Born Again” is receiving the actual life of the living Christ. His spirit actually entering us and bringing our spirit to life. Our spirit is so joined to His.
1 corinthians 6:17 says “But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.”
The one who joins himself unto the Lord is one spirit with him- becoming one with the
“ The Perfect One”
Galatians 2:20 says, It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.
Colossians 1:26-27 Christ in you, the hope of glory.
In his death he bore our sins and suffered our death.
In his ressurection, he became our life even so that we are joined to him through his spirit, so that when the Father looks upon us, he sees only the righteousness of Jesus. We are accepted, we have been born again.
2 corinthians 5:17 says, If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature, old things are past away, behold all things are become new.
The abundant life now (3rd important fact)
The 3rd important fact is that when we are born again, we become a new creature now. The heavenly promise is for the future and will be wonderful beyond our understanding. However, at the new birth, we begin to experience the life of God as he guides us, walks with us, indwells in us.
We experience the fruit of the spirit such as love, joy, peace. As we are filled with his spirit, we experience his supernatural power manifested in life situations. Life takes on new meaning. Everything is in a new perspective.
Jesus said that he came, not just to get us to heaven, but that we “might have life, and might have it abundantly.”
How to receive Him (This gift) 4th important fact
God is the giver and holds out the gift. Every act of giving requires a giver and a receiver.
2 Peter 3:9 says , “that it s not his will that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”
To receive a gift requires that we agree to a need. The Holy Spirit shows us that we are sinful creatures in need of God’s forgiveness and Grace but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.
Repentance means to change our minds, to turn. We must turn from our present direction away from God and turn to Him.
John 1:12 says that “ But as many as received him, (Christ) to them gave he power to become the sons of God.”
We receive Christ by an ingenious method that only God can devise.
Not by works because our abilities vary and everyone would not have equal chance. It is an ability that is equal regardless of intelligence, sex, age, race, social status or wealth. It is by Faith.
Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:”
To accept Christ, we must acknowledge our need and who he is.
Then we simply turn to Him “by faith” and put our trust and reliance in Him. We receive Him by invitation.
Revelations 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
– Do you want to be “Born Again” right now?
– Do you want a new nature?
– Do you want to receive the most wonderful gift in the whole Universe? The life of God himself.
Then simply and sincerely pray this prayer :
Let us pray together: Lord, I come to you now. I need a change in my life. I am just going around in circles, getting nowhere. I need you to save me. Save me from this frustrating life. Save me from my sins. Save me so I can have eternal life in heaven when I pass from this life.
The Word of God says that if we believe in our heart, and confess with our mouth that Jesus died for our sins, and that God raised him from the dead we shall be saved. [ Romans 10.9-10]
I believe this, I confess this…that you died for my sins, that you were raised from the dead. I repent and turn from my sins. I receive salvation for my life. I turn it over to you and become your follower— a follower of Jesus. In Jesus name, Amen.
Now what ?
If you sincerely prayed this prayer, God says that you have “New Life” and that you are a member of his Eternal kingdom. His desire close fellowship with you during this life and desires for you even now to live victoriously
as the child of a King !
Also since He died for you, He wants you to live for Him.
2 Co 5:15 : And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
As we are Born Again, God immediately inplants a “New Nature” within us. Some outward change may be dramatic and instant; some may come gradually like with all newborns.
As with all newborn, our new nature needs nuture and growth.
– Talk to him frequently, and listen to His Voice within you.(Prayer)
– Read and meditate upon His Word, the Bible. Another way he speaks to you.
– Finally, he wants you to fellowship with other believers and be a functioning part of his cooperate body. That’s what church is.
What church should you attend?
Ask God to lead you and he will. His Church is a place where Jesus Christ is honoured as Lord and the Bible is honoured as his word.
Photograph Mikhail Tolstoy – istockphoto.com