- Religion and Philosophy
Being Born Again
Being Born Again
Our goal is to impart a biblical understanding of "The New Birth," or what it means to be saved. And to learn how to share that understanding with others. The new birth is the greatest of all man's needs. Jesus said so in John, chapter 3, to a man named Nicodemus. The Lord told Nicodemus unless he were to be born again he would never see the kingdom of God.
Let's say, a sick man gets well, that's a good thing. However, it will only be a temporary fix and could happen again. If a man becomes educated, a noble effort; but his learning will also last a short time. If a destitute man becomes rich, this too is only temporary. But, when a man let's Christ be his Savior, he will be changed forever! Let's examine what the Bible has to say on the subject.
The New Birth
How do we know this is the greatest of all necessities?
Because Jesus said it was in John 3:3 when He declared there is no other way to heaven other than the new birth.
Because Jesus was speaking to Nicodemus, a Pharisee. Being a Pharisee meant he was a good, honest, moral and religious person.
When Jesus said "Ye must be born again," the Lord wasn't offering a suggestion. He was stating a fact. If such a personage as Nicodemus must be born again to see the Kingdom of God, it follows we must also.
How Can We Be Born Again?
This is the same question Nicodemus asked Jesus when he said in John 3:4, "How can this happen?" As religious as Nicodemus was, he came to Jesus seeking inner peace. Therefore, we can conclude religion alone can't produce peace with God. Nicodemus was a Pharisee and as such his life was, no doubt, full of good works. By this we can deduce good works alone aren't sufficient to be saved. Only through salvation by faith can one find real peace with God.
"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1).
This new birth is a spiritual one, not physical. Some say John 3:16 is the greatest verse in the Bible.
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
God's love delivers us from sin, heals broken hearts, and provides salvation for the lost.
"Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not"(1 John 3:1).
Jesus died in our place and as a substitute for our guilt.
"For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit" (1 Peter 3:18).
Isn't it wonderful this plan is available to everyone and saves us from an eternity in Hell.
"I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish" (Luke 13:3).
Eternal life isn't dependent upon good works, or any other merit. It's solely dependent upon the grace of God. This life will have no end.
"And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand" (John 10:28).
The life of those who have been born again should be characterized by joy and peace of mind.
Things to Expect After the New Birth
When one is saved, they become a new creature.
"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).
This new life is to be lived in a way to glorify the Lord.
The world looks for things like wealth, power, and material things; but the Christian is to look forward for the Lord's return. They also have a new family. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ. The church must become more than just a place for people to fellowship, it must become like a family. The new birth brings one into a new world of friendships with God's people. They develop new character, actions, attitudes, ambitions, and affections.
Once an individual has been saved, they will find new areas in their life to control. Here are three:
Time: Time is too precious to waste. Invest it wisely and carefully. We must not forget God gave us all of our time; therefore we ought not to be selfish in giving Him a portion of it.
Temper: We must learn to control our tempers.
Temptations: 1 Corinthians 10:13 says,
"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."
All sins begins first as a temptation. If one can learn to control them, they can avoid them. When temptations come, stop and pray to God to make a way of escape, as He promised.
We are saved through something. That something is our faith. To be saved apart from faith in Christ as our Savior is unachievable. According to Hebrews 11:6, faith pleases God, Salvation doesn't come through man, the church, or good works. Salvation comes by grace through faith.
We are saved from something. That's something is sin. Matthew 1:21 says Jesus shall "save his people from their sins."
Christ died so we may be saved by grace, through faith, from sin. There is no sinner too corrupt to be saved.
Lastly, were saved for something. That's to serve the Lord. Romans 6:18 tells us the Lord saved us, setting us free from sin so we might serve Him. Likewise, Paul tells us in Romans 7:6 we are to,
"serve in newness of spirit."
In a nutshell, we are saved in order to serve the King of Kings.