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Sunday, March 16, 2008

What is the Meaning of the New Birth?

Changed from an ugly caterpillar to a beautiful butterfly! This transformation that takes place in nature is a good illustration of what takes place when a person experiences the new birth. Man's life begins unattractively, too, being born in sin and shapen in iniquity (Psalm 51:5), and he continues to live after the desires of the flesh and mind (Ephesians 2:3). This is contrary to God's purpose in creation, and shows man's need to be made a new creature in Christ Jesus. Only the new birth can give one new desires and a new life. The caterpillar does not become a butterfly by education, religion, or self-effort. Likewise, it is only by the miraculous metamorphosis of new birth that a man's life can be made beautiful to God and man.

A few passages from the Scriptures will serve to enlighten the seeking soul about the new birth.

The Fact

John 1:12,13 state the fact of the new birth: "But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the [children] of God, even to them that believe on His Name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." Only those born of a certain man have the right to be recognized as the children of that man. So only those who are born of God have the right to be recognized as the children of God. Thus it is those who receive Christ as Saviour and Lord who become children of God. To receive Christ is to have true repentance to God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Instruments

John 3:5 mentions the instruments of the new birth--"water and the Spirit." What the water signifies is plainly told in Ephesians 5:26. The water is the Word of God--the gospel of Christ preached to men--which, by the sovereign power of the Holy Spirit, produces the new birth. (See also 1 Peter 1:23; James 1:18.)

The Time

John 20:31 gives us the time of the new birth: "and that believing ye might have life through His Name." It is immediately upon believing that we receive life eternal. "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life" (John 3:36).

The Necessity and Result

Nothing that a man can do will enable him to "see" or "enter the kingdom of God." For this, the Lord Jesus says, "Ye must be born again" (John 3:7).

Without the new birth, man has no life toward God. By being "born again," through faith in the Lord Jesus, he receives everlasting life. "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" (John 3:16).

Without the new birth, man is "condemned already" (John 3:18). By being born again, he is freed from judgment (John 5:24).

Hence the necessity of new birth for man, for you, dear reader--if you are to be eternally saved, "Ye must be born again," born of God.

These are the plain and simple Scriptures of God's revelation that give us all the light we need on the subject of New Birth.

(used with permission from Moments With The Book)

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