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WHAT DID JESUS SAY ABOUT:
THE NEW BIRTH
By: James Foley
The text at hand shows that there is something that is extremely important to every individual that comes into this world. It also shows that there are some that are aware of it but for the most part, mankind is ignorant of it’s necessity. This subject is so important that it is the reason that the Bible was written, it is also the reason that the Son of God came to this earth, leaving the glory of heaven, to suffer at the hands of men. It is the reason that you are here in this world now, and as such it is the answer to the age-old question; Why am I here? It is also the reason that the existence of people and nations are recorded as they are in both the Old and New Testament. Nations rise and fall and the history of this world is ordered in such a way that the purpose of it all might result in the redemption of each and every lost sinner, even though they do not know that they are lost.
The subject at hand is the new birth. What is it? Jesus said it this way; Ye must be born again. It is salvation, redemption. And as such it points to the fact that there is something deathly wrong with man in his natural state. Rom.3:23.There are many things in this life that while you may need them, it is not a matter of life or death---THIS IS NOT ONE OF THEM. We are all given a certain amount of time here on this earth for the express purpose of finding Jesus and appropriating his righteousness to our account, failure to accomplish this results in spiritual death and a separation from God and his heaven forever. Jn.3:3. Once the time that we have been allotted runs out there is no recourse, death forever locks us into the condition that we were in when he visited---and it is irreversible.
The text mentions two subjects; Jesus and Nicodemus. He had heard Jesus teach and now, in the darkness of night, he comes to Jesus. He recognized in Jesus something extraordinary, his spiritual eyes had begun to open and he realized that this man was from God. Ver.2. The fact that he came at night also shows that he came alone. This points to a very important aspect of the new birth; it is personal and the sinner must come to Jesus on a one to one basis concerning salvation. Notice again the command in Ver.7. It is directed at Nicodemus alone, though all the world may be in need of this salvation, this is his time, and Jesus speaks to him in a very personal way.
You may have seen people coming foreword and claiming to be saved, but salvation is not in coming foreword, it is not in talking to the preacher, it is not in joining the church. Salvation is a personal experience with Jesus Christ, it is trusting him with your eternal destiny, coming to him in simple faith with the assurance that he can and will save your eternal soul.
This lesson then, will convey to us the idea that this new birth is a must. The word, “must”, is an imperative, and Jesus meant it to be, for he said, “ye must be born again”. Ver.7. If the new birth is so important why doesn’t everyone know about it? It is simply because they are spiritually dead, Eph 2:1. This is why Jesus had to come, this is the only way that man can become aware of his condition. Jn.9:39--12:46.
Salvation then, becomes mandatory equipment for entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven, it is not optional as some believe, it is the only way to get to heaven. Jn.14:6.
The fact that Jesus said man cannot enter the kingdom shows beyond a doubt that he is on the outside.
This new birth is to be understood as spiritual in nature, Ver.4-5. show not only the mistake that Nicodemus made, but the answer of the Lord showing the spiritual nature of the new birth. Here he speaks of two births, the first is the natural birth, born of water, Any doctor will tell you that when a baby is born it is a water birth. The second birth Jesus terms, “born of the Spirit”, this is the Spirit of God. This is why we call it a spiritual birth, Ver.6. says, “that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit”. Jesus then compares the spiritual birth to the wind, meaning that it is a mystery, we can see the effects of it, but it cannot be seen with the eye.Ver.8. Ver.9. Shows that Nicodemus still did not understand these things. He is still lost. What a paradox, he is standing in the presence of eternal life and yet he does not recognize it. It must be remembered that this man was a master, or teacher in Israel, a spiritual leader, yet he could not comprehend spiritual things. Ver.10.
Ver.13-17. Show the plan of salvation as well as the purpose and need of a savior
By speaking to Nicodemus concerning the new birth he showed him that there was something that he was lacking spiritually, something that he desperately needed. Now he shows him God’s plan to remedy the situation. Notice that God’s remedy is rooted in love, Ver.16. And it is also predicated on the sacrifice of Jesus, the Son of God as payment for my sin.
Jesus ends his discourse with Nicodemus by showing why the need of the new birth is so great. Ver.18-19. Man thinks that when he dies God weighs the good and bad that he has done, and if the good outweighs the bad, he goes to heaven. But these verses should show the foolishness of this line of reasoning. When these verses speak of the word “condemned”, it is in the sense of the trial already being over, sentence has been passed and now man only waits the carrying out of that sentence. There is only one thing that can change a judicial condemnation and that is a pardon, this is what Jesus offers. By accepting him as your Savior you can change your status from an enemy of God, doomed to an eternity in hell, to a child of the King. The scripture does not record what Nicodemus did with this information in regard to his spiritual welfare, and history has yet to record what you will do with this information. What will you do with Jesus? The answer to this question will determine what he will do with you in regard to your spiritual state.
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