Rebirth

John 3:1-7 (New International Version, ©2011)

Jesus Teaches Nicodemus
1 Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.[a]4 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!” 

5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit[b] gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You[c] must be born again.’

In our current time you rarely hear someone speak of being born again.  There was a time when being “born again” meant that you were apart of a certain Christian denomination.  It was a commonly used phrase to express a person’s conversion.  The term or phrase “born again” has a much deeper meaning than what lays on the surface.  Of course without the help of the Holy Spirit you couldn’t see it in the text.  Today we change out the word “saved” for “born again” or we just say “I know Jesus”.  These words are eternally connected to the Gospel of Jesus Christ but slowly they lose their foundation as we over time forget their meaning.  It is why the Apostles wrote the epistles to the various churches to remind them of the gospel.  The early church didn’t see hearing that gospel message over and over again as a burden.  They didn’t roll their eyes and look on with disgust.  Because to them and as truth tells it, the gospel messages is over flowing with God’s grace and mercy.

As Nicodemus comes to Jesus at night so that he will not be seen by his peers.  He did this because it would look bad on him to associate with Jesus them man whom the sought to kill.  Nicodemus admitted that Jesus was a good teacher sent from God because of the wonders he performed but that’s all he could testify to.  All Nicodemus could see was the external working of the spirit but not even the spirit, just the man Jesus.  Just looking on the surface, some would say that Jesus is talking about flesh not existing exist in heaven and only spirits (angels) can be there.  After Nicodemus makes a statement about being born again physically Jesus response in verse 5 and 6.

5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit[b] gives birth to spirit.

Christ is talking about getting into the kingdom of God not being there.  So the question to ask is how do you even enter the kingdom?  First you have to be judged by God but more accurately by Lord Jesus Christ.  So how do we make it pass the judgement seat?  We have to be found justified and righteous.  To be justified we have to be found innocent  in a court of law by a judge who see us in right standing.  To be righteous, we have to be godly, moral, holy having a heart of pure intent.  But first and for most we have to have been completely obedient to the law of God perfectly.

John 5

21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. 22 Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, 23that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.

So unless we are righteous and justified we can’t even enter into the kingdom.  But Christ says that if we are born of water and spirit we can enter.  Jesus goes on to say that the flesh can’t produce anything but flesh.  The flesh will never produce what is needed to enter into the kingdom.  So no matter how hard we try or profess to “know Jesus”, those external acts will not even get us to the gates of heaven.  So in order to get to were we need to be, there must be a rebirth or regeneration.  There has to be a change of the heart from flesh to spirit but we cannot do it ourselves.  We cannot do it ourselves as Jesus has already said that flesh can only produce flesh.  So what is this water and spirit birth?

John 19

31 Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. 32 The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. 33 But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.

Romans 6

1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

So our faith in Jesus Christ’s work on the cross for our redemption in which Christ became sin to justify by paying the penalty.  His righteous life of obedience to the Law of God, gives us His righteous.  But it’s not just “believing” and more importantly how do we get to this point if we can’t do it ourselves?  Since flesh can only produce a heart of flesh, how are we regenerated?  To be born again it is a complete work of God the Father‘s graces and the working of God the Holy Spirit.  To think that we had anything to do with it when Jesus said that we can’t is self-righteousness and prideful; all of which is of the flesh.

John 6

60 On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”61 Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you? 62 Then what if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! 63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit[a] and life. 64 Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. 65 He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them.”66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.

To be born again we have to not just “believe” we have to take all of Christ.  We have to submit to His Lordship completely.  We have to abide in Him and He has to abide in us.  Picking and choosing what we want to accept from Jesus is not an option.  To be born again, to be a follower, to be regenerated the Father has enable us to believe on the Son.  We can’t walk that isle without the Father first drawing us near to Him.  Only a person who is sold out for Christ can truly enter into the kingdom of God, Jesus Christ is our salvation and our rebirth.

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Comments
9 Responses to “Rebirth”
  1. Joseph says:

    “The flesh will never produce what is needed to enter into the kingdom.”

    I always liked these words from Jesus – Luke 11:17-18 But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth. If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because ye say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub.

    The way I like to read this is that the flesh cannot destroy the flesh. We can try and bandaids are placed on areas of our lives, but they always fall off… The demons come back stronger to a swept house. Another addiction, self-help book, medication, worldly advice, etc.. it all fails in the end and then we grab onto something else.

    It’s all in-Christ… it is the only way of escape from this prison.

    Like

    • anointedplace says:

      True, to try and reach Christ on our own efforts is asking our sinful nature to turn on itself. by our very nature its impossible and never works like you said. Romans 8:1-8, It is soul shaking seeing the word compliment and bear witness to itself! to God goes the glory.

      Like

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