FOLLOWING CHRIST: The New Birth

“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”  (John 3:3)

“There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.” (John 3:1-2)

“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)

“Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?” (John 3:4)

“Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3:5-6)

“Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:7-8)

Jesus said, “Except a man be born again, he shall not see the Kingdom of God”, and again He said, “Ye must be born again.”

When Nicodemus was confused about how a person could physically be born a second time Jesus said, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”

In other words, the “born again” experience is a spiritual birth. Jesus compared it to the wind, which although it is invisible, the effects can be seen, felt, and heard. So it is with being born again.

Jesus told Peter, “When thou art converted (changed), strengthen the brethren.”

“But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” (Luke 22:32)

There is a change that takes place when a person is born again.

It is a moment, a place, a point in time when the Spirit of Christ comes to live inside of an individual and that person is not the same ever again. It is not gradual. It is an experience that can be marked on a calendar.

The Bible says that if any man doesn’t have the Spirit of Christ then he is none of His.

“But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” (Rom. 8:9)

How does one become “born again”?

First of all, it is not just a matter of believing in God or even believing in Jesus Christ.

The Bible says that the devils believe, and they even fear and tremble, but they can never be saved or “born again”.

“Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” (James 2:19)

Believing in Jesus Christ, who He is and what He has done is a starting point.

We must believe that Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God.

We must believe that He was born of the Virgin Mary after that the Holy Ghost had come upon her and placed within her the seed of God.

We must believe that He lived a sinless life in complete obedience to the will of God, and that He went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed of the devil.

“How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.” (Acts 10:38)

We must believe that He gave His life as a sacrifice for our sins and was crucified at the hands of wicked men.

We must believe that He was buried in a borrowed tomb and that after three days He rose physically from the grave and is alive forevermore.

We must believe that He ascended into Heaven and is set down in His Father’s throne, at the Heavenly Father’s own right hand, and has sent back the Holy Spirit to come and live inside of everyone that has been saved and born again.

And we must believe that we become born again when we believe that God raised Jesus Christ from the dead and we confess with our mouth that He is Lord to the glory of God the Father.

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Rom. 10:9)

“For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Rom. 10:10)

When we confess with our mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord we are not only confessing that He is Lord over all, but we are confessing that He is Lord over us, our life, and that we are giving and committing our life unto Him both now and forever.

If we are ever going to know Christ, be forgiven of our sins, and make Heaven our home, then we are going to have to be born again.

It doesn’t matter whether we were brought up in Church or never stepped through a church door in our entire life. It doesn’t matter what Church or denomination we were born into or have joined.

It doesn’t matter whether we are a “sinner” or what some might call a “saint”, whether a “goody-two-shoes” or a not so nice person.

We all must be born again.

The Bible says that all of our good deeds are like filthy rags before the Lord and that there is none righteous, no not one.

“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” (Isa. 64:6)

“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” (Rom. 3:10-12)

Ever since the Lord saved me and called me to preach, He has given me a wonderful gift, the ability, or you might say an anointing, to lead people to Christ and be born again.

I have seen many believers preach or share personally God’s plan of salvation and what it takes to be born again. I have even seen them pray with individuals and ask God to help them make the right decision only to see that individual leave that time of prayer still in need and unfulfilled.

For some unknown reason, God has given me the anointing to share the Scriptures that will not only cause someone to believe in Jesus Christ and come to the edge of commitment, but also to step over that precipice in that moment, invite Christ into their heart, and be born again.

The Bible says in First Corinthians chapter three,

“So then neither is he that planteth anything, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.” (1Cor. 3:7)

I remember attending a service where the minister had preached a wonderful message on God’s mercy, repentance, and salvation. Afterwards, the minister asked that if anyone needed prayer would they come down to the front of the auditorium.

I saw a young man get up out of his seat and go down to the front. The minister prayed for him and he returned to his seat with his head still bowed.

The Lord spoke with me to go and talk to the young man after the service had ended. I felt out of place but I decided to obey the Lord.

I sat next to the young man and asked him if he had gone down to accept Christ or did he just feel sorry for his sins and want God to forgive him.

He said that he had just felt sorry for sinning against God. I asked him if God forgave him and he said that he didn’t know.

I asked him if he had ever been born again and he said “no”.

I shared with him that Jesus loved him and would forgive and save him but he had to believe in Christ and ask Jesus to come into his heart.

I shared briefly the Scriptures about being born again and confessing Jesus as Lord and he prayed out loud repenting, asking God to forgive him, confessing Jesus as Lord of his life, and inviting Jesus to come into his heart to save him and set him free.

Afterwards he grinned from ear to ear saying that now he knew that he had been forgiven, that he had been saved and born again, and that Jesus had written his name in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

How about you?

Do you know that Jesus loves you?

Have you been born again?

It is my prayer that if you are not, that by the time you are finished reading this message you will be.

And it is my prayer that if you are born again then God will anoint you with the same anointing that He has given me.

That you will be able to lead people to Jesus Christ so that they might believe in Him, confess Him as Lord with their mouth, accept Him into their heart as their Savior, and be born again.

“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.” (Prov. 11:30)

Next- FOLLOWING CHRIST: Our Testimony 

All twelve books in the "How to Walk Christian Series" by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

All twelve books in the “How to Walk Christian Series” by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s