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.
This is a rather strange way to start a conversation with one of the influential leaders of the Pharisees I would think, wouldn’t you? This man Nicodemus had come to Jesus by night and really had made a statement to Jesus rather than asked a question. However, Jesus knew what was really in Nicodemus’ heart and answered the question burning there.
I believe it to be the one question that burns in our hearts today. You may say, well not me, I don’t struggle with this question and I thank God for you, Amen. I actually do know of some who do not. Still, there are those who say they don’t but in reality, if they were truly honest, they actually do.
Just like Nicodemus, they are coming to Jesus in the dead of night telling Jesus everything they know about Him to be right and Jesus is answering, You must be born again.
I think sometimes we sort of gloss over that phrase. Kind of rush past it because it really does not compute with our limited ability to comprehend. We throw it around in church because it sounds spiritual and because Jesus said it. We like to think we are smarter than Nicodemus, but the reality is that we are not. Sadly the majority of us don’t know what it truly means.
What was the point Jesus was trying to make to Nicodemus and what does He mean born again?
I think if we can answer this question significantly and thoroughly we can lay this issue to rest in our hearts for good. That is what God wants for us.
So let’s look at a few more scriptures. Some, I am going to paraphrase and some, I’m going to give the chapter and verse and you can look them up. For the sake of word count I don’t want to overwhelm you with words.
Buried with Him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him through faith in the operation of God, who hath raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross.
These are some of my favorite verses in all the bible. They sum up beautifully what being born again really means. Before we dive into the thought let’s go on to look at another set of scriptures. I am going to write these out from the amplified version of the Bible because I think it lays it out so we can see clearly what the Apostle Paul was trying to show us.
I Corinthians 15:45-46, 49 [AMP]
Thus it is written, The first Adam became a living being (an individual personality); the last Adam (Christ) became a life-giving Spirit [restoring the dead to life]. But it is not the spiritual life which came first, but the physical and then the spiritual. (vs 49) And just as we have borne the image [of the man] of dust, so shall and so let us also bear the image [of the Man] of heaven.
Let me ask you a couple of questions:
- Did you (personally) do anything to be born into Adam’s bloodline? Think about it for a minute. Did you decide one day, hey, I think I will be born and then you somehow planted yourself inside your mother. Obviously not. You nor I had anything to do with the process of our natural birth. It was something God decided and performed all on His own. The Psalmist said that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalms 139:14 So then everything about us is God’s own perfect will for us. So like it or not we were born into Adams race not by chance or choice but by God’s design and purpose.
- Can you (personally) do anything to get yourself out of Adams bloodline naturally? Not according to Romans 5:14. When Adam fell we all fell. There is only one way not to inherit Adam’s transgression…through a virgin birth. Can you accomplish that for yourself? Absolutely NOT~ Only Christ and Christ alone was born of a virgin. So you see, your birth into the human race is sure and it is secure. The only way out at this point is death OR birth…
I want to tell you something that you need to get down in your heart because this is the truth…
You cannot cause your own birth… Let me repeat that okay because this is seriously important… You Cannot Cause Your Own Birth.
Can you see where this is going yet? Hang in here with me I’m getting to my point…
Just as secure as you and I are in Adam and in the sin nature, once we have received the nature of Christ we are just as secure in Him. Just as we cannot do anything to get out of Adam’s race, we cannot do anything to get of Christ. One birth is just as secure as the other and even more so.
The birth into humanity/Adam brings death, however the birth into Christ brings everlasting life. Paul said in Romans that the first Adam was living being, but Christ the last Adam is a quickening or life-giving Spirit. Christ undid everything Adam did and reversed the order. Adam brought death onto all mankind, through Christ’s death He brought everlasting life to mankind.
Is this not awesome?
My birth into Christ is just as sure and secure as my natural birth into Adam’s race was sure and is secure.
So what did I mean I cannot cause my own birth?
I have already established the fact that I cannot cause or bring about my own natural birth, so it is in the Spirit. I cannot make myself born again. Jesus told Nicodemus, except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God. So how does one become born again? This is where most of us, if not the majority of us slip and slide around for most of our lives. so let’s lay it out so we can rest.
- It is a gift Ephesians 2:8 I can’t obtain a gift that is not offered to me. I can’t force someone to give me a gift. I cannot work for a gift otherwise it is not a gift. So how do I receive a gift of righteousness? Through faith… Look at the scriptures above, it is by faith in the operation of GOD. Not the operation of me, or you, or so & so. It is and will always be about the operation of God.
- Paul said in Romans 10:9 I have to make a confession about Jesus with my mouth with belief in my heart about Him being raised from the dead and do this by faith in… The operation of GOD.
- Then, and this one is really gonna hurt you, you & I are going to have to die. I know, I know, you have heard it a million times. Seriously though… Read I Corinthians and Colossians again. For a seed to grow into anything it must first die and then be buried and then it is raised to newness of life… Thus the new birth.
BOOM there it is… The new birth that you nor I have anything to do with. Christ did it all. That is the operation of God. From the very beginning of time. Life was and is about seed time and harvest. Let there be light and there was…light… Let the trees produce after their kind… and they did… Christ died and was buried and so producing… eternal life for all who will come… Do you see the process, the operation of God at work? Do you see anything here that you or I can add to this process?
See Christ is the first fruit of our inheritance. He died a natural man, without the sin nature of Adam, paying in full the penalty of our sin. When our sin was laid on His body (for us) it killed the PURE lamb of GOD, but in the sown body of His death He was raised and HE is the first begotten or the firstborn from the dead. He has the first Glorified human body. When we place our faith in Him we become buried with Him and raised with Him. That is how God sees us. We are then given an earnest or a down payment [The Holy Spirit] until He returns, by being re-birthed/born again into HIS kingdom. Our old man is dead and we are now a new creature in HIM. All by faith in what? The operation of God. Read Ephesians
I know I sound like a broken record but I am someone that until recently had doubts constantly about my faith. Would I mess up, would HE kick me out. Was my sin too much? Would I lose my faith in the end? Have you noticed that all of that has been about me and what I would do or not do? Pretty pathetic really.
That is the problem with most of us we haven’t really settled the fact in our heart that Salvation has nothing to do with us and everything to do with HIM. He didn’t look down through time and say, OH I think he/she looks like he/she will be faithful to me so I think I will allow him/her to be part of my kingdom. We are not pawns in the hands of a master chess player. God in His mercy died for ALL mankind. Even the ones we wouldn’t give the time of day. Like the thief on the cross, or the woman at the well, or the lepers that stank so bad they couldn’t even be on the same side of the road with normal people.
Oh yea, I know, we have glamorized their stories and we ooh and awe now, but that’s only because they aren’t sitting in our pews or living next door to us.
I am going to leave you with this thought and I hope that you hear me and take it to heart. Paul said to work out your own salvation with fear and trembling Philippians 2:12 You need to understand that unless GOD HIMSELF draws you, you cannot come to HIM. If you hear HIS voice at all you better run with everything you are worth to HIM. In these last days HE said that He would send a strong spirit of delusion on the earth so that people would believe a lie. Why would He do that? He is doing that because they refuse to acknowledge His Son and the price He paid for their sin. They refuse to even acknowledge they have sin. II Thessalonians 2:11
If you are born again I encourage you to enter the Sabbath rest. You cannot be unborn out of His kingdom no more than you be unborn out of the race of Adam. That makes you as saved as you are ever going to be and it’s all because God in great Love pursued man from the day He asked Adam “where are you” Thank goodness He never stopped pursuing us and thank goodness our eternity rest on Him and it is sure and secure. So please rest in the operation of God. He loves you ~
I”m hid with Christ~