Articles/Sermon Outlines

HAVING BEEN BORN AGAIN

Christians have been born again. Jesus uses birth to picture the new beginning for a child of God. He told Nicodemus, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." Nicodemus wondered if he had to enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born? Jesus corrected his misunderstanding and said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, You must be born again.  The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit" (John 3:3-8).

The apostle Peter in his first letter addresses the new birth of Christians and the love they should have for one another. His explanation reveals how the word of God is involved in the process of being born again. He points out that the child of God purifies his soul in "obeying the truth through the Spirit. . . having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever" (1:22,23). The result of one's new birth should be "sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart" (v. 22b). We know that the word of God is the sword of the Spirit (Eph. 6:17). The Spirit uses the written word of God (Rom. 1:16,17) to guide our minds to Jesus the Word incarnate (John 1:14) who can bring about the new birth (John 1:12,13).

The sinner has a heart/mind/soul that can be regenerated (born again). God has given to everyone who sins the ability to repent and be born anew in His Son (John 3:16; Acts 3:19). It is the words of the Spirit that have been revealed to the apostles and prophets. They wrote these words down so that all generations can read them and know God's will for their redemption (John 20:30,31).

According to the Holy Spirit, being born again involves more than belief and repentance. The new birth of a Christian involves immersion into water. Remember Jesus said that one must be born of the water and the Spirit. Peter commanded Cornelius by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, "Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized? . . . And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord" (Acts 10:47,48).

Paul describes the new birth: "but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior" (Titus 3:5b).    


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