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Do I Need To Be Born Again?

(John 3:3 NKJV) Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."

There are four main reasons you need to be born again:

  1. Jesus said you need to be born again.
  2. Your human nature is inadequate for the Kingdom of God.
  3. You need the Holy Spirit to indwell and direct you.
  4. You need a new incorruptible nature if you are not to perish but to have eternal life.

Jesus Said You Need To Be Born Again

(John 3:3-8 NKJV) Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." {4} Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?" {5} Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. {6} "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. {7} "Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' {8} "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."

Jesus is quite definite about it - you must be born again! In verse 3 He says"unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."then in verse 5 He says"unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God."and in verse 7 He commands 'You must be born again.'. That is clear enough for me! When Jesus says something three times in 5 verses He is really hammering it home. Furthermore Jesus says that being born again is not optional - it is absolutely essential. He says "you MUST be born again" and He twice tells Nicodemus that being born again is an essential pre-requisite for anyone to enter the Kingdom of God (John 3:3,5). Jesus says that being born again is 100% necessary. There is no possible spiritual life without it. If you go to church but think you do not need to be born again you are trying to disagree with Jesus. You need to agree with Jesus. Not just that you need to obey Jesus and become born again.

Your Human Nature Is Inadequate For The Kingdom Of God

When we sin or make a mistake we often say "well that's just human nature.." and we are right. Human nature has taken a terrible blow over the years and is full of frailty and sin. God made people good but they have gone astray.(Ecclesiastes 7:29 NIV) This only have I found: God made mankind upright, but men have gone in search of many schemes."

Our human nature cannot live in Heaven. It is too corrupt and sinful. Perhaps you think you are a good person compared to those around you but compared to the holiness of God and the standards of Heaven we just don't measure up. We would feel unclean by comparison.(Isaiah 64:6 NIV) All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.

A more fundamental consideration is that human nature is based in our bodies. It is based on "flesh" and flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. We need a spiritual nature if we are to live in Heaven where everything is spiritual. The human "fleshly nature" cannot produce the spirituality we need to please God. We need a brand new spiritual nature to do that. It is only a spiritual nature that can produce the deep spirituality of a true Christian. Jesus made this very plain when He said"That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit."Like reproduces like. That which is born of the flesh can only be flesh. Our human nature cannot produce true spiritual results. But that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. When we are born again our new spiritual nature will produce spiritual results.

You Need The Holy Spirit To Indwell And Direct You.

When we are born again we start living life in a new way under the direction and impulse of the Holy Spirit. This is a very different lifestyle in some senses. People who are not born again are perplexed by it. But let's face it - living without the Holy Spirit has not got this world very far. We need a new dimension to our living and God the Holy Spirit will supply it to you when you are born again. Jesus referred to this strange but wonderful way of living when He said"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."This verse was originally written in Greek. In the Greek language the word "pneuma" means both "wind" and "spirit". So this verse could be translated "the Spirit blows where it wishes..". It is an intentional pun made by the apostle John (who liked puns and used them a lot in his writings).

The born-again lifestyle is free and powerful like the wind. It blows where it wishes. You can tell its there too by the sound! Born again people are very free and they make a difference in their world because the Holy Spirit is the energy in their life.

Born again people aren't in a rut. Religion can be a rut. You can tell where a person caught up in stale faith is "coming from" and you can predict what they will do next. Born again people are not like that. They are like the wind. Jesus says"...but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit."When we live life under the guidance of the Holy Spirit it is an exciting adventure. Sometimes very strange things can happen indeed!(Acts 8:39-40 NIV) When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. {40} Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.

You Need A New Incorruptible Nature If You Are Not To Perish But To Have Eternal Life.

Human nature is corruptible. That is not good news if you are planning on living forever. You would end up being like the chap in the Greek legend who asked for eternal life but forgot to ask for eternal youth and he just got older and older and more and more decrepit with the centuries until one of the gods had mercy on him and changed him into a grasshopper! Neither would it be much good having a body that lived forever and natures that got progressively greedier or more vengeful. The Christian needs a new incorruptible body and a new incorruptible nature to dwell in it.

Jesus and the apostles use the word "perishing" to describe what is happening to people who are not born again. We perish like the rubber in a car tire We have our "shiny days" but bit by bit we decay and fall apart. Being born again saves us from this terrible but inevitable fate. In the same bible chapter as our previous verses Jesus says"(John 3:15-16 NKJV) that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. {16} "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."Jesus is repeating himself for emphasis here. There are only two ultimate fates for a person. One is eternal life. The other is to perish. This is a logical necessity. Either we live forever or we don't live forever. There is no middle ground. If we don't live forever we have to go from our present state to a state that is not living - which is death. In other words we perish. Obviously our present bodies perish. That is frightening enough. But for our very souls to perish is terrifying indeed. Jesus often spoke of people perishing in Hell, though it is an unpopular subject today. Here are just two parallel references that indicate that when Jesus spoke of perishing He saw it as more than just natural decay but a divine punishment involving being cast into Hell.

(Matthew 5:29 NKJV) "If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.

(Mark 9:47-48 NKJV) "And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire; {48} "where 'Their worm does not die, And the fire is not quenched.'

Jesus says that it is possible to make a transition from the inevitability of perishing to the gaining of eternal life."that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life."The only difference between those who are perishing and those who have eternal life is faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. It is"whoever believes in Him"that does not perish and who receives eternal life.

 This is confirmed in the rest of Scripture.(1 Corinthians 1:18 NKJV) For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.It is believing the message of the cross that makes the difference between those who are perishing and those who are being saved. Two further references will illustrate what is meant by this.

(2 Thessalonians 2:10 NKJV) and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish,because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.In order to be saved and receive eternal life we must love the truth and avoid believing lies and deceptions. People who believe lies about Jesus perish. Those who love the truth and believe the gospel receive eternal life. The second important reference is (2 Peter 3:9 NKJV) The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

From the verse above we see that God does not want anyone to perish but would prefer that we"come to repentance". The original Greek word the biblical manuscripts use for "repentance" is "metanoia" which literally means "change of mind". This tells us that repentance is a drastic change of mind, a complete about face on a fundamental issue. The fundamental issue at stake is Jesus and the cross. God wants us to repent -that is to stop believing lies, half-truths and doubts about Jesus and the cross and to start believing and living out the truth. Jesus calls that"believing in Me"and promises that all who do this will receive eternal life.(John 6:47 NKJV) "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.And later, at Lazarus's tomb...(John 11:25-26 NKJV) Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. {26} "And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?"

Do You Believe This?

This is the question Jesus asked Martha (John 11:26 above) and He asks of everyone who wants to receive eternal life. Do you believe that Jesus is the resurrection and the life? Do you believe that He is Lord? If you do believe these things than all you have to do is ask God and you will be born again and receive eternal life.(Romans 10:9-13 NKJV) that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead,you will be saved. {10} For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. {11} For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame." {12} For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. {13} For "whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved."The essential verses are verses 9 and 13, they tell us what we have to do to be born again. The rest is explaining the mechanism behind it. There are three things we need to do.

  1. Confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus
  2. Believe in your heart God raised him from the dead
  3. Call upon the name of the Lord.

I Would Like To Do That Now!

If you would like to be born-again and receive eternal life please pray the following prayer:

Dear God, I would like to become a Christian. I know that I have not lived as you want me to. I know I need you to forgive me for all the sins I have done. I ask that you will please forgive me because of what Jesus did on the cross. I believe He died on that cross to take my sins and that You raised Him from the dead. I want to have eternal life from God so that I can follow Jesus and obey Him forever as my Lord. Please make me a Christian now. Amen.

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