One of the things that man is looking for is security; a secure job, secure finances, good health insurance, a good home etc. We do a lot research and spend quite some money for our security. Have you really thought about securing of your life a 100 years from now? I want to bring to you a message on being born again that can secure our eternity.
So as John 3 opens, one of the Jewish leaders, a man by the name of Nicodemus came to see Jesus. John 3:2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”
Jesus talking back to Nicodemus speaks the matter of man’s eternal security, i.e. the new birth. Speaking Nicodemus to him Jesus gave the readers of the Bible the way to secure a man’s life in this world as well as in the world to come. John 3 is the golden text of the Bible and I am going to give you some observations on the new birth which can secure our life.
1. A man needs to care enough to be interested in this matter.
Perhaps there is someone listening to me right now who just simply doesn’t care. I am sorry for that because this is the most important issue in all of your life on this earth. Nicodemus cared. Nicodemus saw the miracles which Jesus did. Nicodemus realized that there was something to Jesus. So Nicodemus cared enough to be interested and came to Jesus.
2. A person cannot go to heaven in his natural born condition.
John 3:3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” So a man will not go to heaven just in his natural condition. You must be born again.
John 3:7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’
3. Man is both a physical and a spiritual being.
John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, (You were born of the flesh one time. You don’t remember that but you know the day and we celebrate that day. We are born in the flesh. We still live in a body of flesh. But the Bible also says in v 6) and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Man is more than just flesh. Dear friend you are very special before God. You are different from the rest of God’s creation. I know that science today speaks otherwise. Biology says man is nothing more than just another animal evolved in this plant through monkeys. But that is not so. God created man and he created man a physical being but God also created man in his own image. You are also a spirit being. So man is both a physical and a spiritual being.
4. Man’s spirit must be brought to life.
Just as the body was born or brought to life in our birth, man’s spirit also has to be born, that is brought to life just if man has to go to heaven.
John 3:5-6 5Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water (speaking of the physical birth) and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6That which is born of the flesh is flesh, (the body in which you are sitting in right now is the flesh) and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’
So the spirit has to be born just as the flesh is born. The sprit has to be given life just as the flesh was given life if a person is to see the Kingdom of God, if he is to go to heaven.
5. Man cannot save himself.
The matter of being born again, giving life to the spirit cannot be accomplished through our own efforts. Well people of many religions have come up with all kinds of ways by which they can supposedly make their way to God. But as we look at this passage of scripture I see very clearly the matter of giving life to the spirit, that is the matter of being born again cannot be accomplished through your own efforts. You cannot do that for yourself. Good works will not get it. There is nothing that you can do for yourself to give life to the spirit.
John 3:4 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?” Now look at his question a little more carefully. Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Can a man do this? Can I bring about the new birth by some action of my own? Is it possible that we can generate that kind of condition through something that we do?
John 3:5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water (that is your physical birth) and the Spirit (that is being born again), he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
The word Spirit is capitalized. That tells us that is not a reference to our spirit, that is the reference to God the Holy Spirit. Jesus said to him, “You are born the first time physically, but unless you are born a second time through God you cannot go to heaven.”
You cannot save yourself. It is a matter of being born of God himself, the Holy Spirit.
6. New Birth cannot be felt by human understanding.
Just because you do not feel anything when you are born again does not mean that you are not born again exist. New birth takes place in the spiritual realm.
John 3:7-8 7Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8The 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 said, “The wind is there, you cannot tell where it comes from, you cannot tell where it goes. But it is there. It is a fact.” So is it with the new birth.
Have you ever sat in your patio and heard the sound of the wind when you did not feel any? As you look across toward the neighbour’s house you see the leaves rustling in one tree over there, not in the others and the leaves are not rustling in your yard but in just a moment those leaves stop and another tree perhaps 20 feet away the leaves begin go rustle. And you see the evidence of the wind. You have no idea where the breeze came from? Yes, there are warm fronts and cold fronts that generate wind but you don’t know where did that breeze start or end. But you don’t deny the fact that the wind was there.
Just because you cannot measure the new birth, just because you cannot see it with your human eyes does not mean that it does not exist because the new birth unlike the first birth, the new birth is a spiritual birth. It takes place in man’s spirit rather than a physical birth such as took place when his body was given life. So the new birth is not subject to science or body, it rather takes place in the spiritual realm.
7. Jesus can accomplish the new birth for us.
Now I also see in this passage of scripture, that though man cannot accomplish the new birth for himself, Jesus came to accomplish the requirements of the new birth for us.
John 3:16-17 16For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son (that is Jesus), that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
Jesus’ purpose in coming was to put into action the new birth which we cannot do for ourselves.
Then I see a beautiful illustration of this in the OT. Now remember Nicodemus was very familiar with the OT. John 3:10 Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things? Nicodemus you need to know these things from the OT.
John 3:14-15 14And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man (Jesus) be lifted up, 15that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
Jesus reminded Nicodemus of something that he knew very well. When the children of Israel were traveling through the wilderness during those 40 years on their way to the Promised Land, they had sinned grievously against the Lord and poisonous snakes came into their midst. When a man or woman or child was bitten by one of those snakes that person died. It was the sentence of death. Moses went to the Lord and following God’s instructions Moses had a brass serpent made. Brass in the OT speaking of judgment, God’s judgment. The brass serpent was placed on a pole, up where everybody could look and then the word went out to all of these Israelites who were being bitten by these snakes. Just look at that serpent on the pole. If you look, you will be healed. Some of the people said, “It is foolishness to look at the serpent and they died.” Others in their desperation obeyed, they believed, they turned and looked and they were immediately healed.
Jesus was referencing the crucifixion on the cross which would be coming within a number of months. Jesus’ death and resurrection has accomplished the new birth for us.
So what is the requirement of us for the new birth?
8. The requirement of the new birth is belief in the Lord Jesus Christ.
The only requirement for you to be born again is believing on Jesus.
Now stop and think about that. That goes against our understanding isn’t it? We ought to be able to do something to clean ourselves up, something we need to do to go to heaven. Oh! the only requirement of you, the only thing you can do is the only thing that those children of Israel could do in the wilderness – believe.
So Jesus was to be crucified on the cross in your place and my place because of our sins. And the only requirement and the only thing that is effective for the new birth, that which brings about the new birth is to believe on Jesus. Believe what? That he is the Son of God as he said. That he came to give you life in your spirit, the new birth as he said. That by turning to him alone, by believing what he said, calling upon him you are born again and set on the road to heaven. So the only requirement for you is believing. The Bible tells you that you must believe in Jesus.
9. Those who do not believe in Jesus continue in condemnation.
John 3:18-20 18“He who believes in Him (Jesus) is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, (Jesus) and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.
What is the only thing that will keep you from being born again? Refusing to believe on Jesus, refusing to come to him. If you do that nothing happens. If you do not believe you just continue on in your condemnation which is already there and that which keeps you there is simply refusing to believe in Jesus.
Now I want to give you a great encouraging word. Did you know that you can know that you are born? I am speaking to many who are born again but from time-to-time doubts crop up in your mind and you wonder about it. You can know that you are born again.
John 3:36 He who believes in the Son (Jesus) has everlasting life; (That is just a declarative statement, it is a statement of fact) and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
Dear friend, have you beloved on Jesus? Have you come to him for the new birth for forgiveness of sins, for heaven? If you have, the Bible says simply and directly: He who believes in the Son (Jesus) has everlasting life. You can rest in God in confidence if you have believed on Jesus and what he did for you.
Did Nicodemus believe? Yes he did. We see Nicodemus again many months later. Jesus had just been crucified. His body was hanging on the cross. A very wealthy man by the name of Joseph of Arimathia went to beg the body of Jesus from the Roman authorities. Nicodemus came also. Nicodemus had spent a great sum of money for 100 weight of spices to prepare the body of Jesus for the burial. He did not come at night. He came in the midst of all the activity that day which was winding down. Yes, Nicodemus believed on Jesus and Nicodemus was born again.
Now let me ask you this. You have come to the most important part of this message: Are you born again? If your answer is no or I don’t think so, then let me invite you to receive the new birth from God the Holy Spirit right now. All you need to do is believe. Why don’t you talk to God right now in your heart here in this City Harvest Auditorium and just tell him in your heart, you can say it out loud or you can say it in silence in your heart, he hears you.
I know I am a sinner. I know I need to be born again. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that he came to pay my penalty for my sins. I believe he rose from the grave and he is alive. So I am asking you please give me the new birth. Please save me Lord. Rescue me from my sins. Take me to heaven when I leave this life.
Dear friend if you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and pray that prayer to him, just in that moment your spirit has been given life, has been born again. What a wonderful thing it.