What Does It Mean To Be Born Again? Part 2

30 September 2013

The Nature of the New Birth

Jesus uses a metaphor to teach this spiritual lesson of regeneration, or being made alive in Christ. Nicodemus does not understand the metaphor and argues “How can a man be born when he is old?” That is essentially the question we want to answer in this article. How do I get born again? Jesus uses the metaphor of birth to teach a few basic principles about spiritual life.

  1. Spiritual life begins independent of natural life (3:6).
    We have already seen that the source of the new birth is outside of ourselves and our will. Jesus teaches plainly that the source of spiritual life is God.
  2. Just as we have no control over our natural birth and lineage, our spiritual birth and identity in Christ is outside our power as well.
  3. Birth teaches that something comes into existence that previously did not exist. This is a fundamental core truth that cannot be left out. If there is spiritual life in every human being then there is no need for a new birth or else Jesus’ metaphor is extremely confusing.
  4. Birth shows an entrance into a family. As we were born into our natural family, we must be born into God’s family.
  5. The parents’ nature is also passed onto the child in birth. The desire that a born again child of God has to flee from sin and do righteously is a trait that we do not get from our earthly parents but from our Heavenly Father.

Other words the scriptures use to teach regeneration include: Creation (2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 6:15; Eph. 2:10) Call (John 5:25; 2 Tim. 1:9; Heb. 3:1; 1Pet. 5:10; Rom. 8:28-30) Circumcision (Rom 2:25-29; Col 2:11) Draw (John 6:44,45) Quicken (Eph. 2:1-10; Col 2:13) Regeneration (Titus 3:5) Resurrection (John 5:24; Col. 3:1; I John 3:14) Renew (Titus 3:5) Sanctify (Heb. 10:10, 29) Translate (Col. 1:13) Wash (1 Cor. 6:11; Titus 3:5; Rev. 1:5)

Regardless of the word picture used, the same principle of God’s sovereign will and power is shown in the process of regeneration. In each example, God is the subject, and his children are the direct objects. This means that God is acting, and we are receiving His action.

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19th January 2018 13:05

Tags: grace, new-birth, regeneration

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Elder Bryce Lowrance

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