WHAT IS THE NEW BIRTH

John 3:3

 

I. Intro.

A. what is the New Birth:  this is one of the most important questions we will ever consider

1. all questions of legislation, science, and learning are insignificant in comparison to this

2. when seeking an answer to this question, we must keep close to the teaching of God's Word

3. this subject is too vital and precious, to be jeopardized by anything other than a Supreme authority

4. in this matter, we must sit only at the feet of the Divine and Heavenly Teacher, before whom we are to stand in judgment

B. in this conversation with Nicodemus, Jesus pressed home the fact that great change occurs in salvation

1. He compared salvation to a birth

2. because spiritual life is unknown to the first or natural birth, He designates salvation as the second or new birth:  "born again" means born over again

II. The Nature Of The New Birth

A. the new birth consist of a new life

1. our first, or natural birth, brought us into a new world of being, of thought, and feeling

a) our first birth ushered us into a new state of existence, in which all things were new

2. here we find a strong and significant resemblance between first birth and the New Birth

a) in salvation, the soul is brought into a new, spiritual world

b) the first birth brought us into the natural world, the second brought us into a spiritual world

c) the first birth brought us into a world of sin, and woe, and death; the second birth, into a world of holiness, and happiness, and life

3. the new birth is represented as a quickening - Ephesians 2:1, 5

a) it is described as having "passed from death unto life" - John 5:24

b) it is also represented as a resurrection - John 5:21

4. the New Birth takes us out of a state of spiritual death, and into a state of spiritual life

a) it entirely reverses our moral being

b) the truly-converted soul is a living soul, quickened from a death of sin, into a life of righteousness

c) the new-born life is the life of God, which is impart to us by our union with Christ, who is our life

(1) this life is new, spiritual, holy, and deathless
(2) the glory, the reign, and the power of a divine and new-born life has enter the soul

B. the new birth is the restoration of the Divine image, to the soul - 2 Peter 1:4

1. the moral image of God was obliterated in the fall of the first Adam

a) the righteousness and holiness, in which God originally created us, gave way to the reign of sin

b) the image of a foreign sovereign became stamped upon our soul

c) the New Birth is the restoration of that lost image of God in man - Ephesians 4:24

2. by Christ, the soul of man is legally and permanently recovered

C. the new birth involves a new or changed heart - Ezekiel 36:26

1. a new heart is essential for the great spiritual change that takes place

2. by nature, the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked

3. by grace it becomes a loving and holy temple for the Spirit, home for the Savior, and shrine for God

a) the rebellious heart has become penitent; the proud heart, humble; the unclean heart, pure; the selfish heart, loving

b) the heart that despised Christ, now embraces Him

c) that which was at enmity against God, now loves Him

d) that which strove with the Spirit, is now His willing sanctuary

4. this is where the New Birth begins

a) this is where it begins, carries on and finishes its mighty transformation

b) its beginning is so gentle and veiled; its advance, so gradual and progressive; its victories, so unseen and noiseless

(1) we would be ignorant of our depraved nature, feel nothing of the vileness of our heart, and never lament over the desperate evil within, were we not quickened to life by the Spirit
(2) the Divine hand has withdrawn the veil from our heart, revealing the plague, the darkness, and the sin of this chamber
(3) the same hand of love will perfect the work that was divinely and effectually begun

D. the new birth is a spiritual change from life lived in darkness, to life lived in the light - 1 Peter 2:9

1. the spiritual darkness of the unrenewed mind, of the alienated heart, of the rebellious will, is so deep, and impenetrable that no light can pierce it, but God's

2. God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined into our hearts, to give us the light of life - John 8:12

E. the new birth transports us from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of Christ - Col 1:13

1. our nature, in its unregenerate condition, is under the dominion of the prince of darkness, Satan

2. every individual in the human race is either a subject of Satan or of Christ

3. the new birth is a divine translation from the shameful power of darkness, into the light and privileges and liberty of the kingdom of Jesus

4. in the new birth there must be this emancipation from the bondage of Satan, before there is the translation of the soul into the kingdom of Jesus

5. the two dominions cannot co-exist in the soul; we must be drawn out of the pit of corruption, before we can be placed in the kingdom of Christ

a) this deliverance from the power of Satan is not such a deliverance that totally frees us from the indwelling of sin, or entirely emancipates us from the temptations of Satan

b) those who are born again must contend with sin and temptation until life's last hour

c) that which is born of the flesh, remains flesh, until this corruption puts on incorruption                    - 1 Corinthians 15:53-54

d) in spite of this, it is a blessed and glorious deliverance which grace achieves

III. To Be Born Again, Is To Be "Born Of The Spirit," But How Does The Holy Spirit Produce This Great Change - John 3:6

A. first He convinces of sin

1. He lifts the veil that covers the heart, and shows us its plague and sin and defilement

2. He makes the sinner to know himself; this is the first step in real conversion

3. flesh and blood will not reveal this to us, it is the Holy Spirit who shows us our blackness and vileness

4. this revelation is meant to bring us to the place where we will cry out, "what must I do to be saved"

B. the Holy Spirit then leads us to Christ

1. He does not deals cruelly with the poor sinner, revealing the plague, and not the remedy

2. when He makes the soul to feel the sickness of sin, He leads us to the Great Physician

a) He brings the trembling soul to Jesus, and unveils His love, and grace, and merits

b) He leads a person to believe and trust in Christ; to find rest and hope in Him

3. Jesus is just the Savior we need, and just the Friend we seek

a) He took our sins, endured our curse, bore our condemnation, paid our debt, and now invites us to the cleansing fountain of His blood

b) we do not need to doubt His ability or His willingness to accept and save - Matthew 11:28

IV. Conclusion

A. is your conversion of such a nature as this; are you spiritually, and truly born again

1. forget about rites and rituals, forms and ceremonies, morals and virtues, "You must be born again"

2. the soul beautified with virtue, is not a soul sanctified by grace

3. the life regulated by laws, is not a life quickened by the indwelling Spirit of God

B. apart from the New Birth, there is no true holiness, and without holiness no man can see the Lord

1. an unholy being could not exist for one moment in glory; its atmosphere would be too pure, its society too holy, its worship too spiritual, and its enjoyments too refined

2. to be forever with the Lord, we must partake of His nature, cultivate His image, be constrained by His love, and confess His name