Salvation Message The New Birth The greatest sermon that Jesus ever preached was to one man.
In John 3:3, Jesus told a religious leader named Nicodemus, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” When Nicodemus came to Jesus, he in effect, represented the whole human race, and the questions that he asked is one that has dwelt in the minds of men since the beginning of time – the question of eternal life. Here are some things that being “born again” are not:
1. It is not making a new resolution or “turning over a new leaf.” All of us have no doubt made resolutions to do better, prehaps during a time of illness or in some crisis, but this will not last. It is not the new birth.
2. It is not sorrow for sin. A criminal once called me to pray for him that he would not be sent to prison. He was sorry for his sin, and especially sorry that he had been caught. Many a man has come home after a night of sin, wishing that he was clean again. Many drunkards have cried over their sin, and then gone out to do the same thing again.
3. The new birth is not joining a church. Many people are confused and think that having their name on a church membership roll gives them a ticket to Heaven. I am sure that there are many who join the church without being fully aware of the sacredness of what they are doing. For the church is the greatest institution in the world. And yet there is no merit just in joining the church that would save a person from hell, no more than going into a garage makes you a car. No, church membership does not give you eternal life.
What then is the new birth? First of all, it is a spiritual miracle. John 1:13 says, “Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of man but of God.” What a heritage to be born of God and become His son! John 3:2 says, “Beloved, now are we sons of God…” We have benefits in being a son of God. His power is transmitted to us giving us strength to overcome our enemy (the devil). Another benefit is that we are absolved from the guilt of sin “that we may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation…” (Phillippians 2:15)
The second thing that the new birth does is to bring change. 2 Corinthians 5:7 says, “…If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature…” Physically, of course, we remain the same, but in every other way your life will be transformed by the new birth. If there are things that you must surrender, God will give something much better in its place. Our natural birth is involuntary, but our spiritual birth is entirely by choice. We are free to exercise our God-given power of choice in accepting or rejecting Christ. The same God who fathered our Lord Jesus Christ is responsible for our spiritual birth when we come to him, confessing our sin. The Holy Spirit carries the spark of Divine Life when we accept Christ as our Savior and Lord. Here is how to experience this new birth and enter into abundant living: The Bible says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13).
Just now, you can invite Jesus into your heart by praying to God something like this: “Dear Lord, I know that I am a sinner and need your forgiveness; I believe that Christ died in my place, paying the penalty for my sins; I am willnig to turn from my sin; I now invite Jesus Christ to come into my heart and life as my personal Savior; I am willing, by God’s grace, to follow and obey Christ as the Lord of my life.”
Please contact one of our staff members at the KCC Office if you would like someone to pray this prayer with you and help you in the next step of your journey with Christ.