You Must Be Born Again!
You Must Be Born Again!
By Rodney W. Francis
THE LORD JESUS TAUGHT that we must be born again to see and enter the Kingdom of God (John 3:1-12).
In John Chapter Three we read of a religious man by the name of Nicodemus. The name, “Nicodemus,” means "innocent blood," and his belief was that of a Pharisee (meaning "separate"). "The Pharisees were the largest of the three or four Jewish sects; noted for their self conceit and long prayers; they paid unnecessary tithes, fasted often, made broad their phylacteries ("a guard, a charm") (Matthew 23:1-7), held to traditions, etc." (Young's Concordance).
Nicodemus was a ruler (a rabbi, teacher, a leader, authority) of the Jews. It was to him that Jesus said, "You must be born again." If he needed to be born-again, how much more do we?
The Amplified Bible has this to say:
"Jesus answered him, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, that unless a person is bornagain (anew, from above) he cannot ever see – know, be acquainted with (and experience) the Kingdom of God.
Nicodemus said to Him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter his mother’s womb again, and be born?
Jesus answered, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, except a man be born of water and (even) the Spirit, he cannot (ever) enter the Kingdom of God. What is born of (from) the flesh is flesh – of the physical is physical; and what is born of the Spirit is Spirit. Marvel not – do not be surprised, astonished – at My telling you, you must all be born anew (from above) (John 3:3-7).
In Verse 5 Jesus said, "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit . . .”
There appears to be three main interpretations as to what the "water" here speaks of:
To the Christian all three can apply – my preference is No. 2, because 1 Peter 1:23 tells us: “Being born again . . . by the Word of God, which lives and abides forever.” (See also Titus 3:5, James 1:18).
To be "born again" one must be conceived by God – or, God plants His seed in our life.
That seed is His Word breathed upon by the Holy Spirit, which then produces life – eternal life – in us! It happens when we respond to His love, to His dealings, and to the conviction of His Holy Spirit which brings us to repentance. At that point a spiritual conception takes place. God's Word or seed begins to develop our life into the image of Jesus Christ and causes us to grow, until such time as we become mature sons and daughters of God (John 1: 12-14, 1 John 5:4).
We know because we find there is a new and indwelling love for God, for those who love God, and people generally (1 John 4:7 – I encourage you to read the whole chapter).
Some evidence that we are “born again of the Holy Spirit” is that we will find ourselves with a hunger to know Jesus Christ, the Word of God; we will want to be where we hear and know of Him; we are conscious of a desire to want to be right in the sight of the Living God, and we find ourselves desiring more and more to make ourselves available for the service of God.
I had been brought up in a Christian Church all my life. But I was not “born again” until I was 17 years of age. I knew about God, had heard about Jesus, BUT – I had never had or known a personal experience of meeting with Jesus. After being invited to a Christian meeting and listening to a Holy Spirit-filled preacher present to me the Gospel in power, I responded to the altar call, went forward and invited Jesus Christ to become my Saviour and Lord. When I did that (in a public gathering), I was “born again by the Holy Spirit.” Jesus came into my life in a personal way; He forgave me of all my past sins, rebellion and failures against Him, and began a change in my life which continues to this day. I know I met God at that time. I literally felt a whole load of guilt and shame lift off my life. I felt like a bird that had suddenly been let out of a small cage – and I was now free!
I repeat: If a person as religious and notable as Nicodemus had to be “born again,” then how much more do we need to be “born again”?
If you have not already done so, Jesus is waiting for you right now to give your life over to Him. He can do more good for you in two minutes than you cannot do in 20 years! Unless and until we are“born again by the Holy Spirit,” we will never see nor enter the Kingdom of God.
When you have done that, please tell someone else. It will help to make you strong in your new faith in Jesus!