Ye Must Be Born Again

Ye Must Be Born Again John 3:1-7 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO

Nearly every person I meet wants to go to Heaven. However, when asked if they think they are going to Heaven they usually respond with I want to go or I hope I get to go there, but they are unsure if they will actually go there. In this text we can see how you can be sure if you’re going to Heaven when you die, how to get there and why God should let you into His kingdom. The question is do you want to see the kingdom of God? (Luke 17:20-21) A better way to ask the question would be to say do you want to enter the kingdom of God?

Consider these lyrics heard as it was sung for a birthday celebration.

Born once, die twice. Born twice, die once.

When you take a moment to consider this simple little verse you will discover how remarkable it is. The first half of the verse speaks of your first birth which will guarantee you the eventual death and burial of your physical body. Additionally, you will experience a second death which will be the death of your soul (Rev. 21:8).

The second half of the verse speaks not only of your first birth but of an additional second birth which allows you to escape the second death and emerge out of the grave to enter and see the Kingdom of God.

In order to escape the death of the soul you must be born again (John 3:1-21, Luke 18:10-14, Acts 5:34). Being merely religious was the error of the Pharisees because they coveted earthly prestige among men and perverted God’s scripture to legitimize their false piety. They perverted scripture by applying it only to their outward appearance and not to their inner life. They were destined for the second death because they were not born again (Matt. 23:23-25, Prov. 18:11, Mark 8:36). Being religious consists of cleansing only the outward appearance. But to be born again is to cleanse the inside by inviting Jesus Christ to make you a new creature (Luke 18:18, John 9:33).

Jesus explained the necessity of being born again but Nicodemus could not immediately grasp it because he was only thinking of the physical birth.  The rich young ruler couldn’t comprehend the second birth because he could not let go of his earthly treasures. His insistence on the importance of his earthly treasures blinded him to the importance of feeding his spiritual life. He was in bondage to his riches and so could not obtain freedom in Jesus Christ.

On another matter, there are some denominations today that teach salvation through water baptism. They look at verse 5 as their proof text, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”  Failing to put verse 5 in the context of verse 6 may lead you to agree with them, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” However, verse 6 explains for us that the reference to water in verse 5 is related to flesh, meaning that it is a reference physical childbirth.

Verse 5 speaks of the two births mentioned above in the song lyrics.  Your first birth involves water which cannot produce salvation because that comes only from the second birth which requires the Holy Spirit. The fact that the water in verse 5 is not a reference to water baptism is further demonstrated in Acts 10.  The Gentiles, much to the surprise of the Jews, were saved by believing on Jesus.  The Holy Spirit testified of their new birth before they were baptized in water (Acts 10:2, 10:43-44, 10:48).