John 3:1–3 (NKJV) — 1 There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” 3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Earlier this morning I was watching one of Billy Graham’s crusade messages. He continually stated, “You must be born again.”
The new birth. It is not a physical birth. It is spiritual. Each person conceived in the mother’s womb has physical life. There is an end to physical life. The spirit lives on. If one has not been born again the spiritual life does not end. It is not annihilated. The spirit of the one born lives into eternity. Nicodemus came seeking Jesus. Before he could ask Jesus a question Jesus answered the unasked question many have today. “What must I do to have eternal life?”
Jesus’ answer to Nicodemus was twofold:
- The birth must be complete. We cannot just accept Christ with our mouth. Paul writes in Romans 10:9–10, “ that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
- This is obvious…Jesus is not speaking of a natural birth. The birth is spiritual. Once a child is born he cannot go back into the mother’s womb. The Christian cannot go back into the old life. Paul wrote to the Galatian church, Galatians 4:9 — “9 But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? Hebrews 6:4–6 states, “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.”
As in the physical birth the spiritual birth is that of a person. The birth is complete, there is no going back. There is no desire to go back into the mother’s womb. “Born Again”.