You Must Be Born Again – John 3
It’s Absolute Necessity
Presented at Sovereign Grace Fellowship, Boscawen, NH
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You may follow along through the notes provided below.
John 3:1-7 (ESV)
Now 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 him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’
Intro: Two Births (The real facts of Life)
No one can truly know God and go to heaven unless they have TWO BIRTHS.
The “first” birth is the PHYSICAL BIRTH. That occured when you were born into this world from your mother and father.
When Jesus speaks of being “born of water,” he is speaking about the physical birth (NOT baptism). When he speaks of the “second” birth he is speaking of a SPIRITUAL BIRTH, which is to be born of (made alive by) the Spirit of God. This can only happen when God gives spiritual life.
1. Why does a person need to be born spiritually?
We need to be born again spiritually because Adam, our first father, lost his spiritual life when he rebelled against God. God commanded Adam and Eve, our first mother and father, not to eat of the forbidden tree in the Garden of Eden.
Genesis 2:17 (ESV)
…but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
Interestingly, Adam and Eve DIDN’T die physically right away on the day they ate the fruit and disobeyed God’s command.
But! They died SPIRITUALLY the moment they rebelled against their God and Creator. Their sin brought death to their human family like an incurable and fatal disease.
2. How dead are we without the second birth?
We are spiritually dead when we are born in the flesh; that is, we are born into this world without a spirit that is alive to God.
Since Adam and Eve lost their spiritual life when they sinned not one person has ever born into this world spiritually alive to God.
The only exception is the Lord Jesus Christ Who came as God in the flesh (1Timothy 3:16).
Our spirit then, is dead, in trespasses and sin. The Bible says…
Ephesians 2:1-2 (ESV)
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—
A. Nicodemus, as a teacher of Israel should have known this vital spiritual truth.
See also Deuteronomy 10:12-22 & 30:6ff
3. Unless a person is born spiritually they cannot relate to God.
The reason why you need to be “spiritually” born is because you have never been spiritually born to begin with. So when the Bible speaks of being “born again,” it actually means “born for the second time.” Those who are dead spiritually are dead to God.
1 Corinthians 2:14 (ESV)
“The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.”
You were born physically into this world, but you were born spiritually dead.
Spiritually dead = you are not God’s child spiritually!
He hasn’t fathered you. Thus, God MUST give YOU spiritual life!
4. To have the second birth God must give you spiritual life.
To be born “spiritually” means that God’s Holy Spirit “quickens” (makes alive) our dead spirit. That is what’s called “regeneration.”
God alone can give you a spiritual birth. Man made religion cannot impart spiritual life to anyone who is spiritually dead. We are also helpless to make you born again.
In this age, when you become born-again spiritually, God’s Holy Spirit takes up residence in your body and by doing so he gives you assurance that you are saved. This is the secret work of God in man.
1 Corinthians 3:16 (ESV)
Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?
5. New Birth brings New Life in Christ
When your are “born again” God will never leave, and you will understand new (spiritual) things for the first time in your life…
Hebrews 13:5b (ESV)
“I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
When a sinner believes on the Lord Jesus as their Savior, trusting Him alone to forgive all their sin—then God the Father and God the Son come into their (your) heart in the form of God the Holy Spirit.
John 14:23 (ESV)
Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.
6. The “Holy Spirit” is “God within us.”
God’s Word tells us that in this age of grace the Spirit of Christ lives within every believer. We are not God, but we have God’s Spirit living in our body. God (Father, Son & and Holy Spirit) indwells every believer.
Romans 8:9 (ESV)
You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.
But there is more, much more in store for you if God gives you new life in Jesus Christ!
2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV)
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
7. When you are Born Again the Holy Spirit of God will also:
- love you (with a deeper and greater love than all others, etc.)
- strengthen you (to overcome the sinful desires of your flesh, etc.)
- guide you (in the path that is best for you, etc.)
- comfort you (even when no one else knows your hurt, etc.)
- teach you “His ways” (to ensure your spiritual growth in Jesus Christ, etc.)
- rebuke you (when you need a stern word from a loving Father, etc.)
- chastise you (when you need to be disciplined, etc.)
- convict you (when you are guilty of wrong doing, etc.)
- encourage you (even if you don’t think you need to be encouraged, etc.)
- empower you (to obey and please Him, etc.)
- and so much more.
The Holy Spirit uses the Word of God to speak to his born again children. It is critically important for every Born Again believer to practically live in their Bibles. (examples; Personal Bible reading, Bible Study, Fellowship, etc.)
1 Peter 2:2-3 (ESV)
Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.
How then can I be Saved and be made right with God? Listen to Peter’s command and then his affirmation that if they would but obey the command to repent and be baptized God would provide them with the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 2:36-41 (ESV)
Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” 37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” 40 And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” 41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.
John 6:40 (ESV)
For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
So then, Why must you be Born Again? Because Jesus says; “You MUST be Born Again!” Are you born again?