Understanding & Communicating
the Born Again Experience
“There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh (1st birth); and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again (2nd birth).” John 3:1-7
The Bible speaks of 2 births not just one. Every person reading this message has been “born of the flesh” – when your mother’s water broke, you came forth and were birthed into the world and this is what is referred to here as “born of water” in verse 5 and also “that which is born of flesh” in verse 6. Being “born of water” or “of flesh” is the first birth, but to become a child of God and go to Heaven, one must be “born again” (again born) or experience the second birth which is spiritual not physical. There is no other way. This is a non-negotiable eternal truth.
- 1st Birth - “born of water.” Every human being is “born of water” when he comes forth from his mother’s womb (as her water breaks).
- 2nd Birth - “born…of the Spirit.” This happens as one is brought to repentance for his sins under the conviction of the Holy Ghost and chooses to fall upon the mercy of God through the shed blood of our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ who bled once for the sins of the world on the cross of Calvary. As that person confesses his sin and Christ as LORD, he is saved or born again. He arises a new creature in Christ and is never the same – he has a whole new life which bears fruit unto the LORD (2 Cor. 5:17-18).
Just “confessing Christ” is not enough. To be born again one must fully and without reserve throw himself upon the mercy of God as a hopeless sinner. Being born of the Spirit will always yield the fruit of a completely changed life - from the inside out and is the miracle of regeneration only the LORD Himself can do.
The “water” Jesus speaks of here when He spoke with this religious leader has nothing to do with water baptism. When the mother’s water breaks a child is “born of water.” He is then “born of the flesh” and in need of the second birth or being “born of the Spirit” or “born again.”
Recently I received an e-mail concerning being born again and water baptism. Here is a portion. The writer says:
“How can you say that Catholics are not born again? I mean, I'm not a Catholic, but the Catholics I know are all baptized. You mentioned John chapter 3, and I read it, and verse 5 says that we must be born of water and the Spirit. So, according to Jesus, the way we are born again is through being baptized. The verses you mentioned from Titus also seem to point at baptism with the ‘water of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.’ If Catholics are baptized, then how can you say they are not born again? Your statement doesn't make any sense to me. If we aren't born again through baptism, as the Bible seems to say pretty clearly, then how are we born again? What other ‘water’ are Jesus and Paul talking about in those texts? It sounds like baptism to me.”
Here is My Response:
First off no catholic gets baptized (the Bible way) only sprinkled (doctrine of men) at 8 days old. The Greek word for the biblical experience of being water baptized is BAPTIZO which means to dip, submerge; to make whelmed, fully wet. Baptism is a burial or full immersion. It signifies the complete immersion of the subject into the LORD and His death, burial and resurrection life. No child, below the age of accountability, is found being baptized or sprinkled in the Bible. No person in Scripture is found being water baptized before believing fully upon Jesus Christ alone for salvation and being born again which is the miracle of God inside of the person who repents, falling upon His mercy while calling upon the LORD to be saved (Acts 16:30-34; Rom. 10:9-13). Actually sprinkling or “christening” is not biblical at all but water baptism is. But water baptism does not save the soul. Water cannot and does not save any person from eternal hell, only the blood of Jesus can do that and the only way to contact His blood is through obedient faith (Rom. 5:1-2,9; Eph. 2:8-9; Heb. 9:22, etc.). Water baptism does no good until one is first saved by the blood. All one is doing is getting wet if he is water baptized without having been brought to full repentance and salvation which happens in the heart of men and not by wetting ones outer skin. Hell is full of people who got wet or “christened” in the name of the LORD but did not know Him which can only happen by obeying Him and being born again (Jn. 3:3, 7). Anyone who goes to Heaven instead of eternal damnation in hell (there is no purgatory) will do so by obeying the One who is the only door to Heaven (Jn. 10:1-9).
"For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace..." Titus 3:3-7
“Regeneration” here can only occur by the miracle of God. We are all born into this world “dead in trespasses and sins” according to Ephesians 2:1 and verse 8 says that our salvation is “that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” "The washing of regeneration" we see above in Titus 3:5 can only be done by the LORD and has nothing to do with dipping ones outer body in water (water baptism). If mere water could save ones soul, everyone who took a shower or bath would become a Christian. Look again at these words above in Titus 3 and that it is only "of the Holy Ghost" who is the third and divine Person of the Godhead that one can be regenerated or "born again." Because the spirits of men are born “dead” or separated from God because of sin, he must be generated to live again or generated again back to life (resuscitated). This is the ultimate form of mouth to mouth resuscitation - or bringing a dead person back to life. Being born again or regenerated is when Christ raises a person up from his dead state back to spiritual life where he is reunited in communion with God.
The Greek word for “Regeneration” here in Titus 3 is paliggenesia which is defined in the Strong’s Concordance this way: (spiritual) rebirth (the state or the act), i.e. (fig.) spiritual renovation; spec. Messianic restoration: - regeneration.
What happened on the cross? Why did Jesus Christ come to the earth? What was shed to wash away the sins of the world? – nothing but the blood of Jesus!
Can there possibly be the forgiveness of sin without the shedding of the sinless blood?
“And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.“ Hebrews 9:22
Any person or organization who says that it takes water to be saved is heretical and despises the very blood of the New Covenant.
At the end of Romans is a marvelous passage of how men have all sinned against the Almighty who is holy and exactly how individuals must be justified – “through faith in his blood.”
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” Romans 3:23-28
Romans 5:12 must be in the mind of the believer. The saint must possess a working knowledge of this fundamental truth or he will inevitably err. Jesus came on a mission from Heaven to pay the price for something. What is that something?
“Wherefore, as by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” Romans 5:12
We all died in Adam when he, the first man, sinned against our Maker. So, the Messiah was immediately and graciously promised and prefigured in the shedding of animal blood to cloak the man and woman (Gen. 3:15, 21). Our Redeemer would come and defeat sin and the evil one who caused the first sin and enable men to be alive unto God again, rescued and revived or resurrected from their spiritual dead state (Gen. 3:15; Matt. 1:21; Jn. 1:29). This is the re-generation or quickening spoken about in Scripture (Tit. 3:5-6; Rom. 8:11). To re-regenerate or to quicken is to make alive again, breath life into, or give life to.
“Regeneration” is when the LORD re-generates (generates again to life) or makes alive the dead soul that was born “dead in trespasses and sins”! This is where eternal life and the Christian life begin and not before. The unchanging and eternal Word of God said this is a “must.”
Beloved, remember that Jesus Christ told us: “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.” (Jn. 11:25-26) Christ raises to life those born dead in sin! Hallelujah! He resurrects the dead - bringing them back to life in His Spirit and grace to live lives pleasing to Him. There is no more glorious truth or miraculous experience than this one He came to give that we might know Him and His Father and be forever with them (Jn.17:3).
“But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken (make alive) your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” Romans 8:11
“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:4-7
“Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again (2nd birth).” John 3:1-7
Many have sought to re-define this all important, essential born again experience that Jesus told us all is a “must.” Water does not wash away sin, only the blood can do that. The Church of Christ denomination erroneously teaches that water baptism brings salvation. In this writer’s estimation this doctrine which denies the need of the very blood of Jesus is antichrist and makes the Church or Christ denomination a cult. The Roman Catholic Church has its own distorted redefining of what it means to be born again. These are diabolical heresies which seek to rob the truth from the hearts of men in order to misguide and mislead people to eternal damnation by the one who has come to steal and to kill and to destroy (Jn. 10:10). So, read God’s Word concerning this matter of being born again and let divine truth imbue your heart that you might understand and be instantly ready to share the blessed hope of this glorious Gospel of Christ (2 Tim. 4:2; 1 Pet. 3:15).
Most of the time one just needs to speak the Word and it is self-explanatory as the Holy Spirit is fully involved in each heart (Jn. 14:26; 16:13). Sometimes, due to the evil twisting of truth by pawns of the enemy, we must define and defend truth as the LORD has revealed it in His Word. The LORD has called each and every one of His children to be “able ministers of the New Testament.” (2 Cor. 3:6) Here is a good place to start in knowing and understanding the born again experience and being able to communicate the truth of it when needed. Write on an index card and memorize verses 3 and 7 of our text in John 3. These are the words of our LORD who is our Salvation:
“Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3
“Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again (2nd birth).” John 3:7
PRAYER: Father in Heaven, open up doors for the ministry of Your Word. Open the hearts of men as You bless me to communicate Your truth in Your love to those You send to me! Glory to God in the Highest! Lead men to be born again, a miracle You alone are capable of performing. Use me Jesus! Amen.
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