"Lord," I prayed, "give
me an opportunity to share Christ with my friend."
I had been building a
friendship with an expatriate from the U. S. His
mother was an Ecuadorian and he had married a
beautiful young Ecuadorian woman. Although he was
born and educated in the U. S., his parents brought
him to his mother's country every summer to visit
her family. Since I was a "ham" radio operator, he
enjoyed talking with his parents back in the U. S.
As our friendship grew I continued to pray the Lord
would open the door to share Jesus Christ with him.
That opportunity came one
Monday morning when he called on the phone and began
to share what had happened a couple of hours
The landlord of the
apartments where he and his wife lived asked him to
go into the shower of a neighbor's apartment to
check on him. The water had been running for quite
some time, and there was no answer at the door. He
went in and found his neighbor dead in the shower.
Medical examiners theorized his neighbor had
overdosed by accident on medication and had gone
into the shower to try to overcome the effects of
the medicine and died.
My friend continued, "I
stared death face to face this morning, and if I
die, I'll go straight to hell."
I listened patiently to
him and I began to share with him from the Word of
God some good news in Jesus Christ. I explained to
him that God loves us, sent His Son to die for us on
the cross and that if we put our faith in Him He
would give us eternal life. "For God so loved the
world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that
whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have
eternal life" (John 3:16). We talked about sin and
the consequences of being a sinner. I shared the
fact that "while we were still helpless, at the
right time Christ died for the ungodly," and that
"God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that
while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us"
(Romans 5:6, 8). As I listened to Louis, I could
sense that the Holy Spirit was speaking to him. I
stressed, Louis "if you confess with your mouth
Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God
raised him from the dead, you shall be saved; for
with the heart man believes, resulting in
righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses,
resulting in salvation" (Romans 10:9-10).
He listened with
discernment and sensitivity and quietly said, "Wil,
I need to think about it some more. But you be
praying for me."
Before I hung up the
phone I told him I would get some of my colleagues
and we would be praying until he put his faith in
Christ as his Savior.
I didn't hear from him
the next day. On Tuesday morning when I arrived at
my office at 7:00 AM he was outside the door pacing
back and forth. "I didn't think you would ever get
We sat and talked about
those passages in the Bible that explain God's way
of salvation by grace alone through faith alone in
Christ alone. My friend believed on Christ as his
Savior. It was beautiful to see a man dead in his
trespasses and sins receive spiritual life. Right
before my eyes I saw a man be "born again."
A little while later as
we walked down the sidewalk in front of my office,
he turned to me and said, "Wow! You didn't tell me
I'd feel like this!" I said that I did not want to
put the emphasis on feelings, but on Christ. We are
saved, not by an experience, but by Christ. No two
experiences are alike. Nevertheless, there comes a
moment when the Holy Spirit brings us under
conviction of our unbelief and our need for the
Savior and causes us to put our faith and trust in
Christ alone to save us.
John chapter three takes
us to the very heart of the teaching of Jesus on
spiritual birth. Man is dead in sin and is in the
need of a spiritual birth. We cannot respond to the
things of God unless we have been born again. We see
that birth beautifully illustrated in the man
THE MAN NICODEMUS
Nicodemus was a man of
distinction and outstanding character. He was
intelligent, honest and upright. John in his gospel
tells us: "Now there was a man of the Pharisees,
named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; this man came
to Jesus by night and said to Him, "Rabbi, we know
that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one
can do these signs that You do unless God is with
him" (John 3:1-2).
Jesus was becoming
popular with the people. No doubt, Nicodemus, who
was a member the Sanhedrin, had heard about Jesus.
Perhaps he came at night so he could have a private
meeting with Jesus and ask all the questions he
wanted to ask. Jesus trusted Nicodemus (contrast
What do we know
He was a religious man.
We know that he took his religion seriously because
he was a member of the Pharisees sect. They were
strict, narrow, traditionalists who were at times
He was "a ruler of the
Jews." He was one who is first or preeminent among
his associates. He stood in a high position among
the ruling class in Jerusalem. This would indicate
that he was a member of the Sanhedrin.
Nicodemus was a man of
discernment is seen in his estimation of Jesus. "We
know that You have come from God as a teacher." He
did not jump in to condemn Jesus because of
prejudicial ideas and motives. He was open-minded
and wanted to hear Jesus personally. Nic was
discerning. "No one can do these things that You do
unless God is with him."
He was a cautious man. He
came by night. I think he came to have a private
time with Jesus in the quietness of the night away
from those who would distract. He probably wanted a
private interview so no one could interrupt them. It
would be one rabbi talking to another rabbi about
the kingdom of God.
Nicodemus also had a
passion for justice. John 7:45-52 fills us in on an
intense discussion going on between the Jewish
leaders and the Pharisees. Nic stood up and asked,
"Our Law does not judge a man, unless it first hears
form him and knows what he is doing, does it?" They
didn't like his question. They replied, "You are not
also from Galilee, are you? Search, and see that no
prophet arises out of Galilee." Nic stood the ground
alone, but it ended the discussion that day.
Here was a sincere man
with a sincere hunger for truth. How would Jesus
deal with a man such as Nicodemus?
THE MESSAGE TO
Jesus and Nicodemus
face to face (vv. 2-3).
Nicodemus' estimate of
Jesus is that he is a teacher who has come from God.
One of the criteria for him was "no one can do these
signs that You do unless God is with him." John uses
a word for "signs" that means "attesting miracles."
They are tokens of divine authority that always
points to the supernatural power of God in redeeming
grace through Jesus Christ. Nicodemus looked,
listened and saw God behind Jesus' teachings and
We also see Jesus'
estimate of Nicodemus in verse three. Jesus looked
at him and said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless
one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of
Jesus recognized a man
who was sincere in his quest of the kingdom of God.
Nevertheless, He also recognized that Nicodemus was
a spiritual failure in spite of all his religious
knowledge and enthusiasm.
What does Jesus
mean by "born again"?
The idea is that of a
spiritual birth. The new birth is the communication
of spiritual life to that which is spiritually dead.
The new birth is the commencement of something
entirely new. It is a new life giving principle and
therefore a second birth. It is a spiritual birth,
or a new creation. It is something that God alone
can do. A. W. Pink said it well,
The unregenerate sinner
is in darkness, the darkness of spiritual death. The
Holy Spirit moves upon, broods over, the conscience
and heart of the one He is about to quicken. The
Word of God goes forth in power. The result is
"light"––the sinner is brought out of darkness into
God's marvelous light. The Holy Spirit, then, is the
One who produces the new birth.
The new birth is not a
renovation of an old sinful life. It is not a
reformation of social behavior. It is entirely the
supernatural act of God giving spiritual life to a
person in response to faith in Christ.
When we are born
naturally, we receive natural or physical life; when
we are born from above, we receive spiritual or
The apostle Paul wrote
about this spiritual birth. He said, "Therefore if
any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old
things passed away; behold, new things have come" (2
Corinthians 5:17). It is indeed a radical change.
However, it is not something man can do. God alone
can do it. Jesus said, "For just as the Father
raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son
also gives life to whom He wishes" (John 5:21).
The new birth is also
called spiritual "regeneration." It means the Holy
Spirit originates eternal life, which comes into the
believer in Christ at the very moment he believes on
Christ. It is the instantaneous change from a state
of spiritual death to a state of spiritual life. It
is the creative work of God, specifically the Holy
Spirit. The basic idea is that a believer who was
formerly spiritually dead now has received eternal
life. The believer is declared to be "alive from the
dead" (Romans 6:13). "Even when we were dead in
trespasses, [God] made us alive together with Christ
(by grace you are saved), and raised up with Him,
and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in
Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 2:5-6). "Born again"
believers in Christ have received by faith a new
life in Christ. This new life is entirely a
supernatural act of God in response to our faith.
J. I. Packer defines
"Regeneration, or new birth, is an inner re-creating
of fallen human nature by the gracious sovereign
action of the Holy Spirit (John 3:5-8) . . . .
Regeneration is the 'birth' by which this work of
new creation is begun, as sanctification is the
'growth' whereby it continues (1 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter
B. B. Warfield said our
salvation is "a radical and complete transformation
wrought in the soul (Rom. 12:2; Eph. 4:24) by God
the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5; Eph. 4:24), by virtue of
which we become 'new men' (Eph. 4:24; Col. 3:10), no
longer conformed to this world (Rom. 12:2; Eph.
4:22; Col. 3:9), but in knowledge and holiness of
the truth created after the image of God (Eph. 4:24;
Col. 3:10; Rom. 12:2)."
We experience the results
of the new birth. It is instantaneous with our
salvation. We need to make clear that this
experience is the evidence of the spiritual birth.
It is not the regeneration itself. What we
experience are the results of the new birth. Let me
When a brilliant young
highly educated graduate of Manchester University
came to Christ there was a radical change in her
life. I shared Christ with a graduate student in
psychology. She came up with every pseudo question
conceivable. Then one night she said, "Wil, you have
shot down every argument with solid answers. I am
ready to yield to Christ." In those moments, she
came deeply under conviction of her sin and
unbelief. The Holy Spirit made it imperatively clear
to her that Christ alone could save her through His
death for all her sins. She acknowledged in her own
heart: "All of us like sheep have gone astray, each
of us has turned to his own way; but the LORD has
caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him"
(Isaiah 53:6). The Holy Spirit brought a deep
conviction of sin and the reality of Christ's death
for her. My friend put her faith in Christ alone to
save her. In that moment she was born spiritually.
Her face was bathed with tears when she believed on
Christ to save her.
A few minutes later she
exclaimed, "Peace! Peace! I've never experienced
such peace in all my life!"
Some individuals light up
like a 1,000 watt light bulb when they see the
"light" of the truth of Jesus Christ and trust in
Him. Others get excited and cry. Many show no
emotion, but a deep sense of peace and forgiveness.
No two people have the same experiences. But they
know when the Holy Spirit brings new life to them.
It is personal and it is life changing because it is
the work of God.
Jesus said, Nick you have
to be born again. You must have a new birth. It is
the production of a new life consecrated to God. It
is a radical change of mind for the better. It's
regeneration. It is the communication of spiritual
life to that which is spiritually dead. It is the
"baptism of the Spirit," the commencement of
something new. Someone has said, "It is a crisis
with view to a process; a rebirth with the prospect
of a constant renewal." The Bible also calls it
"regeneration." This spiritual birth is the
supernatural act of God in response to faith. The
experience is evidence of regeneration, but not
regeneration itself. We experience the results of
the spiritual birth. However, the regeneration
itself is not an experience.
When a person receives
Christ by faith, he is born again and in the act of
the new birth receives a new nature. This new nature
is patterned after the nature of God. That is why it
is described as being born from above, born again or
regenerated. It is God's kind of life; therefore,
the believer can experience true intimate fellowship
The apostle Paul wrote to
Titus reminding him that Christ "saved us, not on
the basis of deeds which we have done in
righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the
washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy
Spirit, whom he poured out upon us richly through
Jesus Christ our Savior, that being justified by His
grace we might be made heirs according to the hope
of eternal life" (Titus 3:5-7).
Paul has in mind the same
idea that Jesus told Nicodemus. The "new birth" is a
spiritual regeneration. It is the inception of a new
state of things in contrast with the old. God gives
us a new life, a new birth, new creation, a heavenly
birth, a spiritual resurrection. Every believer
receives a new supernatural life from God the moment
he or she puts their faith in Christ alone to save
them. It is the beginning of eternal life.
This new life in Christ
begins the very moment a person puts their faith in
Christ and it continues throughout eternity. It
doesn't begin when you die and go to heaven. It
begins now. It begins the moment you believe on
Christ to save you.
Not only do we see Jesus
and Nicodemus face to face, but we also see them
head to head.
Jesus and Nicodemus
head to head (vv. 4-8)
Jesus uses four
comparisons to bring out this great truth to
Nicodemus. Jesus contrasts physical birth with the
spiritual birth. Then He will contrast the wind and
Jesus was speaking about
spiritual things. Nic couldn't get beyond the
physical. Jesus answered and said to him, "Truly,
truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he
cannot see the kingdom of God." Nicodemus said to
Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? He
cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb
and be born, can he?" (vv. 3-4).
Jesus responded by
drawing out a contrast between the physical birth
and the spiritual birth. He made a statement about
the spiritual birth in verse three. "Truly, truly, I
say unto you, unless one is born again he cannot see
the kingdom of God." Whenever you see the double
statement, "truly, truly" in the Gospel of John pay
particular attention because Jesus is going to make
a crucial statement regarding eternal life. It is
literally, amen, amen. For certain, for certain,
Jesus repeated the double
statement again in the next verse with added
emphasis to introduce His first illustration. Jesus
said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is
born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into
the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh
is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is
spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, 'You
must be born again.'" (vv. 5-7).
Remember that Jesus is
illustrating the spiritual birth with the physical
birth. How is one born of water? Is He saying you
are born spiritually by baptism? No. The "born of
water" is probably referring to the piercing and
breaking of the water bag at the birth of a baby. An
infant is born in water. The bag is broken and the
child is born. It has no reference to water baptism
or baptismal regeneration.
How is one born
Moreover, the water is
part of the illustration Jesus is using to bring out
the truth about spiritual birth. Examine carefully
these words of Jesus when He spoke to the woman of
Samaria at Jacob's well. "Everyone who drinks of
this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of
the water that I will give him shall never thirst;
but the water that I will give him will become in
him a well of water springing up to eternal life"
(John 4:14). Jesus is contrasting the stale,
stagnant water from Jacob's cistern with spiritual
water that is leaping up, gushing up to eternal
life. The contrast is clear. Jesus gives spiritual
water that issues in eternal life. Whatever water
means here, it is exactly the same in John chapter
three. Here Jesus tells us that eternal life is
received when we drink of the water that Jesus
gives. In John chapter 3, we are said to be born of
the water and the Spirit. To be born again and to
receive eternal life are really the same thing.
Again, we find Jesus in
the Temple at the feast of the Tabernacles. Jesus
stood and cried out in the Temple: "If anyone is
thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who
believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his
innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'"
What was He teaching? John tells us in the very next
verse, "But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those
who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit
was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet
glorified" (John 7:37-39). He is illustrating with
water the spiritual life that the Holy Spirit gives
the believer. The water of life is the good news of
Jesus Christ coming down from heaven to save lost
sinners who put their trust in Him for eternal life.
That is the living water. Receive it, take it into
your heart, and you will be born of water and of the
writings, and in many other parts of the Bible,
water is the recognized symbol of the Word of God.
The new birth is by the Word and the Holy Spirit.
This is the washing of regeneration and renewing of
the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit takes the Word of
God and uses it to produce the new life. It is by
the Word that we are born again and the Word washes
Peter declared to
believers, "You have been born again, not of seed
which is perishable but imperishable, that is,
through the living and abiding word of God" (1 Peter
The Holy Spirit applies
the Word of God to the heart of the unbeliever to
bring about a quickening of spiritual things. He
convicts of sin, righteousness and judgment to bring
the sinner to faith in Christ. You are born again by
the Holy Spirit "through the living and abiding word
of God." The Holy Spirit is the author of spiritual
life. Cf. Titus 3:4-7.
The same idea is found in
Ephesians 5:26 where Paul is talking about the
church. He uses the expression, "washing of water
with the word." Metaphorically, being regenerated is
pictured as being cleansed by water. Again, he is
not referring to baptismal regeneration, but to the
work of the Holy Spirit.
Only those who believe in
Christ unto salvation are the sons of God in a
spiritual sense. It is by regenerating work of the
Spirit the believer is made a legitimate child of
God. No one is a child of God by their natural birth
(cf. John 8:44; Ephesians 2:1-3).
Physical birth is one
thing, and spiritual birth is an entirely different
matter. They do not take place at the same time.
Jesus reinforced the thought a third time in verse
seven, "Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must
be born again or from above." Note the importance
Jesus placed on this spiritual birth, or heavenly
Unless one is born
again, he cannot see the kingdom of God (v. 3).
Truly, truly, I say to
you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he
cannot enter into the kingdom of God (v. 5).
Do not marvel that I said
to you, "You must be born again" (v. 7).
It is hard to miss, isn't
it? Jesus demanded a spiritual birth for everyone.
Since Nic was having a
hard time with birth as an illustration He went on
to give insight to the work of the Holy Spirit in
regeneration by reminding him of the wind (v. 8).
Perhaps they could feel the fresh, cool breeze
wrestling through the olive trees. Jesus said, "The
wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of
it, but do not know where it comes from and where it
is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit."
There is a beautiful
wordplay in the original. Jesus used the word
pneuma which means both wind and Spirit. You
can't see the Holy Spirit (pneuma). He is
invisible and His work is strange like the blowing
of a powerful wind (pneuma). Nic you see the
effects of the wind blowing and you hear it in the
wrestling of the leaves, but you don't know where it
is coming from or where it is going. You can't see
it. The same thing is true with the Holy Spirit as
He works in the heart. You can't see Him, but He is
there bringing spiritual life to the believing
sinner. Jesus said to the woman at the well, "God is
Spirit; and those who worship Him must worship in
spirit and truth" (4:24).
In this passage we see
Nicodemus and Jesus face to face, head to head and
heart to heart.
Jesus and Nicodemus
heart to heart (vv. 9-16).
Nicodemus sounded a lot
like his kin in our day. He asked Jesus, "How can
these things be?" (v. 9). Jesus replied, "Are you a
teacher of Israel, and do not understand these
things?" (v. 10). Jesus is patient with Nic. You are
one of the most significant and often quoted,
powerful, influential teachers in Israel. How can
you miss it, Nic? I am telling you from experience
what I know to be true.
Jesus continued with His
contrast of earthly things and spiritual truths.
"Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak that which we
know, and bear witness of that which we have seen;
and you do not receive our witness. If I told you
earthly things and you do not believe, how shall you
believe if I tell you heavenly things? And no one
has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from
heaven, even the Son of Man" (vv. 11-13).
Jesus told Nicodemus that
the new birth is an experience that effects the
whole person. Jesus said in effect, "Nicodemus it is
spiritual, it deals with heavenly things, it is not
legalistic, it is not composed of rituals. It is
spiritual. It is from heaven. God does it. The very
moment you believe on Jesus as your personal savior
you receive a spiritual birth. It is the work of the
Holy Spirit in every person who believes on Christ.
It is His work, not man's work.
One of the finest
individuals I ever met was a young man who worked as
a Peace Core volunteer on a Special Olympic project
in South America. He was completely blind since his
third birthday. He was a student in one of my
classes on the Beatitudes and Spiritual Growth. He
wanted to interview me for a magazine article he was
writing on self-acceptance and self-esteem.
I have a strong
conviction that you cannot have adequate self-esteem
without an intimate love relationship with Jesus
Christ. As we were discussing these spiritual truths
the Holy Spirit said to me, "Ask him, Wil." There
was that profound sense of His presence with us.
Again, "Ask him, Wil!"
I said, "Mickey, do you
know what I am talking about?" His response was,
I changed the topic of
our conversation and shared with Mickey some good
news in Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit was working
profoundly in the heart of Mickey making him aware
of his sins and his need for Jesus Christ. He put
his faith in Jesus Christ to save him for all
eternity. He was "born again." It was a spiritual
birth. This blind man saw the light of the Lord
Jesus Christ and was beautifully saved from his
darkness of sin and unbelief.
Jesus gave another
illustration this time from the Old Testament
wilderness experiences of people of Israel (Numbers
21:9). "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the
wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted
up; that whoever believes may in Him have eternal
life" (vv. 14-15). Probably Nic didn't understand
fully what Jesus was saying until God lifted Jesus
up from the dead. Nic removed the body of Jesus from
the cross (John 19:39). He saw with his own eyes
that Jesus was dead. No doubt, his mind went back to
those private conversations with Jesus.
THE MESSAGE OF JESUS
TO US TODAY
We are all dead in
our sin of unbelief until a spiritual birth takes
Spiritual birth and
physical birth do not take place at the same time.
When Adam sinned it had a profound effect upon all
mankind. Just because we are alive physically does
not mean we are alive spiritually. We need to be
born again because we are spiritually dead. We are
unresponsive to the things of God, until we receive
a spiritual birth.
The Bible says, "For all
have sinned and come short of the glory of God." We
have all received an "F" on our spiritual report
card. It goes on to tell us that we have a penalty
that must be paid for our sins. "The wages of sin is
death." "The soul that sins will surely die." The
apostle Paul was serious when he wrote, "And you
were dead in your trespasses and sins. . . But God,
being rich in mercy because of His great love with
which He loved us, even when we were dead in our
transgressions, made us alive together with Christ
(by grace you have been saved) . . ." (Ephesians
Unless you are born
again you cannot enter the kingdom of God.
Spiritual birth is not an
option. It is a divine necessity. You don't have a
choice if you want to go to heaven. Spiritual birth
is a must. It is as great a miracle as the raising
of the dead. It is God the Spirit giving life to the
spiritually dead. There is no other way of going to
heaven. There is no other way of entering into the
kingdom of God.
You cannot join the
family of God. You must be born into it. It is the
work of the Holy Spirit, not the work of man. It is
not "making your decision for Christ." It is not
"come on down the aisle today and be saved." It is
not whipping yourself up to a certain emotional
pitch. It is not becoming religious. It is not
morality and keeping the golden rule. It is not, "I
trying my best to be a good person, preacher." It is
not, "I'm trying to live the Christian life as best
I can." It is not moral and social reformation. It
is not waiting until you are worthy. It is not
waiting until you think you can live up to it. Man's
religious creeds, systems, rituals or ceremonies do
not bring it about. No man made organization can do
anything to you that will make you a child of God.
Only God's will can regenerate a dead person and
enable that individual to trust only in Christ and
His work of redemption. Spiritual life does not
begin by "getting religion." It begins with the Holy
Spirit bringing spiritual life through a spiritual
birth. Only God can do that. He performs a miracle
and you are born again!
Just as the new birth is
not baptismal regeneration, it is not decisional
regeneration. Unless you have been made a partaker
of the divine nature, you are not saved. God works
by His Spirit a work of grace through faith in Jesus
Christ giving you a new heart and a new nature
enabling you to trust in, to believe on, to rest in,
to receive Him as your savior. When you are born
again you begin living a new life with new attitudes
toward the Lord Jesus Christ and His Word. If God
has not done a work in your life you are not born
"As many as received Him,
to them He gave the right to become children of God,
even to those who believe in His name, who were born
not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of
the will of man, but of God" (John 1:12-13).
The Holy Spirit
brings about spiritual birth the very moment you
believe on Christ.
The very moment you put
your faith in Jesus Christ as your personal Savior
you are born again. A spiritual birth takes place
when the Holy Spirit causes you to turn from walking
in sin and unbelief and you confess to Him your need
of Jesus Christ to save you. He brings you to an
understanding that Jesus Christ died for you on the
cross and the very moment you believe on Him you are
saved. In that moment a spiritual birth takes place,
and you are "born again."
Jesus went on to explain
to Nicodemus: "For God so loved the world, that He
gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in
Him shall not perish, but have eternal life" (v.
I told you earlier about
my friend in Quito. After he accepted Christ as his
Savior he went home and shared his new found faith
with his wife. She too believed on Christ as her
He had a good friend and
fellow student in the university. He became burdened
for his friend who had come to South America looking
for cheap recreational drugs. He had been to
Amsterdam and other cities in Europe during the 60's
seeking freedom to use illicit drugs. My friend
began to pray daily for his colleague.
A few months after my
friend believed on Christ he was interviewed on
missionary radio station HCJB. He invited his
colleague to come and sit in the studio while he was
guest on the live program. I sat in the studio as we
listened to the interview going on in the control
room next door.
As this university
student listened to my friend he exclaimed, "Man, I
knew something had happened to him, but I couldn't
figure out what it was. Now I know. I want what he
I turned said to him,
"You can right now."
I shared the same good
news I have shared with you today. For God so loved
you, that He gave His only begotten Son, that
whoever––you, me, anyone––who believes on Him should
not perish, but have eternal life. "For God so loved
the world (place your own name there), that He gave
His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him
should not perish, but have eternal life." By simple
faith he asked Christ to be his Savior. You can too.
God loves you and wants you to enjoy eternity with
Him. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ to die for you on
the cross. He did everything that needs to be done
for you to be saved. The one thing you must do is
believe that Christ died for you on the cross and
rose from the dead.
The new birth is
the foundation for eternal security.
The new birth as we have
stressed in this study is a work of God, not of man.
It is not dependent upon any human merit,
worthiness, goodness, etc. The only requirement is
to believe, trust, or put your faith in Jesus
Christ. That is not a work. It is only receiving
that which God gives in His grace and mercy. You
cannot reverse a spiritual birth. Once you have been
born again you will always be in God's family, as
His child. It is a once-for-all divine work whereby
the sinner, who before was only "flesh" is made
"spirit." It is an event, not a process. Prior to a
certain point in time, a person is not born again,
however after that point in time the person is. At
that point he is a member of God's family. He will
always be your Heavenly Father. He will never disown
you. Faith is only a channel through which God can
work in our lives. Our eternal security depends on
the work of God, not man.
The apostle James reminds
us: "Every good thing bestowed and every perfect
gift is from above, coming down from the Father of
lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting
shadow. In the exercise of His will He brought us
forth by the word of truth, so that we might be, as
it were, the first fruits among His creatures"
(James 1:17-18). God "brought us forth" like a
mother giving birth to a child. We have been
"brought forth" into a living relationship with God
"by the word of truth." You think God is going to
fail on that? No way! You are a member of His family
the moment you receive Christ as your Savior. That
is the greatest assurance in an insecure world. I
will stake eternity on Jesus Christ and what He did
for me. There is no other way of entering into the
family and kingdom of God. Please believe on Him
"He who has the Son has
life; he who does not have the Son of God doesn't
have life" (1 John 5:12).
Title: John 3:1-16 You
Must Be Born Again
Series: People in Life of