Bible Study-You Must Be Born Again

 You Must be Born Again
Listen to those words of our Lord Jesus, “You must be born again.”
Tell it to the sinful men as they struggle in their bondage and try
to rise to better things.  Proclaim the message to those who are
proud of their achievements and who trust in their own
strengths, “You must be born again!”

Nicodemus, one of Israel’s elders was greatly puzzled by our Lord’s
words.  When Jesus set before him the necessity of being born again,
Nicodemus asked, “How can these things be?”  This is a question many
have asked, when indeed this ought to be the question we all ask
ourselves, “Have I truly been born again?”

Jesus told Nicodemus, “Except a man be born of water and of the
Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God!”  For you to have a
new life in Christ, you must first let the old life die.  For this to
be accomplished – you must repent.

Acts 17:30 tells us, “And the times of this ignorance God winked at;
but now commandeth all men every where to repent.”  All have sinned
and come short of the glory of God.

Repentance is not just saying you’re sorry to Jesus, but it is
turning away from your sin.  Acts 3:19 says, “Repent ye therefore,
and be converted, that your sins may be blotted, out and when the
times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.”

I John 1:8-9 lets us know, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive
ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is
faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all
unrighteousness.”  God is faithful regardless of your sin, God is
faithful to forgive!

So How Are We Born Of Water?
In Matthew 28:18 Jesus said, “All power is given unto me in Heaven
and in earth.  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them
in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”

Some may tell you baptism and how it is administered doesn’t matter,
but let’s go to the Word.

Mark 16:15-16 “And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and
preach the gospel to every creature.  He that believeth and is
baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”

Acts 2:37-38 Peter preached the gospel unto them, “Now when they
heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and
the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?  Then
Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the
name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins...”

To remit means to take away.  Water in itself cannot take our sins
away, but our obedience unto Him unto death (by repentance) and
burial (by baptism) washes us according to God’s Word.

Luke 24:46-47 When Jesus was about to be taken up He gave His
disciples instructions about the new birth experience, “Thus it is
written and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the
dead on the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins
should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at
Jerusalem.”

What is His Name?
Peter preached to the High Priest, “Be it known unto you all, and to
all the people, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom
you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this
man stand here before you whole.  This is the stone which was set at
nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name
under Heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

Paul spoke to John’s disciples and questioned them, “Unto what then
were you baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.  Then said
Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying
unto the people, that they should believe on Him which should come
after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.  When they heard this they were
baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.”

How Are We Born Of The Spirit?
Jesus told Nicodemus, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh and
that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit.”

Listen to His next words, “Marvel not that I said unto thee, ye must
be born again.”  Jesus begins to describe that new birth
experience.  “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the
sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it
goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.”

Acts the second chapter tells us of this new birth experience, “And
when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one
accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from Heaven as
of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were
sitting.  And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of
fire, and it sat upon each of them.  And they were all filled with
the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit
gave them utterance.”

Many today will tell you this experience only happened on the Day of
Pentecost, but let’s go to the Word.  When the first Gentiles were
born again Peter described it to his fellow apostles, “Men and
brethren…God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth
should hear the gospel, and believe.  And God which knoweth the
hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did
unto us.”  (Acts 15:7-8)  And what witness did God give so that Peter
and his companions would know that those Gentiles were born again?
We are told, “They heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God.”

Speaking in tongues when we receive the Holy Ghost makes it possible
for unbelievers to know who has received God’s Spirit.  Because many
people claim to be of God, those who are seeking God can become
confused; therefore, “tongues are for a sign,” Paul affirmed, “to
them that believe not.”  (I Corinthians 14:22).  How the love of God
is revealed in this!  He has given a sign for those outside His
kingdom who want to be born again!

At the Last Supper, Jesus described the spiritual condition of those
who followed him but had not yet received the Spirit: “When a woman
gives birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come.  But when the
child is born, she no longer remembers the suffering because a man is
born into the world.  Therefore, you also now have sorrow, but I will
see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no one
takes from you.”  (John 16:21-22).

By comparing his disciples’ spiritual condition with a woman in the
pangs of childbirth, Jesus was telling them that the hour of their
spiritual birth was near.  The disciples had been conceived by the
Word of God that Jesus had sown into their hearts, and now they were
nearing the hour of their spiritual birth.  They were no longer of
the world (John 17:14); at the same time, they were not “in Christ”
(John 17:21).  They were “clean” under the Law (John 15:3), but they
were not yet sanctified (John 17:17, 19).  As much as their lives had
been made better by following Jesus, their greatest transformation,
the New Birth, was yet to come.

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