Author : Allen K Lee 
First published in 1982
Published by Word of Life Ministries


Many tracrts and booklets have been devoted to informing a lost and dying world of their need of spiritual rebirth.Few, however have been written to explain the reason why man must be born again. As the title indicates, this booklet is an endeavour to shed light on this topic. May God richly bless you as you read it

 

 

WHY YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN

Jesus said, ďI am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.Ē The life to which Jesus was referring was the very life and nature of God. To be a partaker of that life, you must be a member of Godís family; and to become a member of Godís family, you must be ďborn againĒ. the term born again was originated by Jesus. He said, ďVerily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.Ē He goes on to say in the same chapter that unless a man is born of the Spirit (born again), he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. We see from Godís word that being born again is a requirement which must be individually met before you can receive the life of God and enter into His kingdom.

What does it mean to be born again? Nicodemus, the man to who Jesus was speaking, found this term puzzling. He asked, ďHow an a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his motherís womb, and be born?Ē Jesus  answered, ďThat which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the spirit is spirit.Ē Still, a legitimate question would be: What does it mean to be born again? First, letís look at some things it does not mean. Being born again is not joining or belonging to a church. It is not being confirmed or baptized. It is not living a good, honest, moral life. Although these things should follow your rebirth experience, they are not the same as being born again. before explaining exactly what it means to be born again, the actual need for a spiritual rebirth should first be understood.

MANíS CREATION

 Thank God we are beginning to recognize manís three-part nature. Man is a spirit, he has a soul, and he lives in a  body. In the first chapter of Genesis we see that God created man in His own image and likeness. God is a Spirit; therefore, God created man a spirit being. The Amplified Bible states, ďGod formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath or spirit of life; and man became a living being.Ē It is very important that we understand what happened here. God took some of the dust of the earth ad fashioned or formed a physical body. God was not creating at this point. He simply took some of the dust He had previously created and molded it into a suit for the spirit-man Adam He had yet to create. He made an earth suit or physical vehicle in which Adam could operate as a spirit being in a physical environment.

If you could have seen this body prior to God breathing into it, you would have seen a lifeless mass, much like a dead person would appear. There was no life in the body until God breathed into his nostrils the spirit of life, and he then became a living being. The distinction we wish to make clear is the fact that life came into existence when the spirit-man was created, not the physical man. God formed Adamís body from the dust of the earth. The real Adam was spawned or created from the inside of God. Because of this, Adam had the very life and nature of God in his spirit. Remember, God said, ďLet us make man in our image, after our likeness.Ē Adam and God were very much alike. So much in fact, that the Bible says Adam was Godís son.

The life that was in Adam sprung forth from the innermost depths of God. Since Adam had Godís life and nature flowing in his spirit, he was alive unto God-he was alive spiritually. Why? Simply be cause he had life abiding in his spirit. Because of this, Adam was able to communicate and fellowship with God on a spiritual basis.

SPIRITUAL DEATH

God gave Adam dominion over His entire creation and instructed him to subdue and rule over al the works of His hands. In addition, he gave Adam freedom to fully enjoy all things. God placed only one restriction on Adamís liberty; he was forbidden to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God told Adam that the day he ate of the fruit of that tree, he would surely die.

In the third chapter of Genesis we see the arrival of Satan and temptation of Eve to eat of the forbidden fruit. Eve ďtook of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.Ē At this point sin entered manís world. Not only had Adam been instructed not to eat of the fruit but he had been given dominion over everything God had created. Since Satan was a created being, Adam had dominion over him. He could have exercised his God delegated authority and ordered Satan from his domain. Instead, he stood by and watched as Satan tempted his wife and caused her to sin and then followed her in sin.

Again, we need to clearly understand what took place at this point. Adam had been created to be obedient toward God in all things, and yet he had been given a freedom of choice. He had been created with God as his Lord, and yet he was free to choose his Lord, did he want to remain obedient and retain God as his Lord or submit himself to some other being and allow them to lord over him? The Bible says, ďKnow ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?Ē This is actually what Adam did. when Adam obeyed Satan rather than God, he committed spiritual high treason. He bowed his knee to the lordship of Satan and changed from Godís family to Satanís. Jesus, in talking to some of the religious people of His time, told them their father was the devil. Satan gained the dominion and authority that God had given Adam and, according to the Bible, became the god of this world.

Remember that God told Adam the day he ate of the fruit he would surely die. We know God was not referring to physical death because Adam lived several hundred years after this incident occurred. We also know that, since God does not lie, Adam died in some manner that very day. What then actually happened? Adam died spiritually. What is spiritual death? This question has intrigued many for centuries. We understand that physical death is the absence of life in the physical body. Spiritual death, in like manner, is an absence of life in the spirit. Where Adam once had Godís life and nature in his spirit, he now had the sin nature of Satan. Where he  once had light, he now had darkness where there once was life, death took up residence. The instant that Adam disobeyed God, the life that was in Adamís spirit departed. Light flowed out, and darkness flowed in. In the same manner that darkness is simply the absence of light, death is the absence of life. Under no circumstances had darkness ever overpowered even the smallest candle. As long as the candle burns, there is light. But the moment the light is extinguished, darkness flows in.

We see that Adam received within his spirit the nature of his new father, Satan. The law of sin and death replaced the law of life in Adamís spirit and the results of this act by one man passed upon all men. Spiritual death had lodged in manís spirit and was passed upon all men. Since all men had this death sentence passed upon them, there was no man born of the seed of Adam that could either redeem himself or anyone else from the penalty of sin. Try as he would with good works, religious rituals, etc., there was no way man could remove this death from his spirit. The only way this could be done would be to infuse his spirit with life Remember, darkness didnít overpower light nor death life. Death is the natural consequence of the absence of life, whether physical or spiritual. Therefore, the way to rid manís spirit of the death that was there would be to replace it with life. A major problem existed however: where would man get life? Could he go to his new lord Satan and receive it? No. Satan has no life, only death. Could man create his own life through good works, baptism, etc? No, life comes only from God. Therefore, the only place man could go to receive life was God.

What a plight. Man was dead spiritually-all men. This certainly was not Godís will, so He set out immediately to redeem man from this situation. God was faced with the problem of returning His life to manís spirit, and yet, by His very nature, He was required to do all that He did legally. Not only was there a problem of returning life to manís spirit but justice required that the penalty for manís disobedience be paid. God was required to judge manís sin, and justice sets a penalty. The penalty or payment for sin is death. Because death was a natural result of sin, God established the sacrificial system of using animals to take manís place when sin was committed. In this manner, the animals became manís substitute. (Hebrews 9:22 tells us that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.)

We need to understand that God was not looking for vengeance. He had, however, established the spiritual law that you reap what you sow and had informed Adam that all things, both spiritual and physical, operated on this principle. Each tree, plant, and animal produced after its own kind. Therefore, that which is sown is reaped. God had plainly instructed Adam if he sowed disobedience (sin) he would reap death. How then could it possibly be said that God had caused death and all the results of sin to come upon man. On the contrary, God had given Adam all the information he needed to be fully aware of the results of disobedience. Even after all this, Godís love was such that He set out to correct the situation that Adam had gotten himself and the entire human race into.

We have seen that God was looking for a way by which the penalty for sin could be legally paid and life could be returned to manís spirit. But the sacrifice of bulls and goats under the old covenant was only a temporary substitute for the payment due. Those sacrifices did not more than pay the interest on the debt. The principal remained untouched. The Bible tells us that those sacrifices could not rid manís spirit of the death that was there nor return Godís life to him. How then was God going to do this? Under the old covenant, the sacrifice of animals and the shedding of blood was required for the forgiveness of sins. In like manner, Jesus became the ultimate sacrifice for sin when He shed His blood on the cross. In paying the sin debt for the entire world, Jesus made it possible for God to return His life to manís spirit. Romans 5:18 states, ďAs one manís trespass-one manís false step and falling away - -[led] to condemnation for all men, so one Manís act of righteousness [leads] to acquittal and right standing with God, and life for all men.Ē (Amplified Bible)

How would man receive this life that God was now extending to him? According to Jesus, he must be born again or have a spiritual rebirth. Ezekiel 36:25-27 gives us a description of what happens when an individual is born again. it states, ďThen will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause your to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.Ē In this passage of scripture, God stated that He would cleans manís spirit to the extent that it would actually be a new spirit.

With Adam, God created the human spirit. In the new birth, God recreates the human spirit. Godís word says, ďTherefore if any man be in Christ (be born again) he is a new creature (new creation): old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.Ē What becomes new? Do you get a new body? No. Do you get a new mind? No, you get a new recreated spirit-created in righteousness and true holiness. Peter explained it in this manner, ďAccording as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.Ē Here it states that we might be partakers of Godís divine nature. What is Godís nature? It states in verse 3 that all the things given unto us by God pertain to life. That is the nature of God.

There is no substitute for being born again or having God replace the death and sin nature in your spirit with His life and nature. Going to church is not the answer. Being a good, moral person will not remove sin and death from your spirit. It takes the power of God and the blood of Jesus to remove the sin nature from your spirit and replace it with His nature.

In devising a way to return life to manís spirit, God did not overlook the fact that the penalty for manís sin had to be settled. As stated earlier, Jesus paid the entire sin debt for your sins and mine. The Bible teaches that the sins of the entire world were laid upon Jesus, and HE born them when He died on the cross. II Corinthians 5:21 goes on to say, ďFor He (God) hath made Him (Jesus) to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.Ē Jesus took your place and became your place and became your substitute through death so that you might receive His life. Although the first part of Romans 6:23 states that ďthe wages of sin is death,Ē it goes on to state, ďBut the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.Ē Godís very own life and nature are being offered to you as a free gift. Would you like to receive Godís life imparted to your spirit right now? You donít have to be in church. God will meet your need wherever you are. You might ask, ďWhat must I do to be saved or born again?Ē The answer to that question comes from Godís word.

WHAT MUST I DO TO BE BORN AGAIN?

The standard answer to this question is, ďBelieve on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shall be saved.Ē Although this statement is true, by itself it imparts little understanding to he reader. Romans 10:9-10 very clearly explains what one must do to be saved. It states, ďThat if thou shall confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shall be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.Ē Notice it explicitly states that if you do two things, you shall or will be saved. God, who con not lie, is speaking to you through these scriptures. He is stating that if you believe in your heart that Jesus died on the cross for your sins, was raised from the grave, and you are willing to make Him the Lord of your life; you shall be saved. Not maybe. On the integrity of Godís word, it would be impossible for you to do what is required here, and not be born again. let me make two points clear. Fist, you must believe in your heart, not in your head. Second, as an act of your will, you must make Jesus the Lord of your life. Many people misunderstand this second point. It does not mean that you say a quick prayer, and then return to your old way of living. Neither does it mean that once you have made this commitment, you will never make another mistake. It simply means you are willing to give Jesus control of your life, and submit to the things He desires of your rather than doing your own thing.

Just as Adam was created with a free will, and had a God given right to choose his lord, so do you. whether you want to admit it or not, if you have not made Jesus the Lord of your life, Satan is your lord. If you end this life without making Jesus Lord, you will spend eternity in hell. Are you willing to submit to the Lordship of Jesus? If so, God is willing to supernaturally impart to you His life. 

pray the following prayer If you are willing to make that commitment now,  pray the following prayer loud enough to hear yourself speaking:

Dear God, I come to your recognizing I am a sinner and that I have no way Of saving myself. Jesus, I receive You now as my Lord and Savior. From this moment on I commit Myself to you and promise to live for  And serve you. Satan, I renounce you and your works. You are no longer my lord. Thank you Father for saving me and giving me eternal life. In Jesus name, amen.

If you prayed this prayer sincerely and from your heart, God through the power of His Holy Spirit just saved you. You now have the very life and nature of God abiding in your spirit. You are a child of God. It is important for you to tell others what God has done for you. if someone asks you on what authority you believe you are saved, tell them you base your salvation on Romans 10:9-10 and the authority and integrity of Godís word.

WHAT NEXT?

Now that you are born again, there are several things of which you should be aware:

1.      You are now a child of God and have His life, His nature, and His ability abiding in your spirit or inner man.

2.      You should follow Jesus in baptism, and begin regular attendance in a scriptural sound church. Make sure the church you attend teaches Godís word and not manís traditions. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in this effort.

3.      Because you are now Godís child, He desires to meet your needs as you learn to trust Him for them.

4.      As a son or daughter, God will direct you through His word. It is important that you begin a daily study of the Bible. Before each session, ask the Holy Spirit to help your understanding. Begin reading in the New Testament with the four gospels, paying particular attention to Jesus and His ministry. Watch Him meet mankindís needs; both spirit, soul and body.

As a final note, we have been given a commission by Jesus that instructs us to go and make disciples for Him. We need to understand that the responsibility for getting the gospel to the unsaved lies with those of us who have received eternal life. As Jesus has commissioned, share your testimony with someone today.

 

further Reading:

a. Gospel that changes lives

b. 10 steps to a new Christian

c. Baptism

d. Personal Evangelism

Note : This article is posted here by G J Thimothy. Please pass your comments to jthimoth@cisco.com