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 are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” – John 1:1-3
Born Again – Meaning
Literally, the English phrase “born again” is the Greek “to be born from above.” The ancient Greek word translated again (anothen) can be also translated “from above.” Therefore, to be born from above is to be born again.
To be born again means to be changed by God into a new creature. “Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come,” (2 Cor. 5:17). There is a spiritual change. A new start. Our old life is to be changed into a new life in Jesus Christ. We are enlightened spiritually to what is right and what is good. We accept the truths found in the Bible as the Word of God.
Essentially, this means to have new life. It is called regeneration in theology. It isn’t simply a moral or religious reform, but the bringing of new life. “To belong to the heavenly kingdom, one must be born into it.” (Tenney)
“If we were asked to read to a dying man who did not know the gospel, we should probably select this chapter as the most suitable one for such an occasion; and what is good for dying men is good for us all, for that is what we are; and how soon we may be actually at the gates of death, none of us can tell.” – Charles Spurgeon
- Describe Nicodemus?
- well respected, man integrity, learned, people look up to him, a ruler, highly accomplished scholar
- a ruler of the Jews — A member of the great council, termed the sanhedrim
- Nicodemus was afraid, or ashamed to be seen with Christ, therefore came in the night.
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, “Most assuredly, 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.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” – (John 3:4-8)
2. Birth is the beginning of life; to be born again, is to begin to live anew, as those who have lived much amiss, or to little purpose. We must have a new nature, new principles, new affections, new aims. There a great change made in the heart of a sinner, by the power of the Holy Spirit.
3. “The intellectual asks, “How can a man be born twice?” If anyone is to find the answer to his search, he must reject much of his old system and plunge into a new one. He will see the possibility of what he thought was impossible.”
4. Born of water means to be born again by the Word of God. In other passages of Scripture, water represents the Word, as we are washed by the water of the word (Ephesians 5:26). It is to be regenerated by the Holy Spirit, the living water of John 7:38-39.
Be Born Again – Billy Graham Classic Sermon (Seattle WA 1976)
LOST IN THE MOUNTAIN STORY
“When you find yourself lost in the mountains, never go down—always go up. At the top of the ridge you can get your bearings and find your way again.”
We can become lost in the mountain of life. We have two choices; we can either go down and get caught in drugs, depression, emptiness, and confusion, or we can keep heading up. The direction we go will determine whether we find ourselves or not.
In this Age of Quest the most important is our personal search for answers concerning life and about God. That search will propel us in the only true direction, in only one way, and we will be embarked on that journey when we are born again.”
Excerpt from How To Be Born Again Billy Graham
FAMOUS QUOTES ON BEING BORN AGAIN
“A man may cast away many vices, forsake many lusts in which he indulged, and conquer evil habits, but no man in the world can make himself to be born of God; though he should struggle never so much, he could never accomplish what is beyond his power. And, mark you, if he could make himself to be born again, still he would not enter heaven, because there is another point in the condition which he would have violated — ‘unless a man be born of the Spirit, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’” – Charles Spurgeon
“Many Christians have the mistaken notion that eternal life begins when they die. But that is not biblically accurate. Eternal life begins when we are born again into the Kingdom of God.” – David Jeremiah
“When a man or woman is born again by the Spirit of God they will give evidence of it in part by striving to live a holy life.” – Alistair Begg
“Jesus proclaimed, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. .. He is saying that a whole new order is about to enter history, and if you want to be a part of it, you will need a change so fundamental that the Gospel of John would later refer to it as a “new birth”. Being born again was not meant to be a private religious experience that is hard to communicate. .. but rather the prerequisite for joining a new and very public movement – the Jesus and kingdom of God movement.” – Jim Wallis
“Everything you go through as a Christian is a training exercise behind which God has a divine purpose. He did not save you so that you could cruise into paradise on a luxury liner; He saved
you to prepare you to be of use in His kingdom. The moment you were born again, He enrolled you in His school of suffering. And every affliction, every trial, is another lesson in the curriculum.” – David Wilkerson
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