We Must Be Born Anew
If we desire to follow Christ,
the new birth is not optional
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?”
Jesus answered, “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.’”
— John 3:3-7
Here Jesus said very directly that we must be “born again,” or, as you can also translate this phrase, “born anew” (v. 7). For, apart from such a birth, we can never see or enter into the kingdom of God.
To be born anew is the greatest blessing any human being can ever receive! It takes place in an instant, the moment we believe in Christ our Savior, but so much happens in that instant! Our sins are forgiven, once and for all and forever (John 5:24). We are transferred out of Satan’s kingdom into the kingdom of the Son of God’s love. And best of all, we receive God’s divine life, so that we become the very children of God! (John 1:12-13).
Now we need to consider, how do we receive this life? Many like to say that when we believe in Jesus, He comes to live in our heart. This is true, and wonderful, but it is also quite general. To really understand what happens in the new birth we need to be more specific. As Jesus Himself says it in the verses quoted above, “that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:6). That is, when we believe in Christ, God imparts His divine life, by means of His Holy Spirit, into our human spirit. So, our human spirit is the part of our being that is regenerated with the divine life.
It is crucial for us to have a clear understanding of this, because we can only go on in our Christian life in the very same way that it began. That is, as we contact Christ by faith day by day, He will continue to impart His divine life, by means of the Holy Spirit, into our human spirit to enable us to live by Him as our life. And such a living will bring us into the next stage of our Christian experience, the stage of transformation.