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Born Again

Jesus, speaking to Nicodemus one evening, explained to him (and to us) what these words mean (John 3:1-8). The Bible tells us that way back at the beginning of history Adam and Eve died spiritually. They disobeyed God and lost the spiritual life they previously had. This lack of spiritual life was characteristic of all their offspring; every baby born since then was born dead spiritually. The indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, the third person of the holy Trinity, is the basis of spiritual life, which is eternal life. Without the Spirit, we are temporarily alive physically but are dead spiritually. The Spirit, though, will not indwell sinful persons and Adam’s sin, which affected the entire human race, precluded the Spirit’s presence. We are all born in sin and very early in life begin to display our sinful nature. The entire human race was doomed but God was merciful; He sent His Son to take on the human nature and to suffer and die for sinful man. All that was required of man was faith; all that believed in Christ would be saved (John 3:16). But God knew that man was too far-gone to even believe and gave to some the gift of faith (Eph. 2:8). He sent the Spirit to indwell them, their eyes were opened, they saw the truth, they believed and were saved.

So there are two kinds of people in this world, the born again that are spiritually alive, that will live forever, and the spiritually dead that will die what the Bible calls the second death (Rev. 20:14; 21:8). Some will say this isn’t fair; God chooses some people and not others. But all were given the opportunity to believe and be saved and at any point can turn to Him and receive life instead of death. No one, though, does it on their own; anyone that seeks after God does so because God, the Spirit, has indwelled him; he has already been born again.

This faith that God gives, though, is not just simple mental consent nor can it be a life insurance policy that is purchased to cover all the bases. It is a faith that comes from the heart and reflects a deep trust that God is what the Bible says He is and will do as He promises. True faith is always accompanied by obedience. The truly born-again person can slip and sin on occasion but he can not continue in sin (1 John 3:9,10). To continue in what one knows to be sin is to demonstrate false faith. Anyone that finds himself in this situation needs to go to Christ and sincerely beg for mercy. He has promised that He will not turn anyone away: “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37).