Summary: What does “being born again” mean? Are you born again? Can you understand or explain how to be born again?
SCRIPTURE: I Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
Billy Graham tells of a time early in his ministry when he arrived in a small town to preach at a meeting. He had arrived a little bit early to finish writing a letter for back home. As he finished the letter, he asked a young boy standing on the sidewalk of the location of the town post office. When the boy had given him the directions, Mr. Graham thanked him and said, “If you will come to the Baptist church this evening, you can hear me tell everyone how to get to heaven.” “I don’t think I will be there.” The little boy replied, “You don’t even know your way to the post office, let alone how to get to heaven.”
What does “being born again” mean? Are you born again? Can you understand or explain how to be born again?
If someone should ask you, “What must I do to get to heaven?”, what would you tell them? Would you tell them to stop lying, to stop drinking, to stop smoking, to stop stealing, to stop cursing?
Jesus told Nicodemus, “You must be born again.” John 3:7
Many people speak of a new birth without any definite idea of just what the new birth is. As a result, they are never sure whether they themselves have been born again or not. R.A. Torrey The Answer p 59
I. PHYSICAL vs. SPIRITUAL
A. Physical, Non-living objects:
1. I can disassemble a car engine such as a V6 or V8. I can understand and explain basically how it works. I can put it back together, but it may not work.
2. I can disassemble a personal computer. I can understand and explain basically how it works. I can put it back together, hopefully it will work.
These are non-living, physical machines which man has made. They are composed of many parts that function together to perform a function.
B. Physical, Non-living organisms:
1. Biology students can dissect an organism and describe the structure and function of the various organs that make up that organism.
2. Doctors, medical students, forensic scientists, etc. dissect non-living, human bodies in the process of study or investigation.
C. Physical, Living Humans
Doctors, nurses, and medical students do surgical procedures on living, human bodies with hope of solving a medical problem or curing an illness affecting a living body.
They want the human body to continue to live.
D. Spiritual Aspects of a Physical Body
1. However, when they remove the brain of a man, whether non-living or living, they do not find the mind inside. We know that humans reason, but how? It’s just three pounds of flesh.
2. When they take out the internal organs of a man they do not find the soul of man.
3. When the organ called the heart is removed, the emotional part of man that we refer to as the “heart” is not found.
4. They can separate every muscle, bone, internal organ, etc. and they will not find the spirit of man. Why? It is spiritual in nature.
James 2:26 “For as the body without the spirit is dead,”
5. Man is a physical being; man is a spiritual being.
E. Flesh vs. Spirit
1. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh;” John 3:6
2. “That which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” John 3:6
3. There is:
(a) the flesh of man and
(b) there is a spirit of man and
(c) there is a Spirit of God.
4. Man’s spirit, though fully functioning in the natural sense, is “dead” as far as the Spirit of God is concerned.
Ephesians 2:1 “And you hath he quickened [made alive], who were dead in trespasses and sins;”
5. Sin, from the fall of man, has separated us from God. We are born with a corrupted nature.
Romans 5:12 “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by
sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:”
6. We are carnal --> fleshly, of the human nature.
Romans 8:7 “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.”
7. To experience the spiritual aspects of God, man’s spirit must be born again, through and by the Spirit of God.
John 3:3 “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
8. With a corrupt nature and a carnal mind, we cannot “see” the kingdom of heaven.
II Corinthians 4:4 “In whom the God of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”