Summary: The Holy Spirit births us into God’s family at the moment of salvation and brings about this new birth.
“Born of the Spirit”
1.Before we talk about being filled with the Spirit or walking in the Spirit, we must talk about being born of the Spirit. You have to be born before you can walk and feed yourself.
2.Nicodemus had come to Jesus to talk about theology, but Jesus only wanted to talk about birthdays. Everyone needs two birthdays. Our first one, we like people to remember it when we’re young and forget it when we’re old. The second birthday is more important. The first is for time – the second for eternity.
3.The term “born again” has fallen on hard times. It is too commonly referred to. However, it is the miracle of salvation that takes place in a believer’s heart. We cannot go to Heaven unless we have been born again.
I.Being Born Again is Essential. (vs. 3)
a.“Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God. Jesus said in verse 7, “Ye must be born again.”
b.Requirement, Necessity, Not optional, Not an elective.
c.Nicodemus was religious, rich, and a ruler, but none of that could get him to Heaven.
e.The only way to get us into Heaven is for God to get Heaven into us, and He does that by the new birth.
f.If you are born twice, you only have to die once. If you are only born once, you have to die twice. (Physical death and spiritual death)
g.Those who are not born again will spend eternity in Hell. They are condemned already. (vs. 18)
II.Being Born Again is Explained. (vs. 4-6)
a.Nicodemus did not understand. Many do not understand how to be saved. They need someone to explain it to them. Salvation is mysterious, but we don’t have to understand it to enjoy it. I don’t understand electricity, but I enjoy it. I don’t understand how a brown cow can eat green grass and produce white milk, but I enjoy a cold glass of milk or a bowl of ice cream. However, we can understand some things about salvation.
b.The water refers to the Word of God. The preaching of God’s Word produces salvation. 1 Peter 1:23, “Being born again not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.” James 1:18, “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.”
c.The Spirit refers to conviction. The Holy Spirit reproves and convicts us of sin. The Holy Spirit makes us sick of our sin and puts within us a desire to be saved.
d.Jesus’ birth is somewhat like the new birth. The Holy Spirit helped Mary conceive a baby without ever being with a man. The Holy Spirit must convict us and give us a desire to be saved if we are going to have a new birth.
e.The Bible explains salvation:
i.We are sinners. (Romans 3:23) Only had to break one of God’s laws to be a sinner. Sinner by conception and sinner by choice.
ii.Sin has to be paid for. (Romans 6:23) When we break the law, there is a consequence. Just God could do no less than that. Penalty for sin is death and Hell.
iii.Jesus Christ paid for our sin. (Romans 5:8) Christ died for us (in our place) Took our punishment, became sin for us. Our physical birth was only made possible by the suffering of another, and so is the case with our spiritual birth.
iv.We must by faith turn from our sin and receive the gift of salvation. (Romans 10:13) Call on the name of the Lord and be saved.
f.Jesus went on to explain salvation in verses 14-17. You can only be born again by putting your faith in Christ, not by working or being good enough.
g.Just like you didn’t work to get out of your mother’s womb and be physically born, you cannot work to receive a new birth. No such thing as “do-it-yourself” salvation. You can only be born once, and you can only have one spiritual birth. Being born again is not cleaning up your act, trying to do better, or turning over a new leaf. It is not going to a class or support group. It is a total transformation.
h.We need regeneration, not reformation. Reformation will put new clothes on a man, but regeneration will put a new man in his clothes.
III.Being Born Again is Evident. (vs. 8)
a.Jesus compares the Holy Spirit to wind. You can feel wind, but you cannot see it. You can only see the results of it. You cannot see the Holy Spirit but you can see the results of His presence in a person’s life.