Summary: Message 22 from 1 John covering the wonder of the new birth and its evidence.
“Marvelous Marks of the New Birth”
There are reoccurring themes throughout John’s letter. Purity, sonship, faith, belief, love, obedience, truth, righteousness. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
I. THE GOD OF LIGHT AND HIS CHILDREN OF LIGHT 1-2
II. THE GOD OF LOVE & HIS CHILDREN OF LOVE 3-4
III. MARVELOUS MARKS OF THE NEW BIRTH 5
This last chapter revisits most of John’s previous themes with an emphasis on the marvelous marks of the new birth. John has referenced the wonder of being a child of God all through his letter.
A. What is the new birth?
John introduced the concept of being a child of God early in his gospel.
But as many as received Him (Jesus), to them He (God) gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. John 1:12-13
He expanded on this thought in John 3 where we find a conversation between Jesus and the Pharisee called Nicodemus.
Now 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 have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him." 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.' The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit." John 3:1-8
Jesus clearly taught the necessity of a spiritual transformation. Only a transformation as dramatic as physical birth could qualify one to see and enter the kingdom of God. There is a physical birth ushering one into a physical world. There is also a spiritual birth ushering one into a spiritual world. The Bible uses various words to describe this spiritual phenomenon.
Regeneration, new life, transformation, conversion, quickening
Regeneration may be defined as the communication of divine life to the soul...as the impartation of a new nature...or heart...and the production of a new creation.38
New birth is necessary because those born in Adam are born spiritually dead.
And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. Ephesians 2:1-3
In such a state, we were not only children of wrath, but did not even possess the capacity to function on a spiritual plane any more than fish could last very long outside of their natural habitat.
The Bible says we were DEAD! New birth makes us ALIVE!
This supernatural work of God enables to function in the world of the physical as well as the spiritual. He brings us out of darkness into light. He makes us alive when we were dead.
B. How are we reborn?
It is clear that our birth into God’s family is ultimately based on the will and work of God.
No one ever caused their own birth. No dead person every brought themselves back to life.
It requires external intervention. It is something God does to us, in us and for us.
who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. John 1:12-13
In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures. James 1:18
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead… 1 Peter 1:3