Summary: This sermon shows how a person could be regenerated and be part of God's kingdom.
REGENERATION OF A PERSON
ILLUSTRATION Experiencing the new you.
The concept of being born again is one of the biblical subjects often misunderstood to the extent that some people do not want to be identified with.
ILLUSTRATION When I was just starting my pastoral ministry, I read in the newspaper an article entitled Before I was a Born Again, not I am a Born Against.
Being born again does not mean a religion, or a denomination, and being fanatic. Being born again is a biblical injunction that everyone must understand. Please open your bibles to John 3:1-21 and as we read this try to answer the following question:
Why do we need to understand this concept? What does it mean? How can we be a born again person? How does one experience being born again?
1. Realize the necessity of being born again (vv. 1-3)
Nicodemus came to affirm Jesus ministry but Jesus confronted him by saying I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. Jesus said this to emphasize the necessity of being born again for those who intend to see the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is the realm where God rules, that realm are in the heart of men and women who believe in Him. No one can experience being in God’s kingdom without being born again. Nicodemus was introduced as a man of the upper class and conservative in his beliefs.
As a Pharisee he belonged to the strict religious sect of Judaism in contrast to the Sadducees, who were less rigid in their beliefs and were more politically minded. As a member of the ruling council or Sanhedrin, he would have been sensitive to the prevailing doctrinal trends of the time. His interest in Jesus had been prompted by the miracles he had witnessed, and he came for an interview to obtain more information. But being religious and moral does not make a man fit for heaven; he must be born again.
What can we learn here? Being born again is a necessity for those who intend to see the kingdom of God. This is not a man-made requirement Jesus declared this to Nicodemus. Being born again is a concept that did not originate from the protestant or charismatic; our Lord Jesus Christ himself introduced it. Therefore, we cannot take for granted this command. If this is important then we need to understand what it means and how we can fulfill this instruction.
2. Understand the meaning of being born again (vv. 4-8)
When Nicodemus heard what Jesus said, he immediately expressed his skepticism. He said, how could a man be born when he is old, surely he cannot enter his mother’s womb for the second time? Jesus understood that Nicodemus perceived the new birth to be a physical birth. Thus he cannot comprehend how it can happen to a person like him. But Jesus explained that being born again is not a physical birth. Being born again is a spiritual rebirth. Physical birth is our mode of entrance into the world and brings with it the potential equipment for adjustment to the world.
To be born again, or born from above, means a to be spiritually reborn that enables a person to enter the spiritual world (kingdom of heaven) and adapt to its conditions. Being born again is an experience that only God can initiate. It is the reception of the Holy Spirit into one's life after declaring repentance from sin and faith in Christ Jesus as Savior and Lord. Jesus asserted that the entrance into the kingdom of God that Nicodemus desired could not be achieved by legalism or outward conformity.
It requires an injection of new life. No one can make or become born again except God. Why is being reborn in the spirit a requirement for those who would like to enter the kingdom of heaven? Note the dynamics involved:
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6: 23)
The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:14)
Heaven is a place for those who are alive spiritually. Man sinned and suffered the consequence, which is both physical and spiritual death. Man who is dead in the Spirit is synonymous to a man without the Spirit. Therefore if any man wants to see the kingdom of God, he must be reborn in the spirit. How can that happen? The origin and the destination of the wind are unknown to the one who feels it and acknowledges its reality. Just so, the new life of one born of the Spirit is unexplainable by ordinary reasoning; and its outcome is unpredictable, though its reality is undeniable.