"Ye Must Be Born Again"

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Liberty Advocate

http://www.libertyadvocate.com

 

 

 

"Ye Must Be Born Again"

 

by 

 

Karen Pansler-Lam, J.D.

 

 

At Christmastime, I urge every church, every Christian school, every Christian organization, and every Christian home around the world to put up an outdoor nativity scene.  

 

We must not be ashamed of proclaiming the true meaning of Christmas...Jesus Christ was born a Savior so that we can be born again.

 

For I am not ashamed of the

gospel of Christ.

Romans 1:16

 

False Christians politely refer to Jesus at Christmas, but deny He came to save us from our sins.  They claim Jesus came to save us from the penalty of sin, but He did not come to give us liberty from sins.  In other words, they deny that we are able by the power of the Holy Spirit to live holy and righteous. But the Bible clearly proclaims:

 

And she shall bring forth a son,

and thou shalt call his name JESUS;

for he shall save his people from their sins.

Matthew 1:21

 

Matthew Henry comments:

 

[2.] ... Note, those whom Christ saves he saves from their sins; from the guilt of sin by the merit of his death, from the dominion of sin by the Spirit of his grace. In saving them from sin, he saves them from wrath and the curse, and all misery here and hereafter. Christ came to save his people, not in their sins, but from their sins; to purchase for them, not a liberty to sin, but a liberty from sins, to redeem them from all iniquity (Tit. 2:14); and so to redeem them from among men (Rev. 14:4) to himself, who is separate from sinners. So that those who leave their sins, and give up themselves to Christ as his people, are interested in the Saviour, and the great salvation which he has wrought out, Rom. 11:26.

http://www.blueletterbible.org/commentaries/comm_view.cfm?AuthorID=4&contentID=1596&commInfo=5&topic=Matthew

 

Jesus was born a Saviour to give us liberty from our sins. What tidings of great joy!  

 

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field,

keeping watch over their flock by night.

 

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them,

and the glory of the Lord shone round about them:

and they were sore afraid.

 

And the angel said unto them,

Fear not: for, behold I bring you good tidings of great joy,

which shall be to all people.

 

For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Saviour,

which is Christ the Lord.

Luke 2:8-11

 

Listen, friend, Jesus Christ is our Savior.  He came to save lost sinners.  He came to save us from our sins.   But false Christians portray Christ as a social reformer, not a Savior.  According to their false gospel, Jesus came to bring social justice, not salvation.  They deny His divinity and focus on His humanity: Jesus Christ was born  to bring social justice, not deliver us from our sins.

 

But true Christians must boldly and loudly proclaim a Savior was born so that we can be born again.  Jesus declares:  "Ye must be born again" (John 3:7).  Notice, Jesus says we must be born again, not we should be born again.  It is a requirement, not a suggestion.  It is absolutely necessary if we are to be called one of His own.  

 

So, what does it mean to be born again?  Read carefully and thoughtfully Matthew Henry's entire comment on Jesus' words...

 

[1.] What it is that is required: to be born again; that is, First, We must live a new life. Birth is the beginning of life; to be born again is to begin anew, as those that have hitherto lived either much amiss or to little purpose. We must not think to patch up the old building, but begin from the foundation. Secondly, We must have a new nature, new principles, new affections, new aims. We must be born anoµthen, which signifies both denuo—again, and desuper—from above. 1. We must be born anew; so the word is taken, Gal. 4:9, and ab initio—from the beginning, Lu. 1:3. By our first birth we are corrupt, shapen in sin and iniquity; we must therefore undergo a second birth; our souls must be fashioned and enlivened anew. 2. We must be born from above, so the word is used by the evangelist, ch. 3:31; 19:11, and I take this to be especially intended here, not excluding the other; for to be born from above supposes being born again. But this new birth has its rise from heaven (ch. 1:13) and its tendency to heaven: it is to be born to a divine and heavenly life, a life of communion with God and the upper world, and, in order to this, it is to partake of a divine nature and bear the image of the heavenly.

 

Clearly, Jesus teaches unless a man is born again, he cannot see or enter into His Kingdom:

 

Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit,

he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

John 3:5

 

Again, thoughtfully read Matthew Henry's comments...

 

[2.] The indispensable necessity of this: "Except a man (Any one that partakes of the human nature, and consequently of its corruptions) be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God, the kingdom of the Messiah begun in grace and perfected in glory.’’ Except we be born from above, we cannot see this. That is, First, We cannot understand the nature of it. Such is the nature of things pertaining to the kingdom of God (in which Nicodemus desired to be instructed) that the soul must be re-modelled and moulded, the natural man must become a spiritual man, before he is capable of receiving and understanding them, 1 Co. 2:14. Secondly, We cannot receive the comfort of it, cannot expect any benefit by Christ and his gospel, nor have any part or lot in the matter. Note, Regeneration is absolutely necessary to our happiness here and hereafter. Considering what we are by nature, how corrupt and sinful,—what God is, in whom alone we can be happy,—and what heaven is, to which the perfection of our happiness is reserved,—it will appear, in the nature of the thing, that we must be born again, because it is impossible that we should be happy if we be not holy; see 1 Co. 6:11, 12.

 http://www.blueletterbible.org/commentaries/comm_view.cfm?AuthorID=4&contentID=1669&commInfo=5&topic=John

 

To repeat, Jesus declares: "Ye must be born again."  When we are born again, we become new creatures in Christ.  And by the power of the Holy Spirit we are purified and sanctified and perfected.  We are being perfected to spend eternity in the presence of the Lord God Almighty.  

 

But modern Christians replace being good or holiness with doing good or good works. In other words, they reject Christ's teaching that we must be born again and deny the power of the Holy Spirit.  My dear friend, do not be deceived.  Regeneration is absolutely necessary to salvation:

 

Not by works of righteousness which we have done,

but according to his mercy he saved us,

by the washing of regeneration,

and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

 

Which he shed on us abundantly through 

Jesus Christ our Saviour;

 

That being justified by his grace,

we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Titus 3:5-7

 

Note "by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost":  washed and renewed.  Renewed means to make new.  

 

(5.) Here is the formal cause of salvation, or that wherein it lies, the beginnings of it at least-in regeneration or spiritual renewing, as it is here called. Old things pass away, and all things become new, in a moral and spiritual, not in a physical and natural, sense. It is the same man, but with other dispositions and habits; evil ones are done away, as to the prevalency of them at present; and all remains of them in due time will be so, when the work shall be perfected in heaven. A new prevailing principle of grace and holiness is wrought, which inclines, and sways, and governs, and makes the man a new man, a new creature, having new thoughts, desires, and affections, a new and holy turn of life and actions; the life of God in man, not only from God in a special manner, but conformed and tending to him. Here is salvation begun, and which will be growing and increasing to perfection; therefore it is said, He saved us. What is so begun, as sure to be perfected in time, is expressed as if it already were so. Let us look to this therefore without delay; we must be initially saved now, by regeneration, if on good ground we would expect complete salvation in heaven. The change then will be but in degree, not in kind. Grace is glory begun, as glory is but grace in its perfection. How few mind this! Most act as if they were afraid to be happy before the time; they would have heaven, they pretend, at last, yet care not for holiness now; that is, they would have the end without the beginning; so absurd are sinners. But without regeneration, that is, the first resurrection, there is no attaining the second glorious one, the resurrection of the just. Here then is formal salvation, in the new divine life wrought by the gospel.

 

(7.) Here is the principal efficient, namely, the Spirit of God; it is the renewing of the Holy Ghost; not excluding the Father and the Son, who in all works without themselves are concurring; nor the use of means, the word and sacraments, by which the Spirit works; through his operation it is that they have their saving effect. In the economy of our salvation, the applying and effecting part is especially attributed to the Holy Spirit. We are said to be born of the Spirit, to be quickened and sanctified by the Spirit, to be led and guided, strengthened and helped, by the Spirit. Through him we mortify sin, perform duty, walk in God’s ways; all the acts and operations of the divine life in us, the works and fruits of righteousness without us, all are through this blessed and Holy Spirit, who is therefore called the Spirit of life, and of grace and holiness; all grace is from him. Earnestly therefore is he to be sought, and greatly to be heeded by us, that we quench not his holy motions, nor resist and oppose him in his workings. Res delicatula est Spiritus—The Spirit is a tender thing. As we act towards him, so may we expect he will to us; if we slight, and resist, and oppose his workings, he will slacken them; if we continue to vex him, he will retire. Grieve not therefore the Holy Spirit of God, whereby you are sealed to the day of redemption, Eph. 4:30. The Spirit seals by his renewing and sanctifying, his witnessing and assuring work; he distinguishes and marks out for salvation, and fits for it; it is his work: we could not turn to God by any strength of our own, any more than we can be justified by any righteousness of our own.

http://www.blueletterbible.org/commentaries/comm_view.cfm?AuthorID=4&contentID=1814&commInfo=5&topic=Titus

 

The Holy Spirit renews and sanctifies us...we are new creatures in Christ...

 

Therefore if any man be in Christ,

he is a new creature:

old things are passed away; 

behold, all things are become new.

2 Corinthians 5:17  

 

Listen, when we truly repent and are saved, we turn our backs on sin and become new creatures in Christ: we are born again. This is the joyous message of Christmas:  Jesus Christ was born a Savior so that we can be born again.  This is the glad tidings of great joy!  This is the good news, or gospel.

 

We must not be ashamed of proclaiming the true meaning of Christmas as expressed in the beloved Christmas carol "O Little Town of Bethlehem"...

 

O holy Child of Bethlehem,
Descend on us, we pray;
Cast out our sin, and enter in,
Be born in us today.

 

At Christmastime, I urge every church, every Christian school, every Christian organization, and every Christian home around the world to put up an outdoor nativity scene to proclaim that Jesus Christ was born a Savior so that we can be born again...  

 

Ye must be born again.

 

 


Christmas 2012
Liberty Advocate
http://www.libertyadvocate.com