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.”
Last week, we saw how Jesus Christ told Nicodemus, “Ye must be born again.” Today, let us look at the three requirements for the new birth.
1. Faith is necessary for the new birth. The requirement for the new birth is faith in Jesus Christ who was crucified for our sins. The Lord Jesus explained this to Nicodemus by reminding him of something that happened to the children of Israel while they were in the wilderness.
The people had complained against God and Moses, so God sent fiery serpents among them. Those who were bitten by the serpents died. The people confessed their sin and cried to Moses for deliverance.
Moses prayed to God, and the Lord told him to make a serpent of brass and put it upon a pole so that everyone who looked at it might live. Moses did as God had commanded. The Bible says, “and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.”
Then Jesus said, “…as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”
It is ironic that the very creature who was used by Satan to cause the human race to sin, was also used by God as the symbol of physical salvation for the Jews in the wilderness, and then again as a figure of the spiritual salvation which Jesus would provide on the cross. Notice what John Piper says about this text: “Jesus in the place of the snake is portrayed as evil and a curse. This is what is so shocking. The snake is evil. The snakes were killing people. The snake on the pole is a picture of God’s curse on the people. So it was with Jesus. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:2, ‘For our sake [God] made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.’ And in Galatians 3:13, he said, ‘Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us.’ In becoming like the snake, he was the embodiment of our sin, and the embodiment of our curse. And in becoming sin and curse for us, he took our [sin and curse] away.”
Just as the Israelites were saved from physical death by looking in faith at the serpent upon the pole, so we are saved from eternal death by looking in faith at Jesus upon the cross.
2. The new birth is by the Word and the Spirit. The new birth is the work of the Holy Spirit using the Word of God. No one can be born again without hearing and believing the Word of God, and no one can be born again without the work of the Holy Spirit. Here are some verses which make this clear:
James 1:18 says, “Of His own will He brought us forth by the Word of truth…”
First Peter 1:23 says, “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God…”
John 3:6 says, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”
The Holy Spirit uses the Word of God to show us that we are sinners in need of a Saviour. Then, the Holy Spirit uses the same Word to show us that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Saviour we need.
3. The new birth is of God. The Bible says that those who receive the Lord Jesus as Saviour are born “not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
The new birth is NOT “of blood.” This means that it is not of human parents. No one is born into this world as a Christian. Having Christian parents is wonderful, but it does not make you a child of God. Each one of us must be born individually into God’s family.
The new birth is NOT “of the will of the flesh.” This means that no one can make himself a child of God by his own efforts. Eternal life cannot be earned but must be received as a free gift from God.
The new birth is NOT “of the will of man.” This means that no preacher or priest can make you a child of God. No sacrament, such as communion or baptism can do this. Joining the church does not make you a Christian. The new birth is of God. The Bible says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”
If you do not know Jesus Christ as your Saviour, John 3:16 states, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
The Bible also says in Romans 10:9 and 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved…. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and I want to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! I want to congratulate you on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
Until next time, May the Lord Bless You!
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for over twenty-seven years. God has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at www.danielwhyte3.com. Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3 or on Facebook.