What is the New Birth?
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."
- John 3:3
Jesus made this statement to a man named Nicodemus who was a ruler of the Jews. Nicodemus had heard Jesus preaching about a new kind of kingdom, and he came to ask Jesus questions about it. Jesus told him that the way to enter this new kingdom was to be born again.
Nicodemus asked Him the same question you or I might ask: How can a man be born again? Can he enter into his mother’s womb again? Jesus explained to Nicodemus that the new birth He was talking about was not physical but spiritual. It was the beginning of a new life in a new kingdom.
Jesus answered, "Verily, Verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of 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. Marvel not that I said unto thee, ye must be born again."
- John 3:5-7
When Jesus was talking to Nicodemus, He used an illustration Nicodemus could easily understand. A newborn baby entering its life was a perfect illustration of a person beginning a new life with God.
Jesus called it being born again—a new birth. He also called it being saved. These terms all mean the same thing. What we call this remarkable experience isn’t as important as understanding that God made a way to bring us back to Him and give us new life!
"They that are whole need not a physician: but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."
- Luke 5:31-32
The way back to God is to acknowledge our need of a Savior and to accept what Jesus Christ did on our behalf. God saw us in our state of spiritual death, and through Jesus Christ provided a way back into relationship with Him.
God’s love for us is not based upon our ability to come to Him on our own merits. It is based on our acceptance that Jesus Christ paid the price for our sins…and there is nothing more for us to do.
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
- Romans 10:13
Salvation has been freely offered to everyone. Anyone who will acknowledge their need of a Savior and accept Jesus Christ as that Savior can be saved.
These three steps are essential to salvation:
REPENT: to repent means to turn around, to go in a new direction.
What do we need to turn from? We need to turn form our life-style of sin and separation from God. We need to turn from living our lives our own way and from being our own god.
What do we turn to? We turn to God who loves and cares for us. We turn to faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior.
BELIEVE: What is it that we must believe? We are told in the Bible we must believe that not only did Jesus shed His blood and die for us, but that he rose again from the dead and is alive today.
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God have raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
- Romans 10:9-10
CONFESS: With the mouth confession is made unto salvation. What is it that we say? We must say what we believe—that Jesus is our Savior. We must say what the Bible says about us—that God is our Father and we have become His children.
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.
- John 1:12
Throughout the ages mankind has sought eternal life, never understanding that we are already eternal beings, destined to live forever somewhere. To live forever in a state of separation from God is a frightening thought. You can make sure that you are right with God by turning to Him and praying this prayer:
“God, I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I REPENT, and I ask you to forgive me of all my sin.
“I BELIEVE that Jesus Christ is your Son, that He shed His blood so I might be forgiven, that He rose again from the dead, and He is coming back again.
“I CONFESS Him now as my Savior. I will live for you as you show me how. Amen.”
By believing in Jesus Christ and receiving Him as your Savior, you will turn your life in a new direction. You can be at peace with God knowing you will live forever with Him.