The New Birth

"You must be born again" ... Jesus (John 3.7)

God offers a born again experience to those who want to follow Christ. This experience is obtained through repentance. God forgives us of our sins, and he gives us a new heart.

REPENTANCE

Jesus and the apostles commanded men and women to repent. Repentance is a turning away from the old sins. God promised that he would not despise a broken and contrite heart. When we repent of our sins, God makes new creatures out of us.

FORGIVENESS

The Bible teaches that all have sinned against God (Romans 3.23). The good news is that God offers forgiveness through faith in Jesus.

God loved us enough to send his son to be a sacrifice for our sins. Our sins were laid on him. By believing in him, we obtain eternal life (John 3.16).

God redeems us and forgives our sins through our faith in the blood of Jesus (Ephesians 1.7).

The bible refers to this forgiveness as justification, or being made clear before God. We cannot work our way into God's forgiveness and justification. It is a free gift (Romans 5.15-18).

A NEW HEART

Ezekiel prophesied of a phenomenal heart change in the new covenant.

Ezekiel 36.26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.

Thank the Lord, he gives us a completely new heart. The entire old heart is removed, and we are given a new one.

This lines up with the Apostle Paul's teaching in the New Testament: 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)

Because of this new heart and new spirit, we are partakers of the divine nature, and we are enabled to walk in newness of life.

POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

Acts 1.8 But you shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you...

New Testament salvation begins with the infilling of the Holy Spirit, which is the new birth. When we are filled with the Spirit, we are filled with power to deny our flesh. This power makes us partakers of the divine nature.

DELIVERANCE FROM THE BONDAGE OF SIN

Before the new birth, men and women are held captive by sinful habits. Jesus came to set us all free. After the new birth, the Christian "walks in newness of life." The new life is free from sin (Romans 6)

Jesus said, "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8.32). The Jews responded to this by saying that they weren't in bondage. Jesus told them in verse 34 that whoever commits sin is the servant of sin. These men were in bondage to sin. Sin captivates men and women, and it brings them into servitude (John 8.34, Romans 6.16).

Jesus came to preach deliverance to the captives (Luke 4.18). His truth enables those who have been captivated by the habits of life and sin to be set free. Any habit that brings regrets into your life can be broken by the power of the grace of God.

In the book of John, Jesus uses the phrase "sin no more" on two different occasions.

The first time, Jesus had just healed a lame man by telling him to take up his bed and walk. After the healing, Jesus told him, "Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee." (John 5.1-14)

The second time was when the scribes and Pharisees brought the woman that was caught in adultery, and they wanted to stone her. Jesus said, "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." They all were convicted by their own conscience, and left her alone with Jesus. Jesus told the woman he wasn't going to condemn her, but admonished her to "go, and sin no more." (John 8.1-11)

One truth we can observe from these passages is that we all have sinned (see also Romans 3.23, 1 John 1.8). That is why Jesus could confidently challenge the Pharisees that those who were without sin should cast a stone.

Another truth that we can observe is that Jesus told people to go and "sin no more." By God's grace and power, after we come in contact with Jesus, we can go and "sin no more." This is a blessed privilege of those who know Christ. We don't have to settle for being a liar, adulterer, or any other lifestyle that is contrary to godliness. God's grace lifts us up out of the miry clay and sets our feet on a rock.

Jesus was not teaching that we should be above human mistakes or human errors in judgment. He was, however, giving us good news that we no longer have to serve sin. Paul the apostle teaches the same truth in Romans 6.

 
Lima Street Church of God  |  119 E Lima Street  |  Findlay, Ohio 45840  |  419-721-7384