Dynamics Of The New Birth

While many have heard the term “born again,” most people know little of the depth of its riches. Many people realize it means being blessed from on high by God with new life in Christ and a sure entrance into the Kingdom of God. While both are true, sadly, the former (new life in Christ) is minimized by some, including Holy Bible teachers.
Dynamics Of The New Birth
Source - Image owned, uploaded and copyrighted 2015 by the author, Peter P. Macinta (BrotherPete).

Becoming born again is not merely saying a prayer, but an act of God upon an individual whereby their spirit is made alive making them in tune with the heart of God and direction by His Holy Spirit. It is not just a mere ticket to heaven. It is a radical transformation of the individual into the image of Christ causing any who receive it to live in a godly manner directed by His Spirit provided they cooperate with Him.

The first occurrence of the term “born again” occurs in John 3. Much of John 3 is a treasure trove of

spiritual truth with some of its gems right on the surface and others that require some digging. This message will be looking at three dynamics of the new birth as found in John 3 verse 3, and verses 5 through 8. While real deep digging will not be needed to express these dynamics, some digging will need to be done. The term “born again” occurs only three times in the Holy Bible {1} but its truth is expressed in many ways throughout as will be shown by the comparative verses used in this article as we look at three dynamics of this new birth.

I. Divine Act  3, 5

The new birth is a divine act of God. We cannot be saved by any theoretical goodness (Romans 3:10) on our part or by good works (Titus 3:5). And redemption for mankind was in the heart and mind of God even before the world was created as mentioned in Titus 1:2, “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.” As you hopefully know, according to Genesis 3 mankind was denied eternal life because of sin. However, we see from Titus 1:2 God had a promise of that to man which mankind would later see that promise could only come to pass by the work of Jesus Christ.

Titus 1:2 shows that redemption for mankind was already planned by God even before Adam and Eve were created. I would say that plan can be partly seen in the fact that from all eternity God subsisted as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  1 Thessalonians 5:23 shows we subsist as body, soul, and spirit. In comparing the way God subsists to the way man subsists we see that “spirit” is the term both have in common. Though we have a body, we are foundationally spirit. Jesus said in John 4:24 that “God is a spirit.” 

Now, note that “Spirit” is used by Jesus as He tells Nicodemus about being born again in John 3:3 and 5:
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, ‘Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’”; “Verily, verily, I say unto you, ‘Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.’”

The Greek behind the English words “born again” {2} not only means being born a second time, but also being “born from above.” This shows us that, though we must cooperate with Him, salvation is an act of God. It is also sustained by God, with our cooperation.

“Born again” is connected with “water” and “Spirit.” Looking at Ephesians 5:26-27 we see that “water” is connected with the Word of God and Titus 3:5 shows that regeneration involves “washing," the same term used in Ephesians 5:26-27. “Lutron” is the Greek word selected by the Holy Spirit in both passages which means, “bathing, bath, the act of bathing.” Later in John Jesus speaks of salvation in terms of a bath (John 13:10).

The Word of God is essential in salvation, but so is the spirit of a man coming in tune with the Spirit of God. They must go together. Our passage in John 3, though, will mention “spirit” two more times, for, as it is written in Romans 8:2, “... the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” It is the Spirit of Christ within that empowers a true Christian to live a holy life.

II. Distinctively Divine Living 6-7

Throughout the Word of God we see God is holy and He calls His people unto holiness. Throughout His Word we see His people were distinct from the rest of the world. We also see that this world will pass away, but whoever does the will of God will abide forever (1 John 2:17). Thus, we have Christ’s teaching about the new birth to Nicodemus as follows in John 3:6-7--
“That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Marvel not that I said unto you, ‘You must be born again.’”

The Holy Spirit later led the Apostle Paul to elaborate on Christ’s statement. By the Holy Spirit he writes (Romans 8:5-11): “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”

We also read in Galatians 5:16-18, “... Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.” And there are many similar passages throughout the Holy Bible.

After reading John 3:3, 5 and 6 we see that Christ says in verse 7, “Marvel not that I said unto you, ‘You must be born again.’” Christ did not use the word “must” in the previous verses. However, because He uses it now in verse 7 means that all that He previously said is a necessity. In fact, all that Christ says is necessary!

But the point for the moment is that the new birth is necessary for eternal life. Christ tells Nicodemus that he should not be surprised at that statement. After all, Old Testament passages similar to where God says He will take away the Jewish peoples’ stony heart and give them a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 11:19, 36:26) indicated new life in God was needful.

III. Divine Direction 8 NKJV*


“The wind blows where it will, and you hear the sound thereof, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.”

In the United States there are times when the unsaved (someone not born again) sees that another has become born again that they might say “they got religion.” Others might become demeaning and say such a person has become brainwashed. Then again others might not say much and few might even desire the change they see in someone


who has become born again. Nevertheless, though they might read that the new birth is from above they still do not personally know how it is until they allow it to happen to them.

Until someone does become born again they really do not fully understand the true origin of that experience. Their lack of knowledge is further extended to their ignorance of the basis for the actions of a true Christian, so there will be times they will evaluate what a Christian does and come up with a worldly reason for what a Christian is doing. This also occurs between an inexperienced Christian and a mature Christian. I personally know that. In some respects I am now what I used to criticize when I was younger! That is because in the course of time after studying the Word of God and learning to move in the Holy Spirit I, by His grace and only by His grace, have changed into what God wants me to be, and by His grace I am still growing.

Now, when someone becomes truly born again the unsaved have to wonder at times why such a person will stop certain things and start doing others. This is brought out in 1 Peter 4:1-7-- “Forasmuch then as Christ has suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin; 2  That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the desires of men, but to the will of God. 3  For the time past of our life may suffice us to have done the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revelings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: 4 Wherein they think it strange that you do not run with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you: 5  Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead. 6  For this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit. 7 But the end of all things is at hand: be therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.”

As you see from the above passage we are warned that when we are truly born again some people will deem our new behavior as strange. Regardless, we must be open to sensing His Spirit and learn to radically obey Him as He so directs. Be open to anything that is based upon the written Word of God.

I can give many examples such as you pass someone on the street but moments later you feel the urge to turn around and pray for them, tell them about Christ, and / or give them a Gospel tract. God might tell you to give food to someone. Here is something that happened to me one time. Decades ago I came home from work and started to relax in the bedroom. But then I felt the Holy Spirit say, “Get up. Get dressed. Je-h-o-va-h’s Wi-tne-sses {3} are coming.” I got up, got dressed, and they came and, of course, I told them about Jesus Christ.

We must guard against being too busy that we ignore God’s commands. Dr. Chauncey Crandel first ignored God’s command to turn around and pray for a patient he just declared dead from a heart attack. But on the second nudge by God he went back, prayed and asked another doctor to shock the man one more time. He did and the man returned to life. Below will be two links that have the video re-enactment {4}. Select the one that works for you.
 
Some of what I have above seems spectacular, and that is good, because the true Christian walk is a lively and exciting one. Yet, most important is that we become like Christ. There is an interesting pattern with an interesting result in Luke 4. After being baptized in water we see Jesus was full of the Spirit and then led by the Spirit (both in verse 1). We then see in verse 14 He was empowered by the Holy Spirit. And after being filled, led, and empowered by the Spirit, what does the Gospel of Luke first record afterward as a mighty work on His part? Christ goes into a synagogue and participates in the service. He does not perform any miracle. No one is raised from the dead. He just reads and teaches.

A main intent of being directed by the Holy Spirit is that we become like Christ and we develop His godly character. We put off the old works of the flesh and we develop the fruit of His Holy Spirit. Such a life will bring many blessings during our stay on earth.

And it is good to know that salvation in Christ, becoming born again, born from on high, is offered to anyone. A lively life that leads to Eternal Life can be had by anyone who decides to forsake their sin, commit to God through Jesus Christ, and live by Christ every day of their life.

Notes:

{1} “Born again” is found in John 3:3, 7 and 1 Peter 1:23

{2} From an electronic version of Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance by James Strong incorporated in the Online Bible program, and so throughout the article whenever the ancient language is referred to and no other authority is cited.

{3} These words are purposely broken apart to avoid unwanted advertisements, and so throughout the article as needed.

{4} Try any of these two links to see how God worked with Dr. Chauncey Crandall:

http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=KLYYKLNX

http://www.cbn.com/tv/1432634071001

This article was in the form of a sermon (message) outline with comments. God willing by August 14, 2015 (hopefully much sooner), you should be able to hear the actual message (sermon) by selecting a link at http://www.sapphirestreams.com/life/audioM.html#M372 .

Unless otherwise noted all Holy Scripture is from the 1769 Authorized Version with spelling of some words updated for our time in addition to changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates. An * next to the abbreviation for another translation or version indicates the same for the text presented.

Not responsible for any advertisements appearing with this article nor am I necessarily in agreement with any of them. The statements of this paragraph hold true not only for this article, but for everything I have placed on the Internet.



Article Written By BrotherPete

I am a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, having served over forty years as a pastor. I graduated from Northeast Bible College of Green Lane Pennsylvania and have a Bachelors Degree in Bible. I am enthused about the Word of God and how it can make a positive change in the life of anyone once it is teamed up with faith and the Holy Spirit. I am happily married. Visit www.sapphirestreams.com.

Last updated on 05-07-2016 103 2

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  • nbillett  28-12-2016
    Jesus loved us to the point of madness when he humbled himself to the extent of living as a servant and undergoing an ignominious and painful death on the cross.
    reply 0
  • Nature  04-08-2015
    Good
    reply 0
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