The words "born again" have been cheapened today by many in religion. Satan is a master at redefining Bible terms; therefore, it behooves us to have a clear understanding of the Scriptural meaning of these words.
Let’s consider what the Bible teaches about being "regenerated" or "born again."
I. THE NECESSITY OF THE NEW BIRTH
A. OUR LORD CLEARLY REVEALED THAT REGENERATION WAS NECESSARY TO SALVATION (Jn. 3:3, 5). 1. Before a man can fellowship with God, he not only needs forgiveness, but his whole nature must be renewed. Fallen man is: a. Natural (I Cor. 2:14).
b. Sensual (Jude 19).
c. Carnal (Rom. 8:5-8).
d. This is opposed to being spiritual (I Cor. 2:15).
2. Christ revealed that there is an unchangeable distinction between that which is born of the flesh and that which is born of the Spirit(Jn. 3:6). a. To be born of the flesh is to be carnal, corrupt, ignorant of spiritual things, and under the condemnation of God. b. The flesh and the spirit are diametrically opposed to each other (Gal. 5:17). c. By the physical birth, fleshly children come from fleshly parents, and by the spiritual birth, spiritual children come from the Holy Spirit. d. The flesh may become religious, refined and outwardly moral, but it is still flesh. e. A person will have neither the desire nor the ability to serve God until he has been born again of the Spirit.
B. EVERY PART OF THE NATURAL MAN IS DEFILED BY SIN.
1. His mind is darkened to the things of God (I Cor. 1:18; 2:14; Eph. 4:18). 2. His heart is in a state of enmity toward God (Rom 8:7; Jer. 17:9) 3. His will is only free to carry out the desires of his depraved nature (Jn. 1:13; Rom. 9:16; Philp. 2:13). 4. The flesh has become totally unprofitable in the things of God (Jn. 6:63).
II. THE NATURE OF THE NEW BIRTH
A. THE DEFINITION OF REGENERATION.
1.The change required in man’s soul to enable him to enter God’s kingdom is called "regeneration" (Tit. 3:5). a. It is being "born again"(Jn. 3:3,7),
b. Or being "born of the Spirit"(Jn. 3:6-8).
2. Regeneration is an instantaneous work of God’s Spirit whereby a holy disposition is given to the soul. 3. The affections are renewed in love to God, and the mind is enlightened and made capable of understanding in the spiritual realm. 4. Just as the change that takes place in the earth at the millennium is called regeneration, so the new birth is a renewal of man’s soul (Mt. 19:28).
B. SOME ILLUSTRATIONS OF REDEMPTION.
The wonderful change that takes place in regeneration is illustrated in many ways. Let’s examine some of the terminology applied to the New Birth to better illustrate its nature.
1. The terms "Regeneration" or "Born Again" are merely human comparisons to what takes place in the miracle of grace upon the soul of man. a. In physical generation new life is imparted and a family likeness produced. b. These truths make birth a wonderful picture of the work of God’s grace in man. 2. Regeneration is a resurrection (Eph. 2:1,5).
3. Regeneration is a renewal (Col. 3:10).
4. Regeneration is a translation (Col. 1:13).
5. Regeneration is a new heart (Ezek. 36:26).
6. Regeneration is the writing of the Law in One’s Heart (Heb. 8:10). 7. Regeneration is a new creature (II Cor. 5:17).
8. Regeneration is the giving of light (II Cor. 4:6).
9. Regeneration is a good tree (Mt. 7:17).
10. Regeneration is a creation (Eph. 2:10).
C. THE EXPERIENCE OF REGENERATION.
1. Regeneration takes place on a level above the human consciousness. 2. The work of regeneration itself is not something felt, but is recognized by its fruit in one’s life. 3. Conversion is a result of the new birth and this we do experience. 4. Regeneration is an act of God, but conversion is an act of man produced by the new birth.
III. THE AGENT IN REGENERATION
A. REGENERATION IS A DIRECT WORK OF GOD UPON THE SOUL (Jn. 1:12-13). 1. Regeneration is not produced by baptism, the human will, or...