A Gospel Message

A Gospel Message: How can I be Born Again?

John 3:3—Jesus answered and said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."

This scripture comes from a conversation between a Pharisee named Nicodemus, and Jesus. In saying this, Jesus is giving the deciding factor of a soul entering into Heaven. Jesus tells Nicodemus that a man must be born again. He does not speak concerning a rebirthing of the flesh, but that of the Spirit.

The truth is, no one may enter into Heaven unless he is born again. So, how can a person born of the flesh be reborn? In his commentary on the Bible, Matthew Henry says, "First, we must live a new life. Birth is the beginning of life; to be born again is to begin anew... We must not think to patch up the old building, but begin from the foundation. Secondly, we must have a new nature, new principles, new affections, new aims... By our first birth we are corrupt, shaped in sin and iniquity; we must therefore undergo a second birth; our souls must be fashioned and enlivened anew."

When God causes a person to be born again, He does something rather miraculous. Detailed by the prophet Ezekiel, God said, "A new heart I will also give you, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you shall keep my judgments, and do them" (Ezekiel 36:26-27). This is a regeneration, or a recreation (rebirthing) of the person into an improved state. With this new heart and new spirit, the person will have repentance for his or her sins.

The question now is this: Are you born again?

If you were to die today, what would be God's words to you as you stand before Him in judgment? Would it be, "Well done you good and faithful servant... Enter into the joy of your lord" (Matthew 25:21, 23), or would it be, "I never knew you. Depart from me, you who work iniquity" (Matthew 7:23)?

To find out, you need to see yourself in the reflection of God's holy law. Let's examine some (how about six?) of the Ten Commandments. Have you ever told a lie? Have you ever stolen anything regardless of its value? Have you ever committed adultery? Better yet, have you ever looked at another person through eyes of lust? That is the same as adultery, as Jesus said, "whoever looks at a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart" (Matthew 5:28). Have you ever murdered another person? Most of you out there have not killed anyone, but did you know that Jesus, in comparison to murder, said, "whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment" (Matthew 5:22). Have you ever used the Lord's name in vain, or as a curse? That is called blasphemy. Have you ever dishonored your father or your mother?

If you answered, "Yes," to any of the above questions, then you have broken God's law. James 2:10 says, "For whoever keeps the whole law and yet offends in one point, he is guilty of all." Breaking even one commandment means you are guilty of breaking all of God's laws. That is because, "whatever things the law says, it says to those who are under the law so that every mouth may be stopped and all the world may become guilty before God" (Romans 3:19). "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). So, are you guilty? With God's law as the standard, do you think you will go to Heaven? After all, "the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God" (1st Corinthians 6:9-10). With a guilty verdict upon you, what do you think that God's judgment should be for you? Do you think that you will have your part in the lake which burns with fire (Revelation 21:8), which is the place also known as Hell?

Did you know, that even though such a punishment is just and fitting for the guilty, your debt has been paid if you are born again? You see, "the law was our school-master to bring us to Christ so that we might be justified by faith" (Galatians 3:24). "For [God] has made him who knew no sin to be sin for us so that we might be made the righteousness of God in him" (2nd Corinthians 5:21). "He himself bore our sins in his own body on the [cross] so that we, being dead to sins, should live to righteousness" (1st Peter 2:24). Jesus Christ came to call sinners to repentance (Matthew 9:13). Confess your sins to God, for, "if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1st John 1:9). The weight of our sins, coupled with knowing that, because of our unbelief, the wrath of God abides upon us (John 3:36), should drive us to the feet of Christ, "for godly sorrow works repentance to salvation" (2nd Corinthians 7:10). "The LORD is near to those who are of a broken heart and saves those who are of a contrite spirit" (Psalm 34:18). Repent of your sins and turn yourself to Christ, wholly trusting in Him as your Savior. "'And the Redeemer will come to Zion and to those in Jacob who turn from transgression,' says the LORD" (Isaiah 59:20).

If you see your need to call upon the Savior, for "whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be delivered" (Joel 2:32), and repent of your sins, you are born again. "Confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, and you shall be saved" (Romans 10:9, paraphrased). Pursue baptism "in the name of Jesus Christ" (Acts 2:38). Seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33). Engage in a relationship with God through prayer and the daily reading and studying of his word in the Bible (Deuteronomy 6:4-9, 8:3). Fellowship with other believers (Acts 2:42). Tell others about the gospel of Jesus Christ (Mark 16:15), preaching repentance and the forgiveness of sins (Luke 24:47). Amen.