Ye Must Be Born Again!
By David J. Stewart | August 2013 | Updated April 2016 | Get God's Gift
My heart's sincere desire in this article is for you to see “THE SIMPLICITY THAT IS IN CHRIST,” which is THE GOSPEL (2nd Corinthians 11:3-4). Please give me a moment and I will make it as plain as you've ever heard. Most people have religion, but very few people have ever been Biblically “born-again.” Unless you are born again, you absolutely cannot enter into Heaven (John 3:3-5).
The term “born again” first appears in the Bible in John chapter three...
A skeptical unsaved man once said to me as I witnessed the Gospel to him, “That born again stuff makes no sense to me.” Perhaps you feel the same. There are many articles on the internet concerning, “How To Get To Heaven,” which are misleading, teaching a false Gospel. It is Satan's desire to hide the cross from those who are unsaved so they will be lost for all eternity. The Devil uses many different things like religion, baptism, good works, moral living, counterfeit Bible versions, sinful pleasures, bitterness, wealth, a false Gospel and difficult circumstances to hide the light of the Gospel from the lost. Satan blinds men's minds from the truth of the Gospel. 2nd Corinthians 4:4, “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”
My heart's sincere
desire in this article is for you to see “THE SIMPLICITY THAT IS
IN CHRIST,” which is THE GOSPEL (2nd Corinthians 11:3-4).
Please give me a moment and I will make it as plain as you've ever
heard. Most people have religion, but very few people have ever been
Biblically “born-again.” Unless you are born-again, you absolutely
cannot go to Heaven (John 3:3-5). John 3:7b, “YE MUST BE BORN
What Does it Mean To Be Born Again?
To understand what it means to be “born-again,” it is necessary to understand that there are TWO BIRTHS. The “first” birth is the PHYSICAL BIRTH when you were born into this world from your mother and father. When the Holy Bible speaks of being “born of water,” it is speaking about the physical birth (NOT baptism). The “second” birth is a SPIRITUAL BIRTH, which means to be born of the “Spirit” (that is, God's Holy Spirit). Why does a person need to be born spiritually? What is a “spiritual” birth? (Note: All Scripture references in this article are only from the trustworthy King James Bible)
The Bible teaches that man is created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27). There is one God according to Deuteronomy 6:4; but He exists in the three Persons of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The Bible refers to this triune nature of God as the Godhead (Acts 17:29; Romans 1:20, Colossians 2:9). Colossians 2:2 refers to the Godhead as “the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ.” The Godhead wasn't meant to be understood; but rather, believed as sound Biblical doctrine by God's children.
Likewise, mankind is created in God's image in the form of a body, soul and spirit. Our earthly body is the tabernacle (2nd Corinthians 5:1-4) of the soul and spirit. The body is a temporary dwelling place of man's soul and spirit. Our soul is composed of the heart (to feel), the mind (to think), and the will (to decide). Hebrews 4:12 makes a distinction between man's soul and spirit, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
Man's spirit is dead in sin when we are born; that is, we are born void of God with an inherited sin nature from Adam. Romans 5:12, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” Thus, all men have sinned. The only exception is the Lord Jesus Christ, Who came as God incarnate the flesh (1st Timothy 3:16; John 1:1-3, 14). All men are sinners by nature and by choice. Our spirit is dead in trespasses and sin the Bible says:
The unsaved person cannot understand God, nor His Words, because they are spiritually discerned:
The reason why you need to be “spiritually” born is because you have never been spiritually born to begin with. So when the Bible speaks of being “born again,” it actually means “born for the second time.” You were born physically into this world, but you were born without the Spirit of God in your soul (spiritually dead). Yes, God created you, but He gave you a freewill to decide for yourself where you will spend eternity.
God never forces anyone to accept Jesus as their Savior. He simply offers a warm invitation to anyone who wants to receive the gift of eternal life. Salvation is a free gift (Romans 5:15; 6:23), paid for by the precious blood of Jesus Christ (1st Peter 1:18,19; Revelation 1:5). We must accept God's gift of eternal life or it WILL be forever forfeited when we leave this world (die).
God commanded Adam and Eve not to eat of the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. Genesis 2:17, “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Notice, God said they would die “the day that thou eatest thereof.” Interestingly, Adam and Eve DIDN'T die physically the day they ate the fruit and disobeyed God's command. Why? The reason is because they died SPIRITUALLY instead of physically. When Adam sinned, sin and death entered the human race. The Bible teaches that from Adam until present time, mankind has been born spiritually dead, inherited down from Adam's sin. This is why humanity MUST be born-again. This is only possible through the Holy Spirit of God, which makes us alive again (quickened the Bible says) by faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior. We are saved by repenting of our UNBELIEF and believing the Gospel that Jesus DIED on the cross for our sins, was BURIED and bodily RAISED up three days later. I'll explain this more in a bit.
To be “spiritually” born means that God's Holy Spirit “quickens” us (or makes us alive). When a sinner believes on the Lord Jesus as the Christ—trusting Him alone to forgive all sins—then God the Father and God the Son come into one's heart in the form of God the Holy Spirit (John 14:23). The “Holy Spirit” is “God within us.” The old man is the flesh. The old man cannot be tamed. There is nothing good about the flesh. When we get saved (born again), the old man doesn't change. Rather, the new man (which is Jesus Christ) comes to indwell (live) within our body. 1st Corinthians 3:16-17, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.”
I have the Godhead living in my body in the form of the Holy Spirit. I was born-again at age 13. Romans 8:9 tells us that the Spirit of Christ dwells within every believer. I am not God, but I have God's Spirit living in my body. The Godhead indwells every believer. The Holy Spirit of God guides me, comforts me, teaches me, rebukes me, chastises me, convicts me, encourages me, empowers me, loves me, strengthens me, and so much more (John 14:16; 14:26, 15:26). The Holy Spirit uses the Word of God to do these things. This is why it is critically important for every believer to live in their Holy Bible (and make sure you have a reliable Bible—I only use the faithful King James Bible). All modern Bible versions have been corrupted by Luciferians and Satan.
A person cannot understand the Bible without the presence of the Author, and God is the Author. When you become born-again (or born for the second time), God's Holy Spirit comes into your body (1st Corinthians 3:16), never to leave (Hebrews 13:5-6), and you will begin to understand many new things for the first time in your life:
It is ONLY through the
precious Word of God that anyone can be born-again. Surely, no one
can be born into this world again physically. There is no turning
back the hands of time. However, you most certainly can be born
again, spiritually, into God's family through the Spirit of
Christ... “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so
be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not
the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his” (Romans 8:9).
How Do You Get Born Again? Simply By Believing The Gospel!!!
You get born-again by believing “the Gospel.” Today's churches are filled with false teachings about salvation. Religion cannot save a man. The Holy Bible teaches “THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST: FOR IT IS THE POWER OF GOD UNTO SALVATION TO EVERY ONE THAT BELIEVETH” (Romans 1:16). Praying a prayer is not the Gospel! Confessing Christ before men is not the Gospel. Inviting Jesus into your life is not the Gospel. What is “the Gospel”? The Holy Scriptures plainly tell us:
There you have it! “The Gospel” is that Christ DIED on the cross for our sins, and He was BURIED, and He bodily RESURRECTED three days later. Notice that there is no requirement to turn from sins to be saved. Nor is there any mention of speaking in tongue, confessing Christ before men, following Jesus, asking Jesus into your heart, reforming one's ways, nor making Jesus the “Lord” of your life to be saved. Rather, we are simply directed to BELIEVE THE GOSPEL!!! Amen and amen!
Simply put, to be “born again” means to have He (Jesus) Who is the beginning born in you. In Revelation 1:8 Jesus said, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, respectively. Man by birth is spiritually dead, which I will explain further in a moment. To be born-again is a miracle of God, by which Jesus Christ comes into your body to live, literally in the form of the Spirit of God. Romans 8:9, “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”
We are “born again” by the Word of God, that is, “the Gospel” as taught in the Scriptures...
We are born-again by the Word of God. Jesus is the Word of God (John 1:1,14: Revelation 19:13). The following statement sums it up pretty good...
If you don't receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ to become a born again Christian, then you will sadly burn in hellfire for all eternity (John 3:18,36; Revelation 20:15; 21:8). Perhaps you say with the man I mentioned earlier, “That born again stuff makes no sense to me.” Well, most people can't explain how a black cow can eat green grass, give white milk, and then it's turned into yellow butter—but they still eat it! My friend, you don't have to figure everything out to be saved, you just need to BELIEVE THE GOSPEL. That is how you get born-again by the Holy Spirit of God into God's family.
Being born-again means having He Who is the Beginning (Jesus Christ) born in you.” Revelation 1:8, “I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the Ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” Isn't that beautiful? When a person is born-again, the Holy Spirit of Christ comes to live inside that person's body. “Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His” (Romans 8:9b). This birth comes about only through faith in the Son of God. Salvation is strictly a matter of faith. Do you believe the Gospel? Do you admit that you are a guilty sinner in the eyes of a holy God? Do you believe that Jesus died on the cross for your sins? Do you believe that He was buried, and three days later miraculously raised up bodily from the dead? If that's your only hope for eternal life friend, YOU ARE SAVED!!! Nothing else is requirement of you by God to receive the gift of eternal life. We are saved by God's IMPUTED righteousness!!!
The Gospel (which means “GOOD NEWS”) is that Christ DIED on the cross for our sins, and He was BURIED, and He bodily RESURRECTED three days later. God came down to this earth 2,000 years ago and took upon Himself the form of a man. That man was the Lord Jesus Christ (John 1:1,14; 1st Timothy 3:16). Literally, the GODHEAD became incarnate (Colossians 2:9—King James Bible). Jesus was born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14). Jesus never sinned even once (2nd Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 4:15). Jesus died, was buried and rose again after three days (1st Corinthians 15:1-4). Jesus shed His precious blood to pay for all our sins (Colossians 1:14; 1st Peter 1:18,19), and applied that blood to the Mercyseat in Heaven (Hebrews 9:12, 24-26). My friend, if you believe that Jesus is the Christ, the only begotten Son of God Who died, was buried and rose again for your sins, and you've made that your hope for Heaven by believing on His name, then you are a born-again child of God. Pardon me if I repeat certain truths, for repetition is the key to learning.
Jesus is the dear Savior Who paid for our sins. If you realize that you're a guilty sinner, then you simply need to believe on the Gospel of Jesus Christ to have your sins forgiven. Salvation is not doing your best, it is having Christ's best put to your account through receiving Him by faith. God will not save anyone who is trying to be saved, He will only save those who are trusting to be saved.
You don't need to ask Jesus to forgive your sins. Christ paid for everyone's sins on the cross with His precious blood. The price for our sin has been paid. Christ sprinkled His liquid blood upon the heavenly mercy Seat, in the Holy Place, in the Father's presence on our behalf (Hebrews 9:12, 24; 12:24). It's Not The Shedding Of Jesus' Blood That Saves, But The 'SPRINKLING' Of That Shed Blood. When you BELIEVE THE GOSPEL, you receive God's gift of forgiveness. Jesus doesn't forgive sin, He paid for our sins on the cross. That's why eternal life is a “free gift” (Romans 5:15; 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-10). A gift is a take proposition, not a give proposition. Salvation is received, not achieved. Satan's greatest weapon is to con people into living the Christian life without ever being born again!
The Gospel. The Gospel. The Gospel. That is our only hope for eternal life. The Gospel is what we need to preach to the world (1st Corinthians 1:21), not telling people to “Invite Jesus into their life” or “Follow Jesus as their Lord and Savior.” Judas followed Christ, being one of His very apostles, yet he still went to burn in Hell. Matthew 27:3 says Judas “repented,” but he still went to Hell. The religious workers in Matthew 7:21-23 served Christ diligently, doing many wonderful works in Jesus' name, even preaching in jesus' name; yet they all still went to Hell in their self-righteousness. The Lord called them workers of iniquity!!!
Mark 1:15, “repent ye, and believe the gospel.” The object of repentance is to believe the Gospel, not to clean up one's life. When a man repents he believes. There is a popular false teaching in MOST churches today that says a person must forsake sinful bad habits to be saved. That is self-righteousness. Why Did God Kill A Man For Picking Up Sticks On The Sabbath Day? (don't add to the Gospel). Repentance does not mean “turn from sins,” nor does it mean a “willingness to turn from sin.”
Repentance in Mark 1:15 is the Greek word metanoeo, which means, “to think differently.” It never means anything else concerning salvation. I hear lots of preachers adding to the meaning of “repentance,” saying that it could also mean, “turning away from sins,” but that is not what it means. Acts 20:21 speaks of “repentance toward God.” To get saved, you simply think differently TOWARD GOD, believing the Gospel. Repentance is toward God from unbelief, not sins. Repentance is seeing oneself as a guilty sinner in the eyes of a holy God. In a sense, the man who repents toward God has turned his back against sin, but it is not a requirement to be saved. The only requirement to be saved is to receive Christ's sacrifice upon the cross as payment for your sins, believing that He raised up from the dead three days later. Eternal life is a gift.
Here is the best quote that I've found on repentance, by Dr. Harry A. Ironside (1876-1951):
We find this truth evidenced in Mark 6:6 and 11-12, “And he [Jesus] marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching. ... And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city. And they went out, and preached that men should repent.” The mention of the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrha might mislead someone to think repentance is from sin, but Jesus plainly said their problem was “UNBELIEF.”
Anyone who teaches salvation or bettering humanity without including the cross of Jesus Christ is teaching religious humanism. No one can be saved apart from the cross. Having faith in Jesus in not God's plan of salvation. Many people believe on Jesus, but they have left out the cross. To be born anew by the Spirit of God you must include the death, burial and resurrection of Christ Jesus. Again, that is “the Gospel” according to 1st Corinthians 15:1-4.
Acts 20:21, “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” Repentance and faith are inseparable. Repentance is simply a change of mind TOWARD GOD. We “repent” of our unbelief, from dead works of self-righteousness which cannot save (Hebrews 6:1). The words “believe” and “believed” appear 85-times in the Gospel of John, but the word “repent” isn't mentioned even once. Obviously, the person who believes has repented. Repentance unto salvation does NOT mean a change of life; but rather, a change of mind. Salvation happens when a person acknowledges their guilt of sin, and comes to God on the basis of being a hell-deserving sinner, believing on Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God. Acts 10:43, “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.” We are saved by what Christ did for us, and not what we can do for Him.
We are saved by BELIEVING, not asking or praying. You can ask God to save you if you'd like, but you don't need to, because the Lord simply told us to BELIEVE. In recent years I have gotten away from leading people to pray a prayer, because it confuses many people. I've heard too many people say that they were saved when they “prayed.” That is unbiblical. If you are saved, you were saved the very moment that you BELIEVED THE GOSPEL. Salvation is not doing your best, it is having Christ's best put to your account through receiving Him by faith. God will not save anyone who is trying to be saved, He will only save those who are trusting to be saved.
Just take God at His word and claim His salvation by faith. Believe and you will be saved. No church, no lodge, nor any amount of good works can save you. Remember, God does the saving, all of it! Man's part is to believe. Either God does all the saving, or else you didn't get saved. Being born-again is a supernatural miracle of God in response to a man's faith in the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ (John 1:12-13).
God's simple plan of salvation is: You are a sinner. Therefore, unless you believe on Jesus Who died in your place, you will spend eternity in Hell. If you believe on Him as your crucified, buried and risen Savior, you immediately receive the gift of forgiveness for all of your sins, and God's gift of eternal life becomes yours. The drawing to the right pictures the doctrine of IMPUTATION.
You say, “Surely, it cannot be that simple!” Yes, that simple. It is scriptural; it is God's plan. My friend, believe on Jesus and receive Him as Savior right now.
Salvation is NOT a prayer, although you may pray a sinner's prayer to express your heart's faith in Jesus. We are saved by HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, i.e., the righteousness of Jesus Christ which is charged to our account at the time of salvation. This is the IMPUTED righteousness of Jesus Christ... “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” We are saved by God's grace through faith in Christ Jesus, because of the blood that He sprinkled on the heavenly Mercy Seat for our sins. Our part is only to believe the Gospel.
Salvation is not a matter of praying some special words. The publican merely cried out, “God be merciful to me a sinner.” The thief on the cross simply asked Jesus to “remember” him, and Jesus most certainly did. It was their faith in Christ, and not their words, that brought salvation. Both men acknowledged their guilt of sin and turned to Jesus Christ for forgiveness. There is nothing “magic” about the words you pray, it is your faith (trust) upon the Gospel of Jesus Christ that brings salvation. Salvation is not a matter of prayer. It is your faith that compels you to call upon Jesus to forgive your sins and take you to Heaven. I don't lead people anymore to pray to be saved, because God had promised to “SAVE THEM THAT BELIEVE” (1st Corinthians 1:21). God wants to save you more than you could ever want to be saved (2nd Peter 3:9).
Salvation is very simple—we are sinners and Jesus is the Savior. Christ died on the cross for our sins, was buried and bodily raised up from the dead the third day. Anyone who believes on the name of Jesus for salvation becomes a part of God's family (Romans 10:13; Galatians 3:26). Eternal life is a free gift—freely given and freely received. Salvation is taking, not giving; It is receiving, not achieving; Salvation is a take proposition, not a give proposition. Our part is to acknowledge our guilt of sin and believe the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to be forgiven.
You see friend, there
is no religion involved here, ONLY Jesus. The big issue is that we
are all sinners, and that sin MUST be dealt with. The Word of God
indicts all of us as guilty sinners. Romans 3:19, “Now we know
that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are
under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world
may become guilty before God.” Only through faith in Christ
can we be justified, JUST-IF-I'D never sinned. Those who DIE IN
THEIR SINS without Christ (John 8:24) will stand trial at The
Great White Throne of Judgment (Revelation 20:11-15). They will
die the Second Death and be cast into the Lake of Fire forever. Those
who DIE IN THE LORD (Revelation 14:13) already have eternal life. If
you're saved, you're already a citizen of Heaven. Amen!
The Second Death Verses Spiritual Death
Please understand that spiritual death is not the same as the second death. Every man is born spiritually dead. We are already spiritually dead by birth. In contrast, the second death is being cast into the Lake of Fire forever. The first death is separation of our soul and spirit from our earthly body. The second death is separation of our body, soul and spirit from God for all eternity. Matthew 10:28, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
My friend, please don't go to Hell. You don't have to die a second death. Because of sin we must all die a physical death (Romans 6:23), but Jesus shed His blood and paid the price for our sins so we wouldn't have to die a second death. Revelation 21:8 defines the second death as spending eternity being tormented in a lake of brimstone and fire. Is that what you want? The choice is yours.
Jesus said in John 3:5 to Nicodemus (a Jewish leader), “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Being born again is not optional. Whether Jew or Gentile, everyone must be born again. Being born again is not giving your heart to Jesus. That's discipleship. Judas gave his heart to Jesus, but the Lord said Judas had a devil (John 6:70). Forsaking sinful bad habits is not salvation. That's consecration. Salvation is not turning over a new leaf. That's reformation. Salvation is not cleaning up one's life. That's rehabilitation. Salvation is not embracing the Christian philosophy. That's education. Salvation is REGENERATION!!! Ye must be born again!!!
1st Peter 1:23, “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” We are born again by the seed of the Word of God. We've all been born of water (physically); but now we all must be born anew—a second, spiritual, birth by the Spirit of God in response to our faith in the seed of the Word of God.
Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation to every person that believes. That's the way to be born-again. Believe the Gospel and the work is done! John 6:29, “Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”
If you've never been born-again, you are missing out on a whole new world of spiritual understanding. 1st Corinthians 2:9-10, “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” Once you get saved you'll begin to understand ALL THINGS and the DEEP THINGS OF GOD. Within context, the Bible says that the things the eyes have not seen, and the things the ears have nor heard, are the precious truths of God's Word. False cults are formed when people try to interpret the Scriptures without the presence of the Author, Who is God. Once you become born-again, the eyes and ears of your spiritual understanding will be opened.
If you want to be saved, then receive Jesus Christ, by believing that He died, was buried and rose again three days later from the dead for your sins. Acknowledge your sinful condition as Romans 3:19 teaches, “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” We are all guilty sinners. I am the biggest sinner I know (and so are you if you understand the Bible, James 2:10). Salvation is about dealing with our sins.
Religion can clean you up, but only the blood of Jesus can wash your sins away (1st John 1:7). Religion wants to fit us with glasses, but the Lord wants to open our eyes. God promises to save the worst sinner, no matter what evil things you may have done, if you'll simply believe upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:30-31). Salvation is based upon the love and promises of God, not upon human effort or merit.
Salvation is NOT found in a religion, but in a Person—The Lord Jesus Christ.
How to Know Christ (The Inside Story)
P.S. —I have written a 39 chapter book concerning Salvation if you'd like to learn more. It covers everything from information about Hell to the precious literal blood sacrifice of Christ.
Beware of Catholicism's FALSE Gospel (which is the same as the Lordship Salvation heresy)