Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again." John 3:3-7
The following sermon is from Min. David Pawson as he explains what it means to be born again.
Many do not understand what it means to be born again and therefore are unprepared to live the Christian life. They have not been born again, but have simply undertaken religious rituals without understanding what they mean or what they require in order to walk them out.
I believe that this series will be a tremendous blessing for many. Please take some quiet time to listen and study regarding what has been said; it is worth it. May God give us ears to hear His word.
What is the New Birth?
- The new birth is not instantaneous, but is a process.
- How you begin your spiritual life impacts how you live your spiritual life
- Many are leading others to Christ with religious euphemisms instead of biblical truths
- The Bible indicates four steps necessary to be born again:
- Be Baptized in Water
- Receive the Holy Spirit
- All four steps are acts of men (constituting conversion), but they are also acts of God (constituting regeneration). At every stage, man is doing something and God is doing something; it is a beautiful cooperation.
- These four steps are also referenced in Hebrews 6:1-3 as principles of the doctrine of Christ.
- Being born again and being converted are not the same thing. Conversion is a human act of turning ourselves around or making a u-turn, and it happens as we go through the four steps of being born again.
- There is a movement in terms of responsibility for being born again, which is more man-focused for the first two steps and God-focused for the last two. As you are born again, there is less & less of you and more & more of God.
- We should be far more concerned with getting Christians alive, and not just born again. Being born again is just the beginning of life.
- The essence of the new birth is the ending of your old life and the beginning of your new life.
- God shouldn't have to tell Christians to repent; the Church should be telling the world to repent instead.
- Repentance is not regret or remorse
- Regret - Being sorry for what you have done to yourself.
- Remorse - Being sorry for what you have done to others.
- Repentance - Being sorry for what you have done to God
- You cannot repent for sin in general. You must repent for specific sins. When true repentance occurs, it happens on 3 levels:
- Thought - Changing your mind about particular things and think God's way about them
- Words - Confess (enumerate specific sins) & renounce (say before God that you are finished with it and will not go back) your sins
- Deeds - There must be fruit worthy of repentance.
- We need to repent for the good and bad things we have done.
- Many Christians would rather have "inner healing" rather than forgiveness, because forgiveness demands repentance. We are not the result of what has been done to us. We are the result of what we have done about what has been done to us. It is the choices of reaction we have made which makes us who we are.
- Repentance in the new birth is analogous to cutting off and tying the umbilical cord in the physical birth. It is cutting off that which ties you to Satan's kingdom and tying it off so that you are free from its contamination. It is no longer the source of your life.
- To help someone repent, you must help them do three things:
- Be Serious - The fear of the Lord must be present, by understanding that apart from the Lord, they will perish.
- Be Specific - Confess and name specific sins
- Be Sensible - Don't let feelings get out of order. Psychological guilt is not moral guilt, and it is only moral guilt that Jesus cures.
- There is a difference between believing "that" someone exists versus believing "in" someone.
- You cannot know that a person believes "in" you until they have done something that shows they trust you and taken a risk that they will let you down.
- Faith is historical, based upon facts and not feelings. Jesus died, He was buried, and He was raised from the dead. Even Satan has this type of faith.
- Faith in "faith" is not enough. It doesn't matter if you believe in some thing, but you must believe in the right thing.
- Faith is personal. It is trusting in a person and obeying that person.
- Faith is verbal. We must believe in our heart and confess with our mouth. We can talk to and about Jesus.
- Faith is practical. It is not just hat you think and say, it is what you do. The only faith the New Testament recognizes is faith that acts. It is not just accepting the truth of God's word.
- Faith is continual. It is not those who start in faith who are saved, but those who finish in faith. It is not a moment of faith, but a lifetime of faith which saves. The word for faith is the same as faithfulness.
- As you go on trusting the Lord, you will go on being saved.
- In the Old Testament, the priests were consecrated by being washed in water and anointed with oil. In the New Testament, all saints are priests, so we are also to be washed in water and are anointed by the Holy Spirit (who is represented by oil).
- There is also the possibility that a gentile who wanted to become part of Israel was circumcised and baptized.
- John baptized people into repentance. The people had to already be in repentance before they were baptized.
- The baptism in water was bring to a completion the repentance which was already being wrought in the individual.
- Jesus and a number of His disciples did not baptize because the focus is not to be on the baptizer, but the act.
- There was no such thing in the early Church as an unbaptized believer.
- To baptize means to dunk, plunge, immerse, or soak. You cannot sprinkle water on a person to baptize.
- Baptism has a double meaning. It is a bath, but it is also a burial; a bath for those who are dirty and a burial for those who are dead.
- Baptism is not a symbol, but an event.
- Baptism by water is how a person is born again out of water (John 3:5).
- Baptism is for the forgiveness of sins.
- Baptism saves you by appealing to God for a good conscience (I Peter 3:21).
- Once you have been buried with Christ in baptism, sin has no more dominion over you (Romans 6). You are effectively delivered from the territory of Satan.
- It is not enough to say Jesus was crucified for me, but we must be crucified with Him. It is not enough to say that Jesus was buried for me, but we must be buried with Him. It is not enough to say that Jesus was resurrected for me, but we must be resurrected with Him.
- Infant baptism is not consistent with biblical instruction.
- Baptism does not by itself save a person, which is a concept called baptismal regeneration.
Receive the Holy Spirit
- There is a difference between Greek and Hebrew thinking because the Greek could not relate the physical and the spiritual. This is why many in the West cannot tie the physical act of baptism can have a spiritual effect.
- In all but two instances, the Holy Spirit is imparted by the laying on of hands.
- Every Christian needs two baptisms.
- Water baptism deals with burying the past, leaving you clean and empty. Jesus said that staying in this state is dangerous (Matthew 12:43-45).
- Receiving the Holy Spirit is not the same thing a believing.
- There is no instance in Scripture of someone receiving the Holy Spirit and not knowing it.
- Receiving the Holy Spirit is the evidence and seal of your acceptance by God.
- The reception of the Spirit is always accompanied with outward evidence.
- When a person is filled with the Holy Spirit, there will be an overflow of spontaneous spiritual speech. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks (Luke 6:45).
Saved at Last
- People sought the gift of the Holy Spirit in order to receive Him.
- Sometimes people don't receive the Holy Spirit because they have not fully repented, they may not have acted in faith towards the Lord, they may not have been baptized.
- The teaching that the supernatural gifts are not for today is false.
- The Holy Spirit releases inhibited emotions.
- Many evangelicals know the Holy Scriptures better than they know the Holy Spirit.
- Many people are being told they have been born again, when they have not.
- There are different views in the Church on what it means to be saved:
- Safe from Hell - This is the most common understanding, but it does not come from the New Testament. Such persons perceive salvation as fire insurance from Hell.
- Salvaged from Sin - Jesus came to not only pay for penalty of sin, but to take away sin. Jesus did not come to save us from Hell; He came to save us from our sins.
- Saved to Sanctity - We are saved to life a holy life.
- Saved for Service - We are saved to live a life which can be used by God to reflect Him to and in the world.
- There is no one who is "saved"; we are all being saved. Salvation is a process.
- The real Gospel is concerned with getting people across a line; from non-believer to believer; from not saved to saved, etc. It is the difference merely seeking converts vs seeking disciples (as Jesus called us to do).
The Safe Gospel
Seeking Decisions for ChristThe Salvaged Gospel
Seeking Disciples for ChristContent with JustificationJustification is the means to SanctificationJesus is SaviorJesus is Savior & LordAll you have to do is believeYou must be born againOnly interested in the minimum needed to escape HellWants everything God can give them too live right
- You must decide what type of Gospel you want. The Gospel of man which proposes to save you from Hell or the Gospel of Jesus Christ which saves you from your sins?
- God only justifies us so that He can sanctify us, so that we may be holy.
- In every instance of the Lord keeping us in Scripture, there is a complementary verse for us to keep ourselves.