“The Holy Spirit and You” Session Three: “The Holy Spirit – giving you new birth ”
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A Christian is, quite simply, someone who has been born again. That is, a person who has experienced the miracle of God coming and living inside them by his Holy Spirit.
1. Why do we Need to be Born again?
Jesus said: “You must be born again” (John 3) Why is this?
•Without the new birth….
•…we are dead (Eph 2 v 1;Col 2 v.13)
•…we cannot see the kingdom of God (John 3 v.3)
•…we cannot please God (Romans 8 v.8)
•…we are “objects of wrath” (Eph 2 v 2-5)
The fact is that without the new birth we are helpless, lost and unable to please God. The message of the new birth has never been a popular one, because it shows that without God, we are lost.
2. What Happens when we are Born Again?
An amazing spiritual transaction takes place when we are born again. Some of the implications are listed below:
•God’s Spirit enters us (John 3 v 1-7; Romans 8 v.9)
•We become children of God (John 1 v 12-13)
•We are regenerated (Titus 3 v 5)
•We become a new creation (2 Corinthians 5 v 17; Galatians 6 v 15)
•We are able to respond to God (Romans 8 v.8)
•Our sins are forgiven (Colossians 2 v 13)
•We receive eternal life (1 John 5 v 11-13)
•We have a living hope (1 Peter 1 v 3)
•We become a part of God’s family – the church (1 Corinthians 12 12-13)
By being born again are lives are sorted out for eternity. It can be seen then that the greatest need of the human condition is that a person is born again. And the greatest need for the Christian church is to preach the necessity of the new birth. Other things that we involve ourselves in, concern about famine relief, global warming, social injustice, abortion etc are all admirable and worthwhile concerns. But all of them together will not deliver a single person from hell or send a single person to heaven. Only the new birth can do that.
Therefore, without embarrassment, apology or qualification we maintain that the chief message of the church to the world is: “you must be born again”
3. How is someone Born Again?
The new birth is a miraculous intervention from God. However there are some things we can say about how God does it:
–By the Spirit of God (John 3 v.3)
–Through the Resurrection of Jesus ( 1 Peter 1 v 3)
–By the Word of God (1 Peter 1 v 23-25)
4. What are the effects of being born again?
The question arises: how can I know that I am born again? – and how can any Christian be certain of his salvation? It is a vital and necessary question – eternity hangs on it.
Someone who has been genuinely born of the Holy Spirit will know the following:
•A Relationship with God (John 1 v 12)
•Changed relationships with others (1 John 3 v 14-15)
•A life of obedience (1 John 2 v 3-6)
•A new view of sin (1 John 5 v 18)
•A new desire for the word of God (1Peter 1v.23 – 2 v 2)
Because we are still “under construction” these things will not be perfected until eternity. However if there are the beginnings of these things in a Christian’s life we can be sure that he has been born again.
And because he has been born again- his salvation is secure.
11And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.
13I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life (1 John 5 v 11-13)
4.How Can we Help others to be Born again?
As we have seen above, the new birth is a miracle that can only be carried out by God. As Jonah said: “Salvation belongs to the Lord” Only God can give new birth!
Does that mean therefore that we have no part to play? Not at all!
I Peter says that we are born again through the word of truth. And we read constantly in the Acts of the Apostles that the early Christians pleaded with people to turn to God.
Astonishingly – just as God uses humans in the process of natural birth, so God uses humans in his miracle of creating new birth.
Are you and I available to be used to bring new birth to another? There is no greater privilege!
Question for discussion: What part can you and I play in leading someone towards experiencing the new birth for themselves?