What is the New Birth?
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (John 3:3).
Jesus made this statement to a man named Nicodemus who was a ruler of the Jews. Nicodemus had heard Jesus preaching about a new kind of kingdom, and he came to ask Jesus questions about it. Jesus told him that the way to enter this new kingdom was to be born again.
Nicodemus asked Him the same question you or I might ask: How can a man be born again? Can he enter into his mother’s womb again? Jesus explained to Nicodemus that the new birth He was talking about was not physical but spiritual. It was the beginning of a new life in a new kingdom.
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 3:5-7).
When Jesus was talking to Nicodemus, He used an illustration Nicodemus could easily understand. A newborn baby entering its life was a perfect illustration of a person beginning a new life with God.
Jesus called it being born again—a new birth. He also called it being saved. These terms all mean the same thing. What we call this remarkable experience isn’t as important as understanding the God made a way to bring us back to Him and give us new life!
They that are whole need not a physician: but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance (Luke 5:32).
The way back to God is to acknowledge our need of a Savior and to accept what Jesus Christ did on our behalf. God saw us in our state of spiritual death, and through Jesus Christ provided a way back into relationship with Him.
God’s love for us is not based upon our ability to come to Him on our own merits. It is based on our acceptance that Jesus Christ paid the price for our sins…and there is nothing more for us to do.
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:13).
Salvation has been freely offered to everyone. Anyone who will acknowledge their need of a Savior and accept Jesus Christ as that Savior can be saved.
These three steps are essential to salvation:
REPENT: to repent means to turn around, to go in a new direction.
What do we need to turn from? We need to turn form our life-style of sin and separation from God. We need to turn from living our lives our own way and from being our own god.
What do we turn to? We turn to God who loves and cares for us. We turn to faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior.
BELIEVE: What is it that we must believe? We are told in the Bible we must believe that not only did Jesus shed His blood and die for us, but that he rose again from the dead and is alive today.
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God have raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation (Romans 10:9-10)
CONFESS: With the mouth confession is made unto salvation. What is it that we say? We must say what we believe—that Jesus is our Savior. We must say what the Bible says about us—that God is our Father and we have become His children.
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name (John 1:12).
Throughout the ages mankind has sought eternal life, never understanding that we are already eternal beings, destined to live forever somewhere. To live forever in a state of separation from God is a frightening thought. You can make sure that you are right with God by turning to Him and praying this prayer:
“God, I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I REPENT, and I ask you to forgive me of all my sin.
“I BELIEVE that Jesus Christ is your Son, that He shed His blood so I might be forgiven, that He rose again from the dead, and He is coming back again.
“I CONFESS Him now as my Savior. I will live for you as you show me how. Amen.”
By believing in Jesus Christ and receiving Him as your Savior, you will turn your life in a new direction. You can be at peace with God knowing you will live forever with Him.
are God's enablement for everyone to do their part.
Written in the context of spiritual gifting, Ephesians 4:16 lets us know that every Christian has a part in the church that will be instrumental to the growth of the Body of Christ. 1 Corinthians 12:7 says, "Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good."
Serving one another through the use
of our spiritual gifts is not optional.
Since there is a limit on the time we can serve, we need to look for maximum effectiveness. Structuring our ministries around our giftedness will help us do that. Knowing where we are spiritually gifted will help us know where to put our focus, energy, and time. It will show us where we should plug into ministry.
But, we must follow:
• God's design for the church
• God's own character
• God's principles in His Word
And, the use of our spiritual gifts must be exercised:
• in His power
• by His grace
What it means to be baptized by the Holy Ghost...
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever (John 14:16). When Jesus returned to Heaven, He promised His disciples they would not be left alone. He told them He would send the Holy Ghost who would baptize them with power to preach the Gospel. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you : and ye shall be witness unto me both in Jerusalem, an in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth (Acts 1:8). Jesus did send the Holy Ghost, just as He promised he would. There were 120 disciples gathered together in an upper room to pray, waiting for the promised Holy Ghost. And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:1-4) This wonderful outpouring from God was followed by one of the most dynamic demonstrations of preaching recorded in the Bible. Peter was a disciple who had earlier denied that he even knew Jesus. He was so changed by this baptism of power that 3000 men (not even counting women or children) were saved when he preached that day! This is the primary purpose of the baptism of the Holy Ghost. God does not expect us to witness to others about Jesus without any proof or evidence to back up what we are saying. A witness is someone who produces proof that what he is saying is true. The baptism of the Holy Ghost is a baptism of power which gives us the ability to produce proof that what we are saying about Jesus is true—that He is alive and wants to live in every person! And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:4) The first evidence the disciples had of this new baptism was the ability to speak in an unknown tongue—a language they had never learned. Visitors to the city even heard them speaking in their own languages, telling the wonderful works of God. Peter explained that not only was this the fulfilment of the promise Jesus made, it had been prophesied by the prophet Joel: And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy (Acts 2:17,18)God does not expect us to preach without power and He does not expect us to live without power. But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost (Jude 1:20).Speaking in other tongues is a benefit that results from being baptized in the Holy Ghost. It is an important part of our prayer life. By taking time to speak in tongues when we pray, we can build ourselves up spiritually. It is important to remain strong in our faith so our testimony of what God has don in our lives remains strong and brings glory to Him. If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? (Luke 11:13) If you have been born again, you can receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost. All you need to do is ask:“ Heavenly Father, thank you for saving me. Thank you for making me new from the inside out. I ask you now to baptize me with the Holy Ghost. Fill me with power from on high to be a witness for you.” God will fill you to overflowing, just like you asked Him to. You now have within you the ability to speak with other tongues. Be sure to take time in prayer to allow God to develop this gift in you. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. (John 16:13).You will also begin to experience a new understanding of the Bible. As you spend time reading your Bible, the Holy Ghost will begin to show you truths from God’s word which will help you in your walk with God. You have turned in an exciting new direction in your Christian life. God wants to do wonderful things in your life. Your old life is gone and your new life is just beginning. You will never, ever be the same again!