A New Birth

Regneration in many churches and denominations is often referred to as the doctrine of the new birth. Regeneration is the restoration of a thing to it’s pristine condition. This is what happens when we accept Christ into our hearts and into our lives. Paul teaches us in 2Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new.” Regeneration states that we can become new creatures in Christ Jesus.
I have a hobby that I enjoy doing and that is woodworking. Sometimes i go to the hardware store and buy new fresh cut lumber, but most of the time I like to use old wood and replenish it. I enjoy taking old pieces of wood or old wooden objects and such and fixing them up and making them like new. This involves sanding them down, putting on a fresh coat of paint or stain, and taking parts away or adding to it in order to make it look new again. Often times these objects have been discarded by someone who just thought of it as a piece of trash. To them it was worthless, but to me it meant something. The same concept applies to the child of God. Before we got saved, spiritually we were dead. We were considered worthless by the Devil. We were worn, torn, and beaten by sin until it seemed that the only logical alternative was to discard and forget about us. But we meant something to God. We are told in 1John 4:19, “We love Him because he fist loved us.” When the world just saw another person, God saw a precious soul. We are told in Titus 3:5-7, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our saviour; that being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
When we get saved, our soul and spirit have been made alive (quickened) by Christ. (See Ephesians 2:1-3) The sinner is dead spiritually because he is still living in his sins. When we accept Christ, we are “born again.” In John 3:3 as Jesus is answering Nicodemus he says, “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.” In verse 7 Jesus reaffirms His answer by saying, “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” Paul teaches us that we are a new creature (see Galatians 6:15 & 2Corinthians 5:17.) Peter teaches us that Christ has “begotten us again” (See 1Peter 1:3) John teaches us that we are “born of God” (See 1John 2:29, 3:9, and 4:7) James taught us that we have been “brought forth” (See James 1:8) There is much to be said in the scriptures concerning the new birth of the child of God.
What constitutes the new birth? Why must we be “born again?” As we have already saw previously, we were dead in our trespasses and sins according to Ephesians 2:1. We have a need for a new birth because the first birth was only physical. We are born with a sin nature, and God cannot allow sin into His presence because He is altogether Holy. We have this sin nature because of the sin of Adam in the garden of Eden (See Romans 5:12) Jesus explained this clearly in John 3 when answering Nicodemus. The new birth is spiritual in nature. Because our spirit and soul is dead before salvation, we experience this new birth when we accept Christ into our hearts. In John 14:6 Jesus tells us that He is the life. When we accept Christ, our spirit and soul are made alive.
We need this new birth because of our inablility to fellowship with God. As stated previously, God is altogether holy, and cannot allow sin into His presence. This means that we can’t have fellowship with God. In Genesis 3, Adam physically walked with God in there in the garden. After Adam disobeyed God’s only command, he was thrown out of the garden, along with his wife, and lost that fellowship with God. In Isaiah 64:6 we read that our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. In order for us to have fellowship with God once again, then we must have the righteousness of Christ. According to Isaiah 61:10, Christ has covered us with His “robe”  of righteousness. We now have the ability to fellowship with God because of what Christ accomplished on Calvary. God the Father initiated salvation, God the Son accomplished salvation, and God the Holy Spirit delivers salvation.
Howis this new birth applied? What is the means of the new birth? In Titus 3:5 we are told that it is not by our own works of righteousness. In Ephesians 2:9 we are reminded that it is not by our works. If we desire the new birth in Christ, it is done by faith alone in Jesus Christ and His finished work on Calvary. Ephesians 2:8 tells us that we are saved by grace through faith. In Romans 10:13 Paul says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” In Luke 13:3 we read, “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” There is no amount of works that can get us to Heaven. The means of the new birth is not baptism, church membership, or the work of our own hands. It is only through the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. It took the sinless and spotless Lamb of God to die for our sins in order for us to have His robe of righteousness, and He never sinned. What makes us think that we have what it takes to make that sacrifice? We can’t even make it 24 hours without needing to repent. We don’t have what it takes to get us to Heaven, but Jesus does and because He loves us so much, He made it possible for us to experience that new birth. Paul tells us in Romans 5:8, “But God commendeth his love towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” In the previous verses Paul talks about how that we wouldn’t even be willing to die for a good man, but Christ died for the worst. He paid for all of the sin of humanity.
There are requirements for this new birth. The first requirement is that there must have been a perfect sacrifice. In the Old Testament when the priest would offer the sacrifice for atonement for sin, the sacrifice had to be perfect. It could not be just any lamb from the field. It had to be the best or else the sacrifice meant nothing. Jesus was the best. He paid that ultimate sacrifice so that we can be saved and experience the new birth. There must be also be the realization that you are a sinner. If you can’t see the need for new birth, you’ll not experience the new birth. There must also be repentance towards God and faith in Christ’s finished work on Calvary.
Because of this new birth, we can have a home in Heaven as well as peace in our hearts here. We are just sojurners passing through this land headed to a better country, but we will still experience sorrow and heartace while we are here. Because of the new birth, we have the comfort of the Holy Spirit. Regardless of how rough the ride gets here, we know that we have a future in Heaven because of the new birth. We may lose the battle now and then, but we’ve already won the war! Thank God for the new birth in Christ!

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