Why is the New Birth Necessary?


“Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again” (John 3:1-8).


Our Lord said, “Ye must be born again,” because none shall ever enter into glory except those who are born again by the power and grace of God and made to live in, by and with the Lord Jesus Christ.


In order for God to save a sinner two things must be done. God must do something for you; and God must do something in you. Redemption is the work of God for sinners. Regeneration is the work of God in sinners. Both are the works of God; and both are necessary. Man has nothing more to do with regeneration than he has to do with redemption. “Salvation is of the Lord!”


“Not all the outward forms on earth,

Nor rites that God has given,

Nor will of man, nor blood, nor birth,

Can raise a soul to heaven.


The sovereign will of God alone

Creates us heirs of grace;

Born in the image of His Son,

A new peculiar race.”


Why must we be born again? There are many answers to that question in the Word of God; but our Lord gave Nicodemus three reasons why he must be born again. These three things make it imperative that you must be born again.


1.    Unless you are born again you cannot understand anything spiritual. — “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” (v. 3).


The natural man is totally void of spiritual understanding. He may be a logical, reasonable, rational and well educated person among men, but with regard to the things of God he is as ignorant, foolish and unreasonable as a madman. He has no capacity for spiritual knowledge (Romans 8:5; 1 Corinthians 2:14). The heart of stone is hard, cold, unbending and unaffected.


Fallen man cannot see the spiritual nature of God’s law (Matthew 5:21, 27, 38, 43, 48), — the spiritual nature of sin (Matthew 15:17-19), — the glory of God in redemption (Romans 3:24-26), — the spiritual condition of his own heart (Jeremiah 17:9), — or the spiritual nature of salvation. It is a heart work (Ezekiel 36:25-27). All human religion is carnal and teaches nothing but carnal things, because the unregenerate soul cannot see the spiritual nature of obedience to God (1 Samuel 16:7; Romans 14:17). Lost people cannot see the spiritual nature of faith and worship (Philippians 3:3). They cannot see the true character of God (Exodus 33:18-34:7).


The poor, lost sinner cannot see the glory of God in Christ (2 Corinthians



4:6). His suretyship engagements, his incarnation, his substitutionary atonement and his ascension and exaltation are all matters about which he is in utter darkness. To him “the light is as darkness” (Job 10:22). He simply cannot see the gospel of the grace of God (2 Corinthians 5:18-21).


2.    Unless you are born again by almighty grace you can never enter into the kingdom of God. — “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” (v. 5).


You can reform your life without the new birth. You can be baptized without the new birth. You can join the church, be zealous in religion, teach a Bible class, serve as a deacon or elder, you can even preach with great success without being born again. But unless you are born again, you will never enter the kingdom of God. You will never be a part of the church and family of God. You will never have eternal life. You will never enter into the worship and fellowship of God’s saints. You will never be admitted into the presence of God’s glory in the bliss of heaven (Revelation 20:6; 21:27).


Only new creatures will enter the new Jerusalem. Only holy men will walk into the Holy City. Only heaven born citizens will possess the bliss of heaven.


3.    “Ye must be born again,” because by nature you are a fallen, sinful, depraved child of human flesh. — “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (v. 6).


All flesh is defiled. All flesh is corrupt. All flesh is sinful. All flesh is condemned. All flesh must die. The flesh is your natural, sinful self (Psalm 51:5; 58:3; Romans 5:12; Revelation 20:11-15).Unless you are born of the Spirit, you will die in your sins, and your flesh shall be justly damned.


The regenerated person, one born again by the Spirit of God and the efficacy of his grace, is a spiritual person. He can discern and judge all things of a spiritual nature. He is fit to be admitted into heaven and is by the grace of God made “meet to be partaker of the inheritance of the saints in light” (Colossians 1:12).


Though chosen to salvation in eternal election and accepted in Christ from everlasting, though redeemed by Christ’s blood, forgiven of all sin and justified from all things by his imputed righteousness, until they are born again God’s elect are not fit to enter and cannot enter into heaven. Therefore, our Lord Jesus says, “Ye must be born again.”





Don Fortner



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