The New Birth

The New BirthText: John 3:3-7

When Jesus talked to Nicodemus, He told him of the need to be “born again.” There is a reason why Jesus used this analogy – there is a parallel between the new birth and physical birth. In this lesson, we are going to see what we need to understand about the new birth.

Conception

  • This is when the seed is implanted that has the ability to produce life
  • The seed that is implanted in the “new birth” is the word of God (1 Peter 1:23; cf. James 1:21) – the word of God is able to produce life in us (John 6:63, 68)
  • Implanted through the preaching of the gospel (Luke 8:5-8, 11; cf. Mark 16:15) – this is why preaching is important (Romans 10:13-15)

Development

  • After conception, there is a period of development before birth
  • The word of God must produce faith in order to bring about the “new birth” (Romans 10:17; John 1:12) – belief in Christ based upon the evidence that is provided (Acts 17:2-3)
  • However, the development must include more than just belief – also must bear fruit (Luke 8:15); the fruit that is borne is repentance (Matthew 3:8), a change of life

Birth

  • After a period of development, the time comes for birth
  • The “new birth” occurs when one is baptized into Christ (1 Peter 1:3, 23; Romans 6:3-4) – born of water and the Spirit (John 3:5); in baptism one’s sins are forgiven (Acts 2:38; 22:16) and he becomes a new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17); baptism itself is an act of faith (Colossians 2:12) as an appeal to God (1 Peter 3:21)
  • “Baptism” without conception and development is not the “new birth” – no appeal made in faith for God to save; therefore, no infant baptism, baptism for another reason, etc.

Growth

  • After birth, one cannot remain in an infant state – must continue to grow
  • The word of God is able to produce this growth (1 Peter 2:2) – it provides nourishment for us (1 Timothy 4:6); therefore, we must continue in it (2 Peter 3:18)
  • We are to continue on to maturity (Hebrews 5:12-6:1) – if we turn away from the word of God, we forfeit our spiritual lives (Hebrews 2:1-3; 10:39)

Example

  • This process is seen in the example of the apostle Paul
  • The word was implanted in his heart (Acts 9:4-5) – he was informed who Jesus was
  • He developed a belief in Christ and a spirit of repentance (Acts 9:5, 9, 11)
  • He was baptized into Christ (Acts 9:18)
  • He continued to grow in his new life in Christ (Acts 9:20, 22)

Conclusion

  • Everyone who wants to be saved must be born again – the seed of the gospel must be planted in their heart, it must lead them to faith and repentance, and they must make the decision to be baptized into Christ
  • This invitation is always open

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