Regeneration by the Holy Spirit is "The New Birth". Many times when you ask someone if they are a Christian their reply is, "I have always believed", or "I go to Church on Sunday", or "I believe in doing good works".
When we are FIRST BORN we are born into a natural life, born into sin because the word of God tells us "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23. This is because of the fall. "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:" Romans 5:12. Therefore, when we are first born, we are a natural man or woman, perhaps with great natural gifts, a good job and do good works, but God's word says, "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, BECAUSE THEY ARE SPIRITUALLY DISCERNED." 1 Corinthians 2:14. Also, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." Ephesians 2:8-9.
We read in St John chapter 3 that a man of the Pharisees called Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews, came to see Jesus by night (I wonder why by night!). He said to Jesus "Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: FOR NO MAN CAN DO THESE MIRACLES THAT THOU DOEST, EXCEPT GOD BE WITH HIM". Now, Jesus declares the importance of THE NEW BIRTH, BEING BORN AGAIN! REGENERATION. Jesus answered, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be BORN AGAIN, he cannot see the kingdom of God." John 3:3, and again "YE MUST BE BORN AGAIN." John 3:7. Flesh can only reproduce the same: flesh! Therefore, Spirit must come from Spirit, A SPIRITUAL RE-BIRTH FROM ABOVE. "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." John 3:6. "Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again." John 3:7.
If Jesus had not shed his blood, died on the cross for our sins, and rose again the third day there would have been "NO LIFE", no "NEW BIRTH". When we repent of our sins, and accept Jesus Christ into our heart and our life as our personal Savior and make a decision for Him, then we become BORN AGAIN. We become a Christian, born from above! We are assured of eternal life and victory, "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." 1 John 5:4.
Water baptism should take place after the NEW BIRTH, "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." Romans 6:3-4. "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:" Matthew 28:19.
We are told in God's Word, once we are BORN AGAIN, "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:" 1 Peter 2:2. "And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is IN HIS SON. HE THAT HATH THE SON HATH LIFE; AND HE THAT HATH NOT THE SON OF GOD HATH NOT LIFE." 1 John 5:11-12. HOLY LIVING should follow CONVERSION and to SEEK to be FILLED with THE HOLY SPIRIT.
Jesus is waiting for you to make the greatest decision of your life to repent and accept Him into your heart as your Personal Saviour, then walk and talk with Him, fulfilling His will. Continuing to COME TO HIM, IN PRAYER AND THANKSGIVING, GOING TO A GOOD CHURCH. The decision where you spend eternity, Heaven or Hell, is yours. Jesus loves you and gave Himself for you. Will you accept Him now? Then walk and talk and continue with Him. "If ye CONTINUE IN THE FAITH grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel..." Colossians 1:23.
"Being BORN AGAIN, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever." 1 Peter 1:23.
Written By Rev. Arthur J. Milton