Pastor Don Fortner
Grace Baptist Church of Danville
2734 Old Stanford Road
Danville, Kentucky 40422-9438
The Son Of God declares, "Ye must be born again," because none shall ever enter into glory except those who are born again by the sovereign power and irresistible grace of God and made to live in and by 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. 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."
Perhaps you are thinking to yourself, "Why must we be born again?" That is the question I want to answer for you this morning. There are many answers that are given to that question in the Word of God. But I will simply give you the three that are found in our Lord's discourse with Nicodemus on the new birth. In John 3:3-7, the Son of God gave Nicodemus three reasons why he must be born again. These three things make it imperative that you and I must also be born again.
Unless we are born again we cannot understand anything spiritual (v. 3). "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." All natural men are totally void of spiritual understanding. You may be a logical, reasonable, rational, and well educated person among men, but with regard to the things of God you are as ignorant, foolish, and unreasonable as a madman, until you are born again. You have no capacity for spiritual knowledge "For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit…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" (Rom. 8:5; 1 Cor. 2:14). The heart of stone is hard, cold, unbending, unaffected. Until you are born again, you cannot see the kingdom of God. You cannot understand spiritual things.
You cannot see the spiritual nature of God's law (Matt. 5:21, 27, 38, 43, 48).
You cannot see the spiritual nature of sin (Matt. 15:17-19).
You cannot see the glory of God in redemption (Rom. 3:24-26).
You cannot see the spiritual condition of your own heart (Jer. 17:9).
You cannot see the spiritual nature of salvation - It is a heart work (Ezek. 36:25-27).
You cannot see the spiritual nature of obedience to God (1 Sam. 16:7; Rom. 14:17). Human religion is carnal. It has to do with carnal things!
You cannot see the spiritual nature of faith and worship (Phil. 3:3).
You cannot see the true character of God (Ex. 33:18-34:7).
You cannot see the glory of God in Christ (2 Cor. 4:6).
You cannot see the glory of his suretyship engagements (Heb. 7:22).
You cannot see the blessed mystery of his incarnation (1 Tim. 3:16).
You cannot see the majestic efficacy of his substitutionary atonement (2 Cor. 5:21)..
You cannot see the wonder of his ascension and exaltation (Rom. 14:9).
You cannot see the gospel of the grace of God (2 Cor. 5:18-21).
Unless you are born again by almighty grace you can never enter into the kingdom of God (v. 5). "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." 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. Until you are born again, you will never be a part of the church and family of God. Until you are born again, you will never have eternal life. Until you are born again, you will never enter into the worship and fellowship of God's saints. Until you are born again, you will never be admitted into the presence of God's glory in the bliss of heaven. 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. (Rev. 20:6; 21:27).
We "must be born again" because by nature we are all fallen, sinful, depraved children of human flesh (v. 6). "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." The flesh is our natural, sinful self (Psa. 51:5; 58:3; Rom. 5:12; Rev. 20:11-15). All flesh is defiled. All flesh is corrupt. All flesh is sinful. All flesh is condemned. All flesh must die. Unless you are born of the Spirit, you will die in your sins, and your flesh shall be justly damned. May God be pleased this day to grant that you may be born again, for Christ's sake.