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Born Again

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Key Verse: John 3:3
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.

Question: What does the key verse mean to you?

LESSON:

Jesus came preaching the message of the Kingdom of God. It was not understood then, and it is still not understood. He taught we must be born again -- born of the spirit to enter the Kingdom of God.

So often today, we hear someone say, “I’ve been born again” or someone is a born again Christian. They usually mean that they have accepted Christ as Savior or been converted. This is not “Born Again.” When we believe, repent, are baptized, and have hands laid on us to receive the Holy Spirit, we are given a portion of God’s Holy Spirit, we are “begotten of God” -- not yet born

Being begotten of God is similar to the physical birth. When a husband and wife come together in love, a new life is sparked inside the mothers womb. That spark of life has never existed before. As the child develops in the mothers womb it is protected from the evils on the outside. The mother will do everything in her power to nurture this potential human child. No smoking, no alcohol, no drugs, the mother knows what’s inside her is precious. At the end of nine months, the child is ready to be delivered, ready to be born into the world, in the image and character of the mother and father. What began as only a spark of life, now carries the image of the parents.

The spiritual birth has also many similarities. When a person is baptized and receives the Holy Spirit of God, a new life is sparked inside the mind and heart of a human being. A very part of God is received, and the potential to become a new creature in Christ now exists. Never has this spark of life existed before. As this new creature in Christ grows, it too must be protected from the evils of the world. Much of this comes by a conscious decision to avoid evil. The new creature can find a safe haven and protection in the church. God will do everything in His power to nurture this new creature in Christ but not at the expense of usurping our own will. At the return of Christ, either by a resurrection from the dead or by instant change, the new creature in Christ is ready to be born as a child of God. No longer flesh and blood but composed of spirit. If we remain faithful and grow in the Spirit, we can be born again when we become Spirit at the resurrection of the dead.

Nicodemus came to see Jesus and asked Him questions (John 3:1-6). Nicodemus and some of the Jews knew that Jesus had come from God. He may have suspected that Jesus was the Messiah and he may have thought Jesus was going to set up His Kingdom soon. Jesus explained to him that he who is born of the flesh is flesh, and he who is born of the spirit is spirit. When one is born of the spirit, he will be spirit -- no longer flesh. Until the resurrection at Christ’s coming, we cannot be changed to spirit.

Jesus was the first to be born again. He is the first born of every creature -- the first born from the dead (Colossians 1:14-18). While flesh and blood, we cannot inherit the Kingdom, for flesh and blood cannot do so (I Corinthians 15:48-50).

We cannot see, enter into or inherit the Kingdom of God -- we cannot be “Born Again” -- until the resurrection at Christ’s coming.

 

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  1. What is the difference in meaning of the phrase “born again” as used by Jesus in John 3:3 and as used by Peter in 1 Peter 1:23?
    (John 3:3) gennao anothen,
    (I Peter 1:23) anagennao

  2. Can you see the analogy between: [receiving the Holy Spirit] [living the Christian life] and [being resurrected] with [conception] [the nine month gestation] and [birth in this life]?


FOR FURTHER STUDY:
*gennao to procreate; rendered in KJV as: conceive, make, be born, be delivered of.
*anothen (an'-o-then) by implication: anew; rendered in KJV as: again.
*anagennao (an-ag-en-nah'-o) to beget.

John 4:24 God is a Spirit.
Philippians 3:21 God shall change our body so that it will be like His.
1 John 3:2 For now are we the sons of God but when He appears we shall be like Him.


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