Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of June 10, 2007

John 1:11-13
He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power (the right or privilege) to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Sometimes I am asked if a person really has to be born again. My answer is usually, NO! You don’t have to be born again. You can live and die without God in your life and without the life that prepares you to be with God throughout eternity. However, if you want to have part in the Kingdom of God which means that you will go to heaven when you die; then the Bible says, “you MUST be born again (John 3:7).

If the new birth is a must, then we need to know what it is and what it is not. Let’s see what it is first:
1.It is a new life. The first one is a life guided by Satan’s question “Yea, hath God said? (Genesis 3:1)”. The new one is a life resulting from confidence in what God has said.
2.It is obtained by receiving Christ. We receive Christ by “believing on His name.” The new birth is obtained by faith (believing) and not by works (doing).
3.It is of God. God has finished the work that saves. We cannot do anything to deserve to be born again. We wouldn’t even want to be born again if the Holy Spirit were not convincing us of sin. But we can submit to the convicting power of the Holy Spirit and receive Christ by believing on His name which means that we trust His authority because of His reputation and character. Authority, reputation and character are what a name represents.

Now let’s see what the new birth is not:
1.It is not of blood. Our parents and grandparents and other relatives (our blood line) cannot save us.
2.It is not of the will of the flesh. We obviously cannot save ourselves. We will have difficulty putting faith in the Lord when we are still putting faith in ourselves or in what we can do.
3.It is not of the will of man. Just as parents and family cannot save us, men cannot save us. They cannot tell us to do something or to join something to be born again,
4.It is not a sinless life. Those who are saved still sin. However, a person who has no conscience about sin, should revisit the issue of whether or not he is really born again.
5.It is not always an easy life. James says, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations or trials (James 1:2).”
6.It is not religion. That is, it is not simply a way of life. Instead of the new birth being a dead religion, it is a living relationship with the Lord as part of His spiritual family. We become children of God.
7.It is not baptism, though a Christian should be baptized. Again, it is not something we do for one another or something we do for ourselves.
8.It is not the Lord’s supper though Christians should worship the Lord by participation in the Lord’s supper. Again, the new birth is not what we do for God but is based on what God has done for us.
9.It is not the ability to do miracles or speak in tongues. Many have been born again who cannot do those things. Nicodemus was told that he needed to born again and it is clear that he was. However, he did not do miracles or speak in tongues.
10.It is not simply a prayer. The new birth is by believing and not by praying though a believer will obviously pray (Romans 10:14). Faith in Christ is what produces new life, and faith comes by listening to what God says (Romans 10:17).

The new birth is Biblical, important and prepares us for a life with God. We simply MUST be born again God’s way if we want to be prepared to meet God.

Bruce Collins

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