The New Birth
What is the natural condition of the human family?
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23. See Ephesians 2:1-3.
Who alone will be permitted to see God?
"Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God." Matthew 5:8.
Can man by his own exertions change his condition?
"Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil." Jeremiah 13:23.
How, then, can one be brought to God?
"For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit." 1 Peter 3:18.
What progress can one make in coming to God without the help of Christ?
"I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing." John 15:5.
When one is "in Christ," what has he become?
"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." 2 Corinthians 5:17.
What must take place before one can become a "new creature?"
"For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died." Romans 7:9.
Unto what had Paul died?
"God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?" Romans 6:2.
By what did sin slay Paul?
"For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me." Romans 7:11.
Then what gives sin its strength to kill?
"The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law." 1 Corinthians 15:56.
By what forcible words did the Saviour show the importance of the new birth, or conversion?
"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." John 3:3.
By what means is the second birth effected?
"Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever." 1 Peter 1:22, 23.
Can we fully understand this process?
"The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit." John 3:8.
Can one be born of the Spirit, and still do the works of the flesh?
"That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." John 3:6 (Rom. 8:5).
NOTE: That is, if one has been born of the flesh only, he is fleshly, or carnal, in his habits. The two words, carnal and fleshly, are derived from the same original word, and are used interchangeably in the New Testament (Rom. 8:5-9). If, on the other hand, he has been born of the Spirit, he is spiritual.
Do these two conditions harmonize?
"For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would." Galatians 5:17.
What are the works of the flesh?
"Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God." Galatians 5:19-21.
What are the works of the Spirit?
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." Galatians 5:22,23.
When a man has been "born again," what will he do?
"If ye know that He is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him." 1 John 2:29.
What is righteousness?
"My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness." Psalms 119:172.
How, then, will he that is born of God regard sin?
"What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death." Romans 6:21.
"Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good." Romans 12:9.
"Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:" 1 Peter 2:1, 2.
He that is born of God and that retains the wonderful change which has been wrought in him, will conform to all such scriptures, earnestly striving to advance in the way of holiness.
How did Paul obtain deliverance from the law of sin at conversion?
"For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." Romans 8:2.
NOTE: The "law of sin and death" is man's unrenewed nature, the carnal mind, ever impelling him to sin and transgression. The "law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus," which frees us from this law of sin, is the new nature given us by Christ, which leads us to turn away from sin, and to overcome it. The great moral law of God stands as the test of character in both conditions. In the one case it condemns him; in the other it does not.
When thus made free from the law of sin and death, in what condition is an individual?
"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Romans 8:1.
To what kind of life does the new birth raise one?
"Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 6:11.
If really born of God, what will one manifest?
"Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God." 1 John 4:7.
What victory is gained by those who are born again?
"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.