Back in the 1700's, there was an incredible preacher named George Whitefield. Many historians believe he preached something like 18,000 sermons! He traveled all over England and the American colonies, crossing the Atlantic 13 times during his ministry. And one of his favorite texts to preach was John 3:1-5, which says,
Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”
Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?”
Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”
What did Jesus mean when He said, “Unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God”? Well, He meant that religion doesn’t cut it. He meant that you have to understand that you are spiritually dead and you need life! And the only place where this life can be found is in Jesus, who Himself is the “resurrection and the life” (John 11:25). That’s what authentic Christianity means: having the life that Jesus wants for you by being born again by His Spirit!
Authentic Christianity means having the life that Jesus wants for you by being born again by His Spirit!
When you put your faith in Christ, Jesus comes into your life through His Spirit, and makes you come alive spiritually. You who were dead toward God are now born anew with the very life of God. It’s like a spiritual light turns on and all of a sudden, things are wonderfully different.
Now because Jesus emphatically tells us that we must be born again to see God’s kingdom, you and I have some serious soul-searching to do. The critical issue is plain and simple: Have I truly been born again? Does Jesus really live inside me by His Spirit? You see, trusting in Christ (accepting Him as your personal Savior) and being born again (accepting Him as your Lord) are completely inseparable. Jesus is both Lord and Savior. To try to separate the two, taking Him as Savior and not as Lord, is not authentic Christianity!
When you truly embrace Christ, you will be born again from above because Jesus puts His Spirit inside of you and you can’t help but acknowledge Him as Lord of your life. You were once dead, but now you’re more alive than ever. That’s what being “born again” really means!