BORN AGAIN, WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
1 Peter 1:3—Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has
caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
INTRO: “I am a Christian, but not one of those born-again types.”
The problem with this is that there is only one kind of Christian—the true believer that has been born again by the grace and power of God’s Holy Spirit, through the work of Jesus; it is an act of Spirit, not of
flesh. This is the message of the whole Bible, not just the New Testament.
SYNONYMS FOR “BORN AGAIN”
New birth, born from above, born anew, regeneration, 2nd birth, coming from death to life, from darkness to light, being made alive in Christ.
BORN AGAIN—NOT JUST THE TEACHING OF PETER
It Was Jesus’ Teaching Too: John 3:1-3—Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a
ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” 3 Jesus
answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Jesus gives further exposition and an illustration to help us understand:
1. The new birth or being born-gain is a spiritual act.
John 3:6–That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
2. Being born-again means being washed by God’s Word and Spirit
John 3:5—Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
Titus 3:3-7—For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. 4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by— the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Ephesians 5:25-27—Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
3. An Illustration: John 3:7-8—Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind
blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
THIS CONCEPT OF BEING BORN AGAIN IS FOUND IN THE OT TOO
10 Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things?
Nicodemus should have realized this teaching of the New Birth is not new!
Ezekiel 36:21-25—But I had concern for my holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations to which they came. 22 “Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD: It is
not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you
have profaned among the nations to which you came. 23 And I will vindicate the holiness of my great
name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them. And
the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Lord GOD, when through you I vindicate my
holiness before their eyes. 24 I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries and
bring you into your own land. 25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your
uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. 26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new
spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart
of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. 28 You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people,
and I will be your God. 29 And I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses. And I will summon the
grain and make it abundant and lay no famine upon you.
HOW DO I KNOW I AM BORN AGAIN?
1. I possess a true, sincere, saving faith in Jesus—I repent of my sin and believe Jesus lived and died
for me. “I see the kingdom of God.”
2. My once hard heart is softened to the things of God—I want to know more of what the Bible
teaches. “I enter the kingdom of God.”
3. I am moved to follow God’s Word and do good works: Ephesians 2:8-10— For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of
works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good
works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
WHAT IF I SEE THAT I AM NOT BORN-AGAIN?
The following is from the article “How Can I Know God?” by Tim Keller:
Repent. There first must be an admission that you have been living as your own master, worshiping
the wrong things, violating God’s loving laws. “Repentance” means you ask forgiveness and turn from
that stance with a willingness to live for and center on him.
Believe. Faith is transferring your trust from your own efforts to the efforts of Christ. You were relying on other things to make you acceptable, but now you consciously begin relying on what Jesus did for your acceptance with God. All you need is nothing. If you think, “God owes me something for all my efforts,” you are still on the outside.
Pray after this fashion: “I see I am more flawed and sinful than I ever dared believe, but that I am even more loved and accepted than I ever dared hope. I turn from my old life of living for myself. I have nothing in my record to merit your approval, but I now rest in what Jesus did and ask to be accepted into God’s family for his sake.”
Sermon outline for 1 Peter 1:3, Born Again, What Does That Mean? Pastor Michael Schuelke, January 20, 2019