The phrase “unless you are born again,” used by Jesus when speaking to Nicodemus, refers to a spiritual birth, not a physical one. Every baby is born with a physical body, but also as a spiritual being into a spiritual family, or kingdom. The Bible teaches that Adam and Eve’s disobedience brought about both physical and spiritual death to all of their descendants. This death can better be understood as separation from God. Therefore, every person is born into this world as members of the kingdom of the world and spiritually separated from God’s Kingdom. This is the spiritual condition everyone has inherited from Adam and Eve. “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man [our forefather Adam], and death through sin, and this way death [separation from God] came to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12).
One of the strongest statements regarding this truth actually came from Jesus in His reply to Nicodemus. Jesus said, “What I am telling you so earnestly is this: Unless one is born of water [physical birth] and the Spirit [conceived by the Holy Spirit and reborn spiritually into the Kingdom of God], he cannot enter the Kingdom of God. Men can only reproduce human life, but the Holy Spirit gives new life from heaven; so don’t be surprised at My statement that you must be born again!” (John 3:5-7, The Living Bible).
So we are born spiritually “on the wrong side of the tracks.” We come into this world with a sinful nature and as members of Satan’s kingdom. Romans 7 says that it is a spiritual law—we sin because of our heritage. Our natural instinct is to be self-centered. Young children, for example, will naturally lie or cheat, bite, scratch and hit as they look after their own self-interests. Parents do not have to teach them to be this way.
The natural instinct of every person, being a member of the kingdom of the world, is to pursue self-exaltation, self-glorification and self-satisfaction. It was this same self-centered attitude that brought about the fall of Satan. It is why God cast him out of His Kingdom, even though he held a high position. The Bible says of Satan, “You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High’” (Isaiah 14:13-14). Notice the repeated use of the word “I.” I will do this; I will do that.
Because we are born into the kingdom of the world, we have this same natural instinct. We live to serve ourselves. When we try to decide for ourselves what is right and wrong rather than following the teachings of God, we’re effectively aspiring to take the place of God. Examine the nature of Jesus, who walked here on Earth in the fullness of the Holy Spirit. He is the only person conceived by the Spirit of God in a woman’s womb and the only one born as a member of the Kingdom of God. He said, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does” (John 5:19). “By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me” (John 5:30).
WATCH FOR PART 2 of “Why You Must Be Born Again” on February 15th, 2010Tags: Adam and Eve, Bible, born again, born of water, disobedience, God, Holy Spirit, Kingdom of God, reborn spiritually, separated, separated from God, spiritual, spiritual family, truth