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Being born again is an act of God.

John 1:12-13 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: [13] Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. [KJV]

To all who believe in Him and accept Him, Jesus has the power and right to make them children of God. They are reborn! This is not a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, this rebirth is spiritual and comes from God alone. This is an invisible birth. It is something far beyond the physical birth that we know, and far beyond anything that we can comprehend. When we were born into this world physically, those around us could see and feel and hold and weigh us. They would have to wash and clothe and feed us. But being “born again” is an invisible and mysterious birth and has nothing to do with the flesh. It is of God and Heaven. Being “born again” is of the Spirit, a completely different kind of birth, a mysterious birth. When a person is “born again,” it truly is mysterious! Being born of the Spirit cannot be compared to a physical birth. The only similarity is that being born physically places you into a family on Earth, and being born spiritually places you into the family of God. So, when you are “born again” you actually have two families. Physical birth is common, every person is born. But NOT every person is “born again.” Those people who have a second birth, experience a birth not of the body but of the heart. They are born not into time, but into eternity. They are not born of Earth but of Heaven. They have an inward birth, a spiritual birth, a birth of the heart, a mysterious birth! Born again is a specific and individual gift from God. This marvelous, invisible birth is also a special grant from God. God is supreme and sovereign over all. There is not a child born anywhere in the world whom God does not own as His creation. Someone once wisely stated that there are no illegitimate children, just illegitimate parents. No matter who you are: race, culture, legitimate or not, you CAN BE God’s child! You CAN HAVE this other birth, this mysterious, spiritual birth.

This second birth is different from, and far better than the first kind of birth. This second birth is one that gives us an unusual right: the right to be born into God’s family, thus becoming a child of the Father in Heaven. When I speak of the Fatherhood of God, I am referring to the fact that God is the Father of all who believe. He is the Father of the whole family in Heaven and on Earth who believe on the Name of Jesus. God is NOT the Father of sinners (unbelievers). God is NOT the Father of all mankind, for God is NOT the Father of unbelieving murderers and those willfully living an immoral life. God is only the Father of those who believe. There is also the brotherhood of man. God has made of one blood all people who dwell on the face of the earth. All who are born into the world are born of the same blood. Our skin may be different. Some will have blond hair, red hair, black hair; some hair curly, some straight. We may not look alike, but there is nevertheless a widespread human brotherhood. We all descended from Adam whose mortal sin brought death into the world.
Born again is a brotherhood within the brotherhood. There is a brotherhood of all mankind, and there is another brotherhood within that brotherhood. I am speaking of the brotherhood of the saints of God (born again believers). The fact that there is a broad human brotherhood does NOT mean that all men are saved. They are not. In fact, there are only a “few” (Mat.7:14; 22:14) that are saved into this elite brotherhood. Only when people believe and are saved (born again) do they enter into the brotherhood of the redeemed. The liberals and the modernists are WRONG! They say that because mankind is a brotherhood, we all are the children of one Father, and therefore we all are saved. That is totally unscriptural and it is NOT true! Liberals want to place everyone on a single level: Christian and non-Christian, religious and godless, saved and lost, believer and unbeliever. The Bible has none of this! Yes, there is a brotherhood of man that comes by the first birth, BUT, there is another brotherhood that comes only through the second birth. You can only dwell in that sacred, mysterious brotherhood of the ransomed and the redeemed, that fellowship of the saints; by believing and accepting the broken Body and the shed Blood of the Saviour! Only by the grace of God can you be in this “brotherhood of the few.” This is a mysterious birth, and it gives us an extreme and special privilege! “To all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God!” It is a gift, from God alone! God gives us the privilege, the legal right, to become His children. This is what it means to be born into the Kingdom of God. It is actually a privilege to be “born again.” Jesus and only Jesus, gives us the “right” to become children of God.

Being born again should make the headlines.

Almighty God allows certain people to be “born again.” They are born in the Spirit, not in the flesh. These were the privileged few. They have a right given to them that others do not and cannot have, the “right” to be the children of God. The Bible makes it very plain that a person who is a creation of God becomes a child of God ONLY when he or she is born by a special privilege or grant of Almighty God. It interesting to know that this is a right and a privilege that even the angels do not have. God’s Promise to us is this: what Jesus is, we will be. Not in a sense of deity (being God), certainly not, but in all the rights and privileges. We will be equal to Jesus and like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

1 John 3:2-3 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. [3] And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. (KJV)

In that day, if there is any bowing to be done, the angels will do it, for the children of the Most High God have the highest privilege of being like Jesus. Why don’t more people believe this? If they did, there would be many more being “born again.” Let us act like children of God and believe that we have a special right to be children of God by reaching out to lost souls around us. Let us be sick inside when we see children of Heaven acting like the sons of Earth, acting like children of the world and the flesh, living like Adam and yet saying they believe in a new birth by God’s Spirit, saying that they are "Christians."

Born again; how to have the privilege.

How can a person get this special privilege? You must BELIEVE, and when you do, you are received. Many who go around “believing” never really get very far. There are many hypocrites (Mat.23:12-33). Our Lord called them some awful names. They ‘profess’ to be “Christians” but they do not ‘possess’ Christ in their hearts. But with “born again” ones, it’s different! Those born of the mysterious birth, believed. They are not cynics, doubters or pessimists. They took a confident, humble, trusting attitude toward Christ Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. They received Him, and “to all who received him,…he gave the right.” This word “receive” is not passive. Passive is when I receive the action and do nothing; active is when I perform the act (trust and obey). There is much passive (inactive, motionless) religion in the world today. Most people are passive toward God. Most who “receive” Christ today, make it a passive thing! The Bible knows absolutely nothing about passive or inactive reception. The word “receive” should be active. You cannot “receive” Christ and then be idle! That is absolute hypocrisy! You simply draw near to Him with your mouth, and honor Him with your lips; but your heart is FAR from Him. (Mat.15:8; Mark 7:6). That does NOT make you “born again.” You must be sincere! It must be from the heart! Passive or inactive acceptance is NOT the equivalent of faith! We must “receive” Christ; we must take Him into the deepest part of our heart and soul! We must then be an active child of God by obeying Him. “Go ye therefore.

Being born again is an aggressive act of our total character. “Receiving” is taking instead of accepting. To “receive Him” and truly be saved, is an action of our entire personality. It is an act of the mind and of the will and of the affections. It is not only an act of our total personality, it is an aggressive act of our total personality. You WANT to be saved, don’t you? You WANT to be born again, don’t you? Then reach out and “receive Him,” take Him, grab Him and never let Him go! Do it like you mean it! Be aggressive. Take Jesus into your heart and soul and mind. He’s offered to you, take Him like you mean it. Let every part of your being became a hand reaching out to Christ Jesus, for He is the only One who can save you. It is absolutely a matter of life and death; of Heaven or Hell. Please realize this, and grab hold of Him securely and never let Him go!

Take Jesus as your Saviour and Lord, with all of your will and affections, with all your feelings and intelligence. “Receiving Him” must be an active thing. Don’t just sit there. Evangelical Christianity is rapidly dying out. It’s on a dead-end street. People stand in the pews and sing about tears and prayers and believing, but there’s not one sign of action. OTHER religions are speeding onto the scene. OTHER gods are being praised and worshipped. People believe in self-esteem, self this and self that. They don’t read the Bible enough to know that we are NOTHING on our own (John 15:1-5; 2 Cor.3:5; Phil.4:13). We can do nothing lasting by ourselves. Don’t be fooled by the commotion of religious activity, or the surge of religious thinking. I wrote an article “Religion or Christ” showing there is a huge difference between so-called “religion” and Christ! Religion is simply a belief. It can be a belief in anything! Hunting, fishing, sports, any kind of pleasure, sex, another person, money, etc. Anything can be “religion” to you. Don’t think that just because a person goes to church every time the doors open, they are a “Christian.” A person must have Christ in their heart and soul to be a TRUE Christian. Take C-h-r-i-s-t out of Christian; what do you have? Nothing! Remember, the meaning of the word “received” is very important here. “As many as received him” means to actively and aggressively take Him! It means you have resolved to exercise (put into action) your will. It means you won’t deny or reject any condition that the Lord lays down. This is something quite different from what we hear.

We do not come to the Lord and try to make terms because we don’t like what He’s put before us. We cannot haggle, argue or barter. It’s His Way or not at all! We must come to the Lord and actively “receive” (take) Him on His terms.

Born again meets any condition He lays down.

What is a TRUE child of God? It is the believer in Christ who will gladly and willingly meet any condition the Lord lays down, even if it means forsaking friends or family. Is this necessary? YES!

Matthew 10:37-38 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. [38] And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. [KJV]

Jesus is asking us to place our love for Him, our Saviour and Lord, before that of wife, husband, children. And if we do not, He will not have us. That is the sum of the teaching of Jesus on this subject. Is it cruel? NO! It doesn’t mean we cannot love our family and friends. Jesus wants us to love them and everyone (Mat. 22:37-39). It is a command! We must love! BUT we are to love Jesus FIRST! Above and beyond ALL people and ALL things. God demands our love and our loyalty, this is NOT cruel. Christ does not just offer us salvation as if it were a decoration or some addition to our dress. What He means is throw off your old rags; get rid of them! Let Christ then dress you in the fine clean robes of His righteousness (1 Cor.1:30). If it means loss of money, loss of a job, persecution, opposition, so be it! Many people who at first turn to Christ, will back away when the going gets rough or they give in to temptation.

Matthew 13:19-23 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. [20] But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; [21] Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. [22] He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. [23] But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. (KJV)

There are four different groups of people listed in this Passage (parable) by Christ Jesus. Which one are you?

  1. "heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not" Those who hear the word and do not understand and do not make an attempt to understand, the devil will come and snatch the word away from them. This represents the hard packed road-side.
  2. "when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended." he rocky soil represents those who hear the message and receive it with joy, but like young plants their roots don't go very deep. At first they do OK, but they soon wilt away when they have problems or are persecuted because they believe the word.
  3. "the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful." The thorny ground represents those who hear and accept the Gospel of Truth, but all too quickly the message is choked out by the cares of this life and the lust of wealth, and these people produce no "fruit" for the Lord. They trusted the Lord to begin with, but they do NOT obey Him. We must trust and obey . . . there is NO other way!
  4. "he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty." The good soil represents those people who truly hear and accept God's Word and produce a huge harvest; 30, 60 or even a 100 times as much as had been planted. These are the only ones who are born again! Only these people trust and obey Our Lord, Jesus. Only these people can call God their "Father." 1 John 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. (KJV)

To receive Christ Jesus as Lord is NOT a passive thing. It is firm action! It is yielding everything to Him. It is opening the dorr of your heart to Him . . . ALL the way! You cannot cling to your sinful pleasures, NONE of them. You must give them up! Being “born again” and willfully living in sin do NOT go together. It’s one OR the other! Many churches in this deadly, corrupt hour, make it easy for double-minded people. They go along with the crowd. Immorality has subtly crept into churches. Fornication, adultery, homosexuality, lying, stealing, cheating, drunkenness, drugs, blasphemy, etc., etc. ALL are wrong! Yet many churches tolerate this wickedness and more from the people. God states that it’s wrong! So, it’s WRONG! It seems the belief of the “now generation” is: "Just believe on Jesus and accept Him, and then you can be as you were before. You can do what you did before." This kind of “Christianity” is being passed along in far too many circles. This kind of “religion” is not any better than paganism. A true “Christian” must insist on “believing” for salvation, and then live as Jesus wants us to live. We must NOT defile the Lordship of our Saviour by living an evil lifestryle.

The popular way is wrong!

John 1:12-13 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: [13] Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. [KJV]

It may be a popular belief today to give people something to make them happy; tell them they can get eternal life and never lose it just by “accepting Jesus,” and then after that, they can do as they please. Big conferences build on that, even some Bible colleges teach this. But it is WRONG! The Bible says that as many as received Him (took Him actively and willingly with their whole being), to them He (Jesus) gave the right (the privilege) to become children of God. We must “receive” and live for Jesus actively and agreeably with our heart, mind, body and soul. We must be willing turn completely away from our sin, be willing to serve Him and continue to follow Him, no matter what; and we must be willing to give up everything for Christ’s sake, IF it ever were to come to that. Then, and only then, can we be God’s children! Only then are we TRUE believers! Only then are we truly born again!

One last thought: you CANNOT fool God! He KNOWS your heart!

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