“Knowing that ye were redeemed, not with corruptible things, with silver or gold, from your vain manner of life handed down from your fathers; but with precious blood, as of a lamb without spot, even the blood of Christ.” (1 Peter 1:18-19 ASV).
We all were born with sin securely embedded or engrafted in our nature. This is why we are sinners by birth and not just by our actions (Rom. 5:19).
The nature we inherited through the physical birth is absolutely sinful, corrupt, and rebellious to God. It cannot be reformed, refurbished, renovated, rehabilitated, repaired or refined by any religious rites, regulations or institutions. It has to be destroyed or put away!
The Scripture describes the nature you inherited through the physical or natural birth as:
“Your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers.” (1 Pet. 1:18 NKJV)
“Your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers” (1 Pet. 1:18 KJV)
“Your vain manner of life handed down from your fathers” (1 Pet. 1:18 ASV)
“Your foolish behaviour delivered by fathers.” (1 Pet. 1:18 YLT)
“The futile ways inherited from your fathers” (1 Pet. 1:18 RSV)
“The worthless manner of life handed down by your ancestors” (1 Pet. 1:18 GNT)
“The empty life you inherited from your ancestors” (1 Pet. 1:18 NLT)
“The useless way of life handed down from your fathers” (1 Pet. 1:18 WEB)
“Your frivolous habits of life which had been handed down to you from your forefathers” (1 Pet. 1:18 WNT)
“The useless (fruitless) way of living inherited by tradition from your forefathers.” (1 Pet. 1:18 AMP).
The only way to get rid of the sin which has been firmly embedded in our nature from birth is death (Rom. 7:7).
Therefore, God’s redemption plan entails our death so that our sin-riddled nature can be done away and replace with a new and holy nature.
The Lord Jesus Christ came in the likeness of our sinful flesh so that He could be a perfect substitute for us. Christ’s death on the cross was the death that we need to experience in order to be free from sin.
3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh. (NKJV).
Through Christ’s substitutionary death on the cross, our sinful nature was perfectly and permanently destroyed and put away.
6 We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the sinful body might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. (RSV).
Similarly, through Christ’s resurrection from the dead, we have become partakers of the divine and holy nature of God.
3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?
4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. (RSV).
Just as we become one with Adam and share in his sin, defeat, and death through the physical birth, we also become one with Jesus Christ and share in his righteousness, victory, and life through the new or spiritual birth.
It is only by experiencing the new or spiritual birth that you can begin to experience, partake in, and appropriate the blessings of Christ’s finished work of redemption.
What then is “the New or Spiritual Birth?”
First, the new or spiritual birth is a spiritual regeneration or recreation:
The new birth is not a gradual reformation, refinement, or improvement of your sinful and corrupt self or nature, but it is an instant transformation of your nature. It is a spiritual regeneration or recreation of your heart.
It may take a while for you to be fully convicted of your sins and of your utter inability to earn salvation by your self-righteousness or good works. It may take some days or weeks for you to eventually reach a decision to completely put your trust in the person and finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross for your salvation.
However, the moment you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and confess Him as your Lord and Saviour, you are saved – completely changed and transformed in your spirit. You become a new creation, a new self, a new being in Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:
17 Therefore, if any one is in union with Christ, he is a new being! His old life has passed away; a new life has begun! (TCNT).
The creation of the new spirit or heart within you is an instantaneous operation of the Holy Spirit. It takes place the moment you put your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and confess Him as your Lord and Saviour (Rom. 10:8-10).
Second, the new birth or spiritual birth is deliverance from the power of Sin and Satan:
Experiencing the New or Spiritual birth is being delivered from the power of darkness or dominion of Sin and Satan and being brought into the Kingdom of God. It is a spiritual translation from Satan’s kingdom into God’s Kingdom.
Being born again is receiving redemption, the forgiveness of your sins (past, present and future) through faith in Christ.
12 Giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.
13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,
14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. (NKJV).
Being born again is a spiritual change of your status, condition and position. It is receiving the adoption as a son of God. It is receiving the Spirit of Christ, thereby becoming a son, an heir of God through Christ.
4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law,
5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.
6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!”
7 Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. (NKJV).
Third, the new birth or spiritual birth is deliverance from spiritual death:
Being born again is being quickened or made alive by the Holy Spirit. It is receiving the very life of God – eternal life into your heart. It is becoming a partaker of the divine life and nature of God. It is simply passing from death to life.
1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins. (NKJV).
24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life (NKJV).
1 John 5:
11 And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.
12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. (NKJV).
Fourth, the new or spiritual birth is a spiritual baptism, not water baptism, church confirmation or ordination:
Being born again is being baptized into Christ by the Holy Spirit. It is a spiritual union with Christ. It is becoming one spirit with Christ. The Scripture states, “But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.” (1 Cor. 6:17 NKJV).
Being born again is to be spiritually plucked out of Adam and engrafted into Christ by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 11:24).
3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?
4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (NKJV).
1 Corinthians 12:
13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body–whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free–and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. (NKJV).
Lastly, the product of the new birth is not a better, refined, polished, or improved old self, but an entirely new creation or self in Christ:
Being born again is not becoming a more religious or a better person, but becoming an entirely new person in Christ “created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Eph. 4:24 RSV).
Beloved, being born again is not the same thing as working for God, but it is God working in you, recreating you or implanting a new heart within you (Eze. 36:25-28, Jer. 32:38-40, Heb. 8:10, 10:16).
The new birth is not a physical or religious experience. It is not the same thing as church confirmation or ordination. Neither is it tantamount to joining a religious group, organization or denomination.
Spiritual birth is not a spiritual heritage or legacy to be bequeathed to your children. It is not hereditary or transferrable. You cannot experience the new birth for someone else; neither can someone else experience it for you.
Spiritual birth is God changing your spiritual status, condition and position. It is God transforming you from a sinner to a saint, from a slave to a son, and translating you from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of the Son of His love, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Prayer: My Dear Lord Jesus Christ, I believe that You died for my sins and rose up for my justification. Today, I acknowledge, receive and confess You as my personal Lord and Saviour. Thank You Lord for transforming me today from a sinner to a saint, and translating me from the kingdom of darkness into Your Kingdom, the Kingdom of light, in Jesus’ name. Amen.