Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God – John 3:5.
Nicodemus was the ruler of the Jews who secretly came to Jesus during the night. He was a Pharisee and a teacher who, like Joseph of Arimathea, another secret disciple was a member of the Sanhedrin.
The Greek word translated again can mean either “from above” or “anew.” The new birth or regeneration is the act by which God imparts spiritual life to one who trusts Christ. Without this spiritual birth, a person cannot perceive spiritual things, nor can he or she enter the kingdom of God. The Pharisees and the Sadducees were religious leaders, but neither of them had experienced the new birth.
Throughout the Gospels, both Jesus and His disciples were teaching and ministering to religious people; they weren’t non-believers but were not living according to the Word of God. The same goes for today; many profess to be Christian, believe in God, and believe Jesus is the Son of God, the Redeemer of mankind, but yet they will not submit to the teaching of God’s written Word.
Those who have been born of the Spirit of God are not the same (Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature, old things are passed away, behold, all things become new – 2nd Corinthians 5:17). When a man or woman comes into vital union with the risen and glorified Lord he or she is a new creation. Paul presents the results of Christ’s death for the believer and the believer’s death with Him. Because believers are united with Jesus both in His death and resurrection, they participate in the new creation. That is, they receive the benefits of being restored by Christ to what God had originally created them to be.
Jesus didn’t die so we could continue living sinful life. A Christian should live a holy life reflecting God’s nature, who saved him. He or she should separate themselves from actions, influences, or people that will contaminate him or her. A Christian should apply the biblical principles of separation and avoid what is against the biblical standard of purity. God wants His people to present their entire body holy to Him (I beseech you, therefore, brethren by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service – Romans 12:1).
Based on God’s mercy Paul entreats believers to present their bodies as a living sacrifices meaning they should use their bodies to serve God and obey God. Such giving of the body to God is more than contras with dead animals sacrifice; it is the newness of life. As Christians, we should love God enough to submit to His will in our lives. God’s will refers to His purpose for the life of the believer. It implies His guidance or direction in all of life’s decisions. Dedication is an act of surrender or submission to His will for our lives, whereby we become a “living sacrifice.” When we seek to discern the will of God, we must also be committed to doing the will of God as it is revealed in the Word of God.
One can’t submit to the Word of God if he or she does not know the Word of God; neither can they accept the teaching of the Word of God unless they have been partakers of His Spirit; meaning they have been born of the Spirit of God (But the natural man receiveth, not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them because they are spiritually discerned – 1st Corinthians 2:14). Natural man meaning unspiritual, he or she is unreceptive, they don’t admit the truth into their hearts. Spiritual discernment is generated only by the Holy Spirit. The capacity to know spiritual truth is beyond the innate powers of the natural man.
This is why some that profess to be Christians have no problem lying, cheating, stealing, committing adultery, fornication, hatred, and all of the actions that are contrary to the teaching of God’s written Word because they have not been born of the Spirit of God, they accepted salvation with their emotions and not their heart. They accepted Christianity because that’s what they were taught to do. Anyone that comes in contact with Jesus and accepts Him with their hearts is changed from the natural to the spiritual. They no longer crave or desire the things the world has to offer for entertainment and fleshly gratification.
One does not have to be in church to become a born-again Christian. Salvation is received by faith, believing that Jesus is the Son of God. God raised Him from the dead and was willing to submit to God’s written instructions for the believer. Allowing His Word to rule and dominate your being and life. Everyone that has been born has an appointed time with death; we will either live in heaven or hell; we have been given a choice as to where we will spend eternity. Read the Bible, accept its truth, submit to God’s instructions, then will you be acceptive to Him creating you into the image of Him and His Son.
The process of being made a true Christian comes with discipline, sometimes with loneliness. Just as Jesus was led into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan, Christians will be led into a wilderness experience to be made to trust and have confidence in God no matter what comes to try to make them lose their faith.
Every Christian will be tested; being tested builds your faith and spiritual growth. Christians must grow, and in order to grow, they will be tested. God never leaves you alone to be tested; Jesus is walking with you and praying for you as you’re being tested. Jesus will give you the strength you need, whatever life brings you, to come out as a conqueror.
While in school, the teacher will always give you information about the test; it’s up to the student to read and gather all the information they need to pass the test. God has given His written Word to the believer to pass every test that will come; they too must read God’s written Word to pass life issues and Satan attacks.