“You must be born again” (John 3:7).


These are words that the Lord Jesus Christ spoke to a man called Nicodemus.  Nicodemus was a leader of the Jewish people and a teacher of the Bible.  He was a very religious man and was highly respected by the people.  And yet when he came to talk to the Lord Jesus, the Lord Jesus said to him, “You must be born again.”  In other words, Jesus was saying to him that it did not matter that Nicodemus was a very religious man and a highly respected man.  If he wanted to get into heaven then he must be born again.  This is true of all of us.  No matter who you are, if you are not born again, then you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.  That is the message of Christ for us all.


1.  Why do we have to be born again?


Why is it that Jesus says, “You must be born again”?  The answer is that we are all sinners when we are born.

The Bible says, “Even from birth the wicked go astray; from the womb they are wayward and speak lies” (Psalm 58:3).  This means that from the time we are born, we are sinners at heart.  A young baby may look innocent like an angel, but actually that baby has a heart of sin.  It was born with the seed of sin in its heart, and as that child grows up, so that seed will begin to produce the fruit of sin.


This is why our children sin.  It is not because they have been taught how to sin, it is because they have been born with hearts of sin.  Jesus said, “Out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander” (Matthew 15:19).  We sin because we are sinners at heart.  We need to be born again because our hearts are full of sin.


2.  What does it mean to be born again?


When a person becomes born again, God removes from him his heart of sin and gives him a new heart.  This means that the person who is born again is now a new person, a new creation.  The Bible says, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17).


The person who is born again now has a new way of thinking and a new way of living.  He no longer thinks about himself and how he can make lots of money.

He no longer loves sin and he no longer pursues sin.  He is now a new creation; he has been born again of God.  This means that the kingdom of God and the things of God are now his greatest interest and not the pleasures and possessions of this world.


Before he was born again, he lived a life of sin and loved his sin.  He may have appeared on the outside to be very religious and very respectable, but actually he lived a life of sin.  But when he is born again, a great change comes over him.  He is now a child of God and he loves to be like God.  He no longer runs after the things of this world; his life changes completely.


Before he was born again, you would not find him in a church, and you would not see him reading the Bible.  Instead, usually you would find him with people of this world, enjoying the sins of this world.  But after he is born again, he is a new person.  The things of God are now precious to him.  He loves to be in church with the people of God and he loves to read God’s word and to obey it.  He is not perfect yet, but his life is not controlled by sin; it is controlled by God.


3.  How can a person be born again?


Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).  The Bible tells us that only God can make a person born


again, you cannot make yourself born again.  A person can make a few changes here and there in his life, but only God can make a person new.  If you are not born again, then you need to do three things.


(i) You must pray earnestly to God to make you born again.  God promises to receive and to save all who come to Him seeking salvation.  It does not matter who you are or how many sins you have committed.  God is inviting you today.  Go to Him in prayer and ask Him to make you born again.


(ii) You must be determined to give up all your sins and to fight sin the rest of your life.  God is holy and pure; He will not receive you if you still love your sins.  Ask Him in prayer to help you hate your sins and to fight your sins.  Be determined to get rid of all your sins.


(iii) You must trust Jesus Christ alone for your salvation.  Do not trust in your own good works, trust Christ alone to save you through His death on the cross.  Only then can you have forgiveness and salvation.