The Scriptures clearly teach that there are two births (John 3:6).
1) “That which is born of the flesh is flesh.” This birth relates you to the human race—the family of Adam. The only way you can become a member of the human race is to be born of the flesh.
2) “That which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” This birth relates you to the spiritual race—the family of God. The only way you can become a member of God’s family is to be born of the Spirit.
Spiritual birth is as real as physical birth. In fact, it is more real than that first birth. Paul said, “We do not look at the things which are seen [first birth], but at the things which are not seen [second birth]. For the things which are seen are temporary [the flesh will die—come to an end], but the things which are not seen are eternal [that which is born of the Spirit will never die]” (2. Corinthians 4:18).
When Nicodemus came to Jesus Christ, he said, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God” (John 3:2). When Nicodemus said, “we know,” he was speaking for himself and others—perhaps his religious peers. He may have been sent as a delegation of one to learn more about Jesus. What he learned about the Lord Jesus was that He was more than a “teacher,” more than a man “come from God.” He learned that the Lord Jesus Christ was the God-Man, come down to a lost world as a baby, through the womb of the Virgin Mary. Jesus said, “The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). Jesus knew the heart of Nicodemus, the Pharisee, teacher, and leader of Israel. In love, the Lord Jesus reached out to him with the gospel that saves to the uttermost. Nicodemus was a devoutly religious man, a teacher, and a keeper of the law; but he was lost.
The New Birth chapter (John 3:1-21) contains:
1) The miracle of spiritual birth (vv.l-7). Jesus said, “You must be born again [or from above].”
2) The mystery of spiritual birth (v. 8). It is like the wind, you cannot understand it, but you know it is real.
3) The mentor of spiritual birth (vv. 9-13). Nicodemus said, “We know that You are a teacher come from God” (v. 2). Jesus was a God-sent mentor.
4) The means of spiritual birth (v.14). The vicarious death of Christ on Calvary is the only means of salvation.
5) The message of spiritual birth (vv. 15, 16), The Lord Jesus Christ is God’s message of love to a lost world.
6) The magnitude of ‘spiritual birth (vv. 17, 18). “That the world through Him might be saved.”
1) The manifestation of spiritual birth (vv. 19-21). “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”
“For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds [evidence of spiritual birth] may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”
23-1 The Spiritual Birth
Birth was the subject of discourse between the Lord Jesus and Nicodemus, a Pharisee. Nicodemus began by saying, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him” (v. 2). Now Jesus “knew all men…[and] what was in man (John 2:24, 25), so His supernatural insight into the heart, and life, of this devoutly religious man prompted Jesus to raise the issue of spiritual birth. Ignoring Nicodemus’s complimentary remarks, Jesus said, “Unless one is born again [from above], he cannot see the kingdom of God” (v. 3). Confused at this, his mind on the physical birth, Nicodemus asked a reasonable question: “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” (v. 4).
Nicodemus received a supernatural answer to his natural question. Jesus replied, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must he born again’ ” (vv. 5-7). The question is, what did Jesus mean by being “born of water”—what does water have to do with spiritual birth? To answer this question, we must see how the image of water is used in the Scriptures:
1) The Holy Spirit. On the last day of the great feast, “Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ But this He spoke concerning the Spirit…” (John 7:37-39).
2) Everlasting life. “But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will, become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:14).
3) The Word of God. “That He might sanctify and cleanse her [the church] with the washing of water by the word” (Ephesians 5:26, 27). To fully understand the word “water” in verse 5, we must let Scripture interpret Scripture, for no Scripture is to be interpreted in isolation (2 Peter 1:20). Some commentators believe that “water” in this instance means water baptism. But if this is so then water baptism is essential to salvation; such an interpretation invalidates salvation by grace, ignoring the context of Ephesians 2:8, 9 and many, many other passages. Spiritual birth is a miracle of God’s grace. It is “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy [that] He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5).
There is scriptural evidence that “water in verse 5 is a metaphor for the Word of God:
a) “Of His own will He brought us forth. by the word of truth” (James 1:18; 2 Corinthians 5:17).
b) “So then faith [saving faith] comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).
c) “Having been born again [spiritual birth], not of corruptible seed [natural birth] but incorruptible [seed], through the word of God which lives and abides forever” (1 Peter 1:23).
In the light of these Scriptures, verse 5 can be paraphrased as follows: “Unless one is born of the Word of God and of the Holy Spirit of God, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” Both the Word of God and the Holy Spirit are essential to salvation. Water baptism is not a part of the new birth. At this juncture Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Do not marvel that I said to you, You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit” (vv. 7, 8).
23-2 The Spiritual Birth and the Natural Birth
(1 Peter 1:23)
As you study the two births, keep in mind that the first birth is natural and the second birth is supernatural. The natural birth produces a mortal body of flesh, under the sentence of death. The spiritual birth ultimately produces an immortal body that will never die.
1) If you have been born only once, you will die twice. The first death will be physical, that is, the spirit and the soul will be separated from your body of flesh. The second death will take place at the Great White Throne judgment, where all of the “once-born” will be cast into the lake of fire. “This is the second death” (Revelation 20:11-15).
2) If you have been born twice (of flesh and also of the spirit), you will die only once physically. At this death your spirit and soul will go to be with the Lord Jesus Christ in heaven (Philippians 1:21-23) to await the first resurrection, when your natural body will be raised a spiritual body.
“There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body” (1 Corinthians 15:44). “And as we have borne the image of the man of dust [Adam], we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man [Christ]” (1 Corinthians 15:49); cf. I John 3:2). We will have spiritual, glorified bodies like the resurrected body of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (1 John 3:2). This is why Jesus said, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh [the first birth], and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit [the second birth]” (John 3:6). Born once, you will die twice; born twice, you will die once.
You will never in this life comprehend spiritual birth. Jesus said, “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit” (John 3:8). The spiritual birth is a mystery you cannot understand, but you can believe it and be born from above (John 3:14-18).
In verse 23 we have:
1) Two seeds.
2) The corruptible seed This is the depraved seed of Adam. “In Adam all die” (1 Corinthians 15:22) because all are born in sin (Psalm 51:5; Romans 3:23).
3) The incorruptible seed. This is the holy seed of God. “So in Christ all [believers] shall be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:22). By the spiritual birth we are partakers of the holy nature of God (2 Peter 1:4).
4) Two births.
5) The corruptible birth. This birth is of the flesh. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh” (John 3:6). The flesh will never, in this life, be anything but sinful.
6) The incorruptible birth. This birth is of God. “That which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:6). It will always be sinless because it is born of God, and that which is born of God cannot sin (1 John 3:9).
7) Two natures.
8) The corruptible nature. This nature (pattern of capabilities and tendencies) is “carnal, sold under sin” (Romans 7:14).
9) The incorruptible nature. This nature is divine because it is born from above (1 Peter 1:3-5).
“That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, You must be born again’ ” (John 3:6, 7). Every born-again believer has two natures—the old nature born in sin, and the new nature born in righteousness. These two natures are not compatible; they war against each other. Paul said, “In me (that is, in my flesh [old nature] nothing good dwells…I find then a low, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good” (Romans 7:18, 21). If you are a born-again believer, your two natures will war within your body until death (Galatians 5:16, 17). Throughout your life, when you obey the old nature, the new nature will object; or, when you obey your new nature, your old nature will rebel. Paul found the spiritual power to gain victory over this problem. He said, “Put on the whole armor of God.” If we would emulate the victorious life of this great apostle, then we must put on the whole armor of God revealed to us in Ephesians 6:10-18. Each part of this armor is the Lord Jesus Christ.
1) The girdle of truth. Jesus is the truth (John 8:3 1, 32; 14:6).
2) The breastplate of righteousness. Christ is our righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:2 1).
3) The gospel shoes. The Good News of salvation is Jesus Christ (Romans 1:16).
4) The shield of faith. Paul said, “I live by faith in the Son of God” (Galatians 2:20).
5) The helmet of salvation. Christ is our eternal salvation. There is no other (Acts 4:12).
6) The sword of the Spirit. This sword is the Word of God:
a) Jesus Christ is the living Word of God (John 1:14).
b) The Bible is the written Word of God that reveals to us the living Word of God—the Lord Jesus Christ (Hebrews 4:12).
7) Praying always. Keep the armor of God polished with prayer so that you may share the Lord Jesus Christ with this world that is in spiritual darkness (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
Further Paul said, “I discipline my body [his fleshly nature] and bring it into subjection [to his spiritual nature], lest when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified [disapproved of God and without reward]” (1 Corinthians 9:27). The flesh is a personal problem for every born-again believer, and it will be your problem from the cradle to the grave. Nevertheless, you can be victorious over the old nature through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit; for “He who is in you [the Holy Spirit] is greater than he who is in the world [Satan and his demons, who will test you by tempting the old nature to rebel against all that is good and righteous]” (1 John 4:4).
23-3 The Spiritual Birth is the Washing of Regeneration
Regeneration is being born from above. It is the New Birth. It is partaking of the very nature of God—a new creation by a supernatural act of God. It does not reinforce, alter, or reform the old nature. It is a spiritual birth achieved by the power of God’s Word and the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit.
1) The Holy Spirit never works independently of the Scriptures. He does the washing with the Word and regenerates the believer by His power. In John 16:8-11, Jesus said, “And when He [the Holy Spirit] has come, He will convict the world. of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
a) “Of sin, because they do not believe in Me.” This sin of unbelief is the sin of condemnation (John 3:18).
b) “Of righteousness, because I go to my Father and you see Me no more.” Jesus Christ is the righteousness of God. We are righteous because we are in Him (2 Corinthians 5:2 1).
c) “Of judgment, because the ruler of this world [Satan] is judged.” All unbelievers have already been judged, found guilty, and sentenced to eternal hell along with their father the Devil (John 8:44; cf. 3:17, 18). However, there is good news: any sinner who will repent and put his or her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as personal Savior will be regenerated – born again.
On the Day of Pentecost the Upper Room congregation, filled with the Holy Spirit, shared their faith, each speaking in different languages that they themselves did not understand. Simon Peter, led by the Holy Spirit, preached that great Pentecostal sermon. The Scriptures say the “they were cut to the heart [convicted of sin], and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Men and brethren, what shall we do?’ “ (Acts 2:37). The Scriptures tell us that about three thousand people were regenerated when they heard the gospel, and acted upon the Word of God as it was presented in the power of the Holy Spirit. A sinner cannot be saved without the convicting, regenerating power of the Holy Spirit, and the Word of God.
3) Regeneration is a new creation. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). A brief examination of this test will reveal four things:
a) Anyone who is in Christ is regenerated—a child of God (Galatians 3:26, 29).
b) As a new creation he has all the privileges of God’s family in heaven and earth (Ephesians 3:14-21).
c) Old things have passed away, including old religious ceremonial laws (Romans 10:1-4) traditions from our fathers (1 Peter 1:18. 19), false gods (Exodus 20:3), and the guilt and penalty of all sins (Romans 8:1-4).
d) All things have become new, including a new faith to live by (Romans 1:17), a new life to enjoy (John 10:10), a new birth that relates us to God the Father (John 3:1¬8), a new family to rejoice in (Ephesians 3:15), a new name given to us by the Lord (Revelation 2:17), a new hope (1 Peter 1:3), a new home to live in (John 14:1-3), and a new power to serve God in this life and in the life to come (Acts 1:8).
23-4 The Spiritual Birth: Its Evidence
(1 John 4:7-21)
Evidence of spiritual birth is set forth in this portion of Scripture in a most powerful, edifying way. One of the four definitions of God in the Bible is, “God is love” (vv. 8, 16). Love is not merely an attribute of God, it is the very essence of His holy, unchangeable nature. God loves because it is His nature. His is not an ordinary love. He manifested this great love when He sent His only begotten Son into this world to go to Calvary, where He suffered death and the agonies of hell in our place, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21. ). John said, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son [love always gives, expecting nothing in return], that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him [His gift of love] might be saved” (John 3:16, 17).
God manifested His love toward us when He so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son to die in our place. We who are born from above are to manifest our love to God and to our fellow man by our daily walk, and the keeping of two commandments. When the Lord Jesus Christ was asked, “Which is the great commandment in the law?” He answered, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’ ”(Matthew 22:36-40). There is only one love capable of observing these two great commandments, and that is the love of God. This love is put in our hearts by the Holy Spirit when we are spiritually born into the family of God (Galatians 3:26). Only those who have been born from above are capable of loving God with all their heart, soul, and mind, and loving their neighbor as themselves.
Keep in mind that the spiritual birth is the work of God the Holy Spirit. Therefore, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God” (v. 7).
1) Everyone born of God:
a) Has the love of God shed abroad in his or her heart by the Holy Spirit, who “birthed” him or her into the family of God (Romans 5:5). It is impossible to be born of the Holy Spirit and not have the love of God in your heart. Remember, His love is the essence of His nature, and every born-again believer is a partaker of God’s nature (2 Peter 1:4). “Everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” (vv. 7, 8)
b) Will bear the fruit of the Spirit. ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is love, [and love is demonstrated in] joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is law [no restraints]” (Galatians 5:22, 23).
c) Is commanded to love his brother (vv. 20, 21).
d) Will have no fear (vv. 17, 18). We will have no fear because we have the perfect love of God, and in that love there is reverential fear, but no fear of God in judgment. “There is therefore now no condemnation [judgment] to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh [the old nature], but according to the Spirit [the new nature]” (Romans 8:1). As we walk in the Spirit, God’s love is perfected in us.
2) Further evidence of the New Birth is found in the fact that you are able to comprehend the four dimensions of God’s love. These dimensions are found in Ephesians 3:14-19:
a) The breadth of God’s love. This love extends to all people of all nations, all ages, at all times.
b) The length of God’s love. This love is from eternity to eternity. To His nation Israel He said, “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3).
c) The depth of God’s love. On Calvary God sent His Son to the very depths of man’s sin and misery, in order that He might manifest His love to a lost sinful world. “And the Lord has laid on Him [Jesus Christ] the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6). “For He [God the Father] made Him [God the Son] who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we [lost sinners] might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). On the cross, God’s Son endured the iniquities of us all. Despising the shame He unveiled the depths of God’s love. “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (v. 11).
d) The height of God’s love. This love is as high as the third heaven, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God the Father (Colossians 3:1; Revelation 3:21). “God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him” (v. 16).
The love of God, manifested in our hearts and lives, is evidence of the New Birth. Have you been born again?
Master Outline 23 – The Spiritual Birth
 The Scripture clearly teaches two (2) births. Name them.
 Spiritual birth is not as real as physical birth. TRUE or FALSE. Explain.
 Nicodemus was a devoutly religious man, a teacher, and a keeper of the law, but he was
 What are the “7M’s” of the New Birth in John 3:1-21?
 What does the person who has had the new birth do that the person practicing evil does not do?
 Why did Nicodemus ask Jesus, “How can man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”
 What are the three (3) uses for the word “water” in the Scripture?
 How is the word “water” used in John 3:5?
 Both the __________________ ________________________ _____________________
and they __________________________ _______________________ are essential to
 Is water baptism a part of the new birth?
 The natural birth produces a _________________________ body of flesh, under the
___________________________ of death.
 Explain the statement, “If you have been born only once, you will die twice.”
 Explain the statement, “If you have been born twice, you will only die once.”
 We will as natural man never comprehend the spiritual birth? Explain.
 Explain the two (2) seeds in 1 Peter 1:23.
 Explain the difference between the “corruptible nature” and the “incorruptible nature.”
1. “Corruptible Nature” :
2. “Incorruptible Nature” :
 What was it that Paul found to give him the spiritual power to gain victory over the natural man? Explain.
 Explain how Paul described disciplining his body.
 What is a problem for the born again believer from the cradle to the grave?
 Regeneration is being born _________________________.
 What is New Birth?
 What three (3) things does the New Birth not do to the old nature?
 The Holy Spirit never works independently of the Scripture? TRUE or FALSE. Explain.
 A sinner cannot be ______________________ without the _____________________
power of the Holy Spirit and the _____________________ _______________________.
 Regeneration is a _____________________________ creation.
 What eight (8) things become new through regeneration?
 Love is not merely a _______________________ of God; it is the very
________________________ of His holy, unchangeable nature.
 We who are born from above are to __________________________ our love to God and
to our _______________________ by our daily walk and the keeping of
 Only those who have been born _______________________ _________________ are
capable of loving God with all their _____________________ ____________________ and
_______________________ and ________________________ their neighbor as themselves.
 Spiritual Birth is the work of man. TRUE or FALSE. Explain.
 Will everyone born from above bear the fruit of the spirit? YES or NO. Explain.
 The four (4) dimensions of God’s love we are able to comprehend once we have been born again are: