You MUST Be Born Again


John 3:3
3 Jesus replied, "I assure you, unless you are born again, you can never see the Kingdom of God."  (NLT)

Most Christians, when they read the above verse, focus on the part of being “born again” and merely glance over the part about the Kingdom of God, thinking that Jesus is only referring to spending an eternity with God. While it is the truth, that if we are born again, we will spend eternity with God, Jesus was here stating that without being born again “you can never see the Kingdom of God.” His focus here is not so much merely spending an eternity with God, though that is an obvious fact, His focus here is more shifted to experiencing the “Kingdom of God” through the new birth. As carnal Christians we sometimes get more caught up with the outward things, but Jesus said, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation (or by seeing with your eyes), nor (is it a physical place where) people will say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you." (Luke 17:20-21 NIV)

The Kingdom of God, simply put, is the rule and reign of God. What Jesus is saying is that God cannot be the Lord of your life if you are not spiritually regenerated. It is through having our spirit man receive the life of God that we then are enabled to allow Jesus to be Lord of our life and experience the Kingdom through obedience to His Divine will. Becoming born again and making Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior is not merely a wave of some magic wand to make all your problems go away so that no matter how you live from here on out, you will automatically make it to Heaven. Being born again is actually a willful commitment to eternally obey God’s commandments through the power of God in you because you have become spiritually regenerated. The terms Kingdom and Lordship are both governmental terms. You are in the kingdom of whoever you make lord of your life. Your lord is the one you obey and not merely the one you confess with your lips.

Here in the United States, we are in the kingdom of the United States under the lordship of the President of the United States. You cannot be a true citizen of the United States without recognizing the office of the President of the United States. Of course there are babies born who are residents of the country, but eventually they will grow up and learn who the President is, whether they choose to like what he represents or not. In the same way, Jesus Christ is the President of the Country of Heaven. To exist in His Country as a true citizen, there are laws to obey if you want to remain a permanent lawful resident. One of the laws of the Country of Heaven is to honor the One holding the Office of President in that Country. If you do not honor the laws of the country and the governmental officers and authorities upholding the laws along with all the governmental laws in the US that represent the governmental system of the United States and each state individually, the government has the right to deport you back to your original country if you do not become a lawful citizen or you can be detained in jail or prison under local governments of the United States if you are not obedient to federal and state laws. (This of course is an over simplified illustration and does not fully explain all the laws governing our country that would result in being expelled from the U.S.A. or detained in a local jail or state penitentiary, but God gives us pictures in the natural realm that depict a type of what things are like in the spiritual realm.)

Matt 7:21-23
21 {True Disciples--} "Not all people who sound religious are really godly. They may refer to me as 'Lord,' but they still won't enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The decisive issue is whether they obey my Father in heaven.
22 On judgment day many will tell me, 'Lord, Lord, we prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.'
23 But I will reply, 'I never knew you. Go away; the things you did were unauthorized.'  (NLT)

Another translations says:

Matt 7:21-23
21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
22 "Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?'
23 "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'  (NKJ)

Here in the United States, as well as other countries, if you do not obey the laws of that country, you can be thrown into either jail or prison or be given the death penalty or other torturous punishments in some countries, depending on the seriousness of the nature of the crime. Jesus basically was saying that by being born again, your spirit man is regenerated and born again from above, and you are then enabled or granted the right to begin practicing and obeying the laws of a different kingdom other than just the kingdoms of the earth. Like taking marriage vows, being born again grants the believer marital rights to enter into an intimate covenant relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Even as sex without marriage is forbidden by God, you cannot have legal access to intimacy with God apart from being born again. People who have pre-marital or extramarital affairs while being married to another person are actually illegally granting themselves access to intimacy with members of the opposite sex. In the same way, people who appear to be religious and exercise authority over demons and who illegally claim use of the gifts of the Spirit without being born again and operating through the fruit of the Spirit (which is gained by being born again and obeying the Father), they are doing these things without authority from Heaven and in an unlawful manner. There are pastors pastoring churches who God has not called to be Pastors. There are people calling themselves Prophets even in the Church who have not been called by God to be a Prophet to His People, illegally prophesying to people a religious or Christian sounding message, but God never told them to say it. Jesus said you will know who the true ministers are or the ones who have authorization from Heaven to do the things they are doing by their fruit, or more plainly, by their character.

It is by being born again and having our spirit man regenerated by God for obedience to Him that grants us the right to truly be called citizens of Heaven. Once we are born again, there are certain responsibilities that come with being a citizen of that Country, just like any other nation on Earth. You cannot just come into God’s Country and into the presence of a Holy President and just expect to behave however you want. God gave us the Laws of His Country in His Word, the Bible. Jesus said that through the new birth, you then have access to experience the Kingdom of God. What He is really saying, is that once you have been regenerated (born again), you can then really and truly begin to obey His laws and commandments, but if you are not regenerated in your spirit man by the power of God, you cannot live obediently under the rule and reign of God as King of your life. It is impossible to maintain a holy life without being born again. It is only by having your spirit man regenerated into a spirit of holiness by allowing God to form Christ likeness in you that you can then begin to obey the laws of God which are spiritual and holy in nature. That is why we continually see sin in the lives of many great men and women of God in the Old Testament. They were not born again and lacked the power we have available to us for maintaining a holy life like we have it now under the shed blood of Jesus Christ; because NOW, through Christ, we have been given His divine nature.

The nature of man is his whole life source. If his nature and life source is unholy, he then has no choice but to produce actions and thoughts after his own nature. The only choice a sinner completely away from God has to become holy, is to accept Jesus Christ as his or her Savior and Lord, which is really asking for God to legally grant them His divine nature by having their spirit man regenerated or born again. When Jesus said you cannot see the Kingdom of God without being born again, what He was really explaining was a simple spiritual law, that no tree can produce fruit or actions contrary to its own nature. You cannot even begin to righteously obey God’s commandments with full authority from Heaven until God has given you the nature or divine ability to produce truly righteous fruit or actions by changing your spirit from a degenerate to a regenerate life producing spirit. All works of man apart from the regenerate life producing nature of God are at their best degenerate, producing death, and having no true moral value in them as far as prospering the Kingdom of God is concerned.

When the nature or life source of man becomes truly divine and holy, he then allows himself no choice but to produce actions and thoughts after the divine and holy nature gained through new birth. To be a child of God truly means to make yourself a willing slave of the Lord Most High. Even when a Christian sins, the conscience that is sensitive to the Holy Spirit will not allow him or her to get away with sin without eventually coming to a place of true remorse and repentance or a complete turning away from each sin, once it has been made fully aware to us by God that what we are doing displeases Him.

I Jn 3:9
9 Whoever has been born of God does not (continue in their practice of) sin, for His seed (continually) remains in him; and he cannot (continue in the practice of) sin, because he has been born of God.  (NKJ)

I added the words in brackets in the above verse to give a more accurate translation of what the original Greek text actually says. What it means is this. If God’s seed (life generating force) continually remains in the heart of a believer who has willingly made a permanent decision to live a loyal and obedient life to God, then the believer cannot continue to practice sin or deeds of death because the regenerated spirit is more powerful than the darkness or sin in the life of each believer, and ultimately he or she will overcome every deed of wickedness, if His seed or life generating and death overcoming force is truly operating in him or her through the divine nature. When we go to live with the Lord by being absent from this body, it is not the putting off of the body that enables us to live eternally holy lives. It is the regenerating life force of God’s Divine nature in us, that grants each believer equally, the power to overcome sin once and for all. You have to remember, Jesus lived perfectly obedient to the Father while in His mortal flesh, all the way up until the time He went to be with the Father, and He is and has been continually obedient to Him forever. Aren’t we glad He didn’t use His mortal body as an excuse to sin. He remained 100% obedient to God with the same divine nature which we now possess in Christ Jesus. We can no longer blame our bodies for our sin. If putting off the body is necessary to obey God, then God would give us guns to commit suicide with instead of giving us His divine nature and the Bible, which is His Word, to live by. The Apostle Paul understood this concept when he said, “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh (Gal 5:16).”

In other words, Paul was saying that the life generating and death overcoming force of God’s divine nature in us is even more power than our mortal bodies now that we are in Christ. When you come face to face with God and He asks you why you continued in sin, and you say, “Well God, you know that since Adam fell I had this mortal flesh that kept dragging me down.”, He’s not going to buy it. He will tell you that you were ignorant of who you are in Christ and what the death of His Son Jesus accomplished for you and each and every believer. If you try to use your body as an excuse for your sin to His face, He’s going to tell you that you didn’t read your Word and study the Scriptures enough to truly understand the power of God’s life generating and death overcoming force in you. He will tell you that you didn’t really believe it when you said that, “Greater is He who is in you, than he (including your body) that is in the world.”

I Jn 5:4-5
4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world-- our faith.
5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?  (NKJ)

Our flesh is part of the world that the Word of God says that we can overcome. We cannot use our mortal bodies as an excuse to live a defeated or unrepentant life. The victory that overcomes the world is our FAITH, believing that we can. Truly believing that we can even overcome the desires of our mortal bodies and force them into subjection of the will and Word of God. The Bible says that there is no part of the world that we can’t overcome, and that includes our bodies that were formed from the dust of the earth. God created this flesh for us and He knows how to train us to rule it instead of it ruling us. He knows how to give us the wisdom and skills necessary to even make our bodies a living sacrifice so that not only our spirit, but our bodies become slaves to God through the obedience of our wills to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Christ wants to be Lord of our whole life, even our bodies, while we are here on earth before we die and become present with Him. His shed blood has made provision for it.

It’s time for every Christian to truly believe in their hearts that every force that opposes the Christian’s obedience to Him has no authority or legal access to govern them. We now have, through Christ’s shed blood, the authority and legal access to God’s throne room to receive power to overcome and force into subjection every force of death that separates us from obedience to Him. We have to begin to truly believe that God is going to especially answer our prayers for power to overcome sin even more than the fact that He desires to answer our prayers regarding our physical needs.

You cannot accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, unless you want to make Him your personal Lord as well and follow the rules of His Kingdom. To see the Kingdom of God and to experience it literally means to see and experience life under the rule and reign of God. Those who do not obey God, will ultimately be thrown into an eternal prison. We focus on how beautiful Heaven is going to be, and we should, but we should know that the Kingdom of God is not primarily a beautiful place where we get to kick back with Jesus but it is more a Holy Place where we will serve and obey eternally a Righteous God, according to His rules and His way of thinking. Our focus on the Kingdom should not be so much the streets of pure gold, but even more so the purity of our lives. Walking in the character of the Lord Jesus Christ through an intimate relationship with the Trinity should be the primary focus of every person who calls themselves a Christian, after Christ. Even though God loves us and forgives us, our continually practiced sins are still a disgrace to His name, bringing shame to the Faith around the world instead of Glory to His Name. When your heart is not properly focused on godly living and permanently locked in on living a righteous life, sin is sure to be the result of a life not focused on what is the highest attribute of God’s character, for without His Holiness we cannot then say that God is Love. It is His Holiness and Righteousness that manifests His Love.

How can we say we love one another or love God when our lives are stained with sin? We can only love God and one another to the same degree that we do not sin, and only to the degree that we live holy lives pleasing to God. It is holiness of living that brings out the sweetness of the fruit of love.

Rev 3:5
5 "He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.  (NKJ)

The one who is an overcomer that shall be clothed in white garments, is the one who refuses to allow the forces of the present nature of this world to overcome them. The overcomer is the one who does not let sin defeat them, but rather they fight in prayer until they become the master of the sin in their own lives. The overcomer is the one who makes a permanent decision to follow and obey the Lord Jesus Christ with all their soul, with all their might, and with all their power. The overcomer is the one promised that his or her name will not be blotted out of the Lamb’s Book of Life. Someone who is an overcomer means something else IS NOT overcoming them. When someone is an overcomer, when they are confronted with and made aware of their sin, they don’t acknowledge it and keep doing it, but rather they immediately fall down on their face in repentance.

Since the Word of God says that it is the overcomer who’s name He will not blot out (smear, smudge, obliterate, or delete) from the Lamb’s Book of Life, then we can also say that it is the one who IS NOT an overcomer who will have their names blotted out or deleted from the Lamb’s Book of Life. The one who allows the forces of the present nature of this world to overcome them IS NOT an overcomer. The one who let’s sin defeat them and willingly gives into it and does not fight to master it IS NOT an overcomer. The one who does not make a permanent decision to follow and obey the Lord Jesus Christ with all their soul, with all their might, and with all their power IS NOT an overcomer.

Heb 10:26-29
26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.
28 Anyone who has rejected Moses' law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.
29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?  (NKJ)

This seems like a harsh thing, but actually it is a loving warning that is given to us by the Lord Jesus Christ through His Word. He warns us through the writer of the Book of Hebrews that if we go on sinning willfully after God has made it perfectly clear to us that what we are doing is wrong and displeases Him, we can’t simply ask for God to forgive us and expect to go to Heaven as if His shed Blood granted us permission to sin without the expectation of judgment because we prayed a prayer to accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord with our mouths, but in our hearts we had not true intentions to permanently obey and follow Him for the rest of our lives. I know people who claimed to be Christians who would take drugs, party, and have sexual affairs outside of marriage and say, “It’s okay to do these things because all I have to do is just ask God to forgive me.” But verse 26 of Hebrews Chapter 10 clearly states that for this type of sin, “there no longer remains a sacrifice” for that type of sin.

In other words, the Blood of Jesus Christ is not a license to do whatever you want once you accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. God more strictly demands obedience from you now more than ever, since you have been granted access to the throne room to receive power to live holy lives through God’s divine nature. The Bible says that if you keep sinning willingly as if you could care less that what you are doing is wrong, then you are deserving of more severe punishment than those who died without mercy for rejecting the law or commandments God gave to Moses to give to His people. When you treat the blood of the covenant as a common thing and do not hold in regard fear and reverence for what it has accomplished for you in enabling you to be forgiven and overcome sin, you are insulting the Spirit of Grace and trampling the Son of God and all He did for you under your feet. In other words, if God reveals your sin to you and you willingly do it anyway, you are basically treating Jesus, His shed blood, and the work of the Cross like it was a piece of dirt.

God says that you have no excuse for your sin especially when you know what you are doing is wrong, when you can come to Him and ask for the strength and power to overcome sin, and He will most surely grant you a big YES answer to your prayer. God says that if you willfully keep doing what you know is wrong, He will judge you with the same fiery indignation (fury, wrath, anger, and displeasure) which He uses to destroy His enemies. The people who could care less whether they are hurting themselves or others by their sin, God says He will treat them like they are His enemies and the end of them shall be the same as the end of His enemies as well, especially if they were sanctified by the Blood of Jesus Christ and then willfully commit apostasy (desertion, defection, falseness, complete abandonment) of doing what they know to be right. To be engaged in willful disobedience is the same to God as committing adultery in a marital relationship. As Jesus taught, adultery is a legal cause to break a marital contract. In the Old Testament, we can clearly see that those who rebel against the Lord are actually committing adultery against Him.

Jer 3:13-14
13 Only acknowledge your guilt. Admit that you rebelled against the LORD your God and committed adultery against him by worshipping idols under every green tree. Confess that you refused to follow me. I, the LORD, have spoken!' "
14 "Return home, you wayward (backslidden) children," says the LORD, "for I am your husband. I will bring you again to the land of Israel-- one from here and two from there, from wherever you are scattered.  (NLT)

Backsliding is a very dangerous place to be. In verse 14 of Jeremiah God says that He is married to the backslider, but He strongly warns and cautions them that they need to acknowledge their guilt and admit their rebellion, and then in verse fourteen He tells them that they need to “return home” and stop worshipping their idols. He then states that if His children will do this, then He will bring them to the Land of Israel, in other words, He will restore His promise of blessing to them. The reason why I say that backsliding is a very dangerous place to be is because it is one step away from committing apostasy, or getting to the place that you no longer care whether your sin hurts you or others, and you know what you are doing is wrong, but you simply refuse to “return home” to the Lord, your Husband.

Those who have backslidden are those who have left the Lord willingly, but He still considers Himself to be their Husband. In other words He is saying to the backslider, “I still want to honor my covenant relationship with you.” Being backslidden is like still being married legally, but you are living separated from your husband or wife. After a time of separation, the backslider must return back to his or her Husband, the Lord, before the relationship ends in divorce, or before the backslider gets to the place where his or her love for her Husband grows so cold that she no longer cares about her willful disobedience and she refuses to acknowledge in a repentant way that she is in rebellion and has committed adultery against the Lord. The difference between the backslider and an apostate is that the one who is separated has a heart deep inside that still longs for obedience to the Lord, but the apostate completely loses his or her love for the Lord and refuses to repent and come back home to her Husband, even though they know that what they are doing is wrong.

This is why God so strongly urges backsliders to repent, especially in these days when the Lord warns that “the love of many will wax (or grow) cold”. The danger of being backslidden is that your love for the Lord may grow cold. Having your love grow cold is a place where you no longer care about your Husband. You no longer care if your separation from Him and what you are doing is hurting Him, yourself, and others. You no longer care about the cost Christ paid to redeem you out of the miserable life you inherited from your ancestors in the natural..

1 Pet 1:18-19
18 For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver.
19 He paid for you with the precious lifeblood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.  (NLT)

Those whose love has grown so cold that they no longer value the blood of Christ that redeemed them are the ones in danger of eternal judgment more severe than those who rejected the law of Moses. Those who trample under their feet and treat the cross of Christ as if it were nothing more than mere dirt are the ones that God says He will judge with the same fiery indignation that He will judge His enemies with.

2 Pet 2:20-21
20 And when people escape from the wicked ways of the world by learning about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and then get tangled up with sin and become its slave again, they are worse off than before.
21 It would be better if they had never known the right way to live than to know it and then reject the holy commandments that were given to them.  (NLT)

In verse 21 the Apostle Peter says that they have “known the right way”, and again to “know it and then reject the holy commandments”. The Greek word is “epiginosko”, which means “to become thoroughly acquainted with, to know thoroughly, to know accurately, (and) to know well.” It means to have an accurate knowledge of salvation that can only be gained by an intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Those whose love has grown cold have to first of all be those who once had a love for Him, or else how could something that never existed grow cold? Those who commit apostasy are those who once had a fire and a flame of heat for Him that has now grown cold. The word used for “know” is an intimate term like a man intimately “knows” his wife in the intimacy they share together in the private times of their marriage.

Now that we know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, we know God intimately as our Father, and have an accurate knowledge of Salvation, we must guard our relationship with Him all the more. Especially now that Jesus warns us that in these last days, as darkness increasingly becomes worse, the love of many who once loved Him with a flame and a fire will grow cold; we must be on guard and work out our salvation with fear and trembling and despise our backslidings and our many separations from God. We must return home to the Lord our Husband. Let us repent of our sins while it is still Day, while God is still dealing with us and the wayward issues of our heart. Let us come to the Lord while there is still the Light that what we are doing is wrong, before our hearts become so callused and our love so cold that we completely forsake our Husband and our separation ends in divorce because we no longer care for the blood that redeemed us. Even though we have rebelled against God and committed adultery against Him, even though He has legal grounds to divorce us, He says, “Only acknowledge your guilt. Admit that you rebelled against the LORD your God and committed adultery against him by worshipping idols under every green tree. Confess that you refused to follow me. I, the LORD, have spoken! Return home, you wayward (backslidden) children," says the LORD, "for I am your husband. I will bring you again to the land of Israel-- one from here and two from there, from wherever you are scattered.” (Jer 3:13-14 NLT)