Saturday, January 5, 2013

Jesus teaches on the New Birth/Regeneration P3

John 3:3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

We have in our study of the New Birth/Regeneration defined it to be a work that comes from God, comes with change for the heart and includes faith and repentance.  In our past two blogs we have looked particularly at Jesus' teaching on the New Birth in John 3, noting the following:
1. It is a demand made John 3:1-8
2. Jesus describes the New Birth  John 3:9-13
3. Jesus demonstrates the reality of it  John 3:14-19

In today's post we want to finish out Jesus' teaching on the New Birth by observing His teaching about the delights that should flow from the New Birth experience.

Delights flowing from the New Birth John 3:20-21

1. The Born-Again Person Will Progress in the Light.
We read in John 3:21 “But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.” The word translated "practices" speaks of a "progression" or "habitual re-occurance". Truly born-again people should be moving in two directions in their Christian walk - onward and upward. I like how the various English translations render this word "practice", since they all capture the point Jesus is making concerning the Born-Again person to the light of Jesus:
-NIV = "But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light"
-NLT= "those who do what is right come to the light"
-ESV = "But whoever does what is true comes to the light"
-KJV = "But he that doeth truth cometh to the light"
The reason Born-Again people practice what is right and do the truth is because they were Born-Again.

2. The Born-Again Person aims to please God, and to see others praise God, which pleases God.
To please God does not mean doing more to make God like you (for God's love for His people cannot be added unto nor diminished, since it is infinite love). Rather to please God means to bring pleasure to Him. Thus we ask the question: why does the Born-Again person desire to continue to progress further into the light? Jesus answers in the second half of John 3:21 - "so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.” By living out the Born-Again life, others will see the fruit which the Spirit as been working in us following our New Birth by faith. Hebrews 13:14 states - "And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased." Such good actions by those born-again in salvation lends to others around giving praise to our Father in Heaven. (Matthew 5:16) The sum total of a Born-Again person's Bible reading, prayer time, church attendance, witnessing, moral living and any other activity will be geared in a Christ-ward direction. 

In conclusion then this is what we glean from Jesus' teaching of the New Birth in John 3:1-21:
1. He makes the demand for people to be born again.  John 3:1-8
2. He describes the New Birth in John 3:9-13
3. He demonstrates the reality of the New Birth in John 3:14-19
4. He shows the delights that should stem from the New Birth in John 3:20-21

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