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#2. THE NEW BIRTH IS ESSENTIAL FOR SALVATION

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Introduction 2

This is an excellent bible study explaining why the new birth is essential for salvation. This teaching is of fundamental importance for any new Christian to understand why he or she needs to be "born again". Jesus made it an extremely important subject when he said these words:

(John 3:3) "Amen, amen, I say to you, except a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
(John 3:5) "Amen, amen, I say to you, Except a man is born of water, and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."
(John 3:7) "Do not marvel that I said to you, You must1 be born again."

Statements like "he cannot see the kingdom of God." (John 3:3), and "he cannot enter the kingdom of God." (John 3:5), show how necessary the new birth is to a Christian for salvation; but the word translated must1 (John 3:7) is the Greek word "dei" which means, "it is necessary", and is absolutely conclusive. Jesus also said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." (Matthew 24:35; Mark 13:31), so until heaven and earth do pass away, the new birth will be absolutely essential in order to be saved.

#2. THE NEW BIRTH IS ESSENTIAL FOR SALVATION

#2.02 The new birth is necessary to enter the kingdom of God

JOHN 3:3
3 Jesus answered and said to him, Amen, amen, I say to you, except a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

JOHN 3:5
5 Jesus answered, Amen, amen, I say to you, Except a man is born of water, and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

JOHN 3:7 (Jesus)
7 Do not marvel that I said to you, You must1 be born again.

Note: Statements like "he cannot see the kingdom of God." (John 3:3), and "he cannot enter the kingdom of God." (John 3:5), show how necessary the new birth is to a Christian; but the word translated must1 (John 3:7) is the Greek word "dei" which means, "it is necessary", and is absolutely conclusive. Jesus also said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." (Matthew 24:35; Mark 13:31), so until heaven and earth do pass away, the new birth will be absolutely essential in order to be saved.

Other scriptures confirm that Jesus' words still stand today:

(Isaiah 40:8) "the word of our God shall stand for ever."
(1 Peter 1:25) "But the word of the Lord endures for ever."

The words which Jesus spoke were only those which his Father told him to say (John 8:26-28; 8:38; 12:50; 14:10), so his words were literally God's words:

(John 3:34) "For he whom God has sent speaks the words of God:"

To those who still say that we do not need to be born again, here again are the words of Jesus:

(Matthew 24:35) "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." (Also Mark 13:31).
(John 3:7) "You must be born again."
(John 12:48) "He who rejects me, and does not receive my words, has one that judges him: the word which I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day."

And the words of Paul:

(1 Timothy 6:3-4) "If any man teaches otherwise, and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing,"

#2.04 Without the spirit of Christ in us we are "not his"

ROMANS 8:9 (Paul)
9 But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if any man does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not his.

Note: We have also seen that being born again requires the spirit of Christ in us (Galatians 4:19; #1.14; 1 Peter 1:3; #1.15), so Paul's remark "if any man does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not his." (Romans 8:9), even further confirms that we need to be born again.

#2.06 Without Jesus in us we are reprobates

2 CORINTHIANS 13:5 (Paul)
5 Examine yourselves, whether you are in the faith; prove your own selves. Do you not know your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except you are reprobates2?

Note: Further evidence comes here from Paul's statement, "Do you not know your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except you are reprobates?" (2 Corinthians 13:5 KJV), where the word translated reprobate2 (Gtr. adokimos) is elsewhere translated "castaway" (1 Corinthians 9:27 KJV), "rejected" (Hebrews 6:8 KJV), and "reprobate" (2 Timothy 3:8 KJV; Titus 1:16). The meaning of the word as being "unapproved", or "unaccepted", is clearly indicated by looking at these passages in context. The opposite of "adokimos" is the word "dokimos" which comes from removing the negative prefix "a" to leave just "dokimos". This means "approved", or "accepted", or "proved", so "adokimos" really means "unapproved" or "unaccepted". Thus reprobates2 (Gtr. adokimos) are unapproved, or unaccepted, and thus unsaved. The fact that those who are "dokimos" are saved can be shown by other scriptures:

(2 Timothy 2:15) "Study to show yourself approved (Gtr. dokimos) to God, a workman who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." and
(James 1:12) "Blessed is the man who endures temptation: for when he is proved (Gtr. dokimos), he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love him."

#2.08 Without Christ in us we have no true hope of glory

COLOSSIANS 1:27 (Paul)
27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

1 TIMOTHY 1:1 (Paul)
1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, who is our hope;

Note: Paul said, "we are saved by hope:" (Romans 8:24), so as our hope is the "Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Timothy 1:1), and the hope of glory is "Christ in you," (Colossians 1:27), this is just further evidence that we cannot be saved without being born again, which is to receive the spirit of Christ in us. Many may have false hopes, but without Jesus in them their hopes will never be realised.

#2.10 Without the son of God in us we have no life

JOHN 1:1-4
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made.
4 In him was life1; and the life was the light of men.

JOHN 10:10 (Jesus)
10 The thief does not come, but to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I have come that they might have life1, and that they might have it more abundantly.

JOHN 11:25
25 Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life1: he who believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

JOHN 14:6
6 Jesus says to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life1: no man comes to the Father, except through me.

ROMANS 5:10 (Paul)
10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life1.

1 JOHN 5:11-12
11 And this is the record, that God has given to us eternal life1, and this life1 is in his Son.
12 He who has the Son has life1; and he who does not have the Son of God does not have life1.

Note: The apostle John's statement, "He who has the Son has life; and he who does not have the Son of God does not have life." (1 John 5:12) is further proof that we need Jesus in us in order to be saved. In fact we are "saved by his life1." (Romans 5:10), that is by the life1 that his indwelling presence gives us. The word translated life1 (Gr. ζωὴ, Gtr. zōē) does not refer to physical life, but to spiritual life, which we have because of the indwelling spirit of Christ in us. He is the life1 (John 11:25; 14:6), so it is impossible to have life1 in us without Jesus being in us.

#2.12 Without the Son in us we cannot be free from sin

JOHN 8:36 (Jesus)
36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.

2 CORINTHIANS 3:17 (Paul)
17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

Note: Just as we saw before that we are born again through the word of God in us, or the truth in us, or Jesus in us, or the Spirit in us, so now we see that we are freed from sin by all of these also:

(Psalm 119:11) "Your word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against you."
(John 8:32) "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
(John 8:36) "If the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed."
(Romans 8:2) "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death."

As Jesus is the life (See #2.10), then the Spirit of life (Romans 8:2) is the Spirit of Jesus Christ. The end result of the fullness of the word, the truth, the Son, and the Spirit being in us, is that we are completely born again, and totally set free from sin:

(1 John 3:6) "Whoever abides in him does not sin: whoever sins has not seen him, nor known him."
(1 John 3:9) "Whoever is born of God does not commit sin; for his seed remains in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God."
(1 John 5:18) "We know that whoever is born of God does not sin;"

#2.14 Without Jesus in us we are not justified by his faith

ROMANS 3:21-22 (Paul)
21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ to all and upon all those who believe: for there is no difference:

ROMANS 5:1 (Paul)
1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

GALATIANS 2:15-16 (Paul)
15 We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,
16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

PHILIPPIANS 3:7-9 (Paul)
7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
8 But indeed I also count all things but loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
9 And be found in him, not having my own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

Note: The above scriptures show that we are justified by the faith of Jesus Christ. Our faith is not separate to the faith of Jesus, but it is the faith of the Christ who lives in us, because it is "by him" that we believe in God (1 Peter 1:21). Therefore, in order to believe and have faith, we must have the spirit of Christ in us, which means that we must be at least a new born again babe in Christ.
We are saved through his faith in us (Ephesians 2:8; 1:9).
We are kept for salvation through his faith in us (1 Peter 1:5).
We live by his faith in us (Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38).
We walk by his faith in us (2 Corinthians 5:7).
We stand by his faith in us (1 Corinthians 16:13 and 2 Corinthians 1:24).
We are justified by his faith (Romans 3:22; Galatians 2:16; Philippians 3:9).
This also further emphasizes the need of Jesus in us to be free from sin, because "whatever is not of faith is sin." (Romans 14:23). Just as we have seen that freedom from sin comes through the word of God, through Jesus, and through the Spirit (See #2.212 Note), so faith comes through the Word of God (Romans 10:17), through Jesus, and through the spirit (1 Corinthians 12:9; 2 Corinthians 4:13).

#2.16 Without Jesus in us we are not saved by his grace

JOHN 1:14-17
14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
15 John bore witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spoke, He who comes after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.
16 And of his fullness have we all received, and grace for grace.
17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

ACTS 15:10-11
10 Now therefore why do you tempt God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
11 But we believe that through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they shall.

EPHESIANS 2:4-9 (Paul)
4 But God who is rich in mercy, for the great love with which he loved us,
5 Even when we were dead in sins, has made us alive together with Christ, (by grace you are saved;)
6 And has raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
7 That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness towards us through Christ Jesus.
8 For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

EPHESIANS 4:7 (Paul)
7 But to every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

Note: Not only do these scriptures make it clear that we are saved by grace (Ephesians 8:5; 8:8), but more specifically it is the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ that saves us (Acts 15:11). Grace comes by Jesus (John 1:17), because he is full of grace (John 1:14). We are called into his grace (Galatians 1:6), it is found in him (2 Timothy 2:1), and just as we believe "by him" (1 Peter 1:21), so we believe in him through grace (Acts 18:27). Just as faith comes through the Word of God (Romans 10:17), is a spirit (2 Corinthians 4:13), and enables us to overcome sin (#2.12 Note), so grace comes through the Word of God (Acts 14:3; 20:32; Ephesians 4:29; Colossians 4:6), is a spirit (Zechariah 12:10; Hebrews 10:29), and also enables us to overcome sin (Romans 6:1-2; 6:14-15). The more we know Jesus, the more grace we can have (2 Peter 1:2), according to how much of his spirit God gives to us (Ephesians 4:7). This makes it clear, that without the new birth experience, the spirit of Christ in us, that gives us this grace, we cannot be saved.

#2.18 Without Jesus in us we have no access to God

JOHN 14:6
6 Jesus says to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, except through me.

EPHESIANS 2:13, 18 (Paul)
13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off are made near by the blood of Christ.
18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.

EPHESIANS 3:11-12 (Paul)
11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:
12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.

Note: These scriptures indicate that it is only through the spirit of Jesus Christ in us that we can have access to God the Father. Other scriptures also confirm that it is through the spirit of God's son, that he becomes our father by adoption (Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:6; See #2.24). Therefore the born again experience, when the spirit of Jesus enters into us, must be necessary for our salvation.

#2.20 Without Jesus in us we cannot do God's will

MATTHEW 7:21-23 (Jesus)
21 Not every one who says to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

1 JOHN 2:17
17 And the world passes away, and its lusts: but he who does the will of God abides for ever.

Note: These scriptures indicate that we need to do the will of God in order to ensure our salvation, but the only way that we can do it is through the spirit of Christ in us:

(Romans 8:37) "we are more than conquerors through him who loved us."
(1 Corinthians 15:57) "But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."
(Philippians 4:13) "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

This is because Jesus came specifically to do the will of God:

(John 6:38) "I came down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me."
(Hebrews 10:7) "I come ... to do your will, O God."
(Hebrews 10:9) "I come to do your will, O God."

He sought to do God's will:

(John 5:30) "I seek not my own will, but the will of the Father who has sent me."

And he submitted himself to do God's will, even when it meant dying on the cross:

(Matthew 26:39) "not as I will, but as you will."
(Mark 14:36) "not what I will, but what you will."
(Luke 22:42) "not my will, but yours be done."

Therefore, through the same spirit being in us, we can also submit ourselves to do God's will, but without it we are certain to fail.

#2.22 Without the spirit of God's Son in us we are not adopted sons of God

ROMANS 8:14-16 (Paul)
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
15 For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but you have received the Spirit of adoption, by which we cry, Abba, Father.
16 The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may also be glorified together.

GALATIANS 4:4-7 (Paul)
4 But when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
5 To redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
7 Therefore you are no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

Note: When we are born again, God sends the spirit of his son, that is the spirit of Jesus into our hearts (Galatians 4:6). Just as the spirit of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane cried, "Abba, Father." (Mark 14:36), so the same spirit of Jesus in us causes us to cry, "Abba, Father." (Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:6). It is through the spirit of Jesus in us, called "the Spirit of adoption," (Romans 8:15), that we become adopted sons of God, and thus joint-heirs of God through Jesus (Romans 8:17; Galatians 4:7). Again, all this shows that the spirit of Jesus Christ in us is an essential requirement for us to have any true hope of an inheritance with God after this life, and that without it we cannot be saved.

#2.24 Every spirit that will not confess that Jesus Christ is still come in the flesh is antichrist

1 JOHN 4:2-3
2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come1 in the flesh is of God:
3 And every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ is come1 in the flesh is not of God: and this is the spirit of antichrist, of which you have heard that it should come; and even now already it is in the world.

Note: The word translated is come1 (Gr. ἐληλυθότα, Gtr. elēluthota) in both of these verses is the accusative, singular, masculine, perfect, active participle, of the verb "erchomai", "I come". The perfect participle refers to a current state, simultaneous with the main verb (here it is "confesses"), which has resulted from action prior to it (DFH p57, JWW p153, WP p96). Thus it means that Christ did come in the flesh in the past, and is still come in the flesh now, inside every born again believer:

(Romans 8:9) "Now if any man does not have the spirit of Christ, he is not his."
(2 Corinthians 13:5) "Do you not know your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you except you are reprobates?"
(Colossians 1:27) "Christ in you, the hope of Glory."

Every spirit that will not confess this new birth, Christ in us, is not of God, and is the spirit of antichrist.

Thus in general conclusion, no religion anywhere in the world can produce salvation outside of this new birth experience, which is the spirit of Christ in us. Every religion that does not profess to be partakers of the new birth as the means of salvation should be forsaken with all haste. Not only are those who do not teach it are in gross error, but they are of the spirit of antichrist (See #1.25 ), and they cannot save anyone.

(Isaiah 9:16) "For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and those who are led of them are destroyed."
(Matthew 15:14) "if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch."
(Proverbs 13:20) "a companion of fools shall be destroyed."

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