Pastor Frank DeFusco
In John 3:3, Jesus explicitly states to Nicodemus, “a ruler of the Jews,” that to see the Kingdom of God a man must be born again. Confused, this religious man asks Jesus, “How can a man be born a second time?” Jesus had already given him the “why” a man must be born again when He said, “So that they can see the Kingdom of God.” Now He will tutor this learned man on the how, when in verse 5, Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”
To many, “born of water” indicates a Baptism by water. But there are so many who have been baptized by water who will never see the Kingdom of God. That is why Jesus added that with it, there must be a baptism of the Holy Spirit. In Acts 11:11-18, Peter is sent by the Holy Spirit (vs 12) to a house in Caesarea, where he starts to share the gospel with the family inside. Immediately, the Holy Spirit fell upon them (vs 15). In verse 16 he says: “Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, ‘John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ In verse 16, Peter goes on to say that this family “was saved as we were by believing in the Lord, Jesus Christ.”
That is the “how” to the “why” one “must be born again.” Adam and Eve, the father and mother of all mankind, sought self-rule over God’s love. This caused a separation from their Creator because their desires turned from that of the spirit, to that of the flesh. If they had only realized that it was the Spirit that gives life and that the flesh is unprofitable (Jn. 6:63) because we are the seminal children of Adam. And as such, we have inherited his spirit of rebellion. Thus, our spirit is also one of corruptible and filthy flesh at conception and greatly in need of a spiritual washing, a “regeneration,” and a renewing of the Holy Spirit by and through the mercy and grace of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ (Titus 3:4-7).
Jesus further makes His point in John 3:5-8 that we must be “born again” of the Holy Spirit. In Matthew 19:23, Jesus states that it is near impossible for a rich person to be saved, but in verse 26, He goes on to state “but yet nothing is impossible with God.” The rich ruler, Nicodemus believed in Christ and was eventually saved (“born again”). And so “must” you be, if your wish is to enter into God’s Kingdom. And it’s as simple as A, B, C.
A) Admit you are a sinner. (Rom. 3:23)
B) Believe that Jesus is Lord. (Rom. 10:9)
C) Call upon His name. (Rom. 10:13)
Grace and peace, Pastor Frank DeFusco
This article is part of two Bible studies that are being taught by Pastor Frank DeFusco from Calvary Chapel of Casa Grande. He recently finished teaching the Book of Revelation on Tuesday mornings and is now teaching the Book of James. He is also teaching the Book of Isaiah on Thursday afternoons. Both studies are being held in the Cheyenne Room of the Ranch House.