What Can One Do To Get Born Again And Get Saved – Spiritual Reading.
The question, therefore, confronts each one of you, Have you been born again? There is no more important question that you could possibly face. Face it in these pages and don’t dodge it. And that brings us to the immediately practical question, How are men born again, or what must any one here to-day, who is not born again, do in order to be born again right here this morning? This question also is plainly answered in the Word of [God; and I can give you the answer in a very few minutes and give it so that any one here can understand it. There are three parts to the answer.
1. The first part of the answer you will find in Titus 3:4, “Not by works done in righteousness, which we did ourselves, but according to his mercy, he (i.e., God) saved us through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost.” These words tell us very plainly that it is God who regenerates and that He does it through the power of His Holy Spirit.
The same thought is found in our text, John 3:5, 6: “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit.” Regeneration is God’s work; wrought by Him by the power of His Holy Spirit working in the mind, feelings and will of the one born again, in your heart and mine.
2. Some one might infer from the fact that regeneration is God’s work, which He works in our hearts by His Holy Spirit, that all we have to do is to wait until God sees fit to work; but we see plainly from other passages in the Word that this is not true.
We are taught the second thing about how regeneration is wrought in James 1:18, “Of His own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of His creatures.” Here we are taught that the Word of Truth, the Word of God, is the instrument that God uses in regeneration. The same thought is found in 1 Pet. 1:23, “Having been begotten again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, through the word of God, which liveth and abideth.”
And Paul gives voice to the same great thought in 1 Cor. 4:15, where he says: “For though ye should have ten thousand tutors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I begat you through the gospel.” From these passages it is evident that the New Birth is wrought by God through the instrumentality of His Word.
It is God who works it through the power of His Holy Spirit, but the Holy Spirit works through the Word, and thus God begets men anew by “The Word of Truth,” or the “Word of God,” i.e., the Word which is preached by “the Gospel.” So then, if you or I wish to be born again we should get in contact with the Word of God by studying the Bible and asking God that the Holy Spirit may make that Word which we are studying a living thing in our own hearts.
We should get in contact especially with that part of God’s Word which is found in the Gospel of John, for John tells us in John 20:31 that “These (i.e., these things in the Gospel of John) are written, that ye may believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God; and that believing ye may have life in his name.”
If we wish to see others born again we should bring the Word of God to bear upon their minds and hearts either by preaching [the Word, or by teaching it, or in personal work; and we should look to the Holy Spirit to quicken that Word in the hearts of men as we sow it in their hearts, and in this way the New Birth will result.
3. The third and last and decisive truth as to how we are born again is found in Gal. 3:26 and John 1:12, 13. In Gal. 3:26 we read, “For ye are all sons of God, through faith, in Christ Jesus.” This tells us plainly that we become born again through putting our faith in Christ Jesus. This is even more explicitly stated in John 1:12, 13: “But as many as received him (i.e. the Lord Jesus), to them gave He the right to become children of God, even to them that believe on His name: which were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
Here we are told that the decisive thing in our becoming children of God is that we believe in, or receive, Jesus Christ. Any one who receives Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour and trusts God to forgive him because Jesus Christ died in his place and receives him as his Lord and King, and surrenders his thoughts to His absolute control as his Lord and his life to His absolute control as his King and confesses Jesus Christ as Lord before the world, such a one immediately becomes a child of God, is immediately born again, is immediately made a partaker of the Divine nature.
The same thought is illustrated by Jesus Himself in John 3:14, 15, where our Lord Jesus is recorded as saying, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up; that whosoever believeth in Him may have eternal life.”
The reference is to the story of the Israelites in the Old Testament when they were bitten by fiery serpents. As the dying Israelite with the poison of the fiery serpent coursing through his veins, was saved by simply looking at the brazen serpent on the pole, a serpent made in the likeness of the one that had bitten him, and had new life coursing through his veins as soon as he looked, so we dying men, with the poison of sin coursing through our veins, are saved by looking at Jesus Christ “Made in the likeness of sinful flesh,” lifted up on the cross, and have new life coursing through our veins the moment we look.
All we have to do with our regeneration is to receive Christ as He is presented to us in the Word, by which we are born again. Therefore, “If any man be in Christ he is a new creature (creation). The old things are passed away, behold all things are become new.”
In the New Birth the Word of God is the seed; the human heart is the soil; the preacher of the Word is the sower, and drops the seed of the Word of God into the soil of the human heart; God by His Spirit opens the heart to receive the seed (Acts 16:14); the hearer believes; the Spirit quickens the seed into life in the receptive heart; the heart closes around the seed by faith; the new [nature, the Divine Nature springs up out of the Divine Word; the believer is “born again,” “created anew,” “made alive,” “passed out of death into life.”
Have you been born again? I put this question to every man and woman here. I do not ask you whether you are a church member. I do not ask if you have been baptised. I do not ask, have you gone regularly to the communion. I do not ask, have you turned over a new leaf. I do not ask, are you an amiable, cultured, intelligent, moral, socially delightful gentleman or lady. I ask you, have you been born again? If not, you are outside of the Kingdom of God and you are bound for an everlasting hell unless you are born again.
But if you are not already born again you may be born again to-day, you may be born again before you leave this building, you may be born again right now; for the Word of God says, “As many as received him, to them gave he the right to become children of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” And it says again in Rom. 10:9, 10, “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus as Lord and shalt believe in thy heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved: for with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” [These verses make it plain as day just what you must do right here and now to become a child of God. It is up to you to say whether or not you will do it.
Excerpt From – The Fundamental Doctrines Of The Christian Faith By Reuben Archer Torrey.
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