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A Supernatural Birth

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Truth Network Radio
July 27, 2021 12:01 am

A Supernatural Birth

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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July 27, 2021 12:01 am

Being born again does not mean turning over a new leaf; it is the gift of new life. Today, Steven Lawson explains how Scripture presents a Christian's regeneration as a supernatural event wrought by the power of the Holy Spirit.

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Today on Renewing Your Mind.

You need to become a new creature. You need to start all over.

You don't need just an upgrade in your life you don't they just apply us on your F you need a whole new life to be given to you like that which you have never experienced before, which is mean to be is the question.

The look of the motions conversation with Jesus you read about the dramatic encounter in John chapter 3 because the new birth is such an essential Christian doctrine. We need to make sure that we get this right is my work during today's message from regular teaching fellow, Dr. Steven Lawson. We want to continue our discussion on the new birth and I can't think of anything more exciting in life than the birth of a child just the joy that surrounds new life being birthed into this world.

I remember when my wife and I first had our children we began with twins. That was an incredibly exciting moment for us to go from no children to two children and I remember the waiting room in the whole church was there and it was just almost like a pep rally and I remember after my wife delivered the twins, Andrew and James remember coming back out into the waiting room at the hospital and just yes men and everyone just bursting into applause and excitement.

I'm sure you can remember the birth of your children and the happiness that surrounded that occasion, the Lord then gave to us a daughter Grace and and then a son, John. So Andrew, James and John were into discipleship at our house and my daughter Grace and just the excitement and the joy of new life, being born into this world. Well, I want to say that I think even more exciting because of the eternal significance is when we see someone who is born again into the family of God and sometimes God lets us have a secondary role, and that perhaps we prayed for them. Perhaps we were able to tell them about the Lord Jesus Christ. Perhaps we were able to witness to them or to help build that bridge towards them and carry the gospel with them. I think the greatest thing in all the world is to know Christ and the second greatest thing is to be used by him to help others know Christ well I want to talk about the joy of the new birth and nothing more exciting than seeing people come alive in Jesus Christ. Sometimes the term is used born again Christian and that's very redundant because if you are a Christian you are born again and if you're born again, you're a Christian. And so to say born again Christian is like saying Christian Christian because every one in the kingdom of heaven is there by virtue of the new birth. Now this second session I want to talk about the fact that the new birth is a super natural birth in the first session we said that it's necessary birth now want to talk about the fact that it is a super natural birth.

We've all had our first birth. That was a natural birth.

But Jesus said we must have a super natural birth from above. Would you look at verse three and read in John chapter 3, we will be in John chapter 3 for this entire series of messages but I want to look now again at verse three, which is such an important text.

Notice Jesus answered and said to him, truly, truly, I say to you. In other words, don't miss this. This is of extreme importance. Truly, truly, I say to you it was as if Jesus took out a yellow highlighter and just highlighted what he is about to say that he would leap off the page to us 2000 years later, truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of heaven. So what does this mean to be born again of the word again in the original language in the Greek with which John wrote this gospel, it really has two basic meanings in a and I want to lay both of these out. The first is as it is translated in most of our Bibles. It means again to be born again, meaning a second time.

I for example in Galatians 4 verse nine Paul writes, how is it that you turn back again referring to turning back to legalism. Now that you are saved and so the word does mean as it is translated here again a second time. In other words, there was something desperately wrong about our first birth we were conceived in sin. The psalmist says and we went forth from our mother's womb speaking lies. The psalmist says by virtue of Adam's sin, we have fallen in Adam and we must be born again we need a new birth to reverse the effects of the sin nature and the total depravity that is been passed down to us in the first birth, so in order to enter into the kingdom of heaven.

We must be born a second time, we must be born again, but there's a second meaning of this Greek word and it means from above. In fact, the other times in the New Testament that this word is used it is translated from above.

Referring to heaven and where God is. Let me give you these cross-references in John three in verse 31.

Later in this very chapter. Jesus said he who comes from above as above all, referring to his own entrance into this world. He is, he has come down from above. These come down from another realm from another world to ensure into the human race in this fallen world. In John 19 verse 11. Went. Jesus stood before Pilate, he said you would have no authority over me unless it had been given you from above and other words the authority that Pilate had was a delegated authority. It had been granted from God above the very word that Jesus uses here when he says you must be born again, he is saying you must be born from above to other verses really three other verses. James one verse 17 every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, and then James 315.

This wisdom is not that which comes down from above. Verse 17 but the wisdom from above is goes on to say is peaceable, etc. when Jesus said that you and I must be born again. The truest meaning of that the fullest range of that meaning is that in being born again we must be born from above to be born from above means to be born of God. In fact, it is mentioned that way. Later in John's Gospel and in and in first John, it is simply said that we are born of God. The idea is that we are born from heaven above from God above where God dwells in this birth has nothing to do with this world at this this birth.

This new birth is not drawn from anything in this world has nothing to do with dead religion in this world. It has nothing to do with man's traditions. It has nothing to do with man's activities. It has nothing to do with man's morality are man's efforts are man strivings or anything on this horizontal level.

This birth is exclusively vertical is from above, it is from God acting upon our dead soul. Nicodemus understood that Jesus was talking about a totally different birth that another birth when he said in verse four. How can a man be born when he is old, he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born candy at a Nicodemus caught the implication of what Jesus was saying is that you must be born again in Jesus then answered and said you don't need another physical birth. You don't need to crawl back into your mother's womb. If that were even possible because still, this is going to be on a natural level. Even if you could, it's only on a worldly flying you need a birth from another dimension from another realm from another kingdom from another realm. You must be born from above, so he says truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the spirit he cannot inner into the kingdom of God that you need more than a natural birth.

Unita super natural birth you need more than a physical birth.

You need a spiritual birth. What you need is a new life.

You need a new start. You need a new mind get a new heart, you need new desires. You need a new will you need a new beginning. You need a new destiny. You need to become a new creature. You need to start all over.

You don't need just an upgrade in your life.

You don't need just a plus on your F you need a whole new life to be given to you like that which you have never experienced before. When Jesus is talking about here is regeneration to become a new creature in Christ Jesus.

Second Corinthians 517, Paul would say if if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature. The old things have passed away.

Behold, new things have come.

It is a birth that only the Holy Spirit of God can give. Jesus said in verse six that which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the spirit is spirit.

In other words, you need to births only tell you this.

If you've only been born wants you will die twice if you've been born twice, you will only die once you understand what's being said that, if you are only born want of a physical birth. There is a second death that will be awaiting you on the other side of physical death and descending down into the bowels of hell. But if you are born twice, you will only die once. You will die physically, but though you die you will live forever with God verse seven Jesus said do not be amazed that I said to you. You must be born again of the new birth is not receiving mere religion.

It is entering into a relationship with God through his son the Lord Jesus Christ. It is entrance into the family of God and coming to know God, and know his son Jesus Christ is not participating in ritual and going through some kind of routine it is entering into life that only God can give. First John 512 says he who has the son has life.

He who does not have the son does not have life. If you've not been born again, you're just a dead man walking. You're just a dead person walking you have existence, but you do not have life.

Jesus said I am the way the truth and the life not a life the life the only life that there is is found in Jesus Christ. And it comes to us by the new birth and this supernatural birth. It takes place in the very depths of our soul. It's not a superficial work that just lays on the outside of our life. It's not something that is shallow. That is merely redecorating the exterior of our life is not just a repackaging of the outside that now we are more religious on the outside of there will be fruit and there will be a change on the outside, but the new birth takes place at the root.

It takes place at the very core of our being in the innermost recesses of our soul down at the division of a soul and spirit. The new birth is not turning over a new leaf.

It's receiving a new life. The new birth is not a Reformation of our lives.

It's a regeneration within our lives is not a boost from below. It's a birth from above. This is the new birth.

It's not getting back to church is not getting religion is not joining a Bible study is not behavior modification. I mean, some of these things will occur in our lives and should, but that's the fruit that's what's produced the new birth is Christ in you, it is the life of God in the soul of a man, George Whitfield, one of the great evangelist. God's ever given to the church. I made mention of him at the end of our last session when George Whitfield went to college.

It was lost he went to Oxford, he joined a small Bible study called the holy club in that holy club was John Wesley, founder the Methodist Church was Charles Wesley, the great hymn writer, not bad little Bible study to join in college. Not one of them knew the Lord.

They were all unregenerate and in the course of that study, they were all striving by their own efforts to pull themselves up by their bootstraps to make themselves somehow commendable to God that they could earn acceptance with God. And the more Whitfield strived it seemed the further away he was drifting from whatever that standard of perfection is that he was striving to me.

Then one day someone handed him a book written by Henry Struble, a young Scottish man from the previous century the title of that book, the life of God in the soul of man. It was a book about the new birth that God must invade the soul that God must speak life into the dead soul that God must initiate the new birth that God must bring forth life where there is death in its Whitfield read this book. He came to the understanding that it was not by his efforts and striving that he would enter into the kingdom of God, but that it must be a super natural birth from above, and as a result of reading that book and calling upon the name of the Lord George Whitfield was born again he was burst into the kingdom of God. John Wesley would continue to serve the Lord, he would graduate go to the mission field be a preacher across the Atlantic Ocean, over here to the colonies. Serve the Lord. He still didn't know Christ would not be until he would return later back to England and go to another small group Bible study and there have read the introduction to him of Luther's commentary on Galatians when he come to understand what it is to be born again from above what did you do to be born. The first time.

Nothing you and I simply appeared, and it was a sovereign work of God, was it not. None of us were able to pick her parents are to choose what decade or century we would be born in or what continent it's what God acted and did in our lives and we were burst into this world, so it is spiritually. It is a super natural birth and there is nothing that we can do to cause ourselves to be born again, God must do this and exclusively God must do this. First Peter one verse three says, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who caused us to be born again into a living hope through the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ know we were passive. God was active God was the initiator it was so supernatural it was all of God and we give him the glory for your member the testimony of Martin Luther.

Tell Martin Luther when into the priesthood, became my mom trying to commend himself to God by his own efforts and he could not work his way to acceptance with God and then that day as he was in the tower there and Wittenberg. He gives his testimony, he says, though I lived as a monk without reproach. I felt I was a sinner before God with an extremely disturbed conscience, I could not believe that he was placated meaning satisfied by my satisfaction.

I did not love yes I hated the righteous God who punishes sinners. I was angry with God and he goes on to say that there is this fierce troubled conscience within him. He said I was reading Romans one verse 17, the just shall live by faith and Martin Luther said he came to an understanding that it is a foreign righteousness and alien righteousness outside of himself. That must be given to him and it is given to him by faith and it was as though the scales fell off of his eyes. And Luther said here. I felt that I was altogether born again and had entered Paradise itself through open gates. Martin Luther was born again by his own admission that's the supernatural birth we go from being God haters to God lovers. We go from those with a troubled conscience of guilt to those who have peace with God, and who have the peace of God.

It is the birth that only God can give. I trust that you have experienced this supernatural birth in your life and that you know what it is to have the life of God in your soul.

That's the difference. The new birth makes as you just heard.

Look in your teaching fellow, Dr. Steven Lawson say being born again brings about a radical change in our lives. It rearranges our priorities.

This is why I can only come from a divine source. That's a key lesson from today's program taken from Dr. Lawson's teaching series.

The new birth. We like to send you this DVD series for your donation of any about to leave your ministries there are couple of ways you can redress one is by phone at 800-435-4343. You can also make a request online at Renewing Your Mind.Ward as a reminder, it is your financial support that enables us to continue providing trusted teaching.

Like we heard today.

So we thank you in advance for your generous donation once again. Her phone number is 800-435-4343 with Dr. RC Sproul felt this ministry 50 years ago. He wanted to provide trustworthy Bible teaching that remains our goal today as we strive to continue the rich legacy that Dr. RC Sproul left one of the many ways we do that is through our interactive online forum asked Ligon near if you been wrestling with a deep theological question. Or maybe you're leading a Bible study in your home and there's a passage of Scripture that the you want to make sure that your teaching accurately and escorted here. We have trained team members right Bill waiting to answer your questions. Just go to ask.woodier.Ward as we close today.

Let me pose this question to you. Where do you turn in times of despair, or even when you're simply discouraged. I hope you will be with us tomorrow as we begin an in-depth study of the benedictions and doxologies find in Scripture.

It's a study we call blessings and prayers, benedictions and doxologies in Scripture, and Dr. HB Charles Junior will lead our study so I hope you'll make plans to be with us tomorrow for Renewing Your Mind

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