In John 3, Jesus has an encounter with Nicodemus, a pharisee from the Jewish ruling council. He was a Jewish teacher and an important man who wanted to meet with Jesus at night, while everyone was sleeping. Nicodemus was well aware of the miracles Jesus was performing and needed more information.
Before he could even ask a question, Jesus says to Nicodemus "Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again" (John 3:3).
“How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!” (John 3:4).
Nicodemus is very confused.
"Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit." (John 3:5-6).
Very clearly, Jesus is telling Nicodemus that if you want to enter the kingdom of God there are 2 requirements:
1. You have to be born physically and
2. You must be born of the Spirit.
If you are born twice (physically and spiritually), you will die once (physically). But if you are only born once (physically), you will die twice (both physically and at the second death mentioned in Revelation 20:6 and Revelation 20:14. Did you know there is a second death? This death is for anyone who did not put their faith in Jesus while they were still alive.
Even after reading Revelation 20:6 and 20:14, someone might still not be convinced. They still might need more proof and information. That is why I am dedicated to helping all people to understand their condition, so that they might come to God for his provision of eternal life.
Why We Need to be Born Again
Did you know that we were born into this world spiritually dead in need of life? Did you now that we were not born into this world in the image of God, but in the image of Adam?
How did this happen? You know the story, most people do.
Born in Adam's Image, Not God's Image
God created Adam in his own image (Genesis 1:27). God not only breathed life into Adam's nostrils, but He breathed His Spirit into Adam (Genesis 2:7). Adam was created both physically and spiritually alive! He was perfect in every way.
God then planted a garden and put Adam there to work the garden. In the middle of the garden were 2 trees, the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
And God then gave Adam one command: “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” (Genesis 2:16-17).
After Satan the serpent deceived Eve, Adam and Eve did exactly what God told them not to do.
The Problem All People Have
You have to ask the question "Did Adam die physically or spiritually that day?". Since Adam went on to live 930 years, it can only be that he died spiritually.
The Spirit of God left Adam and Eve. They went from being spiritually alive to spiritually dead. The Spirit of God was no longer living in them. Their destination changed from eternal life to eternal death (Genesis 3:22). They were physically alive, but spiritually dead and condemned for hell.
"When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth." (Genesis 5:3). Whose image and likeness was Seth born into? Adam's image and likeness. Whose image and likeness do you think you were born into?
Since we are born into this world in Adam's image and likeness, we are born spiritually dead and condemned for hell, in need of life (John 3:18).
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned..(Romans 5:12)
For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. (1 Corinthians 15:22)
As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man.
God's Solution-New Life
If we are born into this world dead without the Spirit of God living in us, then we must find a way while we are still alive to reverse the curse that Adam handed down to us. That is why Jesus came. He first took away the sins of the world (The Good Friday event), and then He rose from the dead (The Easter event). He cleared the path for the divine act of giving life to the spiritually dead.
The key to receiving eternal life is believing in Jesus's resurrection from the dead. That is "If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." (Romans 10:9). The same Spirit which rose Jesus from the dead, will also raise you from the dead, when you place your faith in Him (See Romans 8:11).
Why did Jesus say he came? "I have come that you might have life, and have it to the full" (John 10:10).
"And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life."(1 John 5:11-12)
The Apostle John
John writes many times not only how to be saved, but what you have escaped from. I believe this is crucial to understanding what salvation is. Again, we are more than sinners in need of forgiveness, we are dead and in need of life.
John 3:16 Notice that if you believe in Jesus, you will not perish spiritually.
John 3:36 Notice that if you believe in Jesus, God's wrath is no longer for you, but for unbelievers.
John 5:24 Notice that if you believe in Jesus you have crossed over from spiritual death to spiritual life.
Saved By His Life!
We are saved from the wages of sin, which is spiritual death, by the gift of God, which is eternal life (Romans 6:13). Those who are born again have been saved from their condition of spiritual death.
Once we are saved, we can never lose our salvation. Why is that? Because all our sins have been taken away and forgiven forever. That is how the cross and the resurrection work together. The cross was preparatory to the offer of giving life to the spiritually dead. We are not saved by His death on the cross, we are saved by his life (Romans 5:10).
This is why Jesus said, "You must be born again".