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The Blue Letter Bible

Don Stewart :: What Does It Mean to Be Born of the Spirit

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Don Stewart

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The Scriptures speak of the necessity of being "born of the Spirit." Jesus said:

Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God (John 3:5).

Being "born of the Spirit" is also referred to as the "new birth." The new birth is the work of the Holy Spirit, who places the believer in a right relationship with God. It is a work of God, not of man:

Who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1:13).


The new birth is necessary because all of us have been separated from God because of our sin.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).

If we continue in our sin there is no hope for us. "For the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23).

Yet if we trust Christ as Savior, salvation can be ours.

But the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23).

The new birth occurs when faith is placed in Christ:

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name (John 1:12).

This regenerating work of the Holy Spirit is necessary for everyone.

Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5).

The new birth is an act of God. This experience is accomplished by placing faith in Christ as Savior.

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