Thursday, October 02, 2014

Wesley Sermon #16

Ye must be born again (John 3:7)

The ‘new birth’ is a fundamental doctrine. It is of great importance that we understand why we must be born again, how we are born again, and to what end we are born again.

Why must we be born again? Though people were made in the image of God, they were not made immutable. Humanity fell and died (spiritually). From this dead state each individual must be re-born (again, spiritually).

How does this happen? Certainly we can’t fully grasp how this new birth occurs, but we at least accept what Scripture says. At the new birth, God changes the person inwardly. The person is now equipped with the mind of Christ and the presence of the Spirit.

To what end? The new birth begins a process, a hike toward holiness… a path to perfection. Without heading in this direction, one has no hope of salvation. The ‘end’ toward which the new birth points is readiness for heaven, holiness of heart, happiness of life.

In case there is confusion on this point, the sacrament of baptism is not synonymous with the new birth. The former is an outward symbol, the latter the inward reality. It is possible to have the former and not the latter. Be you baptized or unbaptized, you MUST be born again.

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