The New Birth – Part 2

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The New Birth ‑ Part II

             In our last installment we looked at the sovereign work of God in bringing about the new (spiritual) birth in an individual. In this installment we will look at the condition of man prior to being born again and see his total inability to do anything to bring about the new birth.

            Ephesians 2:1, “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins…” The word, “quicken,” means to “make alive.” When we “were dead in trespasses and sins” we were “made alive” spiritually. Our condition prior to being born again was “dead in trespasses and sins.” Verses 2 and 3 describe this condition of being “dead in trespasses and sins,” “Wherein in time past (i.e., prior to being born again) ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of the flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath even as others.” When we “were dead in trespasses and sins,” we “walked according to the course of this world.” The course of this world is abomination to God. The scriptures say that whosoever is the friend of “this world” is the enemy of God. Thus, we conclude that when we were dead in trespasses and sins that we were the “enemies of God.”

            Secondly, we followed after the “prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.” Jesus is the “prince of peace.” Satan is the “prince of the power of the air.” We, being dead in trespasses and sins walked after Satan and had the spirit of Satan working in us as he now works in the children of disobedience.

            Thirdly, we had our “conversation” or lifestyle “in the lusts of our flesh…” Paul said “that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing.” “The lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life is not of the father but is of the world” (1 John 2:16). For our lifestyle to be after fleshly lust is to live selfishly and carnally. 

            Fourthly, we “fulfilled the desires of the flesh and of the mind.” Thus, we weren’t just walking after them, but we were actually doing those things.

            Fifthly, our nature was the same nature that the children of wrath now possess, i.e., we “were by nature the children of wrath even as others.” This was our condition before we were born again.

     We have described in Romans 3:9‑18 our condition under the law of sin and death from which bondage we were delivered by the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:2). It is said of man before the new birth that “There is none righteous, no, not one.” Thus, we conclude that before we were born again, we were in our fleshly state totally unrighteous before God.

            Secondly, we are told that “there is none that understandeth.” I Corinthians 2:14 says that “the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness to him: neither can he know them, for they are spiritually discerned.” Without the new birth we cannot discern spiritual things, we cannot know them, and we cannot understand them. We must be born again to understand the gospel, to know God, and to discern spiritually the word of God.

            Thirdly, we read where “there is none that seeketh after God.” Prior to being born again, no man will nor can seek after God. How foolish it is that men will say that seeking after God is a prerequisite condition for being born again. Contrariwise a man must be born again in order to be able to seek after God.

            Fourthly, “there is none that doeth good, no not one.” Prior to being born again a man cannot do good. Is being baptized, or believing the gospel, or repenting, or believing on the Lord Jesus Christ doing good? If it is, then man must be born again prior to doing any of those things.

            Finally, we read that “there is no fear of God before their eyes.” A man who does not fear God will not come to God. Therefore, a man cannot come to God prior to being born again.

            Jesus said in John 6:63, “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.” If I through preaching the gospel or you through believing the gospel can bring about the new birth, then there is a profit in our fleshly undertakings and the Lord was wrong. He never has nor will make a mistake. His spoken voice gives life, not our deeds!  We conclude with John 5:25, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.” When we were “dead in trespasses and sins”, we heard the life-giving voice of the Son of God speaking spiritual life into our very being and thus we now live spiritually. Having that spiritual life, we can understand spiritual things, seek after God, know God, do good, worship God, fear God, believe the gospel, repent, and become the disciple of Jesus Christ. Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift!