“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God!”
Through the centuries many have tried to establish standards for entrance into heaven. In John chapter three we are introduced to a man named Nicodemus. He was someone seemingly well qualified by his religion (he closely practiced Judaism), by his race (Jewish by birth), by his reputation (Jesus referred to him as ‘the teacher’ of Israel) and by his recognition (a member of the Sanhedrin, the highest political office of the day)! Yet, Jesus laid down one requirement Nicodemus had never met! Suppose you had to answer today why the Lord should allow you to enter the Kingdom of Heaven! Would you answer be regarding your religion, your race, your reputation or your recognition by others? I challenge you to examine how you would answer that question today. Let us look honestly at what the King of the Kingdom of heaven said about entering His Kingdom!
First of all, Jesus demands two births-(v3). Note that the Lord made this known to a well-respected man, emphasizing there are no exceptions! When a preacher preached from the same Bible text night after night he was asked, “With the whole Bible before you, why do you preach night after night from the same passage of Scripture?” His response was, “Because, except a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God!” This is not a recommendation; this is a divine requirement! Find a quiet place! Get alone with God! Ask Him if you are qualified for entrance into His Kingdom! Have you been born again?
Then, in (vv 4-5) the Lord describes the two births. One is a birth of water. The second is a birth of Spirit! The first is a natural birth, and the second is a spiritual birth. Most are aware that prior to birth a child is encased in the mother’s womb in a membrane filled with water, and when that membrane “breaks” the time for birth is at hand! This is a reference to natural birth. The second birth is a spiritual birth, a birth “from above.” Just as no one has ever lived physically without first being born physically, the same is true spiritually! Are you qualified for entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven? Have you been born again?
Finally, Jesus defines the two lives that result from the two different births. A physical birth results in a physical life-(v6a), and a spiritual birth results in a spiritual life-(v6b). He then uses an analogy from nature-(v8). The word “wind” can be translated wind, breath or spirit depending on the context of how it is used. Only a life spiritual in its origin can be spiritual in its operation! Life that results from a spiritual birth (again, from above) is forever under new (from above) management! You hear the sound of the wind and notice the resulting difference it makes, yet it is different! So is everyone who is born of the Spirit! Only God determines the qualification for entrance into the Kingdom of heaven! Have you been born again?
How one is born again is defined in v16, by believing in Jesus Christ. The word believe in the original language means more than intellectual agreement. It is defined “to trust in; to cling to; to rely on.” Have you trusted in trusted in Christ alone? Are you clinging only to Him? Are you relying daily on Him?” Have you been born again?