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New Life in Christ!

The New Birth is a cardinal doctrine of the Bible. Long before Jesus walked on earth God's prophets pointed to it (I Peter 1:10-12). It was the theme of Christ's preaching. He said to Nicodemus, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3). That should settle the importance of the subject. What, then is involved in the new birth?

First, there is a cleansing from sin. Paul wrote, "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost" (Titus 3:5). The word "regeneration" means "new birth" (Vine, P.267). This cleansing occurs when a penitent believer is immersed in water, as may be seen in Paul's own conversion. The instruction he received was, "arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins . . ." (Acts 22:16).

A clear example of the new birth is seen in the conversions which occurred on the day of Pentecost in Jerusalem. Spirit-filled men preached a Spirit-given message. Believers were told to "repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remissions of sins . . . " (Acts 2:38). Eager listeners responded by being baptized and "the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls"(Acts 2:41). Remember how Jesus had promised that those who were born again would enter the kingdom? With these first converts on Pentecost that promise was fulfilled.

The Spirit's work in conversion is not in stimulating a feeling of ecstasy, but in providing men a knowledge of the truth. The Bible says, "Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth (James 1:18). And Peter declared, Being born again, not of corruptible, by the word of God . . . And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you" (I Peter 1:23,25).

If you have not believed in Christ, repented of your sins, confessed your faith in Christ before men, and been buried with the Lord in baptism for the remission of sins, you need to also be born in to His family today.

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