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Ye Must Be Born Again

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  • Format: Folded Flyer Tract
  • Size: 3.66 x 8.5 inches
  • Pages: 6
  • Version: KJV
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The full text of this flyer tract is shown below in the KJV version. (Do you want to print this tract in a different version than the one listed? Contact us and let us know what you're looking for—we may be able to create the alternate version for you at no charge.)

In John 3:7, Jesus said: “Ye Must be Born Again”

Are you “born again” the Bible way?
How do you know you are “born again”?


Being “born again” is the work of God and that makes it a miraculous thing. The New Birth is no mere outward reformation, no mere turning over a new leaf and endeavoring to live a better life. The New Birth is much more than going forward and taking the preacher’s hand. The new birth is a supernatural work of God upon man’s spirit. It is a miracle which is being repeated all around us every day. But what does it mean to be “born again”? The Bible uses the expression “born again” only a few times. Jesus uses it several times in His conversation with Nicodemus (John 3:3,5,7). The apostle Peter uses it in his first epistle (1 Peter 1:3,23). The idea of being “born” of God is used many times in the Scriptures (examples: John 1:13; 1 John 5:1). In His discussion with Nicodemus, Jesus reveals much about being “born again.” With His comments as the basis of our study, let’s examine what the Bible reveals about being “Born Again.”

I. The Necessity of the New Birth (John 3:1-3)

A. Jesus said, “Ye must be born again.” This means it is absolutely imperative. You have no other option. It is something you must do.

B. Jesus also said, unless “a man be born again, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:3,5,7). What is the kingdom of God? A brief description:

1. The rule and reign of God in the Person of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:18; Acts 2:36; Revelation 1:4).
2. A spiritual kingdom not of this world (John 18:36; Luke 17:20-21; Romans 14:17).
3. A kingdom made up of faithful subjects (Colossians 1:13; Revelation 1:6,9).
4. A kingdom both present and future (Matthew 13:41-43; 1 Corinthians 15:24-26).

C. Nicodemus was a very religious man, for he was a Pharisee. He was a ruler of the Jews which made him both educated and wealthy (John 3:1). He was also a religious teacher (John 3:10).

1. This shows us that nothing else can take the place of being born again—not education, not religion, not morality, not wealth, nor power.
2. None of these, nor all of these together, are sufficient to take you to Heaven.
3. Because of this, Jesus said, “Ye must be born again.”

D. Jesus also said, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh” (John 3:6).

1. During the physical birth a person receives the “flesh” which is described in the Word of God as our sinful nature.
2. The “flesh” is completely corrupted by sin (Galatians 5:19-21).
3. The “flesh” cannot inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 15:50).
4. This is why everyone must be born again! If we are going to see (perceive) and enter the kingdom of God we must be changed by the power of God!

II. The Nature of the New Birth (John 3:4-6)

A. Nicodemus was thinking of the physical birth (John 3:4). And Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Except a man be born of water [physical birth] and of the Spirit [spiritual birth], he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”

B. “Born of water” does not mean baptism. Why?

1. The context of the passage clearly is speaking of “born of water” as the physical birth (John 3:4-6). “Born of the flesh” is speaking of the physical birth and the sinful nature we receive from our parents at birth. At birth, the mother’s “water” breaks and the baby is born.
2. The apostle Paul said to the Corinthians that he had begotten them through the Gospel (1 Corinthians 4:15). If baptism produced the new birth then Paul would have baptized all of them, but he says that he was thankful he baptized none of them (1 Corinthians 1:14-17). If baptism is necessary for eternal life, why did Paul rejoice because he had not baptized more people?
3. Look at the example of Simon the magician in Acts 8:13,20-23. We are told that Simon was baptized, but he was still in the “gall of bitterness” and the “bond of iniquity.” Even though he was baptized, his heart was still “not right with God.” He was still bound for perdition.
4. We are saved by faith and not by works (Ephesians 2:8-9), and baptism is a work.
5. “Born of water” cannot refer to water baptism, for in the Bible baptism speaks of death, not birth (Romans 6:1-6).
6. If baptism is essential for salvation, then nobody in the Old Testament was ever saved, for there was no baptism under the Law. The great saints named in Hebrews chapter 11 were all saved by faith.

C. What does it mean to be “Born of the Spirit”?

1. People are “born again” the moment they believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour (John 3:11-16; Galatians 3:26; 1 John 5:1). This is the answer Jesus Christ gave to Nicodemus after he asked the question, “How can these things be?” (John 3:9).
2. This is illustrated by the brazen serpent in the wilderness (John 3:14-15; Numbers 21:4-9). The dying Israelite, with the poison of the fiery serpent coursing through his veins, was saved by looking at the brazen serpent on a pole, and had new life coursing through his veins the moment he looked.
So we dying men, earning the wages of sin, are saved the moment we look at Jesus Christ on the cross and believe in the payment He made for our sins. New life courses through our veins at that very moment. “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
3. The Holy Spirit uses the Word of God as the instrument to bring us to the new birth (James 1:18; 1 Peter 1:23-25). He also uses men who preach the Gospel to us to cause us to be “born again” (1 Corinthians 4:15).
4. In the new birth the Word of God is the divine seed and the human heart the soil. The preacher of the Gospel sows the seed in the heart and the Holy Spirit of God opens the heart to receive the seed (Acts 16:14). When the hearer believes, the Holy Spirit brings new life out of the seed of the Word of God. A new divine nature springs up out of the divine Word (2 Peter 1:4). The believer is “Born of the Spirit”—he is made alive, made anew; he is passed from death to life.
5. After hearing the Gospel and believing in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, the believer is sealed with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14).
6. When a man is “born again” he becomes a “new creature” (2 Corinthians 5:17). The Holy Spirit imparts a new nature (2 Peter 1:4) and the “born again” person will now think as God thinks, feel what God feels, and desire what God desires (Ezekiel 36:26-27).
7. Men are “born again” by the power of God. “Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:13). “Not of blood”—salvation does not run in the blood. Natural descent cannot account for this supernatural work of God. “Nor of the will of the flesh”—the new birth does not come by human resolution or effort: it is not the outcome of a man’s will or activity. “Nor of the will of man”—the new birth is not the fruit of a preacher’s persuasive powers or desires. This attempt to force a decision by pressure and persuasion is expressly repudiated by the above Scripture.

III. The Evidences of the New Birth (John 3:8)

A. A “born again” person becomes the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16, 6:19-20).

B. A “born again” person is made free from the “law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2). The law of sin is still there, but after being “born again” the “law of the Spirit and life” sets us free from “the law of sin and death.”

C. A “born again” person minds “the things of the Spirit” (Romans 8:5). He directs his mind, his thoughts, his feelings, and his purposes upon the “things of the Spirit.” Jesus said in the Gospel of John that when the Spirit comes he will guide us into the truth (John 14:17, 16:13). A “born again” person follows the truth of God in the Word of God. Jesus also said that the Spirit of God would testify of Him (John 15:26-27), and a “born again” person filled with the Spirit would have power to witness of Jesus Christ (Acts 1:8). A “born again” person is always talking about Jesus and the Gospel.

D. A “born again” person is not “in the flesh,” but “in the Spirit” (Romans 8:9). He now lives in the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the sphere in which he thinks, feels, lives, and acts. He still has the flesh, but he does not live under its dominion anymore (Galatians 5:16-17). The new nature and the old nature live side by side in the believer (Ephesians 4:22-24). You put to death the deeds of the old nature by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:13).

E. A “born again” person is outwardly transformed by the inward renewing of the mind, so that he is not conformed to this world (Romans 12:2). He begins this process as a “babe” and he must grow (1 Peter 2:2; Ephesians 4:13-15). The new life must be fed and developed.

F. A “born again” person is being conformed to the image of Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:29; Colossians 3:10). The result of the New Birth is a progressive process. It is a day by day renewal and transformation.

G. A “born again” person believes that Jesus is the Christ, the Saviour of the world (1 John 5:1). John here is speaking of a genuine faith in Jesus Christ. A life-changing faith. “The just shall live by faith.” Faith without works is dead!

H. A “born again” person overcomes the world (1 John 5:4). The world constantly wants to exercise its power to draw the believer away from Christ and into disobedience (1 John 2:15-17). But the believer, by the power of faith and the power of the Spirit, gets victory after victory over the world.

I. A “born again” person does not commit sin because the seed of God remains in him (1 John 3:9). The verb “commit” is a present tense verb which denotes continual action. He does not “go on” sinning. According to 1 John 3:4, sin is the transgression of the law. Sin is the conscious and intentional disregard and disobedience to the will of God as revealed in the Word of God. A “born again” person does not live in lawlessness. He may do things contrary to the Word of God, but he quickly humbles himself and confesses his sin to God.

J. A “born again” person practices righteousness (1 John 2:29). Here again is the same present tense verb, and it means continuous action. By acts of righteousness we mean the performance of such acts that are conformed to the will of God as revealed by God’s Word.

K. A “born again” person loves the brethren (1 John 3:14, 4:7, 5:1). The brethren are those who are begotten of God or “born again.” That person may be African, Asian, Indian, American, Afrikaans, or English. What is love? It isn’t just a feeling or just empty words (1 John 3:16-18), but it is a genuine desire for the physical and spiritual well-being of others that will lead to sacrificial deeds to achieve that end. Love is an action word.

L. In a “born again” person “old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). In the place of the old desires, the old thoughts, the old affections, and the old purposes, are new thoughts, new desires, new affections, and new purposes.


When Jesus said, “Ye must be born again,” He was not only speaking to Nicodemus, but He is also speaking to you and me. It is imperative that you are “born again by the Spirit” if you are to enter the kingdom of God. When did you come to true repentance over your sins? When did you put all your faith in trust in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour? You could do that now.

— Garry Castner

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