The New Birth
Toronto, ON, Canada
December 4, 2021
Br. Hadley Hall
In recent months, the Holy Spirit has brought and continues to bring the ministry of the apostle John before God's people in many different localities. This cannot be without importance especially as we are in the last days (1 Jn. 2:18). Therefore, it is important for us to keep in step with the Spirit (Gal. 5:25). God's people need to consider what the Lord is saying to them at the moment.
What are the characteristics of the ministry of John? John outlived the other apostles. From the divine side, this ministry introduces to us the Person of the Lord Jesus as the Word of God, God's last message to humanity (Heb. 1:1,2). For this reason, He came in among His creation as a real man (Jn. 1:14). John's Gospel account ends with the appeal to all to believe its internal evidence that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God in order to have life (Jn. 20:30, 31). Furthermore, this account introduces New Birth as the work of God in those who receive the Lord Jesus making them children of God (Jn. 1:12, 13). Its final chapter points to His coming for them (21:22, 23).
In addition, John's letters not only assert that the last days (1 Jn. 2:18) but also emphasise the family relationship into which believers are brought by God in view of the coming of the Lord.
The theme of this year's lecture series is the New Birth, the sovereign work of God in humanity who believe, so that they may benefit fully from God's goodness and love. The topics are as follows: the need for new Birth (emphasised from moment of sin's entry into creation); the work of New Birth as God's exclusive work; the process of New Birth beyond natural man's comprehension and the characteristics of the New Birth.
Lecture 1 - The Need for New Birth
Br. John Redekop
THE NEED FOR NEW BIRTH - Rom. 8:7
Man's condition: sinful, corrupt, estranged from God; his condition shown in his hiding/running from God - Gen. 3:6-8; 4:16; Jonah 1:3.
Man's condition: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God - 1 Cor. 15:50
Man cannot change his condition - Jer. 13:23;
nor escape from God - Ps. 139:7-9;
nor honour God - Rom. 7:18; 8:8
BUT God loves man - Prov. 8:31. God alone can work to bring helpless man to Himself - Jn. 3:16a;
Therefore, the God brings in New Birth, birth from above to give man access to the holy God who loves unconditionally - Jn. 3:7
Lecture 2 - The Work of New Birth
Br. Samuel Rice
THE WORK OF NEW BIRTH - ("Born of God")
It is God's sovereign work: by the Word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit:
The one who is born of God - Jn. 1:13;
Is made a child of God - Jn. 1:12;
Is made aware of the kingdom of God, and made suitable to enter it by New Birth - Jn. 1:3-5;
Furthermore, New Birth is from the heart and will of God for man - James 1:18;
The Word of God is eternal - 1 Pet. 1:23-24.
Lecture 3 - The Process of New Birth
Br. Joe Wilson
THE PROCESS OF NEW BIRTH
Nicodemus the teacher in Israel was puzzled - Jn. 3:4, 9.
He reasoned everything from a natural/carnal view point even though New Birth was already revealed in the word of God (Ez. 36:25-27). He did not receive (believe) what God had said (cf. Jn. 13:7).
The Lord's answer indicated that:
- humanity has no input in New Birth - Jn.3:6;
- the human mind cannot fathom the New Birth - Jn. 3:8a
- a new nature is imparted -Jn. 3:8b; cf. Jn. 1:13; 2 Cor. 5:17; 1 Pet. 1:23-25
- the New Birth had been revealed in the word of God -Jn.3:10; cf. Ez. 36:25-27;
- the death of Christ necessary -Jn. 3:11-16. Every individual who receives (believes) the truth of this work of Christ, receives the benefits inherent in New Birth - Heb. 11:6; cf. Jn. 1:12.
Lecture 4 - The Characteristics of New Birth
Delight in the Word of God 1 Pet. 2:1-4
Godward response in Holy priesthood - 1 Pet. 2:5-8
Manward response in Royal priesthood - 1 Pet. 2:9-11
Born of God, the new nature
- does not sin 1 Jn. 3:9
- loves God -1 Jn. 4:7
- believes Jesus is the Christ -1 Jn. 5:1a
- loves the brethren - 1 Jn. 5:1b
- overcomes the world - 1 Jn. 5:4
- keeps himself - 1 Jn. 5:18