In his conversation with Nicodemus, Jesus equates being born again with spiritual birth. A bridge, if you will, that we must cross over before we can enter the Kingdom of God.
“I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.” (John 5:24)
Our first birth, a physical birth, gave us this life that we know and understand, a life that we also know will eventually end in death. Being born again is, in reality, a spiritual birth that gives us a new kind of life. A life that overcomes our physical existence and eventual death. A life that will never end.
“I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.” (John 3:5-6)
The born again experience, this bridge to spiritual birth, is governed by four basic spiritual laws or principles.
1. God loves us and has a plan for us that includes eternal life.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
2. Man has a problem that, unless remedied, will result in eternal death.
But your iniquities [sins] have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. (Isaiah 59:2)
3. Man’s remedies cannot bridge the gap, only God’s remedy (Jesus) can.
It [salvation] does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)
4. We must accept the remedy (Jesus) to be born again.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
From the dawn of creation, God’s love for us has been evident. Driven by that love, God’s plans for us included spiritual prosperity, hope and a future, a future that includes eternal life with Him. The problem is that our sin and disobedience separates us from Him. This separation not only leads to eventual physical death, but also to a spiritual death. Unless corrected, this death is eternal.
Although we have tried many ways to end the separation by our own bridge building efforts, none have been successful. No matter how intense our desires or how determined our efforts we cannot be successful on our own.
Here again, God demonstrates His great love and mercy for us. Despite our failures and continued sin, He provides His own bridge to span the gap that separates us from Him. The bridge is made possible only by the death and resurrection of His only Son Jesus. This sacrifice is so perfect and so acceptable to God that it can bridge the gap that keeps us apart, ending the separation.
All that is required of us is to accept God’s remedy, His Son. We must cross the bridge. Only then is the separation ended. Only then do we cross over from death to life. Only then are we born again.
All this is from God, who reconciled us [built a bridge] to himself through Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:18).