The New Birth
As we observed in our last lesson, God sent His Son to save
us "from our sins" that "whoever believes in Him
should not perish but have everlasting life" (Matt. 1:21; John
3:16). Through faith in Jesus we receive (1) repentance for sin,
(2) forgiveness for sin, and (3) power to overcome sin. This work
of grace is the beginning of a "new life," which is called
the "new birth" or "conversion." In this lesson
we will see how this new birth takes place in our lives.
1. How many
of us are naturally good? Rom. 3:10, 23 [The Further-study verses
are John 8:34; Eccl. 7:20; Isa. 64:6]
what is "most assuredly" necessary if we are going to
receive the free gift of eternal life? John 3:3, 5, 6
3. Can we
change ourselves? Jer. 13:23 [Rom. 7:18-24]
4. The Bible
points out three steps to conversion. What is the first step? Acts
3:19 [Ans: We must repent of our sins. 2 Peter 3:9; Acts
2:38; 5:31; Rom. 2:4; Ps. 34:18]
means to be so sorry for our sins that we do not want to repeat
them. Only God can give us that sorrow for sin, for we, by nature,
love sin. What will true repentance lead us to do with our past,
sinful way of life? Rom. 6:6, 16 [Ans: By God's help
we will crucify the sinful habits we once cherished. True repentance
also will cause us to make restitution for our wrongs (such as paying
back stolen goods) where we can. Num. 5:7; Eze. 33:15; Luke 19:8,
9; Rom. 8:13]
repentance, what is the second step? 1 John 1:9 [Ans:
We must confess our sins to God, asking for forgiveness.
After confessing our sins, we are not to keep on dwelling upon them,
but to have faith that God has forgiven them. There also may be
people from whom we should ask forgiveness. Prov. 28:13; Ps. 32:5;
51:1-10; Lev. 5:5; 26:40-42; Mark 1:5; James 5:16; Neh. 1:6-11;
after repentance and forgiveness, how are we then to live? Rom.
6:4 [Ans: We are to live a new life, a righteous life,
through the power of the Holy Spirit. Eph. 2:1-10; 1 John 2:6; 3:3]
will happen if we repent of our sins but do not replace our evil
deeds with good deeds? Luke 11:24-26 [Note: We must
preoccupy the mind with good if we would not have it filled
with evil. Eph. 2:1-10; 1 John 2:6; 3:3]
9. The end
product of conversion is a new life of righteousness. How can we
live this new life? Rom. 8:2-4 [Note: God has power to
help even the worst sinner overcome his sins. 1 John 3:3-9; Heb.
10:16; Eze. 36:25-28; 1 Cor. 10:13; Phil. 4:13; John 8:34-36; Heb.
showed us the way to live this new life of righteousness? John 14:6
[Heb. 2:10, 11, 16-18; 1 Peter 2:21; Matt. 16:24]
11. In demonstrating
a righteous life, Jesus showed us three things we can do to enable
the Holy Spirit to give us this new life. What is one thing Jesus
did, and taught us to do, to live the victorious Christian life?
Luke 21:34-36 [Luke 6:12; Matt. 26:41]
12. A second
thing Jesus did was to study the Bible and to resist temptation
by quoting Scripture. What will regular Bible study do for us?
2 Peter 1:3, 4 [Note: When we study the Bible daily, the
Holy Spirit fills us with holy thoughts and gives us strength to
resist temptation. When Jesus was tempted, He quoted Scripture that
He had memorized. If we will fill our minds with texts of the Bible
and Christian songs, our minds will not be so easily affected by
sin. Then, when we are tempted, if we will quote Scripture and pray
for strength, we will obtain victory. Matt. 4:3, 4, 7, 10; Ps. 119:11;
John 6:53-57, 63; John 17:17]
after receiving spiritual strength through prayer and Bible study,
Jesus mentally and consciously resisted Satan and his temptations,
and chose to do right (see Isa. 7:14, 15 and Luke 4:8). What
should we do when tempted? James 4:7, 8 [Eph. 6:12, 13]
three things--Prayer, Bible study, and exercising our will in refusing
to sin and choosing to do good with the spiritual strength we have
thus received--are the secrets for victorious Christian living.
We must combine divine power with human effort. But we must do this
every day, even moment by moment! How can we have a growing Christian
experience? Col. 2:6 [Luke 9:23; 1 Cor. 15:31; 1 Thess.
5:17; Rev. 2:4]
we have been truly born again, what will happen to us? 2 Cor.
5:17 [Phil. 1:6]
Is it your desire to be born again into a spiritual life of
righteousness, with Jesus as your example? Will you spend time with
Jesus every day in prayer and Bible study, and with the strength
you thus receive from God choose to resist sin and to follow the
Lord Jesus Christ?
1 (Lessons 1-10): Believing in Christ Our Savior and Coming King