The New Birth
1Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; 2this man came to Jesus at night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” 3Jesus responded and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless someone is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
4Nicodemus *said to Him, “How can a person be born when he is old? He cannot enter his mother’s womb a second time and be born, can he?” 5Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6That which has been born of the flesh is flesh, and that which has been born of the Spirit is spirit. 7Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it is coming from and where it is going; so is everyone who has been born of the Spirit.”
1There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: 2The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. 3Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? 5Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 8The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
In this sermon on John 3:8 identifying “Characteristics of the New Life,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones speaks of the signs of those who have been born again: Christians who have been saved exhibit more than a conscience that condemns their wickedness but also exhibit new desires to please God and wage war against fleshly desires and evil. He describes the differences between a normal conscience that all humans possess and the new life that is given to every believer. Moreover, he shows that anyone who has new life is consumed not with earthly things but spiritual ones. The new Christian is noticeably different to their old friends, and there is a tension put on these relationships. The new Christian’s friends might notice that the Christian acts differently, speaks differently, and spends time in different ways, all of which often drive a wedge between the two individuals who used to have worldly desires and actions in common. If the listener finds these things to be true of themselves, they are encouraged to ask: “have I been born again?”
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.