This is the next part in the ongoing blog series on "The New Birth"
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church
Without a doubt, the act of God in bringing about the new birth humbles the sinner. No Christian can boast at the cross. No one can co-mingle pride with humility or self-righteousness with Christ’s righteousness in the gospel. It cannot happen. The monergistic act of God alone slaughters pride in the soul of man. When this essay speaks of the humility of the new birth, a few things should be explained.
1) A humility in the sinner’s HEART. The Apostle Peter writes to believers and reminds them that God has caused them to be born again to a living hope (1 Peter 1:3). This verbage that Peter uses extolls the glory, grandeur, and exclusivity of God in bringing about and solely accomplishing the new birth on behalf of sinners. This must humble the sinner. Sinners cannot rebirth themselves. Sinners cannot accomplish new life in their own souls. Just as powerless as a person was in bringing about their first, physical birth so powerless is a person in bringing about a second, spiritual birth. This bare fact humbles the sinner’s heart. The born-again believer glories that God has worked on his behalf and he understands that a proper understanding of the new birth humbles his own heart since it strips him of all pride, self-righteousness and worthiness.
2) A humility in the sinner’s PROCLAMATION. When Jesus interacted with Nicodemus, a very religious, Jewish man, he proclaimed the doctrine of the new birth to him. The evangelistic message that the Lord Jesus uttered to the teacher of Israel (John 3:10) was the simple truth that Nicodemus must be born again (John 3:7). As the new birth was the very doctrine that Jesus evangelistically proclaimed to the lost so it must be a part of our proclamation as well! Christians should learn from Christ verbally proclaim the glory of the new birth!
3) A humility in the sinner’s LIFE. When God, by His sovereign power and initiative, grants life to the sinner’s soul, God puts His Spirit within the sinner and causes him to walk in His statutes (Ezek 36:27). So radical will this change of life be that the sinner will walk in God’s statutes and be careful to observe God’s ordinances (Ezek 36:27). That means that the newly regenerated sinner’s life will be one marked by humility as he follows God, his new master. No longer will a sinner life for himself and for his selfish cravings but now he lives for God and for Christ’s glory.
4) A humility in the sinner’s WORSHIP. Christians who have been recipients of the saving and sovereign work of God in the new birth have one primary goal: to be conformed to the image of Christ and to worship the Lamb who was slain in his stead. When God saves a man, he changes that person’s heart so that the born-again Christian wants to worship God, he longs to exalt Christ, and he years to be fully of joy in the Holy Spirit. The Spirit’s life in the soul of a man produces a deep humility in the person who lives and loves and worships Christ, alone, as Lord!
No one is so humble as is the Lord Jesus Christ. None stooped so low as did the Savior Himself. God has every right to be prideful and yet He is perfectly humble. The new birth brings about humility as the regenerated sinner gladly boasts only in the cross! Salvation truly is from the Lord! Nothing humbles as much as considering the new birth as the work of God, by the power of God, because of the will of God, through the Son of God, for the glory of God!