This is the next blog in the ongoing series on the New Birth.
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church
In the discourse that the Lord Jesus had with Nicodemus, the topic of the new birth permeated the entire discussion. Nicodemus was not reborn and Jesus told Him that he must receive the new birth in order to see the kingdom of God (John 3:3). The new birth — a sovereign working of God, by His initiative, by His power, and for His glory — comes from God and comes to sinners! Only God can grant the new birth. Salvation is a monergistic act. God, and God alone, accomplishes all of the rebirth. None can help, contribute to, aid, or supplement the working of God in the soul of a man. There are some promises that exist in the discussion on the new birth. This essay will elaborate on a few of the promises of the new birth.
1) The PRESENTED promise. When Jesus spoke with Nicodemus, the teacher of Israel (John 3:10a) and one who knew the Hebrew Scriptures very well (implied in John 3:10b), Jesus presented Him with a promise. John 3:15 says that whoever believes will in Him [in Christ] have eternal life. Jesus presents Nicodemus with a promise, and it extends to everyone who would believe in Jesus Christ. The promise that Christ presented to Nicodemus was that whoever looks to the Son and beholds Him will certainly receive eternal life. None shall be turned away if they come to Jesus Christ by faith alone. The new birth is a working of God, by His grace and for His glory, and it is this that then permits a person’s eyes to be opened to see his sinful condition, his eternal condemnation, and the complete salvation found in the atoning work of Jesus Christ. But the promise remains, whoever believes will have eternal life. The promise of eternal life is presented to whoever would come to Christ and believe in His name.
2) A DIVINE promise. None other than the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, provided this promise to Nicodemus. Human promises may come to fruition, but they may not. But when God makes a promise, He always remains true to His Word. He cannot lie for He always is faithful. The promise that Christ makes to Nicodemus and to all who believe in Christ is that he will have eternal life. This is no mere human wish. This is a divine, bonafide, unbreakable promise. God Himself declares that whoever believes will in Christ have eternal life. Nothing can be more sure than the promises that come from Christ’s lips.
3) An ETERNAL promise. Jesus tells Nicodemus that whoever believes will have eternal life. This is not just life in this world and living it to the fullest, though it is! This is life eternal that begins at the moment of God’s supernatural and sovereign working in the person’s soul and continues even past the moment of physical death to endless eternities to come. Believing on Christ brings eternal life. The truest sense of life eternal, everlasting blessednesses, and unending joys in the immediate presence of the Triune God forever comes to the person who believes in Christ!
4) A SURE promise. The conversation that Jesus had with Nicodemus covered the spectrum of the new birth. It is God alone who accomplishes it and when a person believes in Christ, that sinner most certainly, most definitely, and most assuredly possesses eternal life. The word of God is sure, reliable, trustworthy, dependable and faithful. O the blessed promise of Jesus Christ!