1. Born AGAIN is born of SPIRIT

What did Jesus mean when He said we must be born again? In John 3:6-7 Jesus said, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again." Here Jesus mentions 2 types of birth—first, to be born of flesh and, second, to be born of spirit. To be born AGAIN is to be born of SPIRIT. Our soul is who we are, it is our inner person. With our first birth into the world, our soul is born with a flesh body, and we are physically alive. If we obey Jesus to be born again, with this second birth, our soul receives a spirit body. The covering of the holy spirit makes our soul spiritually alive. So, originally, we are born with 2 parts—soul and flesh body. If born-again, we will have 3 parts—spirit, soul and flesh body. As Apostle Paul wrote to his spiritual brethren in 1 Thessalonians 5:23, "… and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless...."

2. Flesh CANNOT inherit Heaven; Spirit NEEDED for Heaven

What is the importance of being born of spirit? All flesh is corruptible. No matter how glorious a life you enjoy in this world, the flesh body’s end is death and decay. Even the most beautiful, strong, wise, rich or powerful person meets the same end— their flesh returns to dust. 1 Peter 1:24 says, "For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away…" Flesh is corruptible, but the spirit is incorruptible. To enter God’s incorruptible kingdom, we must be born of incorruptible spirit. 1 Corinthians 15:50 says, "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption." Our soul is eternal, but without putting on the incorruptible spirit body to cover or cloth or house our soul, it will be found naked and unable to enter Heaven. 1 Corinthians 15:53 says, "For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality." 2 Corinthians 5:2-4 says, "For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life."

The covering of spirit is absolutely necessary to enter Heaven. It is the down payment God gives to purchase us as His people for His kingdom. In continuing 2 Corinthians 5:4-5 says, "For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit." God our Creator made us with the purpose that we strive to inherit His kingdom. God treasures having His people in His likeness. For this reason, He gives the earnest of the Holy Spirit to those who sincerely groan and cry out to Him. An earnest is a down payment—it is an upfront partial payment for something of high value. It is only a small portion of the total cost, but it shows serious intention to obtain the valuable commodity. In Scripture, God is the purchaser and we are the commodity. So, God is purchasing us, but we are not purchasing the kingdom. He gives the earnest of the Spirit as the upfront down payment to purchase His people. Once born again, we are just newborn spiritual babes, but God’s desire is that we grow in spirit. So, to go to Heaven, we must be born of spirit, however, that is NOT enough— we must at least grow to become a Child of God, or better still a Son of God, or the best is become the Bride of Christ. In order to become this, God gives the earnest, which is the Holy Spirit. It is the advance given by God to get the desired product of His people as Child, Son, or Bride.

3. Born again to SEE God’s kingdom; Spirit is LIGHT & LIFE given by Christ

How does the spirit guide us toward inheriting God’s kingdom? In John 3:3 Jesus said, "…Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." The flesh body allows our soul to experience the physical world, and the spirit body allows our soul to experience the spiritual world. With the flesh body we see colors of the rainbow, shapes of clouds and birds flying. With the spirit body we see the nature of true goodness, Heaven and God. To see something, we need light. Jesus said we cannot see the kingdom of God without being born of spirit, and the spirit is light. Christ Jesus gives this light, which is spiritual life, to those who sincerely follow Him. In John 8:12 Jesus said, "I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." Please notice Jesus is the light; and if we follow Him by repenting of sin and obeying Him, then He gives us the light of spiritual life. John 1:1, 4-5, 9 says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not…That [the Word] was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." In the Old Testament, Jesus as God was called the Word. Christ Jesus was and is the keeper of the light of men, which is the soul’s life, which is the holy spirit. Jesus is the true Light with the brightness of the Sun, and He lights those who are born again with the brightness of candlelight. God’s desire is we obey and follow Jesus to grow the feeble candlelight of spirit to the brilliance of the Sun.

4. Spirit is LIGHT to understand God’s WILL to live HOLY

This light of men, which is the holy spirit, guides us in God’s will to live holy. 1 Thessalonians 4:3, 6-8 says, "For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication…That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter …For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness…who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit." Scripture says the will of God is sanctification, that is separating from the filth of sin. These verses give 2 specific examples of sin that Jesus commands us to avoid—fornication, which is giving into lust to engage in sex outside of marriage, and defrauding brethren, which is cheating our own people in money or other matters. God gives the holy spirit to obey His call to live holy. When just in the flesh body, we are spiritually dormant or dead as we do sinful deeds of the flesh. Ephesians 2:1, 5 says, "And you hath he [God] quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins…Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ…" It is our choice to repent of sin, so that God may quicken us, which is to be made spiritually alive with Christ’s light. This light shows us our inner filthy, sinful nature, but it does not force us to do anything. Turning the light on in our house can show us dust and dirt, but it is up to us to clean it. So also, the spirit shows us the filth in our heart and mind that needs to be cleaned, but it is our soul’s choice to obey God’s call to purify our life of sin, or to disobey and continue in sin.

5. WALK in Spirit to GROW; Fruits of Spirit are Goodness, Righteousness, Truth

Your choice determines whether you increase or decrease in spirit. Ephesians 5:14-15, 17-18 says, "Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise…Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit…" When we sincerely awake and arise to follow Jesus in turning away from sin, then Christ gives the light that makes us spiritually alive. Please notice this is not the end point, rather it is the beginning. There is no assurance of heaven with merely being born of spirit. Once we receive the light, Apostle Paul instructs to then carefully walk in the spirit—not as fools who disobey God, but as spiritually wise children who walk in the light by obeying the Lord’s will. Receive the candlelight and move with this understanding to do God’s commandments, Word, and will. Then, God may fill you with greater measure of spirit. The end purpose is to grow in spirit to sin no more, then as mature Sons of God we may inherit Heaven.

If we truly walk in the spirit, we will bear fruit of the spirit. Ephesians 5:3-5, 8-10 says, "But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God…For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord." Apostle Paul instructs born-again believers to walk as children of light. He gives specific examples of sin— sexual immorality, coveting which is desiring others’ belongings, and filthy, foolish talk—such sinful ways ought to be purified if we sincerely have eyes on God’s kingdom. Paul writes that although they were (past tense) darkness, to now not let such sin even be named once among them. Those who walk as children of light will grow in doing righteous, holy deeds. The proof is not attending church functions and speaking with a gentle voice while continuing in sin. The proof is bearing fruit of the Spirit—which is, goodness, righteousness and truth in our life’s walk.

6. Flesh and Spirit are CONTRARY; Grow from CHILD into SON

Flesh and spirit are contrary to one another. As one goes up, the other goes down; and vice versa. Deceiving pastors and religious hypocrites will insist it is impossible to stop sinning because they are led of the flesh, world and devil. With lying lips, they declare being born again and filled with the spirit. Their supposed fruit of spirit is their smile, song, prayer and friendship with other religious churchgoers. But their life and heart are filled with filthy works of flesh. Galatians 5:16-17, 19-21 says, "…Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other…Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God." Apostle Paul repeatedly lists sinful work of the flesh believers must turn away from as they strive to inherit Heaven. Scripture says if we walk in the spirit, we will not fulfil the lust of the flesh. So, it is possible to sin no more, the secret is being led of spirit. Be honest and know yourself. The proof of whether you are led of flesh or of spirit will be in your life’s fruit, work, deeds.

Preachers who are servants of Satan act as if believers will do works of flesh and spirit side by side until the day they die. But the flesh and spirit are against each other. So, as one increases the other decreases. God did not call us to literally kill our physical body; He called us to put to death the sinful deeds of the flesh. Romans 8:13-14 says, "…For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." As we mortify the deeds of the flesh through the Spirit, we grow from Child of God to Son of God. The holy spirit grows in brilliance from candlelight to Sunlight. In Matthew 13:43 Jesus said, "…the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father…" A Son of God must grow to be as righteous and holy as his heavenly Father God. Ephesians 4:21-24 says, "If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness." The son follows after his father in likeness. Jesus said be born again of spirit, so, put off the old corrupt flesh man and put on the new spirit man that is in the likeness of God. Please notice we are not called to be like God in doing miracles or wonders, rather we are to be like God in righteousness and true holiness. This is a process. Deceivers try to trap true believers by asking if they have achieved sinless perfection. But a newborn babe does not become a full-grown man in an instant. So also, it takes time for a spiritual baby to grow from immature child of God to mature son of God.

7. Grieve NOT & Quench NOT Spirit; Grow by obeying WORD

But do not take the gift of the holy spirit for granted by assuming this growth will happen regardless of what you do or do not do. Just as God gives the spirit, He removes the spirit if we do not diligently seek to obey Jesus’s commandments. For example, Lord Jesus Christ addresses the church of Ephesus in Revelation 2:2, 4-5 saying, "…I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil…Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent." Here some believers had patiently worked to do good and avoid fellowship with evildoers, however, at some point they fell away from keeping God as their first love. Christ Jesus warns them to repent and return to doing their earlier good works, otherwise He will remove from them the candlestick, which is the light of life. 1 Peter 2:11 says, "Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul…" The flesh and spirit pull the soul in opposite directions, with fleshly lusts pulling the soul toward spiritual death. God seals the holy spirit to our soul to guide us to walk holy. This is why Apostle Paul, while exhorting the spiritual church to not sin, said to not grieve the spirit. Ephesians 4:30 says, "And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." If we grieve the spirit by being carnally minded, we risk losing the spirit and eternal life.

Be led of the Spirit to be redeemed from the consequence of sin, which is spiritual death. Romans 8:5-7 says, "For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." God considers those who break His commandments to be His enemies, and He will remove the spirit. 1 Thessalonians 5:19 cautions, "Quench not the Spirit." Quenching the candelight of the spirit is living according to the lust of flesh. There is no static position with our spiritual life. We either decrease or increase in spirit. So, how to grow the spirit? 1 Peter 2:1-2 says, "Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby…" To grow in spirit, be clean from the inside out. Apostle Peter says to set aside sinful intentions which contaminate purity of heart—malice (which is evil intention to harm others), guile (which is cunning deception such as using flattery to manipulate), hypocrisy (which is putting on an false outward show to gain praise of people), envies (resenting others for what they have), and evil speaking. To draw nutrition and strength from God’s Word, we must seek to obey Him with a sincere heart.

8. Have spirit of man (holy spirit) to RECEIVE from Spirit of God (Holy Ghost)

Jesus said to be born of spirit to see the kingdom of God. The holy spirit is the spirit of man that allows us to connect with and learn from the Holy Ghost which is the Spirit of God. Most churchgoers are not aware of this difference, but the holy spirit is a creation that God gifts to us, while the Holy Ghost is God the Creator. 1 Corinthians 2:12-14 says, "Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." Most pastors, Bible scholars, theologians study the Bible, memorize the Bible and teach the Bible. Yet they do not perceive the true nature of goodness, Heaven and God. They are spiritually dead and study the book using human intelligence and worldly wisdom. To receive spiritual discernment from the Spirit of God (who is the Holy Ghost) we must have the holy spirit (which is the spirit of man).

9. Born of WATER to ENTER God’s kingdom; Born again is process with stages

Jesus said be born of spirit to see God’s kingdom, but what must we then do to enter God’s kingdom? In John 3:3,5 Jesus said, "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God…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." To be born of water is to be separated from the filth of sin through obeying the Word of God. Ephesians 5:25-27 says, "…Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish." Christ Jesus cleans His true spiritual church to be holy through the washing of water by the word. But remember that God’s principle is that as we draw close to Him by obeying for Him, He draws close to us in cleansing us.

Being born again is a process that goes in stages. How far we go depends on our diligence in obeying God. 1 Peter 1:22-23 says, "Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever." This is the picture of Sons of God who have been born of the Word. They have purified their soul by obeying the truth through the spirit, and they also fervently care for the souls of spiritual brethren. Born again may go in stages of being born of spirit, born of water, born of word, and finally, born of God. 1 John 3:9 says, "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God." Here is a fully dedicated disciple of Jesus who is dead to the flesh, world and devil. It is no longer that they choose not to sin, rather, they cannot sin as God’s seed is now within them. There are very few who grow from child of God, to servant of God, to son of God, to bride of Christ—they are fully submitted to obeying God even to a high calling of intense persecution or death.

10. SOUL’s profit in SOWING to SPIRIT

In Mark 8:36 Jesus said, "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" We must be born again because there is nothing of greater value for our soul than becoming God’s people and gaining eternal life in His heavenly kingdom. For this we must be born of spirit and grow in spirit by obeying Jesus. In John 6:63 Jesus said, "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." This is a matter of eternal life or eternal death for our soul. Please remember that God is righteous, and we will only reap what we sow. Galatians 6:7-8 says, "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." It is popular deception in church circles to act as if inheriting Heaven has nothing to do with our efforts. Servants of Satan will say it is only by God’s mercy, love and grace. Deceived and disobedient churchgoers will act as if it a mark of great humility to claim their works and deeds have nothing to do with being God’s people. But Scripture says be not deceived by such lies. God will not be mocked. We will reap what we sow. May God bless you as you sow to His heavenly kingdom to become His beloved people.