One night Jesus told Nicodemus that for him to see the kingdom of God, he must be “born again.” Poor Nicodemus. Of course he didn’t understand this utterly out-of-this-world-statement of Jesus. Jesus clarified it for him: “no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.”
This leads us to understand that to be born again means to be "born from above."
What role does the Spirit play in this regeneration?
There are two ideas about the role the Holy Spirit plays in the “new birth.”
● First, there is the idea that man is so spiritually dead that only a miraculous intervention of the Holy Spirit can produce regeneration. This majority view asserts that the Spirit must operate directly -- even irresistibly -- on a sinner's heart in order to burn away the sinful nature which keeps man from accepting God's will. The direct operation of the Holy Spirit precludes His use of any medium or agency to convert the sinner, such as the word of God.
● Secondly, there is the view that the Spirit converts through the medium or agency of the word of God. Operating through the word, the Spirit accesses the hearts of men, convicts them, and causes them to come to Jesus by obeying His gospel.
Now, please be aware that the omnipotent Spirit of God could use either of these means if He so desired. It is not a question of what the Spirit has power to do – it is what He actually does.
The Scriptures teach that the Spirit operates through the word of truth which He has revealed. In every instance of conversion in the New Testament, the Spirit and the word are never separated. The word of God was taught to every person who was converted to Christ. Certainly, some miracles were performed, and there were outpourings of the Holy Spirit. Yet, each case shows that the Spirit's word had to be believed and obeyed for salvation to take place.
On knowing this, we must give ourselves to:
Hear the word, study the word, share and teach the word.
It is the means to the new life!
Pastor Robert Chew