Much of the controversy in the Church these days centers around the New Birth and what actually happens to those who believe. Some teach that a simple prayer of faith and baptism are all it takes. Some teach that all we have to do is let Jesus come into our lives and we are saved. However, the Bible is very clear that no one sees the Kingdom of God unless they are Born Again. Also, it is this "regeneration" that is the New Birth that changes a person from a Natural Man into a genuine Christian. This New Birth is what enables a person to believe and be saved. The person is a New Creation old things are past away, behold, the new has come. This means that the light from the life of God in them will be manifest in a life that is growing in Grace. They are working in cooperation with God in their sanctification. This is not what justifies them in God’s eyes. Instead, He justified them when they repented and believed on the Lord Jesus Christ. – Mike Ratliff
The following devotional by Martin Luther is from Faith Alone.
A New and Different Person
by Martin Luther
You should not be surprised at my saying, "You must be born again." (John 3:7)
This new birth shows itself most clearly when trials and death draw near. Then it becomes clear whether or not a person has experienced the new birth. At that time, human reason–the old light–twists and wrestles, refusing to let go of its own thinking. It doesn’t want to give up and turn to the gospel. Reason simply won’t let go of its own light. But those who are born anew, or who are being born anew, surrender and follow God. They give up their old light, life, possessions, honor, and whatever else they have. They trust what John records in his gospel and cling to it. As true children of God, they will receive their eternal inheritance.
If your old, arrogant light of reason grows dark, becomes dead, and is replaced by a new light, then your entire life will be transformed. For when your reason is changed, your will follows soon after. And when your will is changed, what you love and desire changes as well. In order to become new, you must crawl into the gospel with your whole self. You must shed off the old skin, as a snake does. When its skin becomes old, a snake looks for a narrow hole in the rock. It crawls through it and sheds its skin, leaving it outside in front of the hole. Similarly, you also must go into the gospel and God’s Word. You must confidently believe its promise that God does not lie. So you shed off your old skin, leaving behind your old light, arrogance, will, love, desires, and what you say and do. You become a new and different person who views everything differently than before.
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