Marvel not that I said to you, You must be born again.
I. INQUIRE WHAT IT IS TO BE BORN AGAIN.
1. It is a Divine and supernatural change, effected by the agency of the Holy Spirit.
2. It is an instantaneous change; and herein it differs from sanctification, which is a progressive work.
3. It is an internal and invisible change, yet may be known by its effects.
4. The change is universal, extending to the heart and life. Universal beauty spread over the whole man.
5. It is an abiding change.
II. NOTICE SOME OF THE EVIDENCES OF THE NEW BIRTH. These we shall chiefly select from the First Epistle of John.
1. Those who are born of God "do not commit sin; yea, they cannot sin, because they are born of God" (John 3:9; John 5:18). The principle of grace will be always rising up against sin, and at length will triumph over it (Romans 7:14-25).
2. They have "overcome the world" — its frowns and smiles, hopes and fears (1 John 5:4).
3. They have a sincere love to all the saints; for "every one that loveth is born of God" (1 John 4:7).
4. All their hope of salvation is founded on the meditation of Christ (1 John 5:1).
5. Their walk and conversation is holy and exemplary. "Every one that doeth righteousness is born of God" (1 John 2:29).
III. CONSIDER THE REASONABLENESS AND IMPORTANCE OF THIS CHANGE: "Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again."
1. Do not marvel at it as if the doctrine were new and strange.
2. Marvel not as if the doctrine were unintelligible.
3. Do not consider this new birth to be impossible. With men, and with angels it may be so; but not with God.
4. Marvel not at this change as if it were unnecessary.
(B. Beddome, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.