Jesus answered and said to him, Truly, truly, I say to you, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.…
I. WHEREIN DOES REGENERATION CONSIST? In a radical supernatural change, the seat of which is the heart.
1. A just perception of spiritual objects, of the character and perfections of God, the Person and work of Christ, the gospel plan of salvation, the excellency of holiness, and the evil of sin. On all these the conceptions of the human mind are defective and erroneous, even with the light of reason and the aid of philosophy.
2. A taste for, and delight in, spiritual objects. This is given, not acquired. It may and must be cultivated, but regeneration is its beginning.
II. WHENCE DOES THE IMPORTANCE AND NECESSITY OF THIS CHANGE APPEAR?
1. From the uniform teaching of Scripture.
(1) When the object of the ministry is described, it is "to turn them from darkness to light," etc.
(2) When the power of the Word is spoken of, it is thus — "Being born again... by the Word of God."(3) When the character of the saints is described, they are "created anew," etc.
2. From the nature and employments of the heavenly kingdom.
3. From the utter unsuitableness of the unregenerate for the society, employment and pleasures of the kingdom.
4. From the value and preciousness of the soul.
Parallel VersesKJV: Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.