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.…
Man is confronted with two facts.
1. The existence of evil.
2. The hope of deliverance. Christ here shows how this hope may be realized, viz., by a new birth, and by that alone.
I. WHY MUST THIS BE? Simply because to live in heaven we must have the life of heaven. Man can enter no world but by a birth, and to enter heaven, therefore, he must be born into it. To the heavenly world man is dead (Ephesians 2:1). This is not his proper condition, nor was he created in or for it (Genesis 1:26, 27). But very soon his life went out. Adam fell, and begat sons and daughters in his own image; and we, the children of this fallen head, like the descendants of some king who has been dethroned, by generations of bondage have well-nigh forgotten the traditions of their father's glory, and become utterly unfit to fill his place. All do not feel this death. The fact is hidden by present cares, pleasures, or occupations. For this reason men love the world. It keeps them from coming to the painful fact. But God in mercy sometimes removes these things that the salutary pain may be felt, and the necessity of regeneration seen.
II. HOW CAN THIS BE? Regeneration, the re-quickening of God's life in man, can only be effected by Him who has that life — the Son of God.
1. Regeneration has been wrought for us in Christ. In Him man again received God's life by the coming of the eternal life to dwell in the flesh. This was the beginning, but it could not be perfected until death, by which man in Christ reentered heaven.
2. To come where Christ is the self-same thing must be wrought in us by the Holy Spirit. God's nature must be first re-quickened by our receiving the Word (2 Peter 1:4; John 1:4), and then there must be a delivery from the fallen old man by the Cross, i.e, through death, to our present nature.
3. Of this new man, Christ formed in us, Christ Himself is the prelude and figure in the progress of His humanity from the humiliation at Bethlehem to the glory of heaven.
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.