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. THE AGENT is God alone, by His Spirit. If therefore any man denies this work of the Spirit, he has every reason to believe he will be lost.
II. THE INSTRUMENTALITY which the Spirit uses.
1. The Word of God, principally as a revelation of the grace of Christ. The Spirit takes of the things of Christ, and manifests them to the soul. "Of His own will begat He us by the word of truth."
2. But while we are called to use this instrumentality, there are many habits of the ungodly man which incapacitate him from using the Scriptures well, and which must be removed. Levity, worldliness, pride; every habit of known sin must be broken off.
3. The Scripture next directs —
(1) To a course of duty and the formation of such habits which becomes a man who hopes to become a child of God.
(2) The abandonment of ensnaring society, and the use of the various ordinances of religion.
III. THE ACTUAL PROCESS. In the use of the various means the Spirit meets the unconverted and —
1. Humbles him with a revelation of Christ, and convicts him of the sin of unbelief, and leads him to a realization of his ruined condition.
2. Creates the desire for salvation, and helps him to wrestle with God for it.
3. Instructs and assists the penitent to embrace the offer of salvation. He believes in Christ, and commits himself to Christ.
4. Believing in the Son of God, he is admitted into the Divine family. And then —
5. Leads the now renewed person to gratitude and delight in the commands of God; and never leaves him till that regeneration is completed in entire renovation, when he re.attains to the lost image of God, and is conducted through grace to glory.
(B. W. Noel, M. A.)
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.