The New Birth – Gospel in Life
Sermon

The New Birth

Tim Keller |  January 17, 1999

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Topics:
  • Salvation
Duration:
44:31
Scripture:
John 3:1-15
SKU:
RS 99-2

Overview

The phrase “born again” has its own meaning in our culture — but what did Jesus truly mean by it? In this sermon, we’ll learn what Jesus said about the new birth: 1) How important is it? 2) What is it? 3) How do we receive it?

John 3:1–15

Jesus used several metaphors in the Gospel of John, like being the Light of the world, the Vine, the Bread, and the provider of living water. One of the hardest to understand is the idea of being “born again.” Today, people often get the wrong idea about what this means. So, it’s important to clear up these mistakes and dig into the real meaning of being born again, and how it happens.

1. Why being born again matters

Jesus makes it clear that everyone needs to be spiritually reborn, not just those who are hurting or looking for emotional healing. He challenges Nicodemus, a rich, educated, and morally good man, to be born again. This shows us that being born again isn’t just for certain people. It reminds us that faith isn’t about following a bunch of rules, but about realizing the need to be reborn spiritually and letting go of any reasons not to.

2. What being born again means

Being “born again” in Christianity isn’t about having emotional experiences or following a bunch of rules. It’s about starting fresh and understanding your value isn’t tied to what you’ve done in the past. It’s a mistake to think that doing good things can earn you a spot in heaven. Accepting Jesus as a Savior, not just a teacher, leads to a big change that alters how you see things and impacts every part of your life.

3. How to be born again

Nicodemus, who seems to have everything going for him, learns from Jesus throughout the book of John. He struggles with understanding the difference between Jesus as a teacher and Jesus as a Savior. Jesus emphasizes that being reborn is something He does, not something we can do ourselves. This new understanding leads Nicodemus to honor Jesus after his death on the cross. It shows us the importance of having our own spiritual journeys that focus on Jesus’s sacrifice and teaching, instead of just copying what others do.

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February Book Offer

Put Your Hope Not in Lesser gods, But in the One True God

In his book Counterfeit Gods, Tim Keller shows us how a proper understanding of the Bible reveals the truth about societal ideals and our own hearts — and that there is only one God who can wholly satisfy our cravings and fulfill our hopes.

February Book Offer

Put Your Hope Not in Lesser gods, But in the One True God

In his book Counterfeit Gods, Tim Keller shows us how a proper understanding of the Bible reveals the truth about societal ideals and our own hearts — and that there is only one God who can wholly satisfy our cravings and fulfill our hopes.