Jesus Came Forth from God
First we begin with Jesus our Lord. “Jesus…had come forth from God and was going back to God…” (Joh 13:3). This does not mean He was born again. It simply establishes the fact that He came forth from God. He was God already before He came to earth, according to Scripture, which says that in the beginning "the Word was with God and the Word was God." (Jn 1:3). He did not need to be regenerated, since was the image of the invisible God, the radiance of His glory, and the exact representation of His nature (Col 1:15; Heb 1:3)
Jesus said, "I came forth from the Father and have come into the world; I am leaving the world again and going to the Father." (Joh 16:28)
Jesus said to them, "…I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me.” (Joh 8:42).
Therefore, it is clearly established in the Word that Jesus Christ came from God and was sent by Him into the world.
Jesus Came from Heaven Above
Secondly, since the Lord came from the Father Who is in heaven, Jesus came from heaven, hence He is from above. "He who comes from above is above all, he who is of the earth is from the earth and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all.” (Joh 3:31). This clearly establishes the fact that Jesus is above all. Paul said, "For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together." (Col 1:16-17).
Jesus was Born of God
Having now established the fact that Jesus was God and came from God in heaven above, this makes it all the more wonderful that He was born of God. John the apostle referred to Him as He who was born of God. He said, "We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him.” (1Jn 5:18). John said that Jesus is the child born of God. "…whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him.” (1Jn 5:1b). The expression "the child born of Him" uses the singular expression "child", not the plural, so it is obviously talking about Jesus, since it does not say "the children."
Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is Born of God
As we just read in John's epistle, whoever loves the Father loves the Child born of Him. Those who put their faith in Him as the Christ are born of God. “Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God…" (1Jn 5:1a). This is an amazing truth! We, too, may be born of God through faith in Christ. This expression "born of God" carries the meaning that one comes forth from God. It happens at the moment the Holy Spirit gives us the second birth. Just as flesh gives birth to flesh, so Spirit gives birth to spirit.
So does that mean that anyone who calls Jesus Lord is born of God? No. Jesus made this very clear when He said, "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter." (Mat 7:21).
Whoever Practices Righteousness is Born of God
John set the standard of living for those who are born of Him, when he said, “If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone also who practices righteousness is born of Him.” (1Jn 2:29)
No One Who is Born of God Practices Sin
Not only does everyone born of Him practice righteousness, but nobody who is born of God practices sin. “No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” (1Jn 3:9)
Everyone Who Loves is Born of God
Love is the defining characteristic of the person who is truly born of God. "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.” (1Jn 4:7)
Whatever Is Born of God Overcomes the World
Finally we have this amazing promise of overcoming the world, if we are truly born of God. “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith.” (1Jn 5:4)
Putting it All Together
Let this be an encouragement to you. If you have repented and put your faith in Jesus Christ as Lord, you are following the One who came from God the Father in heaven. You will submit your whole life to the lordship of the child born of Him, and you will love and obey Him. He is the One who created you.
Although Jesus was born of God, He was not regenerated, since He was God throughout eternity without sin. But He was born of God in the sense that He came forth from God out of heaven into the earth, where He was made in the likeness of men, and was found in appearance as a man. Although He existed throughout eternity, His birth took place when He came from heaven into this world in human form.
The new birth for those who believe in Him is an amazing reality, because at the moment of regeneration, the Spirit gives birth to spirit, and a new creation is born. The person you once were is dead and gone. The new person is born, who is made after the image of the Man from heaven. The Lord Jesus comes and takes up residence inside that person's heart (Jn 14:20,23; 2 Cor 13:5).
The one who is born of God does not practice sin any more, but practices righteousness. The one who is born of God loves. And rather than being worldly, the one who is born of God overcomes the world. I hope this has helped you to understand and better appreciate what it truly means to be born of God.
Attribution notice: Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. "Born Again" painting © 2012 Danny Hahlbohm, all rights reserved by the artist.
Author's note: You are invited to read You Must Be Born Again, Evidence of the Second Birth, Where will you go when you die?, Few will be saved, Costly Grace, The Cost of Discipleship, Doulos Training School, By Grace Alone, All Things Are New!, Holy Washings - Part I, Entering the Kingdom of God, The Obedience of Faith, Walking in the Perfect Will of God, Deleted Scriptures in the Bible?, The Law of Christ, Law of Love in the New Testament, The Judgment Seat of Christ, Is Obedience Optional?, and Led by the Spirit. The Home page of this blog also has more articles. You may access my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master."
Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus. Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?
“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15). He preached that we must repent and believe.
Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International. He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.