Lesson on the Necessity of the New Birth

I commented recently on the almost non-exisitence of teaching about the new birth in so many of our churches, and the great need to explain the necessity of the miracle of regeneration as we lay out the Gospel. I received an encouragement in this area from one of my own members not long ago. He is a man in his early eighties, a WWII veteran and a lifelong Gospel quartet singer (bass). His eyesight is such now that he is unable to read the Bible for longer than a few seconds before it becomes blurry, so his wife often reads aloud for them both. A battle with diabetes lead to the partial amputation of one leg a few years back, so getting around is becoming increasingly difficult.  But as I sat in his living room and visited him the other day, speaking about the Christian life, he suddenly fixed me with a steely gaze that could have come from a fiery young sail somewhere in the Pacific over sixty years ago. The intensity increased when he lifted his hand and pointed to me, ensuring that I was paying attention. I was. He said,

“But let me tell you something right now: you have to be born again. Nothing else matters if you haven’t been born again.

I couldn’t argue with that. Even if I could, I wouldn’t have wanted to try it. I just shifted in my seat, cleared my throat a little and said “Amen.”

For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. Galatians 6:15

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About Eric Smith

Sinner saved by the grace of Jesus, husband of Candace, father of Coleman and Crockett, West Tennessean, pastor of Sharon Baptist Church, student at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
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