(Dr. F. Dean Hackett) The question is significant. Indeed, it was the seminal point of the conversation between Jesus Christ and a man named Nicodemus. They were discussing Jesus’ teaching ministry and Jesus turned the conversation to the issue of being born again. Nicodemus was confused. “How can these things be,” he asked Jesus. “Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things,” Jesus asked. Nicodemus, one of the leading men of Israel, did not comprehend the difference between a person being born again and one who is religious?

That is not uncommon in the church today. Many who would consider they are devoutly Christian do not know the distinction between being religious and being born again. It is not a casual difference. Jesus thought it of paramount importance for a leader of Israel to understand the distinction.

Jesus said this one point makes the difference between having eternal life and perishing eternally. “Truly, truly I say to you, unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. … Truly, truly I say to you, unless a man is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. … Do not marvel that I say unto you, you must be born again” (John 3:3, 5, 7). CONTINUE