A New Start, A New Heart

A New Start, A New Heart

Radio Message / Tract #8M

ecstatic man with a large, red heart that beats

You don’t need a crystal ball. You know your own past. And you know the direction in which your past has pushed you up till now. You also know in what direction your past will keep pushing you in the future. Are you headed for happiness or for misery? For Heaven, or for Hell? If you were offered a brand new start, would you take it? Decide for yourself as you read.

Nicodemus, a prominent Jewish teacher, met Jesus secretly one night (John 3:1-7) and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that you do, except God be with him.”  He was right! Jesus came from God. But just knowing that won't fit anyone for Heaven. Jesus wasn’t impressed with Nicodemus’ statement. He answered him, “Truly, truly, I say unto you, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” He meant, “Nicodemus, you’re beyond repair! You need to start life all over again!”

But Nicodemus was desperately sincere. In verse 4 he asked Jesus,“ How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?” A very good question, but before we talk about how to be “born again”, let's talk about why we should be “born again”. In verses 5-7 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say unto you, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto you, you must be born again.” That means that you, friend, me and everyone else -- must be born again OR, Jesus said, we cannot see the Kingdom of God, and we cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. We cannot go to Heaven.

There are only two kinds of people, in God’s eyes. There are those who are “born of the flesh”, and those who are “born of the Spirit” (“born again”).  There are those who will see and enter Heaven, and those who will suffer forever in Hell.  There are those who have honestly been “born again”, and those who refuse that new birth that God freely offers to all. Which of the two are you?

But first, what does it mean to be “born of the flesh”?  It simply means our natural, physical birth. We all were born once.  God designed the miracle of birth.  More than one set of parents have come to believe in God through the birth of their first child.  Thank God we each had the privilege of being born.  That was enough to get us safely IN to this world but, dear friend, it's not enough to get us safely OUT of this world.

Jesus warned, “That which is born of the flesh IS flesh.”  When the New Testament speaks about flesh, it's not just talking about skin, fat, muscle, and veins.  It's talking about those selfish, proud and deceitful tendencies of human nature that plague us from childhood and through life.  One look at the daily news tells us that human nature is much more devilish than it is divine.

We were all “born of the flesh” with a nature that says, “Me first!”  At birth, we are not naturally patient, giving and honest.  We must be carefully taught those qualities.  We are all naturally, as Psalm 51:5 says, “shapen in iniquity and conceived in sin”.  We are born sinners, with a nature that wants its own way, even if we have to break some of Almighty God’s Commandments to get what we want. We are “born of the flesh”.  And though we may try to cover it and refine it, at heart, we are still sinners against God. Flesh!

Galatians 5:19-21 describes what the Bible calls “the works of the flesh”. Read carefully. “Now the works of the flesh are these; adultery, fornication” (all kinds of sexually impure acts or thoughts) … “idolatry” (living for false gods), “witchcraft, hatred, jealousy…  anger, greed, murder, drunkenness, reveling [etc.]” “The works of the flesh!” 1 Corinthians 6:9,10 also lists stealing, deceiving, reviling (name-calling), complaining, pride and unbelief.  Both those passages end their lists of sins by saying,  “They which do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God.”  Jesus said they “shall not see the Kingdom of God.”  They “shall not enter the Kingdom of God.” They will not go to Heaven.  

As you read that list of “the works of the flesh”, were any of your sins named? The Bible says, “they which do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God”. If they did go to Heaven, it just wouldn't be Heaven anymore. It would soon become just like this world.  You may say, “But I want to go to Heaven. Yes, I do some of those things, but I don't want to do them. That's just the way I am. It’s in my nature to do them.”

The Apostle Paul described those kinds of feelings in Romans, chapter 7. In verse 15, Paul explained, "I don't understand what I do.  I don't do what I want to do.  Instead I do what I hate to do." Verse 18:  "For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh [the nature I was born with], dwells no good thing.” Then he explains, "I really want to do right, but I just never seem to actually do it." Why? Because “that which is born of the flesh is flesh” still! In verse 24 Paul cries out, “O wretched man that I am!  Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”

Has that question ever echoed in your heart, friend? The only answer is, “The Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1).  Do you see why Jesus said, “You must be born again!”?  You can try all your life to change your heart and your basic nature, but you'll never succeed.  No amount of education, discipline or refinement will ever free you from the pride, deceit and selfishness of your “flesh”.  You don’t just need a change. You need a whole new life! Jesus says to you, me and all mankind, what he said to Nicodemus; “You must be born again!” Jesus said“That which is born of the flesh is flesh”.  But that’s not all! Next he said, “and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit.”

Friend, God makes you a wonderful promise in the Old Testament book of Ezekiel. Listen. “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes…”(Ezekiel 36:25-27). The first time I read that promise, I knew that was what I needed more than anything. What about you?

Friend, has your very nature has been at war against God's Holy Commandments all these years? You’re not alone. Still, you have no hope of ever entering Heaven, except you “be born again”. It’s plain that it would be much better to never have been born at all, than never to be born again.  But if you're sick of sin; if you hate “the works of the flesh” in your life; if you're ashamed of always hurting those you love, and grieving the heart of God; God is offering you this moment “a new heart” and “a new spirit”. A new start! A new birth! He offers to take the old selfish spirit out of you, and put his own Spirit in you. Then you can begin to please God, and to love people, even those who hate you. Is that what you want, friend?  To be “born again” in that way? Nicodemus said, “How?”  

“How can I be born again?” John 1:12, 13 answers, “But as many as received him [Jesus], to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” Born of God!  Born of the Spirit.  How does it happen?  The verse says, by receiving him -- Jesus.  How do you receive Him?  That same verse says you receive Jesus by believing on his Name; by believing that Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God.  That he came to Earth to pay in full for all of your sins against God.  He soaked up all of your “works of the flesh” into his own perfectly sinless body.  And it blackened his pure white soul.  He allowed himself to be tortured, beaten and nailed to a wooden cross. The moment he bowed his head and died, your every sin was paid for.  Three days later Jesus rose from the dead, as undeniable proof of that payment.  

Friend, believe in who Jesus is.  Believe in what he did for you. And believe in what he's doing for you at this very moment.  If you've turned from your sins, and you’ve believed on his name, he is now giving you a new heart and a new spirit;  a new start! The Bible says, “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation; old things are passed away.  Behold, all things are become new.”  (2 Cor. 5:17)

Pray every day.  Read your Bible every day. Find a Bible believing church and attend there regularly.     BT

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