I Don’t Need a Guru

Here are some thoughts on the “new birth” from John 3… 

  1. I need more than a good teacher or guru… I must be “born again” (vv. 1-3)
  2. The “new birth,” or regeneration, is not a physical birth, but a spiritual birth- see also Eph. 2:1-5 (vv. 4-7)
  3. Regeneration is a work of God the Holy Spirit (v. 8)
  4. The first fruit of regeneration is when, by faith, I apprehend the meaning of the cross and receive the grace and love of God expressed for me in the ministry of Jesus (vv. 9-18)
  5. Evidence of regeneration is a new life trajectory, or new operating system… but the virus of the flesh remains (vv. 19-21)
  6. I will continue to need Jesus and live by grace

George Whitefield describes his experience with the new birth like this:
“God showed me that I must be born again, or be damned! I learned that a man may go to church, say prayers, receive the sacrament, and yet not be a Christian… Shall I burn this book? Shall I throw it down? Or shall I search it? I did search it, and holding the book in my hand I thus addressed the God of heaven and earth: Lord, if I am not a Christian, or if not a real one, for Jesus sake show me what Christianity is.”

About six months later that divine life was birthed in his soul. His account goes like this:
“God was pleased to remove the heavy load, to enable me to lay hold of his dear Son by a living faith, and by giving me the Spirit of adoption, to seal me, even to the day of everlasting redemption. O! with what joy—joy unspeakable—even joy that was full of and big with glory, was my soul filled when the weight of sin went off, and an abiding sense of the love of God broke in upon my disconsolate soul! Surely it was a day to be had in everlasting remembrance. My joys were like a springtide and overflowed the banks.”