5. You are light. You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (Eph. 5:8, NIV). Notice how Paul brings regeneration and sanctification together: “You are light.” That’s regeneration. “Live as…light.” That’s sanctification. You can’t live as light, unless you are light....
“You must be born again.” John 3:6 (NIV)
You may be saying, “Regeneration sounds great, but it hasn’t happened to me. So, what can I do about it? If regeneration is something that God does, what hope is there for me?” That’s a great question to which the Bible has a crystal-clear answer.
Nicodemus came to Jesus at night, and Jesus told him, “You must be born again” (3:6). Nicodemus asked, “How can this be? I can’t get back into my mother’s womb!” (3:9). Jesus does not tell him, “Here is how you can get yourself born again. Follow these five easy steps.”
Instead Jesus said to him, “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (3:14-16).
Jesus is the Son of God. He was lifted up on the cross. In this way, he became the Savior who offers himself to all people. If you will believe in him, you will have eternal life. He says, without qualifications, “Whoever believes in me shall not perish” (3:16).
We find the same thing in Acts 16. Paul is in prison. God sends an earthquake, the prison walls are crumbling, and the jailer is terrified. He asks, “What must I do to be saved?” Paul does not say to him, “You must be born again,” because he can’t do that. He says, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31).
Can you relate to Nicodemus or to the jailer? How so?