When Jesus said to Nicodemus, 'You must be born again', the devout and learned religious leader was unsure what Jesus meant. It would seem nothing has changed. Today 'born again Christians' fill churches that are seen as ineffectual at best, and even characterised by the 'mosaic' generation as 'unchristian'.
The term 'born again' has been devalued both in society and in the church. Those claiming to be 'born again' live lives that are indistinguishable from those who don't; they sin the same, embrace injustice the same, covet the same, do almost everything the same.
Being 'born again' is now defined by what people say they believe. The New Testament however defines Christians very differently.
Table of Contents:
I. What Is the New Birth?
1. The Supernatural Creation of Spiritual Life
2. You Are Still You, But New
II. Why Must we be Born Again?
3. We Are Spiritually Dead
4. We are Willing Slaves to Sin and Satan
5. Faith, Justification, Adoption, Purification, Glorification
III. How Does the New Birth Come About?
6. Ransomed, Raised, and Called
7. Through the Washing of Regeneration
8. Through Faith in Jesus Christ
9. Through Intelligible Good News
IV. What are the Effects of the New Birth?
10. It Overcomes the World
11. Regeneration, Faith, Love – In That Order
12. Freedom from the Practice of Sinning
13. Loving Others with the Love of God
V. How can we Help Others be Born Again?
14. Tell People the Good News of Jesus Christ
15. I am Sending You to Open Their Eyes
Conclusion – The New Birth and the New World
John Piper (DTheol, University of Munich) is the founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and the chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. He served for 33 years as the senior pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is the author of more than 50 books.
"It is an incisive examination of a topic of profound importance. I think it represents Piper at his very best as an author...Piper's tone is gracious and compassionate throughout this book. He shows the heart of a pastor from the first page to the last. But he also shows the skill of a theologian and the passion of a prophet...I cannot recommend this book too highly. I really believe it is Piper's best." - Tim Challies, Blogger at www.challies.com
"For those curious about the Christian faith to those deeply committed to Christ and his ways, come read and behold the glory of any and every sinner's only hope—the miracle of the new birth that brings forth new life in Christ that will never end." - Bruce Ware, Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky
"Regeneration, or new birth, meaning simply the new you through, with, in, and under Christ, is a largely neglected theme today, but this fine set of sermons, criss-crossing the New Testament data with great precision, goes far to fill the gap. Highly recommended." - J. I. Packer, Well known Author & Board of Governors' Professor of Theology, Regent College, Vancouver, Canada
"Nothing could be more eternally important than Christian people knowing what the Bible teaches about the new birth and knowing that they have experienced it. One wonders why it's taken so long for a book on the new birth to be written! But now it has and I pray every reader rejoices in God for the rich beauties of Christ Jesus so compellingly shared in its pages." - Thabiti Anyabwile, Assistant Pastor for church planting, Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington, D.C.
"When I was a boy my grandmother asked me, ‘Have you been born again?' Though I didn't understand what she meant at the time, that question led to my conversion to Christ. In this wonderful book, Pastor John Piper rescues the term ‘born again' from the abuse and overuse to which it is subject in our culture today. This is a fresh presentation of the evangelical doctrine of the new birth, a work filled with theological insight and pastoral wisdom." - Timothy George, Founding Dean of Beeson Divinity School, Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama
"Classic Piper—crystal clear exposition and a must read." - Alistair Begg, Senior Pastor, Parkside Church, Chagrin Falls, Ohio
"I cannot too strongly celebrate the publication of this book. Owing in part to several decades of dispute over justification and how a person is set right with God, we have tended to neglect another component of conversion no less important. Conversion under the terms of the new covenant is more than a matter of position and status in Christ, though never less: it includes miraculous Spirit-given transformation, something immeasurably beyond mere human resolution. It is new birth; it makes us new creatures; it demonstrates that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation. All the creedal orthodoxy in the world cannot replace it. The reason why "You must be born again" is so important is that you must be born again." - D. A. Carson, Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Illinois