Jesus mentions to a Pharisee the necessity of being ‘born again’, and he had just as much difficulty with the concept as many do today. You have to get your eyes, and thinking, off of the physical and onto the spiritual.
John Chapter 3
1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: 2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, 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. 3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Truly, truly, I say unto you, Except a man be born again , he cannot see the kingdom of God.
4 Nicodemus said unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? 5 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. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Marvel not that I said unto you, You must be born again. 8 The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but can not tell from where it comes, and where it goes: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? 10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Are you a master of Israel, and you don’t know these things? 11 Truly, truly, I say unto you, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and you receive not our witness. 12 If I have told you earthly things, and you believe not, how shall you believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?
13 And no man has ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:15 That whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believes on him is not condemned: but he that believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20 For every one that does evil hates the light, neither comes to the light, or his deeds should be reproved. 21 But he that does truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
Saved and Salvation
Salvation simply means that through God’s direct involvement and help you have been ‘saved’ from something. It includes deliverance, safety, preservation, healing, and overall soundness. It is the ‘good news’ word of the Bible, gathering into itself all the more complex redemptive acts and processes of justification, redemption, grace, propitiation, imputation, forgiveness, sanctification, and glorification.
Salvation is in three tenses
Past – The Christian has been saved from the guilt and penalty of evil (sin and destruction) (Luke 7:50, 1 Corinthians 1:18, 2 Corinthians 2:15, Ephesians 2:5)
Present – The Christian is being saved from the habit and domination of sin and of evil (old manner of life) (Romans 6:14, 8:2, 2 Corinthians 3:18, Galatians 2:19, Philippians 1:19, 2:12-13)
Future – The Christian will be saved at the Lord’s return from all the consequences of evil (wrath and judgment) (1 Thessalonians 4:15-18, 5:9-10, 5:23, I John 4:15-17)