// Kenneth E. Hagin
THE BIBLE IS a mystery book until we find the key that opens it. Then it stops being a mystery and becomes a message. Two words open the Bible to our understanding, and they are life and death.
Death has been a mystery in all ages. Science stands mute in its presence, unable to explain it. Philosophy turns poetic when it meets this dreaded enemy of man. Theology has dealt only in generalities when attempting to explain it.
Death—that bloodhound-like foe—began its work at the cradle of humanity and has followed the human race through the centuries until the present. Death was not part of the creation or God's original plan. Physical death is an enemy of God and man. The Bible says in First Corinthians 15:26 that physical death is the last enemy that shall be destroyed.
Before we can understand the nature of death, we must understand the nature of man. Man is not a physical being. Man is a spirit, who possesses a soul, and lives a body (1 Thess. 5:23).
When Jesus told Nicodemus, "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God" (John 3:3), the puzzled Pharisee asked, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?" (vs. 4). Jesus explained, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit" (vs. 6).
The New Birth Is the Rebirth of the Human Spirit
The real man is a spirit. The spirit operates through the soul (man's intellect, emotions, and will). The soul, in turn, operates through the physical body.
Now the man (who is spirit) and his soul live in a body. At physical death, the spirit and soul leave the physical body and go to their eternal home.
Several kinds of deaths are spoken of in the Bible, but there are three kinds that we need to familiarize ourselves with: (1) spiritual death, (2) physical death, (3) eternal death or the Second Death, which is being cast into the lake that burns with fire and brimstone.
Spiritual death came to the earth first and manifested itself in the physical body by destroying it. Physical death is a manifestation of "the law of sin and death" (Rom. 8:2).
When God said to Adam, "In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" (Gen. 2:17), He was referring to spiritual death. If man had never died spiritually, he would not have died physically.
Spiritual Death Means Separation from God
Adam became separated from God the moment he sinned. It was God's custom to walk and talk with Adam. When God came down in the cool of the day, He called, "Adam, where art thou?" Adam said, "I hid myself" (Gen. 3:9–10). He was separated from God.
Man is now united with the devil. He is an outcast, driven from the garden with no legal ground to approach God. He no longer responds to the call of God. He responds only to his new nature, or to his new master. Man is more than a transgressor. He is more than a lawbreaker and a sinner. Man is spiritually a child of the devil and partakes of his father's nature.
This explains why man cannot be saved by conduct. He has to be born again. If man were not a child of the devil, he could just begin to act the right way, and he'd be all right. But even if he puts on right conduct, he's still a child of the devil and will go to hell when he dies.
Man cannot stand in the presence of God as he is because he has the nature of his father, the devil, in him. If man is ever saved, he has to be saved by someone paying the penalty for his sins and by someone giving him a new nature.
Man, however, who is a spirit living in a body, can be reborn. His nature can be changed. He can become a new creature in Christ Jesus.
Jesus Christ took upon Himself our sin nature. Hebrews 9:26 says He, "put away sin [not sins] by the sacrifice of himself." He took upon Himself the nature of spiritual death so we might have Eternal Life.
Jesus said, "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly" (John 10:10).
Jesus came to redeem us from spiritual death! Adam was banished from the Tree of Life through rejecting God's Word. According to Revelation 2:7, all who now accept and obey the Word of God are brought back to the Tree of Life.
The New Birth does not take place gradually. It is instantaneous! It is a gift from God that is received the moment we believe.
[Editor's Note: This article was adapted from the minibook, The New Birth, by Kenneth E. Hagin.]
FAITH IN ACTION
Receiving Christ as Savior
In the New Birth, you become a new creation. Your spirit being is completely changed when you repent and turn to God. If you are not born again, and would like a new beginning, pray this prayer from your heart:
God, I come to You in Jesus' Name. I admit that I have sinned and have come short of Your standard. Thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus, to pay the price for my sins. Jesus, thank You for dying on the cross for me. I ask You to be my Savior and Lord. I trust You to be my Good Shepherd and provide everything I need. Through You, I receive God's free gift of eternal life. Thank You for saving me!
If you prayed this prayer for the first time, welcome to God's family! Email us at PartnerService@rhema.org or call 1-800-54-FAITH (543-2484) to let us know. We want to send you some free materials to get you started in your new life as God's child!