New Birth: God's Part
Ever since the original transgression of Adam and Eve in Genesis, all of mankind has been born with a sinful nature, and our sin creates a chasm separating us from our holy, perfect God. To be able to commune with Him, we must be born again, which is the way we receive a new nature, a new spirit, and a new eternal destiny.
Spiritual rebirth is a miraculous work of the Holy Spirit—He doesn’t simply freshen up our old nature but instead brings about a radical transformation, creating a brand-new spirit and life. As 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature” (emphasis added). As a result, believers can worship, praise, and serve the living God out of genuine love and devotion to Him.
God’s part in this rebirth involves forgiving us of our sins, and to do that, He sent His only begotten Son to die on the cross as our substitute. In that way, Jesus paid our sin debt in full. He is our sacrifice—that is, He is the one who suffered vicariously on our behalf.
Our Savior’s substitutionary atonement is the means by which a holy and righteous God forgives sin and makes us holy like Himself. Our cleansing doesn’t come from being religious, or even from confession of sin and repentance. Rather, it comes from the blood that Jesus shed on the cross at Calvary. When we believe that He died to pay the penalty we owed and then accept His sacrifice on our behalf, we are forgiven of our sins and God wipes them away (Eph. 1:7).