“For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” —1 John 5:4
What is it to be born again, then? Very briefly, to be born again is to undergo a change so mysterious, that human words cannot speak of it. As we cannot describe our first birth, so it is impossible for us to describe the second. “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof; but canst not tell whence it cometh or whither it goeth; so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” But while it is so mysterious, it is a change which is known and felt. People are not born again when they are in bed and asleep, so that they do not know it. They feel it; they experience it. Galvanism, or the power of electricity, may be mysterious; but they produce a feeling —a sensation. So does the new birth. At the time of the new birth the soul is in great agony —often drowned in seas of tears. Sometimes it drinks bitters, now and then mingled with sweet drops of hope. Whilst we are passing from death unto life, there is an experience which none but the child of God can really understand. It is a mysterious change; but, at the same time, it is a positive one. It is as much a change as if this heart were taken out of me, and the black drops of blood wrung from it, then washed and cleansed and put into my soul again. It is “a new heart and a right spirit:” a mysterious but yet an actual and real change!
Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)
Delivered Sunday Morning, March 18, 1855
at Exeter Hall, Strand
New Park Street Pulpit, Vol. 1, Sermon No. 14
“The Victory of Faith”