A new creature

(J. C. Ryle, "The Gospel of John")

In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth,
no one can see the kingdom of God unless
he is born again." John 3:3

The change which our Lord here declares
needful to salvation is evidently no slight
or superficial one. It is not merely . . .
  or amendment,
  or moral change,
  or outward alteration of life.

It is a thorough change of . . .
  will, and

It is a resurrection.

It is a new creation.

It is a passing from death to life.

It is the implanting in our dead hearts
of a new principle from above.

It is the calling into existence
of a new creature, with . . .
  a new nature,
  new habits of life,
  new tastes,
  new desires,
  new appetites,
  new judgments,
  new opinions,
  new hopes, and
  new fears.

All this, and nothing less than this is
implied, when our Lord declares that
we all need a "new birth."

Let us solemnly ask ourselves whether
we know anything of this mighty change.

Have we been born again?

Can any marks of the new birth be seen in us?

Is the image and superscription of the
Spirit to be discerned in our lives?

Happy is the man who can give satisfactory
answers to these questions! A day will come
when those who are not born again will wish
that they had never been born at all.