More than Salvation
Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” … “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God . . . And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:3, 5, 14, 15 NKJV
When Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness so that all who looked upon the brazen fiery serpent would live and not die from the bites of the fiery serpents (Numbers 21:5-9; John 12:32), this was a prefigure of Jesus hanging on the cross to die for the sins of the world (John 3:16, 17). Salvation by its very definition is deliverance from the penalty of eternal death and ruination. The Greek words for the noun “salvation” (soteria) and the verb “saved” (sozo) both mean deliverance, healing, safety, preservation, rescue, and wholeness; but, salvation is not the new birth and the new birth is more than salvation.
How so? Again, salvation is deliverance by definition; the new birth is regeneration. Salvation involves confession and belief (Rom. 10:9, 10); but the new birth is seeing and entering the kingdom of God (John 3:3, 5). Salvation is one’s a legal position as a new creation in this present world, where all things are potentially of God (2 Cor. 5:17-18), with the assurance of everlasting life.
The new birth happens as a result of the Word of God being born (gennao, Greek word) in your spirit. The Word procreates, conceives, brings forth and impart life, regenerated of the Father (1 Peter 1:23). Being born again transcends religion or a mere confession of salvation. The unsaved and the religious may both, in various degrees, be spiritually blind to this truth; the saved has been delivered from darkness, and reborn sees the light of the kingdom and enters into the kingdom of His dear Son (Col. 1:12-14).
The Scriptures are clear that salvation is progressive, but the new birth springs forth—much like the exact time a baby is born—on or before, or after the anticipated due date; only God knows the exact time. But on the other hand, salvation is worked out, not worked for, but put into practice (Phil 2:12; Eph. 2:8). Moreover, salvation is progressively formed (morphoo, Greek word). Apostle Paul labored with “birth pains” metaphorically, praying for the believers of Galatia until Christ was formed or reborn in them. The Scriptures shows that the new birth is more than salvation!