There is no lesson more vital to the young convert than the realisation of his dependence upon the Bread which came down from Heaven. Babies grow, not because of their own health or strength, but simply because they are fed. The life is in the food. The Christian is entirely dependent upon his living bread. (Cf. Ps. 1.)
N.B.1. The New Birth is wholly a gracious act of God, and is not the result of any action on man's part. It is not the consequence, but the cause of faith. (John 1:13, James 1:18, I Peter 1:3, Eph. 2:8-10, cf. Lk. 6:10.)
This living faith, given by God through the New Birth, is what God counts as justification. It is of the heart, and not just the intellect; and includes:
(a) an understanding and grateful acceptance of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, so that we believe as He did about sin and its consequences and atonement; we are His brethren, like-minded on these vital subjects. (Is. 53, Lk. 24:25-28, 44-47, Rom. 3:21, 5:21, 10:9-10, Gal. 3:1-15, I Peter 1:17-21.)
N.B.2. The New Birth does not put the believer back into the position in which he was born. Then he was "born of woman" with the spirit of a servant of God, looking upon God as his Creator and Lord, and upon this earth as his natural habitat. At death he expected to go to Hades, an experience which he dreaded, since he was cut off from God's presence for a season through the loss of his spirit; but his hope was a resurrection to life upon the earth at the last day, when God should restore all things. He was in fact of the earth earthy, for God had created Adam and Eve to live for ever upon this earth through the Tree of Life.
At the New Birth, however, he becomes a child of God with the same spirit of Sonship that Christ has. Earth is no longer his habitat, but Heaven. At the death of his body, since he retains his spirit, he goes, not to Hades, but to Paradise and the presence of God; and at the resurrection he will receive a body fitted for