John 3:3 - Real Life

Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 3:3 (KJV)

Every man must have two births, one from heaven, the other from earth-- one
of his body, the other of his soul: without the first he cannot see nor
enjoy this world, without the last he can not see nor enjoy the kingdom of
God. As there is an absolute necessity that a child should be born into the
world, that he may see its light, contemplate its glories, and enjoy its
good, so there is an absolute necessity that the soul should be brought out
of its state of darkness and sin, through the light and power of the grace
of Christ, that it may be able to see, or, to discern, the glories and
excellencies of the kingdom of Christ here, and be prepared for the
enjoyment of the kingdom of glory hereafter. (Adam Clarke Commentary)

Birth is the beginning of life; to be born again, is to begin to live anew,
as those who have lived much amiss, or to little purpose. We must have a new
nature, new principles, new affections, new aims. By our first birth we were
corrupt, shapen in sin; therefore we must be made new creatures. No stronger
expression could have been chosen to signify a great and most remarkable
change of state and character. We must be entirely different from what we
were before, as that which begins to be at any time, is not, and cannot be
the same with that which was before. This new birth is from heaven, vs.
1:13, and its tendency is to heaven. It is a great change made in the heart
of a sinner, by the power of the Holy Spirit. It means that something is
done in us, and for us, which we cannot do for ourselves. [Matthew Henry

To be born anew is to undergo such a radical change that it is like a new
birth; it is to have something happen to the soul which can only be
described as being born all over again; and the whole process is not a human
achievement, because it comes from the grace and power of God. [Barclay

All of us are born in sin. Our "first birth" makes us children of Adam, and
this means we are children of wrath and of disobedience (Eph. 2:1-3). No
amount of education, religion, or discipline can change the old nature; we
must receive a new nature from God. [Wiersbe Expository Outlines]

The necessity of the new birth grows out of the incapacity of the natural
man to "see" or "enter into" the kingdom of God. However gifted, moral, or
refined he may be, the natural man is absolutely blind to spiritual truth
and impotent to enter the kingdom; for he can neither obey, understand, nor
please God. . . The new birth is not a reformation of the old nature (Rom
6:6, note), but a creative act of the Holy Spirit. [Scofield SB]

The only way to enter the kingdom of God is through the new birth. "Born
again'' means born from above. It is the work of God and not the work of
human beings. It is the new birth which the Holy Spirit gives. Being born
again is mysterious like the blowing of the wind. It is a miracle after the
analogy of the virgin birth of Jesus Christ (Mt 1:18-25; Lk 1:34-35) and
that of the first creation (Ge 1:1-2). . . . The new birth is possible
through Christ's sacrificial death on the cross and through faith in Him as
God's antidote for the poison of sin. . . . The new birth is the door to
eternal life. [Disciple SB]

Like the unseen but powerful wind, the Spirit of God operates in ways which
humans cannot predict or fully comprehend. [Cambridge Annotated SB]

How, then, are we to be saved? "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the
wilderness," so the Son of man has been lifted up, and everyone who has been
deceived and bitten by the serpent may look and live. "Behold the Lamb of
God, which taketh away the sin of the world." John 1:29. The light shining
from the cross reveals the love of God. His love is drawing us to Himself.
If we do not resist this drawing, we shall be led to the foot of the cross
in repentance for the sins that have crucified the Saviour. Then the Spirit
of God through faith produces a new life in the soul. DA168-177

This is what it means to be "born again." It means to experience a spiritual
rebirth: to know an inner transformation of the sin-hardened heart; a
redirection of the life toward God.
Only a supernatural work by God the Holy Spirit within us can accomplish so
dramatic a change.
And so when Jesus says, "You must be born again," He simply means that to
enter His kingdom, you and I must let God into our lives, to work there as
He pleases. When we do, eternal life will be ours-now-and through the
miracle of the new birth our life on earth will become fresh and new. [The
365-Day Devotional Commentary]

Guard jealously your relationship to God. Jesus prayed "that they may be
one, even as We are one"-nothing between. Keep all the life perennially open
to Jesus Christ, don't pretend with Him. Are you drawing your life from any
other source than God Himself? If you are depending upon anything but Him,
you will never know when He is gone.. [My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald