The very beginning of the Christian life rests upon this one historic law of God right through the ages which He cannot overlook. The beginning of the Christian life is called being born anew, or more correctly, born from above. What does it mean? It means all that Isaac’s birth and resurrection meant in figure; it means this, that by our very new birth we are translated out of the authority of darkness into the kingdom of the Son of God’s love. By our very new birth, our conversion ― call it what you will ― the very beginning of the Christian life is an absolute separation of two kingdoms; a transference from one into another. One is an unholy realm into which we are born and to which we belong by nature. The other is a holy realm, “You are a holy nation”, a nation separated from this world unto God. New birth means that; oh, that that was made clear to all right there at the beginning how utter this thing is.
The Lord Jesus left people in no doubt about this; a cleavage utter and absolute. Ah, He was taking all the risks necessary about this because the reality, the awful reality of this: you CANNOT ― you cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven while you cling to this kingdom inimical to God in any way. The two things cannot go together. One is unholy. The other is holy. And by new birth we cross a line which is a very broad line, as broad as the Red Sea and as the Jordan, as broad as the cross of the Lord Jesus. New birth… it’s a life of holiness that we have taken up or entered into; a life of holiness, separation unto God. Complete separation unto God. It’s to be a walk in holiness. How much the New Testament has to say about this, a walk in holiness that is separate unto God in heart, in spirit, in life, from this world. And if we knew it, a very large degree of our education, our spiritual education and our discipline in the Christian life under the hand of the Holy Spirit, has to do with those things in us which are mixed up. We are trying to make the best of two worlds, trying to keep together in compromise things which do not belong before God and which are going to spell disaster for us as truly as they ever spelt disaster for Israel. We are going to lose the kingdom. It is a tremendous thing!