The Travail of the New Birth
August 27, 2010
"A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembreth no more the anguish, for the joy that a man is born into the world." John 16:21 KJV
The word travail means to produce, to bring forth, be delivered. It also mean to labor with pain, severe toil. We see in this verse that there is a travail in every natural birth. There is also a travail in the new birth as well.
In John chapter three, Nicodemus came to Jesus by night. Jesus told him unless a man is born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God. Nicodemus had trouble understanding what Jesus meant by this. Jesus further explains what He means. In verse five, Jesus says a man must be born into the water and the Spirit. Some false teachers teach that the water here is baptism. Common sense and knowledge of God's word will show a man that the water is the natural birth and the spirit is the new birth. Peter tells us we are born again not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible by the work of God.
The Spirit is compared to the wind. Unless the wind of conviction blows in a soul, there will never be a new birth. The Bible tells us that godly sorrow worketh repentance.
The sorrow of the world worketh death. Godly sorrow is the travail of the soul that starts the work of repentance unto salvation. The worldly sorrow is sorrow over, the results of sin and not the sin itself. Now, let's look at our text in John 16:21. We know that no man can come to the Father except he is drawn by the Spirit.
Holy Ghost conviction is the travail of the new birth. This woman in our text is said to have sorrow. So it is when a sinner is in the travail of the new birth. He is filled with sorrow and grief and turmoil in his soul. There is nothing earthly that can give him comfort. The depraved nature is at enmity with God.
The old man wants to hold on to sin and the world. The soul that has been quickened and awakened to its lost state knows he needs to repent and believe in the gospel. Oh what sorrow the sinner is in. In the natural birth the child has known the womb of his mother and that is all. It is safe and comfortable. It has had all it thought it needed. There is a struggle in travail for the child as well as the mother. It wants to stay, but it also is time to be born.
There is such agony in the travail of a soul before the new birth. Once the travail starts in a natural birth, there will be a delivery. There is a time of struggle and pain. Once the travail of the new birth begins, there will be a delivery. In a natural birth the pain is there right up until the birth and then it is gone and forgotten. So it is in the travail of the new birth. The guilt, shame, sorrow, lack of peace is all gone the instance the sinner repents and believes the gospel. The sinner in travail is miserable, but the saints around them rejoice because he that begins a good work will perform it.
Sorrow is turned into joy before Him I remember when I was in travail of the new birth, but the moment God saved me, I had joy.
Thank God, I still have it. The Bible says we are kept by the power of God and have an inheritance reserved in heaven. Weeping endures for the night, but joy comes in the morning.