How, then, can one be born again? Billy Graham wrote a book titled, How to be Born Again. With all due respect, this is an oxymoron, isn't it--the idea that we can do something to be born again? The idea of being born again is intended to show the total passivity on our part. A baby does not will herself to be born. A baby is totally passive in the whole process of birth. Similarly, being dead in our trespasses and sins, we cannot will ourselves to life, because there is no life in us. Even if we could, we would not want to be born again if that meant being alive to God to worship and love and obey Him: "For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot" (Rom. 8:7); "The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Cor. 2:14).
Then how can we be born again? We have already established that there's nothing we can do. We must be born of the Spirit. In other words, the Spirit must give us life. When we say a child is born, that means her mother gave her birth. Her mother is 100% active; the baby is 100% passive. So it is with our regeneration: the Holy Spirit is 100% active; we are 100% passive.