So what is the new birth? How do we get it? and How do we know if we have it?
This isn't like a lot of debates various churches hold. If you are wrong on this one, the Bible says you are lost and without hope.
The Old Testament points to the fulfillment of the New birth in the New Testament. It sheds light on the many aspects of the new birth.
Ezekiel 36:26-28 " 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. 28 Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God.
Point #1 God gives the New Birth, man does not do it on his own. We see by reading this verse that the new heart is given to us by God. The new Spirit is given to us by God. The verse has God saying, "I will, I will, I will, I will..." The promise hinges on what God will do. The verse indicates that man will respond to what God causes in him.
Supporting Scriptures: John 3:8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit." The new birth is something that God does whenever He decides to do it. We cannot tell when it will come, but will only be able to see the effect that it will produce.
John 1:12-13 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Those who become children of God (new birth) do not do so of their own choosing or based on what they will, but because of what God causes.
Appeal to Logic: What role did you play in your physical birth? The same is true in your spiritual birth. How well would you do in giving yourself a heart transplant? As you sit dead on a table, how good would you be at restoring yourself to life?
Conclusion: The New birth is something that God does, not what man does.