Before I got saved if you had asked me what I thought of born-again believers, I would have said, “Oh you mean those Bible-thumping, speaking in tongues, holy rollers? They think they’re the only ones going to heaven.”
You have to understand that I belonged to the Catholic Church; I went to confession (well I used to when I was young) and I took communion (ditto), but more importantly my good deeds outweighed my bad deeds by quite a lot. It was clearly noticeable!
And then a funny thing happened to me on my way to Hell; I read the Bible. And I read John 3 and I saw my need for a Savior and understood what it meant to be born again. Look with me at the first 8 verses:
“There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, ‘Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.’ Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ Nicodemus said to Him, ‘How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his motherâ€™s womb and be born?’…(John 3:1-4)
STOP right there for a second…that’s a great question! Seriously, for someone who has never read the Bible or heard the gospel, that makes no sense what Jesus said, “Unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Yes Nicodemus, how can a man be born when he is old? One certainly cannot enter into his mother’s womb a second time to be born!
It’s important we understand what Jesus has done here. Nicodemus is not some rabid anti-Christ Jesus hater who wants the Lord dead. The fact Nicodemus is visiting Jesus at night shows he is taking a risk to visit the “Rabbi.” Nicodemus is not some militant atheist trying to catch Jesus with a trick question to disprove Christianity; Nicodemus is a very devout religious man. Jesus knows this and He is teaching Nicodemus, His disciples, and the rest of the world who would eventually read the Bible the need for regeneration. Let’s continue…
“Jesus answered, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, “You must be born again.” 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.'” (John 3:5-8)
Being born of the flesh means being born in our natural, sinful state. Adam sinned and passed down through humanity our sinful nature. That’s why the statement, “Hey, it’s only natural!”, is not going to wash when you face Jesus. Jesus has provided a way to overcome our nature. Our spirit must be born again through the Indwelling Holy Spirit. Seeing your need for Jesus as Savior and repenting of your sin and asking Christ into your life is how regeneration happens in the life of a sinner.
When the Prophet Ezekiel was writing about the renewal of Israel, he shared the Lord’s words to Israel:
“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. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God.” (Ezekiel 38:26-28)
Does that not just make you want to cry out to God for such a heart?! Oh would that everyone who reads these words come to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ, to be born again and enter into the kingdom of God!
“Lord Jesus, you know my heart, and although at times its wickedness stuns and shames me, you know Dear Savior that I am in agreement with you and your faithful servant Peter that you are ‘not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.’ Heavenly Father I ask that you draw those lost in their sin to your Son so that they too may be born again, as I am and others who read these words. Jesus nothing I did but saying ‘yes’ to your grace and mercy and accepting your precious gift is the reason I went spend eternity with you. Oh would that all who read these words Precious Jesus become one with You through the Indwelling Holy Spirit. I pray these words to Your glory and in Your name. Amen!”
Please consider Jesus’ words and in a small way what I’ve shared with you. If you are a born-again believer won’t you renew your effort and commitment to sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Let us live out loud our faith; let us shine the Light of Jesus Christ the Apostle John wrote of in John 1.
My prayer for you is Jesus. I also pray that you have a most blessed and restful weekend. Please remember to go to church on Sunday.
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Copyright Â© 2010 David Jeffers