i was looking at pictures of my kids today when they were first born and comparing how similar and different they looked at that time. as i was viewing the beauty of each child and admiring them, i began to recollect the individual events of giving birth to each one of them. thinking in my mind how different each birth was, how overwheming, difficult and yet beautiful each experience was as i saw my children take their first breath of life in this world. then, my thoughts began to trail to a passage in the Bible where Jesus tells us that we have to be born again.
"born again!" such strange words to those who do not understand the awesomeness of our God. but Jesus tells us in John 3:3, "...that unless a person is born again, he cannot ever see, know, become acquainted with, and experience the kingdom of God." how can a person be born all over again when he is old? And why would he want to be. the process of birth is not usually an easy transition into this world. i know. i have been through it five times, well six, if i count the time that i was born myself. but, i can not remember that time. anyways, the thought of how in the world that is even possible is logical. In verse 4, a man named Nicodemus, a Pharisee, who was a leader and authority among the Jews, asked Jesus the same question. he said, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter his mother's womb again and be born?" i think to myself, "ok, giving birth to a seven pound baby was one thing but thinking that it is possible to birth an adult person. i do not think so! stupid question!" i think he was being sarcastic and belittling to Jesus. He knew that was not possible.
but, Jesus knowing who He was, was not moved by the sarcasm of Nicodemus. He just answered him with the Truth, "I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, unless a man is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot ever enter the kingdom of God. What is born of the flesh is flesh, of the physical is physical; and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not, do not be surprised or astonished at My telling you, you must be born again."(John 3:5,6) it seems to me that Jesus is revealing a secret in the understanding of the mystery of how the Messiah was going to bring salvation to man.
the kingdom of God is to be experienced by the man, who is born of water, or born into this natural world, which we can see, and born of the spirit, or born into the heavenly world, which we cannot see. that which is flesh is flesh and that which is spirit is spirit. the two are definitely not the same. but, obviously we can experience both births. hence, the term, "born again." your first birth is physical and your second birth is spiritual, thank God!
so, how is it that we can be born of the spirit? John 3:16 states, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whosoever believes on Him will not perish but have eternal life." Being born in this world is a work of the flesh. but, being born again is a work of God, removing our sin and giving us the Life of God by His Spirit, which He does in the spirit of man when he has faith in Jesus and what He accomplished on the cross for us.
i am amazed at the wonder of birth in the natural and what a great miracle it is to experience bringing life into this world. but, i am even more amazed at the wonder of the new birth, being born again, and what a great miracle it is to experience the Life of God in me.
The Six Minute Storm
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