Saturday, October 13, 2018

What Does It Mean to Be Born Again?

As I mentioned in the last post, our Lord knew exactly why Nicodemus was there and what Nicodemus needed. He knew that he was a slave to sin and that is why he told in John 3:3 that he needed to be born again when he said, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." This is the first time in the Bible “born again” is mentioned. 

What does it mean to be “born again”? In its simplest terms, it means to be born a second time. The Bible teaches that all men are born physically, but they also need to be born a second time or “again” spiritually. This is what Jesus was telling Nicodemus.

In v.4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Obviously, Nicodemus didn’t have a clue as what Jesus meant with the word “born again.” Why? - 1 Corinthians 2:14 tells us that the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. You see, Nicodemus wasn’t thinking in the spiritual, but in the physical.

In v.5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. Notice He says, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. Jesus is talking about two different births here. One is a natural birth while the other is a spiritual birth. There is an old saying, “Born once, die twice; Born twice, die once.” In other words, you must have two birthdays: a physical one and a spiritual one.

In v.6, our Lord goes on to explain that that which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Man can only give physical life, while God can give both physical and spiritual life.

In v.7, he must have seen some astonishment on his face because he says, "marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again." Nicodemus obviously showed some signs of amazement at what Jesus was saying to him.

In v.8, he says, "the wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit." In other words, the wind is sovereign and men cannot control it. We can hear the wind, but we can see it. In essence, he saying to Nicodemus to stop trying to see with your physical eyes what you know is there.

In vv.v.9-10 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? Now it’s Jesus’ turn to respond in amazement, Jesus is accusing him of being a teacher without any knowledge of his subject.

Our Lord continued to say in vv.11-14 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: Now Jesus bottom lines it for Nicodemus by reminding him of a story in the Old Testament. The story is of Moses and the serpents in Numbers 21:1-9 

Through this account in the Old Testamen, our Lord is saying, "Nicodemus, just as Moses lifted up the serpent on the pole in the wilderness so that all could look on it and be saved…so am I going to be lifted up on a cross so that all who look to me can be saved." There are snakes (sin) in all of our lives and unless each and every one of us look to Jesus and the cross, we shall all likewise perish. That is why he said in Luke 13:3, I tell you, Nay, but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. 

Our Lord goes on to say in vv.15-16 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. (16) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. You see, your physical birth put you into the family of man, but it’s your spiritual birth that will put you into the family of God! Remember the story of the “The Little Boy and the Duck” and his Grandmother standing at the window? 

I don't know what's in your past. I don't know what one sin the enemy keeps throwing up in your face. But whatever it is, I want you to know something. Jesus Christ was standing at the window and He saw the whole thing. And because He loves us, He is ready to forgive us. Perhaps He is just wondering how long we will allow the enemy to make slaves out of us. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

I do appreciate any observations or questions you may have.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.