By Jon Kauffman
Jesus said, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
4 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”
5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” John 3:3-8 NIV
Before we are born again we are broken. We have been hurt by others and we in turn have hurt others. Our selfishness and pain, our sins have caused us to be broken.
And how did we live when we were broken? Paul said, 19 “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, …that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5: 19-21 NIV
When we are born again we experience a relationship with Jesus, Jesus becomes our friend. Jesus heals our brokenness. And how do we find this relationship with Jesus?
Jesus said, 14 “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14, 15. NIV
We must search for that relationship with Jesus. Jesus said, 7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7 NIV
We must seek and pray. Perhaps ask others who have been born again to answer our questions. We must read God’s word and let the Spirit speak to us.
If someone has hurt us and we cannot forgive them, we must pray and ask Jesus to help us to forgive. If we cannot understand the Bible or hear the Spirit speaking to us, we must pray and ask Jesus to show us the truth.
John the Apostle said, 8“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:8 & 9 NIV
And what happens to us when we are born again?
John the Apostle said, 5 “But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.” 1 John 2:5 NIV
And later John says, 10 “Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. 11 But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness.” 1 John 2 10-11. NIV
John also says, 19 “This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: 20 If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.” 1 John 3: 19 & 20 NIV
I am a member of the The Salvation Army. The Salvation Army bases it’s teachings on the teachings of John Wesley. For many years John Wesley searched for a fulfilling relationship with Jesus. He studied religion and the Bible, yet he felt that there was more to religion than he was experiencing. While attending a Bible Study on Romans, John felt his “heart strangely warmed” and he finally felt assurance that he was really saved and that his sins had been forgiven.
When we have been born of the spirit our lives change. Paul said, 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Galatians 5: 22-24 NIV
When we have been born of the Spirit, we will care for the hungry, the sick and the prisoner.
Jesus said, “34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:35-40
When we have been born of the Spirit, we will follow Jesus. Jesus said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” Mathew 16:24.
We will be willing to suffer for Jesus.
When we are born again we will be baptized. Jesus says we must be “born of water and the Spirit.” Somehow baptism plays a part in the rebirth and the transformation from death to life.
And why does Jesus want us to experience being born again? Jesus wants us to voluntarily join him in heaven and live forever with him in joy and happiness.
This new birth is necessary for anyone wishing to live the life of peace and non-violence taught by Jesus.
Copyright © 2019 by Jon Kauffman. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given. Permission is gladly given to re-blog this post.
Picture: Copyright © 2019 by Leon Kauffman