“I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?”
The concept of the new birth or being born again is certainly not a new concept. Jesus introduced the idea in John 3 in a strategic interaction with Nicodemus. He was a Jewish leader, a Pharisee to be exact. Pharisees were dedicated students of God’s law. They diligently sought to understand the details of the Bible and how to live out the principles in their daily lives. The problem, of course, was they were trying to figure out how to live a spiritual life by self-sufficiency. It really was all they knew since the Holy Spirit had not yet indwelled believers but it was still insufficient.
In this context, Jesus said to Nicodemus, “no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.” (vs. 5-6) I got to thinking, how are these two thoughts connected? It is impossible to comprehensibly cover all that is involved but the following similarities occurred to me:
- A baby is conceived in a moment of time. Spiritual regeneration takes place in a moment of time.
- Before a baby is born, he has no idea what life on earth is really like. Before a person is born again, he has no idea what a life with Christ is going to be like.
- You can’t fake the birth of a baby. You can’t fake real spiritual life.
- The birth of a baby requires the work of a mother. Spiritual growth requires the work of the Spirit.
- A baby does not choose his gifts and talents. Believers do not choose their spiritual gifts.
- A baby starts out small and immature but has the potential to grow into a strong, fully developed adult. New believers start out with little knowledge and immature spiritual skills but have the potential to grow into strong and highly effective ambassadors for Christ.
- Healthy babies are highly motivated to grow. Healthy believers are highly motivated to grow.
- Babies are content with the thought that they need the help of others. Believers function best when they give and receive help.
- Babies love their parents above all else. Believers have the opportunity to call God their daddy (Romans 8:15)
All that to say, being born again is the greatest privilege on earth. Just as the birth of a baby is one of the most exhilarating events in the life of any family, the moment of salvation is the premier event in the life of any individual. Thank you, Jesus, for making it possible to be born and born again.