Tag Archives: salvation

Have you been born again?

born-again

 

Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.  John 3:3

 

 

Jesus was talking with Nicodemus when He said this.  Nicodemus was a Pharisee and he came to check Jesus out.  He asked how Jesus was able to perform the signs that He did.  Jesus jumped right to the heart of His message: you have to be born again.  Back in the 80’s, the term “born again” was almost overused.  All kinds of famous people said they were born again.  Some were bonafide, others maybe not.  After that there seemed to be a distinction that people were making when they said they were a ‘born again Christian,’ as opposed to some other kind of Christian.

Nicodemus was confused about what Jesus meant, just like people today.  Jesus explained that it’s about being born a second time, this time spiritually.  Ephesians 2:1 describes us as being dead in our sins.  Before we become Christians, we are alive in the body but dead spiritually.  Our “spirit man” is dead.  But when we receive Jesus and believe in Him, as John 1:12 talks about, we become alive in Christ.  

Another word for this is “regeneration.”  Titus 3:4-6 reads, “But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior.”  It is the Holy Spirit who washes, regenerates and renews us and makes us “born again.”

This is a radical change.  Once we become alive in our spirit, we can communicate with God and the Bible now begins to make sense.   Our desires change.  We have become a new creation.  I’m guessing that Nicodemus became a believer.  He is mentioned again in John 19:39 helping bury Jesus.  Have you been born again?


The Word became flesh, for you and me

word-became-flesh

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth.  John 1:14

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.  John got to see and touch Jesus and become close friends with Him.  For the three years or more that John was with Jesus, he realized that Jesus is ‘the Word.’  Jesus’ words were the truth of God and that in His coming, working, teaching, dying and rising, Jesus was the final and decisive message of God.  In Revelation 19:13, John describes Jesus’ glorious return: “He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which He is called is ‘The Word of God.’”  

And we have seen His glory.  John and the other disciples saw His glory in His miracles,  as John 2:11 reports that Jesus’ miracles revealed His glory.  But they didn’t always get it.  Jesus chided them for being blind and dull.   2 Corinthians 4:4 tells us that Satan has blinded the minds of unbelievers “to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ.”  

But 2 Corinthians 4:6 announces that God said, ‘Let light shine of darkness,’ to give our hearts the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.  Satan blinds our eyes to keep people from seeing God’s glory and God opens them.  For now we don’t get to behold Jesus’ glory with our eyes.  We get to read about it and by faith wait for the day that His glory will be revealed to us and in us.  

Paul wrote about that in Romans 8:18, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing the the glory that is to be revealed to us.”  And then in 2 Corinthians 4:17 he writes, “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.”

Full of grace and truth.  Do you notice that grace is first?  That’s a good rule to follow–interact with people with grace out front.  That means we love and forgive and shower people with things they don’t deserve, just like God does for us.  But we can’t just be all love and no truth.  Jesus described Himself in John 14:6 as “the way, the truth, and the life.”  God’s words are  absolute truth, called out to an age where no one wants to admit that there is a right and wrong and an authority that is outside of themselves.  

This is the heart of the Christmas message: that God became man, lived among us, exhibited His grace and spoke truth so that we can have eternal life.