Lenten Reader | Day 5

Born Again

Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”

Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”

“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!”

Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, 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. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 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 3:1-8
In the beginning, when the choice was made and man fell and the great deceiver claimed, “you will surely not die,” mankind needed a new life. Keith Green’s song titled “Altar Call” states that most people don't find out until they are half-dead that they need another life. Here in the story of Nicodemus, he understood that Jesus was sent by God and questions Jesus on eternal matters. Jesus tells Nicodemus you have been born of water in this world, but you need to be born of spirit for the kingdom of God. Romans 12:2 states that we need to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.  
In a small group meeting some years ago, the discussion turned to the subject of making a conscious decision to follow Jesus. An elderly gentleman in the group questioned this. He wanted to understand this idea of professing Jesus as Lord and Savior. He told of his time in World War II and started to weep. He went on to tell that his mother and father were Christians, and that as he grew up he assumed he was also. He never realized that he himself had never made a decision to follow Jesus. He said he thought he was safe in the trenches as tears fell, but he realized he wasn't. He accepted Christ and was born again at 82 years of age. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” The old man has passed. The new man is the result. Ephesians 4:23-24 states, “be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God.” 
If we die to self and die to sin, then something must replace those things. What replaces them is new life in Christ Jesus. How do we know? Because we are not the same as before. Jesus comes to raze the old house, and as partners with Christ, a new life, new home, and a new relationship are born again. Be born again!  
Rich Coppel