New Life: Born Again
Born again? Huh? What do you mean? This is basically how Nicodemus reacted when Jesus told him that to enter into the kingdom of God we must be born again in John 3. The topic of being born again has been popping up in my mind for a long time now and has come up in conversation with friends during bible study. It has made me think about what it is to truly born-again. God is teaching me something in this season of my life and I am glad to have this opportunity to write about this.
What did Jesus mean? The word ‘born again’ means ‘born from above’. Just like Jesus said in 2 Corinthians 5:17, for those who are in Christ, our old man is gone and we become a new creation in him. It’s like a rebirth, our sins are forgiven and we can go to God and have a close relationship with him. A person who born again is someone who has repented from their sins and accepted Jesus as their Lord and saviour.
Who are we before we are born-again?
Before we are born-again we are distanced from God. By nature, we are sinners and have gone against God. This has caused a separation from him and as we continue to distance ourselves from God by hardening our hearts and dwelling in our sins, the more we distance ourselves from him and making us deserving of death i.e. hell. This might be hard to understand for some but here is analogy that helped me understand this. God is like a judge and we are the pleading our case in front of him. Our sin is the reason we are in court and as a result, we have to accept the consequences of our sins and be punished for it. This is who we are before we are born again. But because Jesus died on the cross to save us and free us from our sins, we now are made pure and holy and can go back to God.
How do we become born again?
Well, we definitely do not go back into the womb. Instead we go to God and repent of our sins and accept Jesus as our lord and saviour. No amount of good deeds will make you closer to God or wipe away your sins, nor will being religious bring us closer to God. Titus 3:5 tells us that our salvation does not come from our good deeds like helping out the poor or saving someone’s life but “by the regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit”. Our heart need to change, it is not something we can do one our own or in our own strength. We will always fail, just like some of us when we start a new diet for the week or a new years’ resolution, it doesn’t last long and our old habits creep back in and make us start from the beginning. Our change needs to come from the inside, and the only way we can do that is by allowing God’s word to transform us and truly break us free from out old ways. In Ezekiel 36:26, God promises us that he will give us a new heart and remove our old and hardened on and give us a heart that is ready to receive him. He is doing all the work, not us. Did you hear that? He will do it all! You don’t need to stress over being perfect to go back to him or to try find ways to feel less guilty. Just go to him as you are and accept him. In fact, just read the whole of Ezekiel 36, it is AMAZING!! It’s a promise and reminder from God that no matter how far we have gone, how deep we are in our sin, God is willing to change us and bring us home. We are given a new life in Christ, a second chance, a do-over.
If you would like the chance to start over, go to God, truly repent and accept Jesus into your life. Be committed to being changed, open your heart to him and receive his word.
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