Issue # 9 – You…. In Perspective
YOU MUST BE “born again”
It is imperative that you be “born again.” It was Jesus Himself who said so. “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God (John 3:3).” If you place any value whatsoever on the teachings of Christ, surely you will heed His words.
Most religions disagree with these words of Christ. Likewise the media would not concur. Nor would most teachers, politicians, book writers or intellectuals(?). Chances are many of your acquaintances place no particular importance on Christ’s pronouncement.
But Jesus said you must be born again! And Jesus warns you to heed His words. Listen to Him (Matthew 7:24): “Whosoever hears these sayings of mine, and does them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock.” Any carpenter will tell you that the foundation is the most important part of a house. He builds the footings wide and deep, and reinforces them with steel rods.
Jesus wasn’t all that interested in houses; He was interested in people – He was speaking spiritually. The house He was talking about is a person’s life. Jesus promises you that your life will not end in ruins if you simply heed His teachings.
Jesus went on to say (verse 7:25), “And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.” Already the storms of life have beat upon you, tearing at you, trying to break you down. These storms come in the way of sickness, disappointments, failure, betrayals, misunderstandings, losses, accidents, etc. You have lost so much.
There is one major storm you must survive. That storm is the spiritual battle for your eternal future. On one side of this battle is God who has been wooing you by His Holy Spirit into His kingdom. On the other side is satan and his army of weird and cruel demons. It is their intention to keep you from discovering the new life that Christ won for you on Calvary’s cross, to keep you in bondage of sin, to blind you to the fact that a much richer life is yours for the receiving.
If your house is founded on rock – if your life is founded on the rock of Christ’s words – you will survive this storm. You will be saved. The victory will be yours.
And Jesus continued to say, (7:26), “And everyone who hears these sayings of mine, and does them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand.” A foolish builder is careless about the house foundation. Laying the foundation on sand will have horrible consequences. Sand is okay – until a bad storm comes, or there’s a flood. Then the sand washes away and the house is ruined.
But again, Jesus is talking about people. He is saying that silly people are the ones who hear His words, His teachings, and ignore them, choosing to build instead on the advice and teachings of someone else.
7:27: “And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell and great was the fall of it.” If you do not build your life upon the words of Christ, your house will surely fall – your life will end in ruins – “and great was the fall of it.”
And perhaps the most important words of Christ are these: “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Born again? Let’s look at it closely:
John 3:1,2: “There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God for no man can do the miracles that you do except God be with him.”
Probably the reason Nick came to Jesus at night was because he didn’t want to be seen by other Pharisees who were jealous of the crowds that Jesus attracted. When they failed to discredit Him before the people, they plotted His murder. But Nick could not deny that Jesus was a teacher sent by God; the many miracles were proof of that.
John 3:3: “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Undoubtedly Nick depended on his own good works to get him into the kingdom of God. (Religious people are the same today – they spend their lives trying to be good enough.) But Jesus told Nicodemus that one cannot see (partake of, belong to) God’s kingdom unless he experiences a second birth (“born again”).
John 3:4: “Nicodemus said unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb?” Nick, this master teacher of the Jews, did not have a clue what Jesus was talking about.
John 3:5,6: “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” Jesus is talking about a spiritual birth, not a physical birth. Nick was already “born of the flesh.” Now he had to be “born of the Spirit.”
Jesus goes on to say to Nicodemus (John 3:7,8 amplified), “Marvel not [do not be surprised, astonished] at my telling you, You must all be born anew (from above). The wind blows (breathes) where it wills; and though you hear its sound, yet you neither know where it comes from nor where it is going. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
Thirty plus years ago I was “born again.” Something happened that day in February 1972 – I was different somehow. Nobody was there to explain that I had just experienced a birth of the Holy Spirit; I just knew something happened, something very wonderful! As Jesus explained, it was like the wind. The wind is something you can’t see, but you sure can feel it. You don’t know where the wind comes from or where it’s going, but you know when it’s here.
After thirty years I still don’t know how God did it. I just know that He did. He gave me a new life, a much better life. In this new life I have a relationship with the One who had that discourse with Nicodemus, and a Father-Son relationship with Jesus’ Father. Millions of men, women and children worldwide make the same claim.
You must experience the second, spiritual birth. If you do not you will never belong to God’s kingdom. Forever and ever you will be on the outside, never to partake of all that God has prepared for you. You don’t have to understand how it (the spiritual birth) happens. Just come to Jesus Christ, humbly asking Him to wash away the stain of your sins from your life, and embrace Him – welcome Him – into your life. When you do, it will happen – God will impart His Spirit into you, birthing in you a new life in Jesus.