In the beginning God formed a man out of the dust of the ground and breathed into him the breath of life, and he became a living being, Adam. There was nothing that lifeless pile of dust could have done to generate its own life. God did it.
Much later the religious leader Nicodemus approached Jesus one night. We don’t know what he was going to ask as Jesus cut him short. “Truly, truly, I say to you” Jesus started, “unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
“Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
Jesus deliberately mixed up “spirit” and “wind”, and indeed the original Greek word is the same for both.
To see and enter the kingdom of God, we must be born a second time. After we respond to God with faith, this is something so totally out of our control. There’s a glorious, wild mystery to it.
Paul describes this truth by saying:
“‘The first man Adam became a living being’; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit… And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man.”
Through water and Spirit baptism the Holy Spirit births us as “new creations”, making our spirits to be like Jesus, the man from heaven. This is a foretaste of our bodily resurrection when the rest of us will be gloriously changed to be immortal, perfect and free.
Are you born again? How do you know?
Describe your water and Spirit baptism.
Water baptism is a key part of new birth, but it’s possible to say all the right things at a water baptism with it being no better than a sudden warm bath. What makes a water baptism into something powerful?
Given how much new birth is an act of God, how can we help one another into new birth?
Read and ponder the scriptures below, especially Romans 6:1-11
Wednesday 22 to Tuesday 28 February 2017 | © Jesus Fellowship Church