Born Again

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

John 3:3

We hear the term “born again Christians” sometimes. It’s a little odd to me; the term born again features most prominently in John 3 and there was spoken by Jesus to Nicodemus. Meaning, of course, that there were no Christians yet as Jesus had not died and formed the Church in it’s final form and that Jesus, a Jewish man, was speaking to his fellow countryman Nicodemus.

So let’s ask the same question Nicodemus did: what does it mean to be born again? The definition should sound familiar.

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 3:5-8

Baptism. But adding to the repentant and symbolic nature of immersion washing that was part of Jewish practice in Jesus’ day, something Nicodemus no doubt participated in, Jesus indicated that it was a Spiritual undertaking. Immersion in baptism took the person involved through a process of transformation that was like starting your soul over from the moment of birth. The Spirit can give you a new beginning.

So given all that, why do I think the term born again Christian is odd? Because the impulse to be born again comes from something much closer to the emotional core of ones spirit than it does the intellectual. So much so that being born again is able to transcend Jesus’ death and go back to a moment before that, when men sought him while he yet lived. It is a desire to be right with God that doesn’t need more than that to be valid.

Still, knowing why baptism matters fills it with all the more meaning.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

John 3: 16-17

Jesus came to save us. Let’s take that new start!

Ethan Kirl

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1 Comment

  1. GingerNalley

    Wonderful message thank you

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