“Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, 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. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” – John 3:5-7
Nicodemus asked Jesus, what must he do to see the Kingdom of God. To which Jesus tells him that we must be born again. Being born once of fallen and rebellious man, that birth imparts to us a fallen and rebellious spirit. One bent toward sin and selfishness and guilty of death for it, under the law of Moses. So then must that man fulfill the law by crucifying that old man and giving up the ghost (spirit) even as Christ did on the cross. Then he must be born again by receiving a new spirit, a holy one, Jesus’s!
When this happens every sin and guiltiness of that old person that you once were is laid to rest! Every wrong thing it ever did, and every wrong thing ever done to it. We forgive and or forgiven and receive a new spirit, a new life, a new purpose and commission, a new family, a new future, a new everything!
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17
We step into this new life with relief, refreshing, and excitement! Then we begin to grow in the Spirit and our new Father begins to teach us how to rule and reign with Him in His Kingdom!
Jesus told Nicodemus, in regards to this experience, that you might not understand it. Like the wind in the trees, you might not know the end from the beginning like He does. You may not know exactly where this moving that you a feeling stirring you up is coming from or where it will cause you to end up, but when it happens you will feel something and you will see the present effects of it.
Things will be different, the wind can’t blow through the trees and them not be moved and effected by it! They come alive and don’t look the same as they did before the wind arrived. So for a person who has truly been born again, what exactly does it look like?
Like a new life, a fresh start, a hunger for God’s word, and a love in their heart for His presence. In fact, just like a physical new born baby, Spiritual ones cant get enough of this!
When a baby is born the first thing they do is cry. When a person is born again it usually comes with tears of joy and repentance as they leave the old life and emerge into the new.
The next thing that all new born babies have in common is an immense hunger, and when someone has truly been born again you will see this in them! Do not starve a spiritual new born, the more they eat, the faster they will grow! First the milk of the simple gospel, then later the meat as they mature and are more able to receive it.
“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.” – 1 Peter 2:2-3
“And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.” – 1 Corinthians 3:1-2
(To the spiritually young, Paul preached:)
“And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
(To the spiritually more mature, Paul preached: )
Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:” – 1 Corinthians 2:1-2, 6-7
New born babies also burn for the love, cuddles, and presence of their parents. So that those who have been born again will yearn for church, worship, prayer, and personal time with Jesus! They will seek it, they will burn for fellowship. It will not be a burden to them but a passion!
Remember that Jesus was talking to Nichodemus, a Pharisee and teacher of the Priest in this passage. So simply knowing about God or the scriptures is not enough. This was Jesus’s message to him in this conversation. But rather that all must be born again and have this spiritual experience. A life changing conversion. A new beginning, and an encounter with His Holy Spirit. I can assure you of this, even as Jesus often did, that if you have never had a hunger for the words and presence of God as desperate as a new born baby does, then you’ve never been born again and Jesus said that being born again is a requirement for seeing the Kingdom. So meet with Jesus alone, in the quiet, like Nicodemus did and ask Him for it.
Once a baby is born, they cry, begin to feed, and experience the loving embrace they so desperately need. Then their eyes begin to open up for the first time and they start to see things they never saw before. A bit blurry at first but the more they are nourished with the first things, the more clearly they begin to see the latter things!
Yet even before they can see, they begin to hear the voice of their parents ringing in their ear. However a new born baby does not understand what is being spoken to them. At first they only understand the loving embrace they are feeling and the voice that is so comforting to them. Yet over time they start to understand a few important commands. “No”, oh how we hate that one! “Stop”, “Come”, “I love you”, then our understanding increases from their depending on how much time we spend listening to the voice of our parents. And so we learn overtime to communicate, interact, and even eventually work with God as we grow and spend quality time with Him as a child does with their father.
For a new baby, Hearing and listening (shama/obeying) comes simotaniously with learning to walk. God designed them this way, to have to be carried until they are able to listen. This is the purpose of discipleship. A walking/running baby with no ability to understand basic instruction is a danger to itself and others.
So it is with us. No one is saved and immediately expected to outpace veterans in the race, so don’t be too hard on yourself. Babies fall down a lot. Toddlers get corrected a lot. Their parents still love them, they are just preparing them for the greater things that are coming.
In fact correction is usually a sign of maturing (though it may not feel like it.) Think of it like this, toddlers get corrected more then newborns do, so don’t get discouraged by correction it just means you’re growing in spiritual things.
“And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?” – Hebrews 12:5-7
From toddlers to children, as they grow and mature they get more responsibilities. They are entrusted with more of the fathers and the families house hold duties. From children to positions in their fathers priesthood and kingship where they are equipped and entrusted with the tools and authority of their Father’s house and Kingdom. Mature sons and daughters with power and purpose because that they have gone through the process of growing in grace that all started the day they realized that they could be born all over again into God’s Kingdom and be one of His children.
“If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?” – John 3:12