The question is asked: “What does it mean to be born again? Does this give hope to people?”
This phrase — born again — is introduced to us by Jesus when he was talking to Nichodemus, a Pharisees and a ruler of the Jews. Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).
The vital doctrine of regeneration has been applicable in all ages. For man, by nature, is a lost sinner and must be spiritually reborn through faith in the finished work of Christ. This truth appears in the Old Testament, also. An example is David’s prayer, “Create in me a clean heart O God; and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10).
And in new life there is hope — life with Christ now, and beyond the grave.
A few weeks ago, we all read with great sorrow of the dear woman who jumped off to her death the Hudson bridge. It was because she had no hope. We were sad to see a life with no hope — and grieve that she had not found the hope and life in Christ.
But God offers this to us — new life, hope which is steadfast and sure. And God makes clear in His Word how we can have this gift of love. It is emphasized more clearly and explicitly in the New Testament.
“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost Which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savor” (Titus 3:5-6).
“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which lives and abides for ever” (I Peter 1:23).
Note that this spiritual birth is produced only through the eternal Word of God. “According to His abundant mercy,” the Lord, “has begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
It is, “To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fades not away, reserved in heaven for you” (I Peter13-4).
To be raised from spiritual death in sin to eternal life in Christ is a true miracle. It is as much so as the physical resurrection of Christ Himself, or even as the very creation of the world.
“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (II Corinthians 4:6).
“Therefore, if any be in Christ, he is a new creation: old things are passed away behold, all things are become new” (II Corinthians 5:L17).
If you have a Bible question write to Pastor Lenard Huebscher, 12721 75th St. North, Stillwater MN. 55082 or call 651-430-3132. www.stillwaterbaptist.net