Are you (still) born again?
The term ‘born again’ has been grossly misunderstood and misinterpreted. Some think it’s a term for overzealous Christians.’ With a careful look at John, Chapter 8, we discern many revelations about the born again experience. Nicodemus was a man who knew the scriptures. Nicodemus was also a good man, well respected, and religious. He was a member of the Jewish ruling council, a respected member of the community and a strict adherent to Judaism. He was drawn to Jesus’ teaching, calling him “Rabbi…a teacher who has come from God,” claiming that “no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him” (John 3:2). Nicodemus preferred to go and hear Jesus teaching at night just like some people today who hide their Christian identity from colleagues and the public.
So Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” Jesus Himself moved beyond appreciation of his ministry by Nicodemus, which is common today; people who are not born again can even go ahead and sow huge amount as seed to the man of God. He made this universal truth known for all ages, EXCEPT A MAN IS BORN AGAIN HE CANNOT SEE THE KINGDOM OF GOD.
It is imperative we note that the following do not mean that one is born again: graduate or student of a theological school, being a knight, elder, deacon or deaconess in a reputable denomination, having a Bible based name, having the suffix or prefix of God attached to your name, being baptised or a communicant, etc. There are still ordained priests who are not born again and they do not care about it. Being familiar with the Scriptures just like Nicodemus was in his own time does not mean you are born again.
Are you drawn to Jesus? Are you captivated by his miracles? So was Nicodemus. But Jesus wants so much more for you than mere compliance. He came to save you from sin and give you eternal life. He came to offer you citizenship in the kingdom of God. But there is only one way into that kingdom and Nicodemus lacked it and that is being BORN AGAIN. He lacked spiritual life. He lacked the vitality that comes from kingdom living. The entrance to that kingdom was not through the knowledge of the Scriptures. It was not through goodness or respectability or even religious activity. It required more than being drawn to Jesus or even believing in his miracles.
Nicodemus’ lack of awareness of what it means to be born again is quite evident in his initial response: “How can a man be born again when he is old? John 3:4. Jesus explained, “no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.”
What does it mean to be ‘Born Again’? It means regeneration. It is often referred to as the new birth. It means to hear the word of God and seek after Jesus. It means to confess our sins to God and receive Jesus to be the Lord of our life. It is the access code to the Kingdom of God. John 1:12 says, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.”
Prayer lines: call 08132133896, 08033452365
Dr. Chidi Okoroaofor
Assemblies of God Nigeria
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