April 16, 2010

The Miracle of New Birth

John 3:1-8

“I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born again.”
John 3:3


How is anyone who seeks to know God and serve him brought into the circle of the Father’s love? How does someone receive the redeeming work of Jesus Christ and become a citizen of God’s kingdom?

Jesus, speaking with Nicodemus, offers answers to our questions. The answers focus on heart issues.

Coming at night, Nicodemus is curious about Jesus but doesn’t want to be seen by others. And we can hear flattery in his voice as he says, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.” Jesus’ blunt response stops Nicodemus in his tracks: “No one can see the kingdom of God without being born again.” And “no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit.”

How is this possible? Although this new birth is not identical to baptism, baptism is a symbol of an inner miracle—dying and rising with Christ. Being born again involves a deep, inward, radical change of heart effected by the Holy Spirit. It is the source of new life, new eyes, and a new heart. It is a gift of God.

Some of us are asking tough spiritual questions. Others are looking for renewed faith. Others of us are wandering in directions that we know are roads to nowhere. In every case, new birth by the Spirit is what we need.

Father, I want to be born again, renewed again in your love, by your Spirit. Holy Spirit, please change my heart, open my eyes, and rekindle my love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — John Rozeboom

Rev. John Rozeboom is a retired pastor of the Christian Reformed Church and a former director of Christian Reformed Home Missions. Currently he is coaching and supporting elders, ministers, and a congregation in mission. John and Linda Rozeboom live in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and they have two married children and five grandchildren.

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