How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born? – John 3:4
Scripture Reading: John 3:1-21
It is the work of the Holy Spirit, through the power of the Word proclaimed, to open our hearts to the gospel of grace. Nicodemus is puzzled/mystified when Jesus tells him that, “Unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” (vs. 3). Just as we do not choose to be born, so too we do not choose to be re-born. As our physical birth was our initiation into this world, so our spiritual rebirth is the starting point of our spiritual life. Our Saviour’s teaching emphasizes the sovereignty of God in salvation. The new birth, regeneration, is God’s work opening the way for believers to enter into His Kingdom.
Another way to say “being born again” is “being born from above.” This helps us understand that without God’s intervention, entering the Kingdom is impossible. Entrance into the Kingdom requires a changed heart and evidence of a new life. Rebirth is God’s divine initiative and is a necessary precondition to entering the Kingdom of God. It is the working of the Holy Spirit – all of beautiful and bountiful grace.
The Holy Spirit shines the spotlight on the un-surpassing worth of Jesus Christ and His gospel. The Holy Spirit convicts us of the infallibility and inerrancy of God’s inspired Word. The Holy Spirit convicts the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment (John 16:8). The Holy Spirit brings to life that which is lifeless. In regeneration, God plants a desire in our hearts for Himself. Is this your experience?
Suggestions for prayer
Give thanks for God’s divine initiative in salvation. Praise God that the believer may confess that the Holy Spirit has “been given to me personally, so that, by true faith, He makes me share in Christ and all His blessings, comforts me and remains with me forever” (Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 53).
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