On Sunday the Sunset pastor brought a message, “Born Again — of Water and the Spirit,” from a text, John 3:3:  Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”

Jesus came to give us a new start in our lives in what He called being born again.

The pastor made three points:  (1) Nicodemus the Believer; (2) Born Again; (3) Born of Water and the Spirit.

(1) Nicodemus the Believer.  Nicodemus was a member of the Jewish ruling council in Jerusalem, the Sanhedrin, the Supreme Court of the Jews.  He was a believer who on one occasion defended Jesus (John 7:50), and who helped bury the Lord (19:39).  Having seen and believed Jesus’ miracles, Nicodemus said, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God.”

Nicodemus came to Jesus at night, perhaps wanting a private conversation, and the Lord accommodated, having a conversation with him.

(2) Born Again.  Jesus said to Nicodemus (v3):  “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”

What does it mean to be born again?  When we’re born again, it means that we are born not of man but of God.  It’s not a physical birth but a spiritual  birth.  It has to do not with the delivery of a baby but the delivery of our souls from the underworld to the upper world, from the power of sin over us to the power of God in us.  It means that God calls us, we hear his call, and we make a decision to receive Jesus into our hearts and lives, and to follow him.

John said (1:11-12):  “… To all who received Jesus, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”

When we’re born again, no man is our father, but God is our Father.  When we make that decision, we must do some soul-searching.  Peter talked about this decision (Acts 3:19):  “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.”

Forgiveness of sins and times of refreshing from the Lord come when we repent and turn to God.  To be born again, we make a conscious, committed decision to walk away from the devil and his destructive schemes, and to follow Jesus our Creator, the Prince of Peace who leads us into the blessings of the kingdom of God.

(3) Born of Water and the Spirit.  Nicodemus didn’t understand, so he asked, “How can a man be born when he is old?  Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!”

Jesus did not reprimand Nicodemus for his question, but he answered:  “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.  Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to Spirit.”

The spiritual birth is just as real as the physical birth, but it has to do with our heart—our will, emotions and intentions.  Then Jesus illustrated in v8:  “The wind blows wherever it pleases.  You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it’s going.  So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

Just as you can’t see the wind but can see its effects (leaves blowing off the trees), so it is with those born of the Spirit.  It is an invisible action of the Spirit of God, but you can certainly see its effects. Our hearts are changed, and our speech, behavior, and even our thinking, also changes.  May we all be born again and see the kingdom of God.

“I will sing to the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.”  [Psalm 104:33]

May praise for our God who is good always flow from us — our prayer for all of us from your friends at Sunset Christian Church.