What does it mean to be born again?
Most of my life, I thought being “born again” was a religion. I only ever heard the term mentioned as “Born Again Christians.” I had no idea that Jesus specifically mentioned being born again in the Bible. However, being born again is a crucial component of the process of following Jesus. But what does that really mean and how does it pertain to our lives now?
In John 3:3, Jesus is replying to a curious member of the Jewish council by the name of Nicodemus when he says, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
Nicodemus takes this literally and asks Jesus how this is physically possible. (I can only imagine how hard Jesus had to resist the urge to roll his eyes at this inquiry). But, in true Jesus patient and loving response, in verse 5 he repeats and explains that, “...no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.”
When he says that, “...flesh gives birth to flesh,” he is referring to the physical act of being born. When we are born, we enter into sin. When we choose to follow Jesus, we are baptized. This baptism is with water. John the Baptist explained the process in Matthew 3:11 when he said: “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I… He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” Clearly, he is speaking about the impending arrival of Jesus Christ. Verse 12 goes on to say, “His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
That is a lot of farmer talk that most of us in this era do not fully understand. I looked up what chaff is and it is basically considered “waste material or the worthless, inedible part of the wheat.” So, this example of gathering wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff is the separation of the useful things to save and the worthless things to destroy. The scripture says He will baptize with the Holy Spirit AND fire.
I believe those considered worthy wheat who will be saved will be immersed (baptized) with the Holy Spirit. However, those considered worthless chaff that will be destroyed, will be immersed (baptized) in the “unquenchable fire.” (Revelation 21:8).
The choice is ours to make. As long as we have breath, we still have time to choose.
The question we want to ask ourselves today is: Am I wheat or chaff?
In addition: Have I repented of my sins and been baptized with water?
Have I asked God for the blessing of the Holy Spirit?
Am I aligning my life to the best of my ability, with the Word of God and the ways of Jesus Christ?
I pray that you choose Jesus today and step into a decision of the baptism of water and Holy Spirit. Please remember that not choosing is also a choice. We are warned that being lukewarm, or trying to ride the fence is not acceptable. There is no "hedging your bet." We simply need to pick a side. And if we do not side with Jesus, he will deny us to the Father. (Revelation 3:15-16) It's just as simple as that.
Today is a beautiful day to be BORN AGAIN. Stay encouraged.