John chapter 3 is one of my favourite passages in the Bible. This is not because it contains that most popular verse about God’s love for the world, but because of the word “Born again.” This is a phrase that is fast becoming scarce from the lips of many preachers and Christians. Yet, Jesus is clear that without it no one shall see the kingdom of God. The phrase literally means, “born from above.”
In John chapter 3, Jesus answered a question that Nicodemus did not even ask. He simply read Nicodemus’ heart and came to the very core of his problem–the need for spiritual transformation or regeneration produced by the Holy Spirit. When Jesus told Nicodemus, “…you must be born again,” Nicodemus didn’t get it. “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 NKJV). Sometimes smart or intelligent people can be their own worst enemy. They think, “Unless I can understand and explain it I can’t accept it.” Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Look at the wind. You can’t catch it or control it. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Hebrews 11:6 says, “without faith it is impossible to please God…” The things of God cannot be explained, it is only revealed. One of our biggest struggles in society today comes from wanting a reason for everything. Jesus said unless we become as little children we wouldn’t see His kingdom.
Jesse Duplantis, an American preacher says that to be ‘born again’ is not a debate but a decision. In the belly of the fish Jonah prayed, “…salvation is of the Lord” (Jonah 2:9). There Jonah realized, “if I’m to get out of this mess it will have to be God’s doing. I can’t work my way out or reason my way out.” So he prayed, “… out of the belly of hell cried I… (Jonah 2:2). The same thing applies to us to us today. You must be born again is not something to be reasoned out. It is by simple faith in the finished work of Christ. All God asks is that we trust Him. When we do, eternal life will be ours. Are you born again?