John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? 5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
This response of Christ was given to Nicodemus, as He came by night to seek out Christ, for He was convicted that Jesus was no ordinary man, and he was determined to find out for himself the truth of the matter. But the fact that a person is a sincere seeker for truth does not negate the fact that we are naturally carnally minded in our thinking, as was manifested in Nicodemus' decision to come by night, for fear of ridicule from his peers who had looked down upon Christ with obvious disdain. But what is remarkable about Jesus is that we can come by night or by day, for it does not matter, once we keep coming. God does not ask us to change ourselves before we cast in our lot with Him, for the work of salvation which He engages in is designed to take us as we are, but not to leave us in the same condition that we came.
In the case of Nicodemus Christ uttered one of the most sacred truths that pertain to our eternal salvation, by stating unequivocally that we must be born again. This statement of fact has to do with an internal change that is wrought solely by the power of God, and in tandem with the right choices we should make from day to day. There are many people living today with good intentions, and who from time do good, charitable and upright deeds, but these are not sufficient to fill the void that was created as a result of our separation from God through sin. what is needed is an entire change of heart and mind, a process referred to by Christ as being born again. This process includes a change, not only in our behavior and habits, but also a change in attitudes, in thinking, in aspirations, in priorities, in morals, in values, and in our views of God's laws and instructions, which prior to rebirth, were looked upon more from the prohibitory side, instead of being for our best temporal and eternal good. Let's read:
Romans 7:9 For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. 10 And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. 12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
A general and widespread misunderstanding of the new-birth experience leads many people to look upon the plan of salvation as a way of escape from obedience to God's law, and as a result, the experiences of those who subscribe to this view fall far short of God's ideal will and purposes for saving us, for God did not save us so that we may continue in sin, but rather that it would be thoroughly uprooted from our hearts, so that we may serve Him in spirit and in truth. This is the essence and the grand purpose of the plan of salvation, and therefore anyone like Nicodemus, who comes to Christ seeking restoration, renewal and rebirth, must of necessity go through this cleansing process, which is described as being the new covenant between God and His people. Let's read:
Hebrews 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: 11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. 12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
Let us therefore seek for that daily baptism of the Holy Spirit which will ensure that this vital process continues without interruption, for if this is our experience from day to day, the glory of God's character will become more radiant through us, as we reflect His goodness and His own righteousness through the effectual working of The Holy Ghost, changing us from the inside out. We therefore end with a passage of scripture which demonstrates and encourages the new-birth experience, and God will give grace and power to all who are willing, so that the process may become a living reality in our lives. Let's read:
2nd Peter 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
May God add His blessing to the study and practice of His every word. God bless!