Good morning, Blessed Family:
I greet you, this morning, with the love, grace and redeeming mercy of the Lord, Jesus Christ. Earlier this week, my husband and I were discussing the topic of being born again and the reason for the outward act of baptism. It made me think of today’s scripture passage from John 3.
In Christ, there is a spiritual lifeline available to us all. Jesus will never force Himself into your heart. He offers the invitation to allow Him to come into your heart, but ultimately it is us that has to accept the invitation to let Him come into our heart.
Being Born Again…
Being born again is about walking in partnership, fellowship and relationships with God, because you have accepted His invitation to come into your heart. Being born again is learning, through relationship, how to live your life for and with Jesus, by putting to death the carnal, desire-driven self and making a choice to live in a committed relationship with God. Which was the whole purpose of why we were created in the first place.
After we have given our lives to Christ, the public declaration of our transformation is water baptism. You can be baptized at church, in a river, in a swimming poor or even with a bowl of water. Baptistism is the outward demonstration to others that you accepted Christ into your heart and you now want to make a public declaration that you have been born again. Baptism is the symbolic act of what your soul has already done.
Here is an example of the relationship of being born again and then being baptized. I am an ordained and licensed minister. I officiate at least one wedding every month. Giving your life to Christ is the same as when, at the end of the ceremony, after the bride and groom have spoken their vows to each other, exchanged rings and I then say, “I now pronounce you husband and wife.” The pronouncement of them accepting each other as husband and wife is akin to us accepting Jesus. However, when I say, “You may now kiss your bride,” the kiss, and the wedding rings, are the outward symbols of the commitment that was already made. Wearing a ring doesn’t make you married. The ring is a public declaration and demonstration of the decision you already made with your heart. It is a symbol to says to yourself and others that you are in a Covenant relationship with someone.
English Standard Version (ESV)
You Must Be Born Again
3 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” 3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter 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 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again. 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
We were not created to walk this journey alone. Call out to God, even as your soul cries with the question, “What must I do to be saved?”
Jesus is calling out and asking, “Will you marry Me? Will you be in Covenant relationship with me?”
Rev. Marcia F. Davis