John 3:3, “You MUST be born again…” (Part 2) A Bible Study Devotion.
Read John 3:3. In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”
If you did not read part one of this blog, go to the link at the bottom and read that one first. I had a lot of comments from people wanting to know what happened to those boys. I will get to that, but first we need to answer this question. "What does it mean to be born again?" This is not an easy thing to put into words. It is one of those deals where you know it if you are, but don't if you're not...sometimes... The biggest reason for this is that to be born again is not just a state of mind. It is not just a different way to look at life. It is not something that just you alone can decide to be. And if you don't believe at all in Jesus, you can't possibly understand what it means to be born again. How do I know? The Bible says so of course. 1 Corinthians 1:18, For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. So what is it?
To be born again is an actual spiritual re-birth. What I mean is, your old self is dead, buried, and your new self is reborn into God's family. This is real stuff, not metaphors. This is a supernatural event that can only happen after acknowledgement of sin, repentance, and grace from Jesus. Maybe I can explain it with a couple of examples. When I became born again, I had a weight lifted off my shoulders as if it were floating into the air. I don't mean I felt less stress; I mean a physical weight was taken from my shoulders. This weight was my pride and feeling of superiority towards other people. It was only through the convicting power of the Holy Spirit that I was able to see myself for what I actually was. I was just another person who had sinned against God. There was nothing special about me. I was not better than those other people that I looked down upon with disgust. You see I had a huge problem with arrogance. Being smart was my false god; one of them anyway. I would look at people as if they were dumb and always in my way. Looking back it still can make me sick to my stomach when I think about my arrogance. However, Jesus took all that hate away from me. He set me free. John 8:32, Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. That was the weight that was lifted from me. And it was physical and real; it was not an "emotional weight." Sound crazy and stupid you unbeliever? I know it does because...see verse above.
But even if you can't grasp that example, listen to this one. This is one of the guy’s stories from the group. Remember Jeff Spicoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High? "Hey bud, let's party, and All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I'm fine.” I had the equivalent of that kid in my class. Every word from his mouth was "Ahh, dude... like this, like that, like, like, like..." Long story short, he became born again. Soon after that, he was helping teach. He had Biblical wisdom of a seasoned vet. He was calm, thoughtful, and wise. Did you hear that...wise. This did not take two years of study. It did not even take two months of study. It was immediate. How could this be? Because when you are born again, it is a supernatural event that can only be accomplished by God. Proverbs 1:7, The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. Some might say the wisdom was in him all along; it was not... That surfer boy was gone. He was reborn into God's family. But it wasn't just that. He looked different. It was in his eyes and in his facial expressions. It was a different person. Believe me or not, it is the truth. Galatians 2:20, I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.
That is just one snippet from one of the boy's stories. There were several boys in that group. They are all in their first year of college now. I keep track of all of them. Keep tabs on this blog if you want to hear about the others. I will ask one or two of them to write their story from their own hand.
Written by Chris Vasecka
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