Nicodemus speaking: “Rabbi: we know that you are a teacher come from God (for no one can do the signs you do unless God is with him).” Jesus answered him “Truly, truly I say to you: Unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 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?” John 3:2b-4
This is a section of scripture that is widely referenced. The phrases are familiar. Just about everybody has heard “Be born again” as it applies to Christianity. But what does it mean? Can it be explained? Does it need to be explained one…more…time?
In every generation this is a phrase that brings the question just like Nicodemus: “What’cha talking about, Willis?
I think about this. What does it mean “to be born again?” What is it, anyway? Is it part of the Christianese we believers speak? Is it in our Christian “shop talk?” Secret language? Example (sound snooty here): “Things of the Spirit are revealed by the Spirit. Not revealed to you? The Spirit is not with you….” or something like that.
Point is I can lapse into Christianese at the drop of a hat and sound oh, so holier than thou. And, without being nudged about it, not give it a second thought. What a Pharisee!
I have taken to describe being born again as having my operating system (like a computer) overwritten. That is the point of Jesus’ statement: Want to see the Kingdom? You have to start all over again from the core of you. The “old man”, the sinful man that is a prisoner, needs to have a condition that is freed from the shackles of Sin.
Lo and behold: The Atonement! Jesus’ propitiation work on the Cross created the conditions that we can be set free and redeemed. How? Through the miracle of regeneration, basically re-writing our operating system. “Sin no longer has dominion over us…” Paul writes in Romans. Describes it beautifully.
“Would you be free from the burden of sin? There’s power in the Blood!” Today, every day, bow your head, heart, and mind to the Gospel. Do not let sin have dominion in you no more.
Lord God: Interesting I should write about this today. After being reminded about it anew this morning, what a wonderful privilege to testify about it one more time. I have to talk to the man in the mirror about it, let it be on my lips in some fashion, reference it in my every action. My heart has been changed! I have been overwritten. I am rebooted. I am starting over, born again. Nifty keen, O God. AMEN.