I just read a post by a sweet young mother I know that shared some exciting news. She already has three children, and the youngest is not even a year old, so, no, it wasn’t that they were expecting a new baby again. But she did share that a new baby was born – her oldest daughter was born into God’s family this week!
It’s not random that the Bible uses the picture of being born to describe what it’s like to come into the kingdom of God by faith in Jesus. Birth is a beginning when the little one makes his or her appearance into the world (although technically we’re nine months old when we’re born). That beginning turns into the present as a child continues to grow up in all ways – spiritually, mentally, physically, emotionally, and looking forward with hope to the day the child reaches maturity.
Spiritual birth is like that too.
Romans 5:1-2 – Therefore, having been justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.
There’s a common misconception that we can sort of just “become” Christians without really knowing when or how it happened. We just “always believed in God” or we assume we’re Christians because our parents took us to church, or we know we’re not Muslim or Jewish, so we must be Christian. Imagine if a woman just showed up one day with a baby and told you, “I don’t know how it happened; one day she just appeared in my life.” You would be calling the mental health professionals.
Spiritual birth is an event in time because we move from one state of being to another. We inherited a sinful nature, a broken relationship with God, from our ancestor Adam. Every single person is born into sin; we had no choice in this. And because of this innate sin, every one of us starts to die the moment we are born.
Romans 5:12 – Therefore, just as through one man [Adam] sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned.
The reality of our experiences proves what God’s Word tells us about sin and death. How do you know we are all born with a nature to sin? When did you have to teach your two-year-old to disobey? You didn’t; it was his nature. How do we know death is a result of sin? How many people do you know who escaped death? None – statistically, your chances of dying are 100%. No one lives forever in their sinful human body.
You didn’t do anything to “get” your sinful nature from Adam. You had no choice in the matter. It happened to you the day you were conceived and manifested itself the day you were born.
Thankfully, we do have a choice to be reborn, to be born again into God’s family. Jesus came, as Paul says in Romans 5:1-2 above, to introduce us by faith into grace (a new beginning). Like a child growing up, we stand in this grace, and as a young person looks forward to maturity, we anticipate with hope the glory of God, when we are made complete and receive our new glorified bodies that reflect the image of the glory of God.
When Jesus died on the cross, He paid for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2), making a new birth a possibility for all who wish to receive that new life. Unlike your sinful nature, you must choose to partake of the divine nature of God through the righteousness of Christ that is imputed to you at salvation.
Romans 5:8-9 – But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.
Romans 5:17 – For if by the transgression of the one [Adam], death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
Those who receive.
Those who choose to believe.
Those who repent.
Those who ask God for the gift of salvation.
Which state of being are you in? Are you still in the same condition you were born in, separated from God by your sinful nature and living on borrowed time under the wrath of God? Or have you received the new birth, born into the kingdom of God at a point in time when you willfully surrendered to Jesus as Lord and Savior, confessing your sins, and asking for God’s forgiveness on behalf of the blood He shed for you?
Choose wisely. You don’t have to have it all figured out. Just come like our sweet young friend did, taking God at His Word and asking to be born again to a new life in Christ – a life that lasts for eternity.