Happy New Birthday!

Carlo Mendoza 

"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 and be born?”  Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.  That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’  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.”  John 3:3-8

On this day in the year of 1980, I was born in Luanshya, Zambia to the proud parents of Manuel and Anita Mendoza.  I am thankful that God has given me another year of life and will no doubt celebrate His goodness by sharing a special meal with friends and family.  However, there is an even more significant date that I remember each year, the day that I was born again.

As John records this nighttime encounter between Jesus and Nicodemus, we see an extremely important truth being communicated to this prominent teacher of Israel.  Nevertheless, Nicodemus seemed to have been quite baffled by this particular saying of Christ, as he asked how being born again was even a possibility.  The reason behind Nicodemus’ inability to comprehend these words of Jesus was because he obviously thought about the process in natural terms.

"The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned."  I Corinthians 2:14

Jesus responded by first questioning Nicodemus’ knowledge of the Scriptures, but He also explained that this was a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit.  In this new birth, being born of water represents a spiritual purification and being born of the Spirit tells us this can only be accomplished by God Himself.  Once this takes place, we become citizens of God’s kingdom.

"I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you.  And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you.  And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.  And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules."  Ezekiel 36:25-27

In order to experience this second birth, one must surrender their life to God, and by faith acknowledge the sacrificial death of Christ on the cross, as being done in their place, to pay for their sins.  Once this regeneration takes place, there are a several results that are guaranteed to occur.  In fact, Jesus compares this new birth to the blowing of the wind, although we cannot see it physically happen, we can surely see the evidence of its affects.

1.  The person will be made new and consequently they will have new affections such as of a love and hunger for God and His Word, just as an infant desires milk.  (2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 Peter 2:2)

2.  The person will have a new eternal destination, as they will one day be with God and share in the glory of heaven for all eternity, as opposed to being forever tormented in hell.  (John 14:1-3; Revelation 21:1-5; Revelation 14:11).

3.    The person will have a new resurrection body as they will no longer be hindered by their earthly bodies but have an incorruptible body, suitable for heaven (1 Corinthians 15:50; 2 Corinthians 5:1-6).

·       If you have been born again, I want to wish you a “Happy New Birthday”!

·       If you have yet to experience this new birth, why not make today your “Happy New Birthday”?

Born Once, Die Twice: Born Twice, Die Once!

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