Memorise 2 Corinthians 5:15
"...where your treasure is there will your heart be also."
Consider Nicodemus’s question in the preceding verse. “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?” Nicodemus was a Pharisee, a ruler of the Jews. By virtue of his birth and the life he had led, he had a certain standing in society. Not only was the concept of being born again alien, but would someone like him need or want to be born again? Could anyone have a better birth than he? Surely not! Born again? No thanks. Not necessary.
However, Nicodemus’ problem was that he did not really understand what Christ meant about being ‘born again’. Birth marks the beginning of all new life. Without a new birth, there cannot be a new life. Our first birth is of the flesh but this second birth is of the Holy Spirit (John 3:6). The “water” in verse 5 refers to the Word of God, which the Spirit applies to our heart to convict us of our sin and to teach us of Christ our Saviour. The new birth is therefore a spiritual birth that brings about a new life in Christ.
Nicodemus had great knowledge; and admired and acknowledged Christ’s teachings and miracles, and that He was a teacher sent from God. Some of us may be like Nicodemus – having only the outward forms of Christianity. We are born into a Christian home, have many Christian friends, knowledge of the Bible, attend church diligently. We may have great knowledge; but like Nicodemus, no understanding. Many people today acknowledge the works and the exemplary life of Christ. They admire the principles of Christianity. Many strive to live good, moral lives. But this is not being born again. This life remains in the flesh. It is like patching up an old building here and there when what is required is a new building – of a different kind, with new principles, new affections, and new purposes built on a different foundation – a spiritual one.
Today, are we all that different from the Pharisees who focused and placed great importance on the externals? But the Holy Spirit works within us, converting our very soul. Like the wind, it works invisibly and mysteriously. We know it is a work of the Spirit when we see men and woman live changed lives and bear fruit for the Lord.
Thought: Am I living a new life in the spirit or simply patching up the old one with good works and knowledge? How do I know?
Prayer: May I be in Christ a new creature: where old things are passed away and all things are become new.