Weekly Ministry Tip #9 Fall 2013
What Does Being “Born Again” Mean?
We read in John 2:23-25 that Jesus was revealing to the people exactly who He was. Verse 23 says, “…many believed in His name when they saw the signs that He was doing.” These signs and the new followers of Jesus probably caught the attention of Nicodemus, a Pharisees and a ruler of the Jews.
What happened next in John 3:1-7, became a powerful conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus. Nicodemus came to Jesus at night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” Here in verses 3-7 we see Jesus authoritative comments:
3Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’’
No doubt you have heard the words “Born Again”. Water in the Old Testament was often used to symbolize spiritual cleansing and renewal, and the Spirit represents God’s life. When God promised to pour out His Spirit on the people as water He was saying that they would also have a new heart. Jesus meant that when one is born again, they are spiritually cleansed and renewed by the Holy Spirit.
All of mankind is spiritually dead until they are born again, not physically, but by the Holy Spirit, who gives spiritual life. As a Pharisees and a ruler of the Jews, Nicodemus should have understood this concept through the Old Testament writings – but he totally missed it. Nicodemus may have been relying on himself, all his works, and living a right life, to become acceptable by God.
We are acceptable to God only by the Holy Spirit because He gives us true spiritual cleansing and renewal. We need to be born again so we can enter into God’s Kingdom. This is the message that we share with others – Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sins so that we might be Born Again.
Get An Early Start For Your Winter Conference
Some of you may have just returned from your school’s Fall Retreat. Whatever school (or specific ministry) you may be involved in, now is a good time to get a big head start for the Christmas/Winter conferences. This happens in late December or early January. These conferences are pivotal to the spiritual growth and training of all our disciples. There is something special that happens when one is immersed into a great conference where there is minimal distraction from studies, work, and everyday life.
We all need times of retreat and refreshment with like-minded believers that a conference can provide. It is said that one can grow spiritually more in one week at a Christmas/Winter Conference, than one can in several weeks of training back in your school/home situation. Make it a goal to go to your nearest regional conference and bring as many people with you as you can. Here are some important links that will help you give your disciples good reasons to go, overcome obstacles, raise money, and a strategy to get people there. Be sure to check the specific information on the dates and costs on your regional web site (may not be updated yet). Check this out:
Talk to you next week,
Ben with Cru