Editors Note: You must be born again. Holiness has no meaning or purpose for the individual that has never surrendered their life to God.
The following article has been provided by Bro. Jonah Dodd of Savannah Georgia. I would like to express my appreciation for sharing from your personal experience .
It was a Sunday afternoon. My girlfriend and I were on our way to lunch, and I asked her the question, “Every time your Dad gives an alter call I feel as if he’s talking to me?” This would begin my journey into finding God.
I wasn’t raised in a Christian home, much less in the Holiness way. By the age of 13 or so, I had allowed sin to take root in my heart, and began to follow its lusts and passions.
It wasn’t until several years later, with many scars and challenges I asked the question above.
We read in John 3:1-16, where Jesus is speaking with a Master of Israel named Nicodemus. In their discussion, Jesus makes the statement,“You must be born again.”
This seems to confound this great teacher to the point of asking Jesus “Can a man enter a second time into his mother’s womb?” Jesus was not speaking of a fleshly birth, but a spiritual birth.
This began a totally new concept, not only with the Jews, but with the whole world. He continued to say, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit.”
He gives us the thought of a man that is born of the flesh receives fleshly things, and a man that is born of the Spirit receives spiritual things.
It’s the difference between AM and FM radio. If you only have a AM radio, you will never receive FM stations.
Therefore, if a man has only been born of the flesh, he will never receive, nor understand, the Kingdom of God. Thus the statement, “Ye must be born again!”
In the beginning, God created everything. Adam and Eve enjoyed the blessing of not only what he created, but the ability to walk with God in the cool of the day.
We often think of all the wonderful things they got to experience; fellowship with the animals, different types of fruits and vegetables, not being tired at the end of the day, walking and talking with God himself and no doubt the list goes on.
The thing we fail to recognize is that God was enjoying this more than Adam or Eve. This was the pinnacle of his creation, that he might have fellowship with mankind.
Then one day everything changed. God comes in the cool of the day, and they were not to be found. He called for them, only to find that their eyes had been opened, and the enemy of God had deceived them.
From this point, everything had to change. Adam and Eve had to supply their own food, the fellowship with the animals was no more, they began to feel the heat of the day, the guilt of sin was real and the fellowship with God was gone!
Again, we often find ourselves thinking about Adam and Eve in this situation, but what about the Father?
In the beginning, he sat in darkness, and created light, and said “It was good.”
He spoke into existence the waters, the land, and the heavens, created the sunrise and the sunset. Through his word the grass, the trees, and all of nature began to grow. He hung the sun, the moon, and the stars. As if all of this was not enough, He began to create all sorts of creatures for the land, for the sea, and for the heavens.
Then he speaks these words, “Let us make man in our own image.”
He formed Adam from the dust of the ground, that he might have fellowship with others. Then the one enemy of God, stole the very thing he desired most, and that is you.
The heart of God still yearns today to walk with his creation.
All the universe continues as in the beginning.
We can lay inches of asphalt, and the grass will make its way through it, because God had commanded it.
All of nature speaks of the Glory of God. Every sunrise and sunset is a masterpiece of itself. The writer of Psalms 19 states “The heavens declare the Glory of God,” and indeed they do.
But the Father wants to walk with us, he still desires to walk in the cool of the day, and see your smiling face, but he cannot. Why, you may ask?
The God of creation is holy. He is perfect. He is without fault. He cannot and will not be defiled with sin. Sin is disobeying God.
In Romans 3:23 it tells us “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” When Adam and Eve sinned, in the beginning, that seed of sin was and is transferred to all mankind.
This is why Jesus told Nicodemus “You must be born again!”
Many years had past and God had created offerings in an act of obedience for mankind.
He watched much of his creation be destroyed, because of his desire to walk with man again.
There were times when the people lived in righteousness, and times when they lived in wickedness.
The covenant he had made with man, was unable to cleanse them from the desires within. Their lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life was greater than their desire to be holy.
The Father knew the only way he could regain true fellowship with mankind was to change the rules.
There was a young lady who was favored highly of the Father, and an angel came to visit her. The angel explained that she would give birth to a son, and this son would be called the son of God.
This lady asked “How can this be, seeing I know not a man?”
The angel told her this child would be conceived by the Holy Ghost. Mary became the mother of Jesus.
Just as God spoke all things into existence, and as he formed Adam from the dust of the ground, the Father caused the Holy Ghost to come upon her, and the power of the highest, over shadowed her, and she was with child.
The Father had to change the rules.
Up to this point, all mankind was from the seed of Adam, and all were born into sin. But now, God creates a “second” Adam, and this man, Christ Jesus, is no longer of the seed of the first Adam.
Jesus is of the seed before the fall of mankind. Again, this is why Jesus tells Nicodemus “You must be born again!”
By now, Jesus is preaching and teaching the heart of the Father. We see the lame walking, blinded eyes being opened, the dead being raised, and many other wonderful works.
He did not have the bondage of sin upon his life, although the Father’s enemy would surely tempt him. Though he tempted him, he was without sin according to Matthew 4:1-11.
Heb 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
Mankind could no longer go to God, because of their sin. Therefore, God became man, that he might walk in the cool, and heat of the day, with mankind again. This is how much God so loved the world.
His teachings and lifestyle was totally contrary of those which he walked with.
It became so heated that the rulers of the religious groups wanted him put to death. His following was getting out of control.
They sought a traitor within his inner circle, and found one.
They came up with a plan and had him arrested. They created a phony trial and had him put to death.
His followers left sorrowful, his disciples were scattered, his body was left upon an old rugged cross.
All of his creation watched in horror.
The sun refused to shine. The darkness seemed to defeat light, the earth did quake, the rocks were rent, the vail in the temple was ripped in two.
It had seemed that the Father’s enemy had won again, and killed the second Adam.
Two “secret” disciples came and asked for the body of Jesus. Their names are Joesph and Nicodemus.
It was a Friday and they put his body in a tomb.
No doubt, friends and family wept bitterly. Neighbors were deeply saddened.
His followers began to even deny they walked with him.
Those that had been touched by his holy hands, surely, still felt the love and compassion of the Father, but yet was empty inside.
Saturday rolls around, the grief begins to become unbearable for some.
A mother that will never see her boy again. Maybe she even questions what the angel visitation even meant.
Yet, many are satisfied with the events. Their place in religious duties was secure once more.
All of a sudden, his creation is awaken by the sunrise.
It’s different than the last few mornings. The clouds are gone, the darkness is past, and the Sun is gonna shine again.
Sunday is here Mary and Mary decide to go and visit the tomb where Jesus lay.
They had sealed the tomb. Guards were put in place in fear that his body would be taken.
It would not have mattered what they did that day, come Sunday Jesus was coming out.
The ladies arrived at the tomb, and saw the guards there, then they experienced an earthquake, the angel of the Lord came, rolled the stone away and sat upon it.
His countenance was like lightning, and his clothes white as snow. The guards did tremble and fell as dead men.
The angel tells the Ladies, “Fear Not, He is not here but is risen” Now back to Nicodemus, Jesus tells him “You must be born again.”
I don’t know what happened that night Jesus spoke to Nicodemus in secret, but something happened. For him to be leading in the efforts to secure and anoint the body of Christ, tells me he was a disciple indeed!
When Jesus was on the cross he states “It is finished,” referring to the work of God. The Father has finally made a way that man can walk with him again.
By being born again under the seed of the second Adam we are born again in spiritual birth. Where God removes the sin nature of the old Adam and give us a new nature from the second Adam, Christ Jesus. This nature is without sin.
We are now 2000 +/- years from the time God came down and changed the rules. Many things have changed all around us.
We have seen nations rise and fall, and kingdoms come and go. One thing remains the same, and will remain the same, till the end of time.
Jesus died that you might live. Jesus died that we might have fellowship with the Father once more.
Sad to say, today we live in a religious society that tells many people that all they have to do is go to church, pay your tithes, be faithful to Sunday School, and all will be well. This mindset is exactly what Jesus came to destroy!
Many folk have stood before their congregations, and said “yes” to a bunch of questions, and then have been pronounced a “Christian.” Or they have the mindset just because they live in the USA, this makes them a “Christian.”
As many generations have come and gone, we have created a slew of people that have never been born again, and just go to church. This has created “Christians” that possess no power, and no victory.
They have not had their sin nature removed.
The Apostle John states the words of Jesus, “No man can come to me, except the Father which has sent me draw him,”
The only way man can come to the Father, is by the father drawing him/her to himself through Jesus Christ!
Don’t be content with a preacher telling you “you are now saved,” If you become born again, no man will have to tell you. Your darkness will become light, and your old will become new.
You may say, “I don’t feel condemned,” Jesus said in John 3:18 that all that believe not on him, is condemned already. This is the reason he came.
Romans 6:23 states “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”
Romans 10:9 states “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”
Acts 4:12 states “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
2 Peter 3:9 States “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
O that you would come to know him. O taste and see that the Lord is good. Allow your blinded eyes to be opened.
Let the Lord Jesus give you a new heart and nature. He so desires to walk with you in the cool of the day again.
As for me?, I realized that it was not my, now wife’s, dad talking to me, but it was the Father longing that I find his son Jesus Christ, and be reconciled back to the Father. I didn’t find him, but he found me!
I have never regretted one day since then.
Acts 16:30 states “What must I do to be saved”
Revelations 3:20 states “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him and he with me.”