As we prepare to celebrate this Christmas season and the birth of Jesus Christ, I am reminded of a few special verses in the Bible. No, not the traditional verses in Luke 2.
Those are the written record of Christ’s birth, but John 3 is where my thoughts are this time of year. These verses become my Christmas story of Jesus birth in my life.
After dark one evening, a Jewish religious leader named Nicodemus, a Pharisee, 2 came to speak with Jesus. “Teacher,” he said, “we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are proof enough that God is with you.”
3 Jesus replied, “I assure you, unless you are born again, you can never see the Kingdom of God.”
4 “What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?”
5 Jesus replied, “The truth is, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. 6 Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives new life from heaven. 7 So don’t be surprised at my statement that you must be born again.
This new life, new birth is an inner spiritual renewal as a result of the power of God in our lives. Jesus was saying that humans can only reproduce human life, but it is through the Holy Spirit that we are regenerated, recreated and renewed.
There is a first birth and a second birth. The first, as Jesus said to Nicodemus is “of the flesh”; the second birth is “of the Spirit.” This regeneration, being born again, involves an enlightening of the mind, a change of the will and a renewed nature, changing our desires and restoring us to a right relationship with God in Christ. This new birth is an act of God through the Holy Spirit, resulting in resurrection from sin to a new life in Jesus Christ.
26 And I will give you a new heart with new and right desires, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony heart of sin and give you a new, obedient heart. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you so you will obey my laws and do whatever I command.
4 For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.
2 Corinthians 5:17
17 What this means is that those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun!
22 throw off your old evil nature and your former way of life, which is rotten through and through, full of lust and deception. 23 Instead, there must be a spiritual renewal of your thoughts and attitudes. 24 You must display a new nature because you are a new person, created in God’s likeness-righteous, holy, and true.
10 In its place you have clothed yourselves with a brand-new nature that is continually being renewed as you learn more and more about Christ, who created this new nature within you.
It was just about this time of year that I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Life wasn’t worth living and seemed hopeless. Sometimes we have to experience this hopelessness in order to discover the true hope that only comes from God. When all else failed, I turned to God. He was my last resort. I discovered when all I had left was God, that God was more than enough. All alone, I fell to my knees and cried out for forgiveness. God forgave my sins that night, and Jesus had His arms wide open, saying, “Come unto me all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Matt. 11:28) And I became a son of God, a joint-heir with Christ.
I experienced a new birth, a spiritual birth that occurred within me. I became a new man, a new creation. The Holy Spirit came into my heart, my new heart with a new desire to please and serve my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is.
We usually only celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ at Christmas time. But each time someone gives their life to Jesus, a new birth occurs. In essence, we experience the birth of Jesus Christ in our life. What a time to celebrate as even the angels in heaven do when one sinner repents and is born again.
As each Christmas season approaches, I look forward to this time of celebrating Jesus birth. A birth that I personally experienced in my life. A birth that you can experience. All you have to do is believe.
16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
Ollie (Christmas time 2000)