Hypocrisy desires to seem good rather than to be so; honesty desires to be good rather than seem so. — Arthur Warwick
When Jesus said that we must be “born again,” He wasn’t talking about a behavior change, or change of our political affiliation, or even believing in a certain creed or Statement of Faith. Human religion can be hypocrisy as people try to behave in ways that seem good. A lot of pretending goes on.
But Jesus certainly wasn’t talking about any sort of behavior change that would make us “seem good.” No, He was talking about something much deeper than that… something so deep, in fact, that it would transform the core of our entire being. It’s a brand new beginning, a complete rebirth, the exchange of something new and alive for something old and dead.
Because of the sin of our ancestors, when we are physically born the first time, we are born in sin—spiritually dead and separated from God. “Flesh gives birth to flesh,” Jesus said, BUT: “the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’” (John 3:6-7)
Being born the second time is a supernatural, spiritual event. An internal, instantaneous, radical life transformation takes place in the inner core of who we are. The pretending ends. The being begins.
When you think of being born again, do you think about “behavior” or “being”?
Holy Spirit, slow my thoughts. Still my heart. Let this soak in. Only You can give birth and insight to my spirit, only You can illuminate the truth about my core being having been born again. I sincerely, humbly ask that You would do that now. I am listening. Amen.
Taken from Pete’s 365-day devotional book Experiencing LIFE Today.
Listen to Pete, Jill & Stuart Briscoe on the Telling the Truth broadcast at OnePlace.com