Being born again (John 3:3)

When you were born, your body went through a massive, sudden change. Inside your mother’s womb, you had lived inside a warm, watery sac, sustained by the oxygen and nutrients supplied through the umbilical cord. At birth, you changed from a being that lived in water, gaining oxygen from your mother, to a being that breathed air. Your skin colour changed (from blue-ish purple) as you did this.  No longer connected to your mother by the cord, you had to learn to drink and digest milk. Having lived in darkness, experiencing only muffled sounds and kept at a constant temperature, you were suddenly exposed to light, noise, texture and cold.  Many of your body’s systems had to adjust to this, almost in the blink of an eye.  I witnessed this happen at the births of my three children, and each time, this adjustment from womb to the outside world seemed nothing short of miraculous.

After birth, you continued to grow and change – sometimes intensely, at other times much more slowly. During periods of intense growth, you may experience physical and emotional pain, and wonder if your body really knows what it’s doing. But after that intense growth, you will usually emerge more capable and better-equipped for the challenges of life.

It is the same with spiritual growth. Jesus said that to see the kingdom someone must be “born again” (John 3:3). Paul talks in Romans 6 about this in terms of the new start that baptism offers. In the water, you leave behind your old self and emerge as a new being, no longer a child of Adam, but a child of God. But the transformation does not stop there. It continues over a lifetime to learn and grow, with the guidance of God and the support of Jesus. This is not a steady, predictable growth, but it happens in fits and starts. Sometimes you will feel strong, at other times weak and doubting. Often, when listening to life’s experiences and learning from God’s wisdom, the process of growth is even painful. But, to help you through, there is a wonderful provision of comfort and support in a spiritual family, which includes God, as our Father, and His son.

And then, at the resurrection, the physical body will be changed again, as it was during our natural birth. Paul says that this change, from a natural body to a spiritual one, will happen “in the twinkling of an eye” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52). And this new body will just be the finishing touch to a lifetime of changes, experienced during our transformation into a new creation (Romans 12:2).

We’re all on a journey of transformation and we know it’s best to be on journeys together. We hope all the Bible Feed resources available are helpful to you in navigating this journey to help encourage spiritual growth as we all help each other understand the Bible better. If you haven’t already heard it, the podcast episode “Connecting with God” is a great place to start.