You Must Be Born Again
by C.L. Mareydt
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The Emmaus Journal
You Must Be Born Again
In the infinite wisdom and power Jesus walked in during His three years of public ministry, He spoke very simply and plainly to His Disciples and to those who chose to listen. Ever so constant in presenting himself from a lowly position as a common man with a servants heart, Jesus endlessly spoke of a Heavenly Kingdom where the eternal truths of God reigned supreme. Known to this day as the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, Jesus showed the only way of eternal life. He made it very clear that the Kingdom he taught was not of this earth, and to even begin to see this Heavenly Kingdom it was imperative that 'you must be born again'.
'Jesus answered him, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, that unless a person is born again (anew, from above), he cannot ever see (know, be acquainted with, and experience) the Kingdom of God.' (John 3:3)
Jesus clearly taught that it was one thing to know godly knowledge and hear his teachings; but it was another thing altogether to spiritually know him and spiritually understand his teachings and then to be empowered to knowingly walk in such truths. Identifying himself as the Living Water, the Living Word and the fulfillment of all prophesies and the fulfillment of the Judaic law itself, Jesus held the keys to the Kingdom of God and willingly shared them with everyone who would believe Him.
At the time Jesus presented these five words 'you must be born again' to a ruler of the Jews, a Pharisee named Nicodemus, it was in the secret of night. For Nicodemus, a great teacher himself in Israel, could not be seen in the day light inquiring of Jesus, because of the hatred and jealousy most of the Pharisee's held toward Jesus and his teachings. But Nicodemus did recognize Jesus as a great Rabbi sent from God. The account of this conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus can be found in the Gospel of John, but we are left to surmise that the puzzled Nicodemus did not believe in his heart that Jesus was the Messiah the very fulfillment of all that he taught as a Rabbi. Nicodemus even went as far as to defend Jesus in-front of all the other Pharisees, at his own risk, as they were all searching for a way to openly condemn Jesus so that they could turn him over to the officials for arrest. The scriptures in John 7 provides the vivid account of how the Pharisees religious zeal blinded them from the truth, the Living Truth Jesus presented to them.
What a sorrowful discourse in this event. To actually be so close to Jesus in proximity and yet remain so far away. Nicodemus knew everything a Jewish teacher should know as a chief Pharisee, but yet he lacked everything. Nicodemus could sit and argue the Mosaic law with the best of them. He could peruse the fine religious details of the law and all the prophets. He held a high position in the ceremonial status of authority within the rankings of the Pharisees. Nicodemus was well known to all the Jewish leaders and his name as a great Rabbi was declared in all of Israel. Yet Nicodemus could not come to the place of believing the very fulfillment of all that he taught was right in front of him, Jesus the Christ.
After all, can a man reenter his mother's womb again? Most assuredly not. He had come this far in his life well enough and was not going to go back to anything else, less he forfeit what he had already obtained. What nonsense Jesus spoke to him. After all he was already a wise man among the Pharisees. What did he stand to gain if being born again was the only answer Jesus could give him. He knew it was utter nonsense to believe that one could even think of going through the whole process of being born again a second time. The laws of nature and man didn't even allow for such a thing. In-fact it was unnatural and yes, unlawful. What was this Jesus trying to do, make a fool out of him?
Can we even begin to imagine the importance of such a conversation Nicodemus had with Jesus? The implied fact remains that Nicodemus did not receive the eternal truth that could have saved his soul and instead forfeited the chance of seeing the Kingdom of God from that time on. He was after all, a devote Jewish leader, he had devoted his whole life as a Rabbi to serve as a Pharisee for all of Israel. He knew so much about God and all that God had performed for all his people. He knew all the religious laws and followed them ever so strictly. He was a religious judge and ruled over the all people of God. He religiously adhered to all his duties in the name of God. How could he, Nicodemus the Pharisee, be born again as this Jesus tried to reveal to him?
'Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers.' (3 John 2)
How can the soul possibly prosper without the Spirit of our Lord? Plainly, it cannot. 'You must be born again'. Flesh can only produce more flesh. While, the Spirit can only produce more of the Spirit. How sad for Nicodemus. How sad for all of us, for the spirit of Nicodemus continues on even into this day. We can survey all the religious denominations and various doctrines of Christianity, and acknowledge what is being visibly produced. Either more of man and his involvement in the flesh, or more of the Spirit of Jesus and what is being produced spiritually. Even the faithful Charismatic's can take an account in this dilemma. For our churches are now so steeped in our religious charismaticies, that the brilliance of the Kingdom of God is fading from sight. Faltering to see the Kingdom of God that was so apparent in our reality when we were first born again.
Brethren, this ought not be so. 'You must be born again'. There are no short cuts. They have and will continue to fail. There are no further teaching programs. They have and will continue to fail also. There is however the reality of Jesus Christ. Emmanuel, God with us! 'You must be born again'. Jesus can easily show you the way. Easily show you the way, again. Jesus will not fail you. It is far too easy to wave the religious banner of Christianity and receive all the accolades of our religious sects; yet at the same time forget to uphold any personal accountability in our beliefs. We must remain prayerfully vigilant lest we fail to conquer our own flesh, despising its shame, even in the guise of a religious spirit . Especially so much more now, Brethren, in these perilous times and the final days that we are all beginning to recognize. For the Nicodemus spirit is alive and well and our enemy loves more of our high religiosity to be made manifest, for the enemy knows it will keep us away our real Life of the Spirit that is in Christ Jesus. We must constantly choose to walk after the Spirit and yield ourselves to the working of His Holy Spirit with us, or we to will fall to the ways of the religious flesh and become the leaven within the bread ourselves.
Brethren, this is a call to every Nicodemus in the world today. Be it the religious world or the secular world. By the penning of this letter and the voice of the Spirit, this is a call to each Nicodemus who hesitates between flesh and spirit, between death and life. What has been impossible with man is possible with God. Just as a woman 's child bearing labor breaks forth with the water first, so each Nicodemus ' must be born again'. Through the very Spirit of Jesus Christ unto a new life! A new life that is now hidden in Christ Jesus. Born of the Spirit to see the Spiritual Kingdom of God. The religious scales finally fall off and the once blinded eyes, finally see, again. They can see Jesus 'sitting upon a Throne, high and lifted up, and his train filling their Temple' (Isaiah 6:1).
Oh, Brethren, such Glory to be revealed. Such purity in Holiness abounds again. Yes, once you are born again!
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