A respected leader of the Jewish community came to Christ Jesus at night, seeking the reason for his unequalled healing ministry. The dignitary, Nicodemus, was tolD that he must be born again to become an effective follower of the Master. Citing the obvious material reason why this could not be accomplished, te man received an entirely new perspective on the requirement. "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit," Jesus said, "he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." n1
n1 John 3:5, 6.
Couldn't his statement be pointing to the fact that as long as we cling to a fleshly sense of origin and purpose there is trouble? But when we acknowledge Spirit, God, as the one creator, and start thinking and acting like His children , wonderful things can happen?
"Put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind," the Apostle Paul wrote. And he continued, "Put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness." n2
n2 Ephesians 4:22-24.
Spiritual renewal was no abstraction to Paul. It transformed his life. Raised under strong pharisaical influence, this man spent many years as an open opponent of Jesus and his followers.But when the light of God, bringing a more inclusive sense of love, dawned on Paul, his attitudes changed. His willingness to learn, and to let go of ingrained prejudices, opened to him new vistas of freedom. He became one of the most successful Christians that ever lived.
Think of it! The same power that regenerated Paul is here to help us. God is not some far-off abstraction, a mystical superbeing that helps only when we plead or beg. The Bible tells us that God is infinite Love, forever loving. And man is not a sinning, frail, pathetic mortal at the mercy of evil and death. He is the object of Love's loving.
At this moment God is inexhaustible life. And He always will be -- the source of all energy, vitality, productivity. Each of God's children has a vital purpose, a place and value nobody can usurp.
Accepting these facts leads to regeneration. Our thoughts about ourselves and others gradually change from man "born of the flesh" to man "born of the Spirit." Actually, every time we reject a finite conception of God and man we are participating in the new birth. But this is never a one-time experience.The spiritual momentum continues.
"The new birth is not the work of a moment," writes Mary Baker Eddy, a dedicated follower of Christ Jesus, and the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. "It begins with moments, and goes on with years; moments of surrender to God, of childlike trust and joyful adoption of good; moments of self-abnegation, self-consecration, heaven-born hope, and spiritual love." And she adds, "What a faith-lighted thought is this! that mortals can lay off the 'old man,' until man is found to be the image of the infinite good that we name God, and the fulness of the statute of man in Christ appears." n3
n3 Miscellaneous Writings,m p. 15.
DAILY BIBLE VERSE Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Matthew 5:8