|Posted on 24 February, 2015 at 13:20|
Part of being a pastor is having the opportunity to hear stories about how people are born. Now, I have heard more childbirth stories than I would have liked, but this is not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about hearing about how people were born again.
I’ve heard it said that we should avoid language of being “born again” when sharing how Jesus saved us because it is “Christianeze”. Unbelievers won’t understand that language. Now, I understand that Christians can use insider terms that are unhelpful. However, this is most true when those terms are also foreign to Scripture. Phrases like “I invited Jesus into my heart” and “I prayed to receive Jesus” are not found in Scripture. And, while they may be true on some level, they don’t properly describe the deeper experience of salvation. On the other hand, being “born again” both describes people’s experience and is radically biblical (John 1:13, 3:3-7; 1 Pet. 1:3, 23).
So while I haven’t often heard people use the phrase “born again”, I have heard them describe the effects of their new birth. These phrases all describe the effects of being “born again.” We don’t understand where the wind comes from but we see its effects. So it is with the new birth (John 3:8. Just like a new born baby cries, so a new born baby in Christ does what spiritual babies do.
In the last two weeks alone, I have heard versions of these phrases. They all describe the effects of the new birth and they are all explicitly biblical.
- I suddenly had a desire to read the Bible (Psalm 119)
- God opened my eyes (Acts 26:17-18)
- I was dead before but now I’m alive (Eph. 2:1-14)
Telling someone how you were born again sounds alien to our culture. It sounded alien to Nicodemus as well (John 3). But don’t let that stop you. Tell people how God made you alive in Christ and tell people how it affects your life. Ask people how they were saved by Jesus. Look for the effects of their new birth. Seeing the effects of spiritual wind blowing among God’s people is the best part of my day.
Categories: New Birth