Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Born again

1 Peter 1:22-23
22. Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
23. Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

An exerpt from Jon Courson's commentary on the New Testament:
"The words which I speak are spirit and life," Jesus declared (see Joh_6:63).
"Master, we know that You must be from God, for no man can do the works You do unless God be with him," Nicodemus said to Jesus one night.
"Verily, I say unto you, you must be born again," Jesus said.
Perhaps scratching his head, Nicodemus said, "How can this be? How can a man enter into his mother's womb a second time? What do You mean?"
"That which is born of flesh is flesh," Jesus said, "but that which is born of spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I say you must be born again. The wind bloweth where it wants, and you hear the sound, but no man knows from whence it comes and no man knows where it goes" (see Joh_3:1-8).
A teacher of Israel, Nicodemus should have understood the reference. Born again, wind blowing? His mind should have raced immediately to Ezekiel 37, a passage familiar to every rabbi and teacher in Israel…
One day, the spirit of the Lord took Ezekiel to a valley full of dry, dead bones and told him to preach to the bones. As Ezekiel began to preach the Word, something amazing began to happen. The bones started to move. Before long, they had joined together like a great army, yet zombielike because they were without life.
"Prophesy to the wind," the Lord said to Ezekiel.
So Ezekiel prophesied unto the wind even as he had done to the bones, and the wind—the ruwach—the spirit moved into them and the bones came to life.
If Nicodemus had made the connection between this story and what Jesus was telling him that night, he would have understood that to be born again means to be made alive by the Spirit and the Word, just as the bones became alive when Ezekiel preached the Spirit and the Word.

1 Peter 1:24-25
24. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:
25. But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

Psalms 41:4
4. I said, LORD, be merciful unto me: heal my soul; for I have sinned against thee.

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