March 20th

Being Born Again and Holiness

22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. 23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 24 For, "All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, 25 but the word of the Lord stands forever." And this is the word that was preached to you.   1 Peter 1: 22-25 NIV 

The term “being born again” refers to the spiritual transformation that occurs when we place faith in Jesus Christ.  It is an essential transformation for us if we hope to live for God in holiness.  Jesus explained the born-again concept to Nicodemus in John 3:5-7:  "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7Do not marvel that I said to you, "You must be born again.” 

Jesus was referring to a spiritual rebirth through which we are born as children of God by faith.  John wrote about this, “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God” (John 1:12-13 NIV).  As children of God, the Holy Spirit revives our spirit, renews our minds and empowers us to live in righteousness.  Paul explained this in Romans 8:10-14 NIV: 

“But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.  And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.  Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation – but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it.  For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.”     

As we listen to the Spirit and respond in obedience to his convictions, we confirm the fact that we are in fact “new persons” who are God’s children.  If we follow our old sinful nature, we’ll stall the Spirit’s restoration work in us, causing us to fall back into lustful living.  Sex addiction is a powerful example of this.   

The steps to restarting the Spirit’s work begin with recommitting our lives to God through faith in Jesus Christ and inviting Him to revive our spirit.  After that, we must stand in faith on what the Bible says about our identity in Christ.  God has given his imperishable word that we are his children.  We can stand on that word in faith and bring each area of rebellion in our lives into obedience to God. 

Questions for further thought:

Prayer:

“Heavenly Father, Thank you for giving me a new life and a new identity as your child.  I receive the imperishable word of God and ask that you would start the transformation process in me.  I want to become the new person that you made me to be.  I receive the life in my mortal body from the Holy Spirit.  Please strengthen me, Lord, to put my sinful passions to death.  Please lead me, Lord, and I will follow and obey you.  Thank you, Father!  I praise you now and forever!  Amen.”