Mercy Street Church of Christ
Abilene, TX
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Do not be amazed

Do not be amazed. (John 3:7)

But Nicodemus was amazed! Jesus told him that to see the kingdom of God, he had to be “born again” (John 3:3). Of course, Jesus wasn’t talking about physical birth; he was talking about a spiritual birth. Some versions read: "born from above."

This concept of being “born from above” may sound just as unfamiliar to us as it did to Nicodemus. We live in a world that relies on the physical senses—what we can see and touch and hear. But Jesus came to enliven our spiritual senses so that we could “see” him and “touch” him in a deeper way. He came to teach us how to walk by faith and not just by sight.

So what does it mean to be “born of the Spirit”? A lot of things! Here are just a few.

First, being born of the Spirit makes us vessels of the Spirit. It means that the Holy Spirit lives in us, always ready to encourage us, convict us of sin, fill us with peace, and stir us to do his will. It means that we can be led by the Spirit instead of the desires and drives of our fallen nature.

Second, being born of the Spirit means that we can begin to think as Jesus thinks, to have the “mind of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 2:16). We may want to react with bitterness, anger, or vengeance when we are wronged, but the Spirit can teach us to look on our offender as someone created by God and equally loved by him. He can teach us to forgive quickly, to discern good from evil more clearly, and to be more ready to serve instead of expecting to be served.

Finally, being born of the Spirit means becoming different—at least from the world’s perspective! Nicodemus saw something truly unique in Jesus. Was it the miracles? Was it his sense of peace? Or was it the way Jesus’ words resonated in his heart? Whatever it was, we can be sure that people will notice something out of the ordinary in us as we stay close to the Lord—and they will be intrigued. They will see us living by a different set of standards, and that will make them more receptive to the good news of Christ.

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