Summary: If we are born from above we are one of God’s peculiar people, an immortal, a member of the Royal priesthood; we are a chosen one!
A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD
It is quite evident that a large number of Christians prefer to read religious articles, which wrap them in comfortable warm and fuzzy feelings. This is perfectly understandable, and the Holy Bible is our best source for such a message. After all, there is truth in the fact that Jesus will save those who believe in Him; and that He will support you in your prosperity; He will help you have good health; and above all, Jesus will certainly make you happy. Of course, we cannot stop at this point; we need to hear the rest of the story. A part of the New Testament also addresses the reality of a Christian experiencing such things as poverty, sickness and persecution. We cannot avoid the reality of these things, but we can find comfort in the knowledge that these are earthly thing, which only exist for a brief moment in time. It is the same way with fearing the natural process of growing old and dying; the idea of death and dying is mentioned over 250 times in the New Testament. But, the New Testament makes it perfectly clear that death is only a doorway into the presence of Jesus Christ: assuming you are born again. Many also say that the New Testament smothers their pleasures and takes away joy in their life. Absurd, the New Testament is a message of liberation! If we are born again, the bible fills our hearts with an immeasurable joy and our minds with a peace that passes all understanding. And then, there are those who complain about the bible telling us the world is coming to an end. Well, the world is certainly coming to an end! What a glorious day that will be! If we are a Christian we will find the thought of a new heaven and a new earth exhilarating. So you see, all of the New Testament is a warm and fuzzy message for those who are born again.
This then is the challenge put before all who call themselves a Christian. Do you really know who you are? Do you realize just how powerful and awesome you are? Do you understand the responsibility and the authority you possess? If we are born from above we live from the perspective of spiritual power and authority. We are one of God’s peculiar people, an immortal, a member of the Royal priesthood; we are a chosen one!
There are two basic types of people, who call themselves a Christian: those who seek after a preacher to tickle their ears with warm and fuzzy sermons, and those who work to develop a strong servant relationship with Jesus Christ. It all depends on where their mind is focused. We can focus on our earthly life or we can focus on the kingdom of God. It is kind of like the story of Nicodemus. Back during the time of Jesus’ earthly ministry, there was a man named Nicodemus; He was an important Jewish religious leader and a Pharisee. He was very knowledgeable and should have recognized the truth about Jesus; but, he was too focused on his earthly life to understand Jesus’ teachings.
After dark one evening, Nicodemus came to speak with Jesus. “Rabbi,” he said, “we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you.”
Now, Jesus simply replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born from above, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”
This off-the-wall remark from Jesus both startled and irritated the Pharisee. “What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?”
Jesus calmly replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans reproduce human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. So don’t act so surprised when I say, ‘If you are to have a spiritual life you must be born from above: be born again.’ Look at it this way, the wind blows wherever it wants; you can hear the wind but you can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going. It is the same with being born again; you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.”
This answer did not satisfy Nicodemus and he asked: “How are these things possible?”
Jesus just could not let this opportunity pass, so He replied, “You are a respected Jewish teacher, and yet you don’t understand these things?” This hit the Pharisee right between the eyes. While Nicodemus was still reeling from the last explanation, Jesus went on to say: “Let me remind you, when we tell you what we know and have seen you ignore us and won’t believe our testimony. Therefore, if you don’t believe me when I tell you about earthly things, how can you possibly believe if I tell you about heavenly things? Don’t you realize that no one has ever gone to heaven and returned? No one that is, but the Son of Man who has come down from heaven. And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life.” It was being made very clear to Nicodemus that Jesus had the heavenly knowledge, authority and power to explain being born again but the earthly minded Nicodemus could not understand.