Summary: Most Christians identify themselves by affiliations or labels. We are Pastor so and so or Apostle so and so or we are Baptists, Methodists, Catholic, etc. The Bible doesn't use any of these to describe who we are in God's eyes.
Most Christians identify themselves by affiliations or labels.
We are Baptist, or Methodist, or Presbyterian, or Pentecostal, or Full Gospel, or Non-denominational, or “Spiritual,” or “Evangelical,” etc.
If we are in ministry, we are “Pastor so and so”, “Elder so and so”, “Bishop so and so”, “Evangelist so and so”, “and Apostle so and so”, or “Minister so and so.” (I’m a Teacher so I guess I am “Teacher Barry” or “Barry, the Teacher.” Stop laughing!)
These are labels and affiliations that our denominations give us or we give to ourselves. They tell people “This is who I am in the Christian community.”
Not one of these affiliations or labels describe who we are in God’s eyes.
Okay, then who are we, really? Let’s ask this another way: what happens to us when we became a child of God – when we were “born again”? In fact, what do we mean when we tell someone “I’m a born again Christian”?
“Bro. Barry,” you say, “I already know what it means. It means that I have confessed Jesus as my Lord and Savior and I’m going to heaven when I die.” You are right. It does mean that.
But being “born again” means more than just going to heaven when you die.
Do you remember the conversation Nicodemus, a religious ruler, had with Jesus in John 3? He said, and I’m paraphrasing, “Rabbi, we have watched you do these miracles and some of us believe the only reason you can do them is because God is with you. What we want to know, Rabbi, is how can we get God to be with us like He’s with you?”
Have you ever asked yourself that question? You read the gospels. You see what Jesus did. He healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, caused the lame to walk, etc. But because these things are such rare occurrences in our churches today, if at all, we find ourselves thinking about Jesus in a way that is not scriptural. Whoa, stop right there, Bro. Barry. That’s blasphemy! Is it really?
Let’s continue with the passage. Look at how Jesus answers Nicodemus in verse 3: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Look closely at how Jesus answers him. “Nicodemus if you were born again – if you had the same life in you that I have in me – you would be able to do what I do. You would be able to see the kingdom of God manifest on earth through you just like it does through me.” Do you see this? It’s important that you do.
There is a principle here that we often miss.
Jesus says a person must be born again – must be a resident of the kingdom of God – to do what he does. But before a person can be “born again” he has to be born the first time. You may be thinking, well duh!
To be born the first time, the husband has to plant the seed in the womb of his wife. This seed contains our human spirit. But it also contains death. We are born with a spirit that is dead in nature and referred to as a “sin nature.” We are born spiritually dead because Adam lost the life God originally gave to him when he rebelled in the Garden of Eden.