About Jesus - Steve (Stephen) Sweetman

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    New Birth    


On December 5, 2023, at 3:49 A M eastern standard time, I became a grandfather for the first time in my seventy-two year life.  My first-born son's wife gave birth to a beautiful baby boy.  From conception to birth, it's miraculous, and that reminds me of another miracle birth that doesn't get the attention it once did.  I recall my dad and his generation of Free Methodists preaching "you must be born again."  Do you remember John 3:5?


"Jesus answered, 'Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.'"


I believe Jesus was comparing this spiritual birth via the Spirit with our natural birth via water.  As a mother's water breaks over a pre-born ushering in a human birth, so the Father's Spirit breaks on a person ushering in a spiritual birth.  This spiritual birth is as real as the natural birth.  You become a new creation, someone you have never been.  2 Corinthians 5:17 reads:  


"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." (KJV)


Everyone will recognize your newly created self by the godly fruit in your life, fruit of ministry that benefits all who partake.  This fruit proves you are a real Christian, as Jesus told us.  Matthew 7:20 reads:


"Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them."


Why wouldn't a spiritual birth be fruitfully productive?  You will have been united in Spirit with the Almighty Creator God, as 1 Corinthians 6:17 reads.


"But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit."


Only when God's Spirit enters you do you become a Christian, a newly born creation.  Romans 8:9 reads:    


"You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ."


A Christian is one who has had a miraculous moment in his or her life.  It's a new birth resulting in being reborn into someone he or she has never been, and then, begins the process of maturing into spiritual adulthood.  Just as we expect a newly born baby to mature into a healthy productive adult, we should also expect a newly born Christian to mature into a healthy productive spiritual adult, but that's not always the case these days.  Why are there so many unhealthy, immature, and unproductive people calling themselves Christian?  Might they have simply adopted a Biblical belief system?  That is not the new birth. It's not being born again.  My dad and his generation of Free Methodists were Biblically correct when they preached "you must be born again."   


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