O Little Town of Bethlehem, and Born Again?

Here is my arrangement of the Christmas song, O Little Town of Bethlehem:

“O holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us we pray
Cast out our sin, and enter in, be born in us today”

Those lyrics of the song remind me of what Jesus had to say about being born again. Ever wonder what it means to be born again?

John doesn’t start his Gospel talking about Christ’s birth like some of the others, but begins by talking about someone else’s birth.

Yours. And mine.

Right there in the first chapter he is talking about you and me:

“But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.”

The good news is that if you have believed and accepted Jesus, you have been born again. God has seen to it. It is done.

That’s great news for a lot of fearful souls who doubt their salvation because they aren’t currently living out the truth of the new life they’ve already been given. Thank God that our salvation is based not on our performance but on the performance of Jesus on our behalf (and “as us”).

what is born again?Jesus continues on this theme a couple of chapters later in a conversation with Nicodemus. Here is some of that convo (By sheer “coincidence” I happen to be listening to that same convo from the Gospel of John movie right now! The movie was playing in the background):

“There was a man named Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was a Pharisee. After dark one evening, he 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.”

Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”

“What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?”

Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.”

“How are these things possible?” Nicodemus asked.

Jesus replied, “You are a respected Jewish teacher, and yet you don’t understand these things? I assure you, we tell you what we know and have seen, and yet you won’t believe our testimony. But 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?” John 3 NLT

More Good News!

You will begin to live out the new life you have been given when you give up believing all the enemies lies and begin again to believe the Gospel (the Good News) that you are God’s child and God’s children don’t make a practice of sinning:

“Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God.” 1 John 3:9 NLT

So I’m sure that many of you reading this want to become a child of God. You recognize that you need to be born again and are asking, “How can I be born again? I want in.” Yes, I would too.

Believe and accept Jesus as your Savior. Talk to God about it. Tell him that you want to know him (knowing him is the very definition of eternal life! See John 17:3) Read the Gospel of John to grow in your understanding and relationship with Jesus. Or watch this amazing film of the Gospel of John brought to life. This is Amazing:

If you have believed and accepted Jesus, then God’s Spirit has already begun the work.

“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” Philippians 1:6 NLT

Isn’t that amazing?

“Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.” Ephesians 2:7-10 MSG

So what is the work he has for you to do? Ask him about it. He will lead you into His perfect plan for you.

Here is an article where you can learn more about being “Born Again”!