Scriptural Gem for October 2013

In John 3:3 Jesus replies to Nicodemus: “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”

What does the concept of being 'born again' mean to you? Is it conversion, a spiritual experience, a metamorphosis from the 'old' to the 'new'....? Let's take a closer look at the original Greek text:

Let us first look at the word 'again' in the statement of Jesus above. The word translated in most Bibles as 'again' is actually the word 'Anothen' in the original Greek. The meaning of 'Anothen' is 'From Above'. That already sheds a bit more light on the issue, doesn't it? Now for a closer look at the word 'Born'. The original Greek word is 'Gennaho'. This word is used and translated correctly in Matthew 1:20: "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit." The word 'Gennaho' means 'conceived'. Now let's read John 3:3 with these new insights: '...No one can see the kingdom of God unless he is conceived from above.'

Jesus then continues in verse 6 and says: 'Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to Spirit.' Dear friends, flesh cannot give birth to Spirit. Becoming 'born again' is not a process whereby our fleshly life is put through some transformation process and comes out 'born again' on the other side. Instead, we have to ask ourselves the question: 'Has the new Spiritual man inside me been conceived from above, from the holy seed of the Living God himself?' Lord, help us to yield completely to you, that you may place your seed in us for a new creation to be conceived. Amen.