Episode 300: I’m Talkin. . .Born-Again

I’m talking episode 300 for January 14th, 2024.

This is Joel from the I’m talking microcast where I share my thoughts on a topic that has piqued my interest this past week.

This week, we’re talking born again, just as a way of reminding us all that for these first number, I don’t know how many, maybe 20, 21 microcasts of the new year, I’m going to talk about church words.

And those are words that we really only use in a church setting as Christians.

So it’s a little bit different because the world doesn’t use these words.

And so I usually say, this is how the world might use a word, and this is how Christians might think of the word.

And so the format will be a little bit different.

The other thing is there’s a number of words, I hope not too many, that are kind of two words that we always use together.

So I put a hyphen in the middle and call that one word.

So, as I mentioned, born again is not a phrase that the world uses.

In fact, it is going to be quite foreign to them.

When we think of the biblical story where those words were first spoken by Jesus, it was to a learned teacher named Nicodemus.

So this is someone who has studied the scriptures, who is well-respected in the Jewish community, who understands the law and the prophets, and yet when Jesus uses this hyphenated word set, born again, Nicodemus is confused.

And yet as Christians, this is critical to who we are and why we call ourselves Christians and what it looks like as we follow Jesus Christ.

So therein lies the challenge for those of us who call ourselves Christians.

In a Christian setting, when we use the word born again, it makes sense to us.

When we read it in the story of Nicodemus, we’re maybe somewhat surprised that it’s confusing to him, but that’s because this is a word that we have grown up with.

That’s a word that we were taught as we were youngsters in church and in Sunday school.

And one of the things that we often try to do is use different words in place of something that we think the world might find confusing.

And we talk about being saved, or we talk about going to heaven when you die, or we talk about having eternal life.

There might be a couple words in there that I need to use over the next coming weeks.

But in the end, how do we address the term born again?

Well, the nice thing is that in the scripture, God’s word that we hold to the highest standard that we believe is actually straight from the pen of men inspired by the Holy Spirit and completely true and trustworthy, I think the words of Jesus are our best option.

In Jesus’ explanation, he says, unless one is born of both the water and the spirit, they cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.

That is the born again.

So it’s interesting, why would Jesus use the word water?

Well, in reality, I don’t know what the number is.

I’m going to make one up, and you’ll have to fact check me.

But I think humans are like 80% water or something like that.

And so he’s basically saying, unless you’re human and have been born a human, then there is no opportunity to be born again.

And so who does that leave out?

Well, nobody.

Every person who is born is human.

And every one of those people have the opportunity to be born again.

And what does that look like?

Well, Jesus said we also have to be born of the spirit.

And what does that mean?

Well, that means this is not a physical birth like the one of water, like the one of humanity.

But this is an inner being rebirth.

This is a following God rebirth.

I’m probably not even doing a good job of explaining it myself, but this is a birth that happens only through the power of the Holy Spirit.

It’s a change that only happens because of what Christ did on the cross for us.

All of this is otherworldly.

It’s not earthbound.

It’s not part of humanity or humankind.

This is of God, the spirit, through Jesus’ work on the cross and the Holy Spirit convicting us of our sins.

Then we are born again in the spirit.

I’m not sure if I cleared it up or not, but I gave it a shot.

Hopefully something in this is usable when you think about how to explain that to friends who are not born again.

And as we continue to learn, as we continue to grow, it’ll become easier for us to let people understand that born again is the most important thing that we can be so that we can have eternity with Jesus Christ.

Until next week, this is Joel from the I’m Talkin’ microcast.

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