Every day at noon, Clyde Vernon’s front porch is covered with shade and on most days, there is a cool breeze blowing across the shaded area. He likes to take his bible and sit on the porch to read on the weekends.
One Saturday afternoon, Clyde was joined by one of his neighbors. The neighbor was the man from two doors down the street, his name was Barton.
As it turns out, Barton had come for the same purpose that Nicodemus had the day he talked with Jesus. Barton wanted to know more about the bible. Barton wanted to know how he could go to Heaven. He wanted to know how he could be saved.
Clyde noticed that Barton was carrying a bible in his hand. When Barton opened the bible, he opened it to the 3rd chapter of John. Barton began by stating that he wanted to have the same conversation that Jesus and Nicodemus had. Barton wanted to know how a person could be born a second time.
Clyde again stated what Jesus had stated, “first you have to die.” The bible does not specifically tell how this process is accomplished. It does but you must hunt for it and piece it together.
John the Baptist came as a forerunner of Christ and he preached “Repent and be baptized.”
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary
- To turn away from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one’s life (in other words, change your life completely).
- To feel regret or contrition
In today’s church scenario, emotions are not part of the “repentance” stage. Today the church gives a two-week class and that counts for both the “repentance and the life change.”
Read the third chapter of John again. Nowhere in that scripture does it give the pastor or the church congregation the right to change what Jesus said. If you don’t have an emotional experience and “die of your sin” (repent) and if you don’t have a second emotional experience when you turn your life over to Christ (Christ washes away your sins), then you can’t say you were “born again.” According to the bible, according to Christ, if you did not have those emotional experiences, then you cannot be a Christian.
Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?” But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him. When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”Matthew 3:13-17 (NKJV)
Even Jesus had both vocal and emotional approval by God Himself. This was more of an emotional experience than anything we have or ever will have in our lifetime. We could never have an experience like this until we are standing face to face with God. What an emotional rush it must have been for Jesus.
Remember, Jesus was just a human (man) until this point. It was not until the Holy Spirit became part of Jesus that he became the “Messiah.” Jesus had to die as a man and be born again as the Messiah.
When we are born again, we do not become a Messiah, but we do become “like Christ” a Christian. As the Messiah, Jesus had to set a “Godly” example and looked like God. As a Christian, we must demonstrate the “Christ like” example and look like Christ.
This year give yourself a Christmas present. Read about the birth of Jesus in the bible and repent of your sin and be born again yourself on Christmas day. If you do that then you will really look like Christ. You will even have the same birthday.
I have a question. According to the example given in the third chapter of John, Are you a Christian. Do you live a righteous life and look like Christ, or do you have sin in your life and look like satan?