Special to the NNPA from the Houston Forward Times
From time to time, I rethink or feel a little déjà vu regarding the subject of “born again,” particularly my own. I am reminded at times about how that phrase gets associated with everything but its biblical intent.
It is my opinion and referencing my personal history that I suggest to you that I could not and certainly not willingly, fit into the category of a “born again Christian.” At the time I could not subscribe to what my definition of that meant. Today, a born again Christian is an enigma more closely associated with a holier-than-thou religious zealot with a rather conservative political agenda, as opposed to simply a true believer (my term).Then something happened on the way to the ranch and yep, I got saved.
Then I began to understand those things about faith that would indicate a new me. Now, I can easily profess a clearer understanding of this born again thing. Quite to my surprise, born again defines me pretty well, biblically speaking that is.
“Jesus answered, ‘I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh but spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying you must be born again.’”—John 3:5-7.
Rather than think born again is some kind of right wing conservative political movement, this passage lets us know that being born again relates to an awakening in each and every one of us to the real presence of the Holy Spirit in our everyday lives. It just makes sense to me because you do begin see yourself as a new creature operating with a new lease on life (and it is a lease). I defy anyone who comes this way not to see life itself from a new, renewed perspective.
“Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply from the heart. For you have been born again, not perishable seed, but imperishable (seed), through the living and enduring Word of God.”—Peter 1: 22-23.
My Bible explains it to me this way: This imperishable seed, the seed of the Word of God, planted and accepted in a person’s soul, is eternal because God’s Word is eternal. By becoming good soil, by being spiritually involved in the whole process of your own salvation, a new eternal life is born. Therefore, the life you live, once you’ve acknowledged your faith, is a new life given in the service of the Almighty, hence “born again.”
Personally, my rebirth has been and continues to be, remarkable if, to nobody else but me. I cannot view myself as the same person I once was. Those who were around me then and are around me now might agree that there is a discernible difference. See me? See my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Talk to me, hear Him. Understand me? Understand my faith walk in the name of the Almighty. Believe me. I know I have a long ways to go. But I know I’m travelling these days in the right direction, one foot in front of the other; blessed in the knowledge of the truth, free in the hope of the same for you.
May God bless and keep you always, James