Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”

John 3:3, 5

A number of you probably received the same e-mail that we received from U.S. Airways the same day they rolled out one of their newly painted aircraft. In order for us to be impressed, they mentioned a number of items to catch our attention. They listed all of the airlines that have merged into their pot.

Then there was the arrival of material concerning our earned miles and how we would now be entitled to more perks than ever. We were to jump at the offer of another credit card and we would be on a vacation on U.S. Airways. Nothing indicated more legroom, enforcement of baggage carry-on rules, a decent snack or meal. The same problems of travel would continue to exist, but we were to be impressed with the gallons of paint used for the beautification project.

One of the things most obvious to the majority of us is that we travel on airlines according to our location needs and the time frame in which we need to arrive and depart. While we find most air travel totally unrewarding, we have to say that the ease of e-mail made it possible for them to try to convince us just how wonderful U.S. Airways has become; a coat of paint on the planes and a new emblem has apparently made a major improvement on everything to do with the airline. Fortunately, I do not think the paint will assist in their being held together, although my father used to say, “paint and putty cover a multitude of sin”.

We meet people constantly who try to acquire a “new look”. They start attending church, quit smoking, drinking, cursing, gossiping, etc. They work endlessly trying to help others; always in the back of their minds there is the thought, “this is the new me”.

At last, the day comes when they sense that after all of these efforts, something is still lacking in their lives. The reason is quite simple… they are reforming themselves, but they have not met the conditions of Scripture that will make these things natural outgrowths of their life. They have failed to import into their lives the person of Jesus Christ as their Lord… their Savior.

When Jesus said in John 3:3, 5 that a man must be “born again”, He was referring to a spiritual birth. Through faith, a man or woman acts upon what Jesus has said; they invite Him to be their Lord and their Savior. When that takes place, one is born into the family of God; he or she becomes a Christian. Christ within is basically what that word means and represents. From that point Christians allow Christ to live through them. They do the things that reflect His presence. There is joy, contentment, fulfillment, and a host of other blessings in their lives.

With the impartation of this new life, there is not an annulment of the old life. That will take time to fade into insignificance as one grows and matures in Christ day by day. The energizing ministry of the Holy Spirit will make it obvious to one and all that we are indeed a new creation.

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17 NASB)

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