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John 3:7: “You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.' “
These are the words Jesus spoke to the Pharisee, Nicodemus, when he came to Jesus by night because Nicodemus knew he was from God. As Nicodemus said to Jesus, ”For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him."
As you hear these very important words, do you know if you are born again? These words were not just written for Nicodemus but for all to hear and obey. So where does this leave you today? Are you going to enter the kingdom of God or not? Are you a child of the King?
You may be challenged by these words and that is good. If you simply nod your head and say, “this is not for me.” Then you are in a very dangerous condition. As Jesus says to Nicodemus in John3:18: “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.”
So, the stage is set. Where are you standing as your life unfolds in 2020? I am pointing you to the wonderful hope that can be your today and forever. Now for those who are born again and believing in Jesus as their Lord and Saviour they must continue to trust and obey Jesus by his amazing grace.
But for those who may be reading the little gospel message and are not born again there is one thing and one thing only you must do. And let me remind you it is not for you to try and clean up your own life and make a new start by trying harder to be a better person in 2020. Thinking this will win God’s favour.
Therefore, you may ask “what can I do?” That is a very good question. And the answer is found in the Word of God, not in the opinions of man. This is where true Hope comes from. So we turn to God’s Word and hear what it says. “Salvation is from the Lord.” So you must turn the God.
As the Word of God says in 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10: “They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead — Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.“
Now I would pray that your question might deepen in earnestness because of your hopeless and helpless statues if you are not born again. That you may ask the soul changing question, “What must I do to be saved?” This question was asked by the Philippian jailer where he was so disturbed in his soul because he thought his prisoners had escaped and he took his sword and was going to kill himself. But the prisoners were there. The jailer did not kill himself but fell before Paul and Silas and cried out, “What must I do to be saved?” And the answer, Acts 16:31 "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved — you and your household."
Well, today dear reader what is your standing before Jesus? I do hope it turns out for you as it did for Nicodemus, for we learn from the Word of God that Nicodemus helped Joseph of Arimathea bury Jesus after his death on the Cross, and who arose on the third day.
So, take the words of Jesus to heart. “For you must be born again.”
Rev. Jim Murchison is a minister with the Free Church of Scotland. A guest sermon runs regularly in Saturday’s Guardian and is provided through Christian Communications.