Sometime in September 2013, while I was waiting in my car at a traffic junction near my office, a lorry collided into the rear of my car at high speed causing the whole car to jerk forward violently with a loud crash. I was stunned for a moment and was shocked at the extent of the damage to the car when I came out to take a look. It would have been disastrous if there was someone sitting at the back seat. It also occurred to me that the lorry had taken some evasive action or the impact could have been worse, and my life would have been in danger if it was a full frontal collision from the lorry. At that point, I really thanked God that I was unhurt.
Later that evening, it again dawned upon me that the accident could have been fatal and I felt like God had rescued me and given me a second chance at life. For me, it brought new meaning to the term “born again”. (John 3:3-7)
Many long-time Christians associate being “born again” with the conversion experience that occurs when we first accept the Lord Jesus into our lives. As Jesus said to Nicodemus in John 3:1-21, we become children of God and enter His kingdom when we place our trust and faith in Him. That conversion could have been a recent event or something that happened decades ago. After we “got it”, we move on to learn other truths about God and make sure many others hear about it.
Sometimes, we need reminders of when we were first “re-born”. In 2 Cor 5:16-17, Paul reminds us of the time in the past when “we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view” (NLT) and how we became “a new creation” after we knew him on a personal and spiritual level. “The old has passed away and the new has come.” Have we truly cast away the old? Is it slowly creeping back in or are we still holding on to it? We need to continually examine ourselves, confess our sins and seek the forgiveness and cleansing power of the blood of Jesus Christ. We can then thank God for and remember every fresh start He has given us and continues to give us.
By constantly living out the lives of being new creations in Christ, we can truly become ambassadors for Christ (2 Cor 5:20), to be living signs of God’s grace which has the power to transform human lives and be part of God’s plan for reconciling the world to Himself.
At your current stage of Christian life, what does being born again mean to you? What will you do differently if you realize that God has just given you a fresh start, a chance to cast the old away and to be His new creation?
By Tay Yong Thai, Deacon (YCKC Bulletin 20&21 June 2015)