When we are born again, we move from a cocoon of darkness and limited mobility into God's marvelous kingdom of light and freedom. Just as contractions push the baby through the birth canal, often, it is pressure that urges us to make the transition from life in the world to life in the Spirit.
Once the birth is in process, however, there is a rush of amniotic fluid. This signals the change that is taking place. These waters are not from outside the body but are from within the womb. Baptism, the spiritual rush of water, is part of the new birth experience. Baptismal waters, however, are not of themselves supernatural; they, like bath water, are from the sinful world, but baptism represents the transformation that is in process, and it is a vital part of being born again.
Once a birth has begun, the baby must exit the mother's body. Otherwise, birth has not occurred. Therefore, the crucial focus of childbirth is getting the infant into the world. Birthing is not concerned with cleanliness of the baby or the mother, although a sterile environment in which to bring forth a child is beneficial to overall health and prevents infection. In like manner, newborns in Christ may have lingering residue of the world clinging to them. That is not critical to the birthing process. In fact, those helping bring them into the kingdom of God may lose some of their pristine appearance as well. At the same time, making an effort to surround the spiritual newborn with a holy environment affords the new convert protection. But holiness isn't the focus of the new birth.
Before cleaning up occurs, the cord must be cut. It'd be unhealthy for a newborn to stay attached to the placenta; its new life requires it to be severed from what links it to its mother. In the same way, a spiritual new birth severs ties to the world. Scripture says we are shaped in iniquity; therefore, our natural tendency is to lean toward sin, but the new birth experience gives God the power to sever the attachments we have to the world. We are no longer dependent on whatever sin pumps into us to feel sustained. We have been delivered from restriction into real life where we can experience full potential. But for there to be life, there must be breath.
So we breathe. And breathe. And breathe. Ensconced in the warmth of God's presence, we inhale deep gulps of the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost, which Scripture often likens wind or breath. This is the part of the new birth process that gives us the ability to live in God's world. When we experience a new birth, we breath in the refreshing Spirit of God. Then, once we are born again, we continue to walk in the Spirit. Breathing and breathing and breathing God's Spirit. Just like a child would die if it ceased to breathe, a soul that ceases its intake of the Spirit, needs reviving or it, too shall perish.
Most wonderful of all, this New Birth is for everyone. Just as a newborn doesn't earn its place in the outside world, we are given the opportunity to have a new birth because Jesus made it possible. He didn't give qualifying prerequisites. He invited all to experience life everlasting. What a blessing to be removed from the confines of the world into the marvelous new life of God's light and grace and hope.
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