What follows is an extract from a new book by Glen Scrivener, evangelist based at Eastbourne’s Revival Prayer Centre.
Glen tells us that his booklet, The King’s English, highlights twelve phrases from the Bible that have passed into common parlance. Here is one of them.
‘Gathering around the newborn, they coo adoringly. “What a gorgeous little nose!” “What a soft skin!” “Isn’t she perfect!” Then Uncle Alan butts in. With a frown and a cocked head, he asks, “When was she born?” Ten days ago. “Hm,” he comments. “Think she needs to be born again.”
‘Surely this is the height of rudeness. How can anyone suggest that a person must be ‘born again’?
What was wrong with their first birth?
‘Well, in John, chapter 3 , Jesus is talking to a highly respected religious man called Nicodemus.
And Jesus doesn’t suggest that he be born again. He insists:
‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God’
(verse 3). ‘Ye must be born again’ (verse 7).
‘What images spring to mind when you hear the phrase ‘born again’? For Nicodemus the images were particularly graphic!
‘How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?’ (verse 4).
‘That’s one misconception (pardon the pun). But there are others ...
‘Many see ‘born again’ as a brand of Christianity. For some, it’s a label to be worn if you’re seeking election in parts of America (and hidden, if you’re anywhere else!) It’s a slogan to be emblazoned on placards and bright coloured bumper-stickers. That’s ‘born again’ the brand.
‘Jesus is definitely not starting a new brand. He’s demanding a new birth. And we mustn’t turn ‘born again’ into one more label that we take pride in. Jesus doesn’t care about our labels, our natural gifting, our family connections, our ranks, our professions, our moral and religious
achievements. When it comes to entering the kingdom of God, none of that counts. ‘Ye must be born again.’
And of course there is a more detailed explainataion from Glen about the teaching of Jesus on the subject.
Copies of the book are available, free of charge, at the Prayer Centre, Eastbourne 725231.