John 3:3 – Jesus answered [Nicodemus], "I am telling you the truth: no one can see the Kingdom of God unless he is born again" (GNB)
Isn't this like a campfire minute-mystery in the middle of the night? "You are doomed, Nicodemus, unless you solve this riddle." What better way to keep a Pharisee occupied? Nicodemus was certainly mystified at first, thinking that "born again" meant going back into one's mother's womb. Some people say they are born again every day. They say, "I am born again, again, and again". But the Greek text for 'born again' also means 'born from above'. 'Born again' implies a time, while 'born from above' implies a place. In what dimension does spiritual regeneration happen, in a time, or at a place? Some people can tell you where, and at what time, even on what day, they were born again. Others just remember the general circumstances. For those who have understood the cost that Jesus Christ paid for their redemption, receiving Jesus and the forgiveness of their sins is often like a marriage, an unforgettable blessed event. Born again. Pure regeneration. Tears and joy. For others it is an event filled with questions, as somehow they expect to feel different with Jesus in their life, and it's not quite what they expected. But Jesus came in, because he promised to come in if they asked.
But at whatever time and place spiritual rebirth occurs, it is the work of the Holy Spirit. The good news is that we have our spiritual awakening, planned and born, from above. By grace we know that the Holy Spirit has predestined our regeneration. Predestination is a word that fittingly joins time and place. 'Pre' is 'before' — in time, and 'destination' means 'final place'. Predestination means that Jesus is preparing a place for us ahead of time. The irony, of course, is that heaven, God's place which we will happily share, is in eternity, beyond time and place. And that is the dimension God works in.
Regeneration is like God's creative artwork! And How Great Thou Art!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit, thank you for people born your way, born again from above. Please regenerate more. Amen.