KJ21 Jesus answered and said unto him, “Verily, verily I say unto thee, unless a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.”
This seems like a relatively simple verse. It says that you can’t SEE God; you can’t SEE the kingdom of God (KJV); you can’t GET into the Kingdom of God (TLB); you cannot BE in God’s kingdom (NCV) unless you are born again. Other expressions for knowing God, such as ‘get saved’, ‘have eternal life’, ‘go to heaven’, ‘have righteousness’, ‘be converted’, ‘have a relationship with God’; you can’t do any of those things, unless you are spiritually transformed. [Changed on the inside]
The word translated as ‘again’ means ‘from above’ in Greek. ‘From above’ means by God, by Jesus, by the Holy Spirit.
‘Born’ means what you’d think it means; that you’re the child of your father and mother; you have their substance residing in you. So you can’t be ‘born again’, ‘born from above’, have God as your Father, unless you are spiritually transformed from your natural self to God’s own child.
So ‘Born again’ means ‘spiritually transformed’.
So it IS simple. Jesus wasn’t making some ethereal, mystic statement. He was just telling a truth. He was just stating a fact. You just CAN’T have a relationship with God unless you die to yourself, trust Him and let His Spirit come to live in you. As long as you are holding on to control of your life instead of surrendering and letting God run your life, you can’t even SEE the kingdom of God, much less be a part of it.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!