9. Thinking about Forgiveness and Restoration (salvation)

Explaining this, Jesus said:


“I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water (natural element) and the Spirit.

Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again’”. (John 3:3 – 7).


It requires some serious thinking to understand the deeper meaning of this metaphor. We are all alive, because we were born into this world. That was our physical birth. To be truly human the way God intended it, we must also be spiritual. Without a spiritual birth a person is spiritually dead (Eph. 2:1-3).


The spiritual birth into the ‘family’ of God is affected through faith in Jesus. By this rebirth we become children of God and by that also His heirs. (Romans 8:17, Galatians 3:29).


Having understood this, we will become aware of an important statement in the New Testament:


“Because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved. Through faith, not by works, so that no one can boast”.  (Ephesians. 2:4 – 5, 8, 9).


Because we all have sinned, we all totally depend on God’s mercy. Always. Continuously. Try as we may, our old nature just does not always comply. As long as we are in this life, we are subjected to temptation.  But read this:


“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,  because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything… Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”. (Jas 1:2-4 and 12)


God turns our temptation to sin into a test to prove our loyalty to Him, and an act of maturing for us.