My Christian siblings often forget that our lingo isn't always understood by non Christians. We casually fill our conversations with terms like "redemption," "predestination," and "sanctification" as if everybody knows what we're saying.
Like many North American children, I grew up going to a mainline church. Nobody spoke to me about being born again, though they did recite the story of Nicodemus visiting Christ alone at night. All Jesus' talk of being "born again" meant nothing to me.
At a vacation Bible School in the basement of a friend's house, I finally learned what it meant. John 3:3 (Bible in Basic English) provides the answer. "Jesus said to him, 'Truly, I say to you, Without a new birth no man is able to see the kingdom of God." This means that along with our physical birth, we need a spiritual one.
We couldn't do a thing about our physical birth and neither can we do anything to be born from above. Like a newborn, we must just let it happen.
But there is something we are asked to do and that's repent and be baptized. Saint Peter explained this in Acts 2:38 (BBE). "And Peter said, 'Let your hearts be changed, every one of you, and have baptism in the name of Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will have the Holy Spirit given to you.'"
We must confess that we're helpless to change and ask for God's forgiveness for our wickedness. Then we must follow Christ by learning from mentors about his commandments. Baptism also is important because it is a public demonstration of our surrender to the Lord's reign in our lives.
I wrote about my surrender to Jesus' sovereign will in Deliverance from Jericho: Six Years in a Blind School. Contact me directly to find out more about life in Canada's infamous deaf and blind school.