By Scarlett Stough
We tend to think that if we live a “good” life by not doing anything majorly bad, we will have a place in the Kingdom of God. Jesus taught that we do not and cannot enter God's Kingdom by our own righteousness, by our own efforts. The only way is through Jesus, the Son of God. He told Nicodemus:
“I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”
Nicodemus was confused by that statement. Some are still confused. What does it mean to be “born again?”
Jesus gave him an explanation (John 3:5-21) which Nicodemus still found hard to understand. “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked (John 3:9). Only after the death and resurrection of Jesus could we truly understand. When the Holy Spirit was poured out on Pentecost, Peter preached to a crowd that gathered around explaining our need to believe, repent, and be baptized and receive the Holy Spirit so we are able to be saved. What does it mean “to be saved?”
The person who is “saved” no longer lives to satisfy worldly desires, but lives for God who begins that transformation into his likeness through the Holy Spirit (Romans 12:1-2). We learn to respond differently to the difficulties we face in this life. Instead of resenting them, we can view them as a means of teaching us to “participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires” (2 Peter 1:4). We get a fresh start just as a new born baby starts life needing to learn everything.