Are You Sure You’re Alive?
I woke up in the middle of the night thinking of the contrast between life and death- not the funeral kind of death but the dead- man- walking- kind of dead- very much alive but on a path leading to death.
All of humanity enters into the world in a spiritually dead state. We are a fallen people by nature, and our sinfulness warrants eternal separation from holy God. Until there is a spiritual rebirth, we are the walking dead. Once awakened by God when the Spirit of Christ dwells within the believer, she is fully alive and receives the security of eternal life- never to know separation from God.
I’ve been thinking also about Jesus’ words to Nicodemus when he used the illustration of wind blowing to explain how the Spirit of God moves to create new life. Perhaps the nor’easter that recently blew all weekend changing the landscape along the East Coast created a fixation on these truths already simmering in my spirit. And, by the way, you can bet God is moving things in the spiritual realm just as certainly as shorelines shifted in a very physical way. May those who have eyes to see and ears to hear perceive what the Spirit is doing within the body of Christ.
Jesus told Nicodemus, “Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit (John 3:6).” The Lord qualified the difference between life and being alive. We are physically alive at the time of conception, but we are spiritually alive at the time of rebirth.
The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit (John 3:8).
In the wake of the storm an observer may say, “There used to be a house there,” or, “There used to be a road there,” and although he didn’t watch the change happen, he can say for sure that something is different.
And so it is for the one who has been made spiritually alive. Something is different. You may not be able to put a finger on how it happened, just like you cannot track the path of the wind; but you know who you were is not who you now have become. In the same way that sand and structures surrender to the force of waves caused by a mighty nor’easter, the human heart surrenders to the truth of who God is and invites him to do a work of recreating. And he does it!
Now is the opportune time to revisit the work of God in giving you new life in Christ. Have you been born again? If uncertain, then know that God wants you to have assurance of his salvation. There should be no question if you have experienced a spiritual birth or not, because the state of transformation is as obvious as an oceanfront home standing one day and washed away by violent surf the next day. In a spiritual sense, the walking dead become fully awake, and you know when that has occurred.
If you believe in the finished work of Jesus Christ making salvation available to all who believe, then state this confession aloud: “Lord Jesus, I believe you came and lived a sinless life and became the complete payment for my sin when you died on the cross. I believe that you resurrected to new life and have returned to the Father in heaven where I also will go when I depart from the earth. Today I leave the path of destruction that leads to eternal death, and I enter into new life with you.”
Do you know what just happened there? You and everyone who prays those words become benefactors of the sole purpose for which Jesus came to the earth. Let’s not get this one confused: Jesus doesn’t make bad people good; he makes dead people alive.
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world… But 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 (Galatians 2:1-2a, 4-5a).