“I assure you, unless you are born again you can never see the kingdom of God.” – John 3:3
Certainly, our culture is obsessed with change and self-improvement. Cosmetic surgery has become very popular lately. People go to cosmetic surgeons wanting to look like their favorite movie stars, or perhaps a younger version of themselves. Sadly, they sometimes come out looking like an altogether different person!
Anthony Elliot, professor of sociology at the University of Kent wrote; “The demand for instant identity transformations has never been so persuasive. People today want change, and they want it instantly—from fame to the instant thrills of Botox or liposuction. In a world of short term contracts, endless downsizings, just-in-time deliveries, and multiple careers, the capacity to reinvent yourself has become fundamental.”
Nowadays, if people have a drug or alcohol problem, they just go to rehab. If someone has a life of crime, they are sent to prison and emerge a month later “cured” (along with a fashion accessory ankle bracelet), but often they fall back into the same problems again and again.
The problem is that all of these changes don’t get to the real issue: the issue of the heart. The heart of the matter is the matter of the heart.
To be born again means to be “born from above.” It is a radical heart change that only God can do. But it comes from above, not from self-effort or from a self-improvement program.