As a folower of Jesus I know that I have been reborn when I accepted Jesus as my Saviour. But I have sometimes wondered just how that rebirth comes about. How does God actually create that new life in me?
While reading Fuchsia Pickett’s excellent series of books on the Holy Spirit I came across a description, in Walking in the Anointing of the Holy Spirit: Book II (Holy Spirit’s Work in You), of how the Holy Spirit ‘overshadowed’ Mary in order to conceive the infant Jesus within her womb. I then remembered how, after God had shaped Adam’s body from the earth, “he breathed (enspirited) life into him and he became a living soul.” (Genesis 2:7)
I also remembered how Paul drew on the Holy Spirit’s part in the resurrection of Jesus (Romans 8:11) to describe how our mortal bodies are “quickened” by that same Holy Spirit that dwells in us.
It becomes clear, then, that rebirth is not simply a legal transaction where we say to Jesus, “I accept your death for my sins and receive you as my Saviour”, and God then says, “Ok, now you can live!” I’m afraid that a lot of our Evangelical teaching comes across just like this.
No, God is far more directly and intimately involved in the process than this. The Holy Spirt, the very source and power of life, enters into our mortal body and changes it forever. He awakens or rekindles our sleeping or ‘dead’ spirit to once again connect with Father God, the Source. In fact, the Holy Spirit ‘overshadows’ us, as he did with mary, and creates a new life in us.
So, to believe that we can be a Christian, but not be aware of the presence and activity of the Holy Spirit within us, and hence to largely ignore him, is at best rampant foolishness, and must be highly grieving to the Spirit of God.
This re-creative act is surely the greatest miracle and the most amazing wonder and sign of God’s love and goodness to us.