The new birth Jesus and His apostles talked about in the Bible has many similarities to human birth. The insight is helpful to understanding the gift of spiritual life, just as it is understanding the gift of physical life.
Life begins at conception. That’s a fact. The sperm of the man and egg of the woman are alive. When they unite, they begin the God-designed process of making a new life from the two lives of the parents.
Gestation is next. That’s the period of time when the fertilized egg develops and grows inside his or her mother. The gestation period in humans is usually 40 weeks. That includes the 38 weeks from conception to birth, plus the two weeks from the last menstrual period to conception (known as the gestation period). It’s interesting that the gestation period is divided into three equal periods of time we call trimesters. Each one is vital to the hoped-for-event: the live birth and development of the child.
Childbirth is the normal outcome of the gestation period. A child (“children” if multiple gestations) is born. It is viewed as a “new” life and recorded as a live birth or “born alive”.
The newborn baby is often referred to as a newborn and new baby. Newborns are completely dependent on others to feed them, clean them, clothe them, carry them from place to place, and protect them from harm. It begins a lengthy process of human growth that takes a person from newborn to infant to toddler to young child, to child, to pre-teen and teen, until they reach adulthood. Then the growth continues from young adult, to middle-aged adult, to older adult, to senior, to aged, to death.
The supernatural or spiritual new birth is similar to natural birth in several ways. I’ll use myself for an example, but this is true for millions of Christians saved as teenagers and adults. We had the physical age maturity to remember the events of our new birth in some detail.
Conception – God began His work in me. I can pinpoint the beginning to when my mother told me she was praying for me and knew I would be saved soon. I found that humorous at the time since I was an atheist with no inclination toward the spiritual, but I heard what she said and what God planted in my mind that day would bear spiritual fruit. (Parents – pray for your children and believe God for miracles!)
Gestation – God sent three men into my life to nurture the seed that God planted. It was as if He had decided to deal with me in trimesters.
- The first man was Dr. Henry Morris, a professor of science and founder of the Institute for Creation Research. I spent only three hours with Dr. Morris on my radio talk show, but God did a deep work in my unbelieving heart that led to my first doubts about atheism.
- The second man was Terry Lytle, a kind man with the heart of a pastor and the spirit of an evangelist. He loved me unconditionally and demonstrated real faith in a loving God.
- The third man was Dr. Edward Hindson, an amazing Bible teacher who God used to answer every question I had about the reality of God and authenticity of God’s Word.
New Birth – I was born spiritually May 10, 1971. Terry Lytle asked me if there was any reason I shouldn’t receive Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I thought for a few seconds and told him I couldn’t think of any reason. He and Dr. Hindson had answered all of my questions. Terry and I sat in his office and I prayed the sinner’s prayer. I was born from above and given the most amazing gift imaginable!
Newborn – I opened my eyes after asking God to forgive me and receiving Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I remember feeling different, better — but I couldn’t comprehend all of what had happened to me at that moment.
Tomorrow, the amazing journey that begins with the new birth. In the meantime, please share with me and others who read this blog about your new birth. God uses our testimonies to encourage each other. Please leave a comment about what God did for you. I look forward to hearing from you!
In Christ’s Love and Grace,