By Rev Moses Agaba
Often, man becomes so entranced in the novelty of the story of the birth of Christ that he fails to see its proper perspective.
The proper perspective is; it serves as the summit of God working out His redemptive purpose on mankind.
I will highlight the importance of Jesus’ birth to born-again Christians.
Firstly, the birth of Jesus reveals the true nature of God. He is revealed in a more perfect and glorious manner than any previous revelation.
When Philip asked Jesus to show them the Father before He ascended to Heaven, Jesus said: “He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so, how can you say, ‘Show us the Father?” (John 14:9). God the Father is invisible, but Jesus was visible.
Secondly, it reveals to us the grace of God. John writes: “Of His fullness, we have all received, and grace for grace” (John 1:16).
I define grace as “unmerited favour”. This is the proper way to define grace.
However, the definition must be explained or it becomes ambiguous to some.
Jesus reveals God the Father as full of tenderness, gentleness and compassion.
He who obeys the Gospel and lives a life committed to God by surrendering all to Jesus, has direct access to God.
“For through Him we both (Jew and Gentile) have access by one Spirit to the Father” (Ephesians 2:18).
Jesus gives us access to the very throne of God (Hebrews 4:16).
Lastly, the birth of Jesus reveals to us the truth of God. Grace without truth would be sentimental, sinful, and impure, but grace based upon truth makes that love pure and holy.
The truth embodies everything that is right. Truth is against everything that is wrong or false. God, being full of grace, does not overlook sin.
Being born again
To anyone following Christ Jesus, the interrelationship between His birth and us being born-again should be envisaged in the work of Christ at the Cross.
The term ‘born-again’ is identical to being saved, redeemed, regenerated, justified, and reborn.
Each of these terms refers to the spiritual birth that occurs when a person stops pursuing sin and trusts Jesus for forgiveness and salvation.
Jesus addressed this issue in John 3:1-21 by telling Nicodemus he must be born-again to go to Heaven.
Nicodemus was puzzled by Jesus’ statement because he knew re-entering his mother’s womb was an impossibility.
But Jesus said: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
“That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.”
Jesus’ use of the phrase “born of water” references the human birthing process that occurs in the womb- when flesh gives birth to flesh.
In contrast, Jesus used the phrase “That which is born of the Spirit is spirit,” to teach Nicodemus that the born-again spiritual birth is not a human achievement, but a supernatural work of God’s Spirit, giving life to a human spirit.
When God sent Jesus to be born on earth, He lived a perfect and sinless life of obedience to His Father.
His obedience satisfied all God’s righteous requirements for holy living.
When Jesus was on the Cross, He took the sins of the entire world upon Himself and suffered the punishment for each one by shedding His blood.
His sacrificial death satisfied God’s justice for sin’s penalty.
Therefore, those who recognize their sinfulness and place their faith in Him for salvation will be forgiven and redeemed.
Aside from this supernatural, spiritual rebirth through faith, there is no way for sinners to be saved.
When a person accepts God’s gift of salvation through faith in Jesus, several things transpire.
God immediately sends the Holy Spirit to live inside of them. The Spirit of God renews their dead spirit, making it alive or reborn.
God forgives their sins and cleanses, exchanging their sinfulness for Jesus’ righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21, Philippians 3:8-9, Romans 4:3-11, etc).
More so, God makes them a new creation in Christ and grafts them into His family as His children.
He grants them eternal life in Heaven with Him when they die. Once a person is born-again, their heart and mind begin transforming in various ways.
They become fruitful disciples of Christ with the help of God’s Word and the inner working of the Holy Spirit as they submit themselves to Jesus.
The writer is a chaplain at UCU Bishop Barham University College, Kabale.