Sign-up for free e-newsletter

Viewpoint from Izabela Clarry 03/06/2016 

Dove rightIzabela Clarry
Seventh-day Adventist Church

Year 2016 marks a special milestone in our Queen’s reign – it is a year of Her Majesty’s 90th birthday. Various celebrations have been taking place across Britain and we are looking forward to more spectacular parades, festivities, and street parties

No doubt birthdays are very important to most of us. They are a cause for celebration and thankfulness to God for sparing us for another year. They may also prompt reflection and resolutions making or goal setting

We read in the Bible of a different kind of birthday – “a New Birth” experience. Jesus explained this during his conversation with Nicodemus, when He told him “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. (…)  Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.” (John 3:3-6, NIV)

dove leftJesus was clearly talking about a spiritual, not physical rebirth. It is something that we cannot achieve by ourselves, but rather is a gift from God, as a result of a conversion experience and the Holy Spirit’s work in our heart and life

The outward expression of ‘being born again’ is baptism through immersion

Baptism is in fact a memorial of Jesus’ Death and Resurrection, it is a symbolic ‘water burial’. As we go under the water we declare that we decided to forsake (‘bury’) our old sinful ways. As we come up from the water, we declare that we became a new person in Christ, seeking to follow Him as our Lord and Saviour (Romans 6:3,4)

This beautiful theme of conversion –a sinner returning to the Father, was described by Jesus in the parable of the Prodigal Son. How great was the joy of the Father when his son decided to come back home! How the father must have been waiting for him and run out to meet him while the son ‘was still a long way off’ (Luke 15: 21)
The son’s confession was followed by the father restoring their relationship and calling a great celebration. This illustrates God’s forgiveness toward repentant sinners and the great joy in heaven whenever someone turns back to God. Can you imagine that awesome rejoicing and celebration? Let’s turn to Him today and experience God’s love, forgiveness and abundant life