John 3:6 – That which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Jesus explained to Nicodemus the two types of birth. One is a birth that is generated by the flesh or through the human reproductive process that God initiated at the creation. Because of sin, man lost his standing of righteousness before God, and came under the judgment of God. Man had a desperate need for something to save him from his lost condition.
Jesus came to provide a way of salvation for mankind. Through the Holy Spirit man could be born again. A “new” creation would begin through Christ. Jesus told Nicodemus this second birth would be a work of the Spirit. Through the new birth, we are once again brought back into a relationship with God. When born again, we have a “right standing with God.” It is a birth that the Holy Spirit initiates. As we allow His work in our lives, He matures us into the image of Christ. His mandate is to empower believers to grow up in Christ so that He might be revealed in everything we do.
Paul speaks both about the man of the flesh and the spiritual man when writing to the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 3:1-2. The man of the flesh is the person who tries to serve God from his own reasoning. Paul says that this one is an “infant in Christ.” Paul goes on to say that he had to give them “milk” rather than solid food because “they could not receive it.” The “new birth” is not unlike the natural birth as it relates to babes and mature individuals. We begin as an infant, but the hope is that we will grow up into Christ by becoming a “spiritual man,” in other words, one that is led by the Holy Spirit. This can only come about as we develop a relationship with the Spirit of God. He leads us to the Word of God with the purpose of washing our minds from the fleshly way of thinking to a “spiritual” way of thinking and biblical application in our daily life.
Where are you in the process of change? Are you still fleshly in your thinking and practices or are you developing as a spiritual man or woman? Is Christ being revealed in your thoughts and practices?