Matters of Faith: A Restoration of Epic Proportions

By Rev. J. Loren Russell

Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” ‭‭‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

John 3:3 (NKJV)

A revival has been described by Webster’s dictionary as “an act or instance of reviving: the state of being revived, to restore to consciousness or life; to be active or flourishing again.” ‬‬‬‬

Today, when we think of the word “revive,” we think of someone being brought back from the brink of death. We think of someone needing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to restore them to life. We think of those television hospital scenes where doctors and nurses are rushing to a room because a code red has indicated that somebody is in desperate need of revival. Someone’s heart stopped beating. We think of the doctor yelling, “Clear!” as the defibrillator shocks the person back to life. What usually comes to mind when we think of someone being revived is that person being restored to life.

From a faith perspective, Webster defines revival as “a period of renewed religious interest; a highly emotional evangelistic meeting or series of meetings.” This is the kind of event that leads to restoration of epic proportions because it revives the soul.

The scripture text looks at Jesus having a nighttime encounter with Nicodemus, a well-respected member of the powerful Sanhedrin council. This man was thoroughly trained in the teachings of the Torah and Jewish law. In fact, Jesus addresses him as a teacher of Israel. It was to this learned man that Jesus tells, “you must be born again.” Nicodemus raised questions that most of us would also ask; “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” (v. 4) John later clarifies his statement and records Jesus telling Nicodemus that it is a rebirth of the “spirit” (v. 6).

Nicodemus was a very learned man, but even with all his wisdom, all his knowledge and all his understanding, he was spiritually dead. He needed to be revived!

Isn’t it ironic that someone can be in the church, know scripture backward and forward, teach, preach and impart the precepts of God with great clarity, yet still be spiritually dead? If anyone is willing to be “born again,” they will experience restoration of epic proportions.

Be Blessed +++
Rev. J. Loren Russell, associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx, President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial & Strategic Consulting, host of “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Soul 1 Radio, Monday’s 8:00 – 10:00 PM (626-226-1448), author of Matters of Faith: The Book.

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