In ‘Falling Upwards’ Richard Rohr acknowledges the beneficial effect of error, failure and delusion on growth and re-birth. Their existence assumes that there must be truth, success and ultimate reality. He observes that we must drink the cup in this first part of life if we are to step boldly into the second part. What is the second part of life? It is our transition from appearance into reality, from the knowledge of good and evil into our life in God. It is being born again from the old covenant into the new.
WATER AND SPIRIT
Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’
New birth is not leaving a bunch of bad deeds behind and starting on new and excellent ones. New birth is metamorphosing out of the law and old covenant into your new life in which Jesus Himself is your life by the Spirit. Let’s be clear. We are not competent to minister the Kingdom of God if we are rooted or attached in any way to the law.
YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN
Here our attention is being drawn to the fact that in our religious life, many of us have never been born again and that rebirth must be a continuing process if our progress into sonship is to be constant. Rohr writes, “The human ego prefers anything, just about anything, to falling, or changing, or dying. The ego is that part of you that loves the status quo – even when it's not working. It attaches to past and present and fears the future.”
Yet it is Christs’ cross and our own crucifixion in Him that precedes resurrection and life.
Some of us have received some damaging wounds in our lives. Others have endured tragedies that have almost extinguished their souls and left them crying, ‘My God. Why have you forsaken me!’ Yet in this dungeon of despair we are in Christ and also in His resurrection. It has to be said that as hideous as is the despair of our demolition the advantage we can enjoy in rising as sons/daughters far exceeds that of the easier life.
A FUTURE IN JESUS
Paul’s unwrapping of Jesus’ gospel was that we have a future in Jesus that is non-existent in the past. His Romans Eight statement declares that our new life of advance and flowering as a son of God comes from the Spirit – meaning the realisation of Christ as that unique expression of the Son of God: You!
Speaking to Nicodemus on the subject of being born again, Jesus assured him that the Kingdom of God cannot be understood, discerned or even seen in the first stage of life mindset. You ‘are you’ in the first part of life. In the second part you grow progressively into who you really are – according to your design in the mind of Christ before time began and according to who Jesus has redeemed you to become in the fellowship and nurture of our Father and Holy Spirit. Now you are never alone. You are in the company of the trinity and under the personal mentorship of the Son of Man who created you, knows you, re-created you and who is drawing you into your destiny as kingly priest in the household of God.