Holy Trinity Sunday
[John 3:1-6] Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” 3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Born Again of God
“That which is born of the flesh is flesh.” And that which is born of a Smith or a Stephens is a Smith or a Stephens. Whoever is born of a Johnson or a Johansson is one of those. You are, to a very large degree, who you are born from.
The name from which you are born is your identity for a lifetime. And even your mother’s maiden name might be required on important documents.
We carry not only the family name from which are born, but we carry also the characteristics of those from whom we are born. In physical appearance, in health, and in personality, we are a mash up of those from whom we’re born.
None of you were created from a blank slate. We are each made, pieced together, from the human nature of our ancestors - created out of their very DNA. Your mother and father not only gave you your name, they also gave you your you.
We are not our own. We are made out of the human stock that came before us - all the way back to our first father, Adam.
In truth, the family name of the whole world is “Adam”. And we are each, body and soul, pieced together out of Adam’s human nature – which is a fallen, corrupted human nature.
Racked with sin, dying and disordered we all are by virtue of our name and nature from conception and birth. Neither our name nor our nature is able to inherit the kingdom of God - “That which is born of the flesh is flesh”. A man must be born again.
But, “That which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” Brothers and sisters, you have been born again, born from above, of the Spirit of God [John 3:8] and now live by a new name and a new, renewed, human nature in Jesus Christ.
A new name. A new nature. Born again of God for His Kingdom.
When were you born again? And what is the new name of your new birth? And from whose new, renewed, human nature are you now born?
You were born again when you were born of water and the Spirit, as Jesus said, “unless one is born of water and the spirit.”
We know from the life of Jesus that “born of water and the Spirit” is a reference to what? To baptism. Jesus was baptized in the water and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him from above [John 1:32-33; Matthew 3:16]. By the same Holy Spirit, you were “born of water and the Spirit” in the water of your baptism.
Born in baptism. Of what new name were you born? Today is Holy Trinity Sunday, and we remember today, most of all, that we are born again of God’s holy name – “the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”.
The Holy Trinity is all about your baptism. Jesus said, “Make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” [Matthew 28:19].
You may come from a good or a bad family, but the family name that now defines you is the name of God the Holy Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – the family name of Heaven, into which you’ve now been born.
Born again. Born of a new name. And born of new nature. God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – three distinct persons in one divine nature. God the Son has become for you, truly, a man – a human being – with a true human nature.
From His holy, pure, renewed nature you have been born again. You are called the body of Christ - No longer born from Adam, but from Christ.
When God the Son became man, He took a bit of Adam’s fallen human nature from the virgin Mary – He took fallen human flesh – and made it holy by making it His own.
God the Son then, as the one holy man, took your sin upon Himself and died for it. In this way, God the Son both made atonement for your sin and made a new beginning for human nature in Himself.
New name. New nature. You are all born again as a new creation in Jesus Christ [2 Corinthians 5:17] by your baptism – born again of God the Holy Trinity.
We remember on Holy Trinity Sunday that salvation is the work of the whole Trinity. It is not just the Son who loves you. Nor is it only the Holy Spirit who renews you. Salvation is the work of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
After all, it is God the Father who loved us and sent us God the Son: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.” [John 3:16-17]
The Father sent the Son. The Son was made man by the power of the Holy Spirit [Luke 1:34-35]. And “in Jesus the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily” [Colossians 2:9].
Brothers and sisters, “that which is born of the flesh is flesh”; but “that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” You are born anew – new name, new nature, forgiven and free – by the Spirit of our God in the name of the most blessed Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one God now and forever. And those who are thus born again of God will, without a doubt, see the kingdom of God. Amen.