Jesus declared: I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” John 3:3
There is a new art springing up around the world, the art of taking a non-lifelike playdoll and, through a long and tedious process, bringing it to “life”. This art is known as reborning, literally having the dolls be “born again”. However, the idea of taking something “dead” and bringing it to “life” through a “re-birthing” process is not new. The Master Artist, God, has been doing it for centuries in millions of lives. There are many striking similarities and analogies in the two processes.
Now, there are some places where the analogy doesn't quite fit. For example, the doll does not actually become alive. It only looks alive. The doll goes from looking “dead” to looking alive. People actually go from being spiritually dead to being spiritually alive. There are so many beautiful analogies between the “rebirth” of dolls and that of people that they make a wonderful picture despite the places where the analogies do not match.
To begin with, the original playdoll does not look alive before it is reborned. The reborn process makes it go from “not looking alive” to “ looking alive”. We also will have to go from not being alive to being alive. In our case, it is our spiritual state that is “not alive”. We are spiritually “dead”. The Bible says: “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world. . . gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts.” (Ephesians 2: 1-3) You might think you are not “dead in . . . sins”, but . . . “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. (Romans 3: 23).
Now, just as that doll cannot reborn itself, we cannot “reborn” ourselves either. We need God, the Master Reborn Artist. “There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, who is able to save us.” (James 4:12). “He [Jesus] is able to save completely those who come to God through Him.” (Hebrews 7:25) Jesus says: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6) We may attempt to be alive, through our own “good” works, but: “All our righteous acts are like filthy rags.” (Isaiah 64:6) “For it is by grace you have been saved, not by works.” (Ephesians 2:8)
Since the doll is helpless, the artist has to be willing to do the work required to transform it into a realistic piece of art. And she is willing to do it. In a similar way, God loves and cares for us enough to offer us new life. “This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him.” (1 John 4:9)
The reborn process includes many things. One of the things the artist does is replace the old body. She will give the doll a new and better body, stuffing it with the right things to make it life-like. God too will replace our old sinful hearts and gives us new ones (in our case, only if we allow Him to). He says: “I will give you a new heart and put a new Spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 36:26). He also removes our old self and all that goes with it. “For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.” (Romans 6:6) He will do away with our old body of sin so that we can be “Dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 6:11).
The artist also paints the doll. She cares about every little detail, not overlooking anything. God also lovingly “paints” His children by showering them with gifts and everything they need. He overlooks nothing in His gifts to them. By “His divine power He has given us everything we need for life and godliness.” (2 Peter 1:3).
The artist gives hair to the baby doll as well. She removes the old hair, and gives it new, realistic hair. This “crown of hair” gives beauty and realism to the doll. God does this for His children also. He is their beautiful crown, the one who adorns them. “In that day the Lord Almighty will be a glorious crown, a beautiful wreath for the remnant of his people.” (Isaiah 28:5)
Eyes are a very important thing, too. Without realistic eyes, the doll cannot be truly lifelike. So the artist gives it new, good eyes, that light up the doll's face. You also must have good eyes that look at the world the way God looks at it, to be truly alive. As you draw closer to God, and seek to please Him, you will have this kind of eyes. “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness.” (Matthew 6: 22-23).
Now the reborn is ready to be assembled. Cable ties and plastic joints are used to hold it together. As Christians, we have Someone awesome holding us together: God. “In Him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:17) No matter what happens, He will keep you going and support you. Even if things fall apart around you, you will not fall apart because He is with you, comforting you, encouraging you, strengthening you, and providing for you.
The artist now marks the reborn as her creation by placing her seal upon it, usually her signature or logo. God does this to us as well. In 2 Corinthians 1:22, it says that He “set His seal of ownership upon us, and put His Spirit in our hearts”. His Spirit in us is our proof that we belong to God. God sends His own Spirit to help us, encourage us, and instruct us.
The reborn doll is now dressed and given necessary accessories. We too must be “clothed” with God's armor. God tells you (and me) to “Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.” (Ephesians 6:11) For example, we are given “breastplates” and “helmets”, which stand for righteousness and salvation, to protect us . And we are given a “sword”, which stands for the Word of God, to defeat the enemy. We are given both offensive and defensive weapons, but we must choose to put them on for them to do us any good.
The reborn process is complete. Now the reborn baby is given a new name. We also are named by God. God says, “I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it.” (Revelations 2:17) And more importantly, we bear His name as well. “I bear Your name, O Lord God Almighty!” (Jeremiah 15:16)
Often a reborn artist will make a birth certificate for the baby doll that states the doll's name. Our names are written in a book too, the Book of Life. This is a very important “certificate”, because God says to “he who overcomes”: “I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and His angels.” (Revelation 3:5)
Once a reborn doll is finished, it is sold and the “new mommy” adopts it. We also have been adopted, and made children of God. “He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 1:5) “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1) “You received the Spirit of sonship. And by Him we cry, 'Abba, Father.' ” (Romans 8:15-16) He becomes our “abba”, our daddy.
Reborns are bought for a price, a high price. You were also bought for a price, the highest price of all: “You [Jesus] were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.” (Revelation 5:9) Therefore “you are not your own, you were bought at a price.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
As neat as the reborn process of a doll is, YOUR rebirth is far more important and incredible. The effects of choosing whether to be born again are eternal: those who are born again will inherit eternal life, but those who are not will have eternal death. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23).
If you have not yet been born again, I encourage you to take a step of faith and believe that Jesus died for your sins and rose again. “If you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”(Romans 10:9) You must repent for your sins, and then you will receive God's full forgiveness. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1: 9) God loves you, and He is standing at the door of your heart, knocking and waiting until you let Him come in and give you new life. He says, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in.” (Revelation 3: 20) It is only when you believe, confess, and let Him in that He will “reborn” you.
Once you are born again, this verse is about you: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17) God will continue to work in your life, transforming you into his likeness, reflecting His glory. “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 3:18) I have only scratched at the surface of what God has in store for you; read the Bible to learn more of His marvelous plan to make you into a new person. If you will but allow Him to work in your life, the results will be beautiful!
Written by reborn artist Andrea Donaldson, who, by the grace of God, has been “reborned” herself.