Growth Not Instant Perfection

The lack of technology in humanity's early history caused travel and agriculture to teach us patience and hard work pay off. Both travel and farming, back in the day, were limited by foot, animal, boat or other means due to the large distances of land between peoples.

Places like cities and things like buildings don't just materialize out of thin air or jump off the page into perfect existence after we draw or sketch them to scale. Neither do we observe a son or daughter appear fully grown, healthy and inserted properly in society at the wish of a newly wed couple planning a family.

None of these were instantaneously created or born at their full potential. We have stages to a final product or outcome.

When we look at humans they are born then usually develop physically and mentally over the years in stages to become hopefully a healthy, productive, contributing member of society.

This pattern of first - idea, then plan and creation and development also applies to everyone's spiritual man or woman.

Nicodemus visited Jesus acknowledging Jesus was a teacher from God because of all the signs Jesus was performing. Jesus responded -

“Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again. - John 3:3

Even though Nicodemus goes on to show he did not understand the meaning of "born again", I believe Jesus was not only teaching here but complementing Nicodemus in saying in between the lines - you would not be coming to me and saying this unless you, Nicodemus, were born again and could see the kingdom of God at work through me. There were not many Pharisees who saw Jesus the way Nicodemus did and sought Him out, and in the middle of the night.

In addition, the word "again" in the phrase "born again" is from the original Greek word that means from above. The phrase then translates - born from above. The Holy Spirit that is in every person is inactive until the point of decision for Lordship of Jesus Christ over their life is expressed. Ephesians 2:1-5 supports this saying - 

"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 and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved."

Another name, title, or word for "born again" is rebirth or regeneration. The world, potential believers in Christ and those just filling the pews every Sunday need to understand this rebirth, this regeneration is non-negotiable; it is a must. God will not tolerate sinful humanity in His immediate Presence and for His future plans. Jesus mentions this requirement twice in John 3:3, 7. Other Scripture that supports physical birth equipping us for earthly living and spiritual rebirth through Christ preparing us for Heavenly living is found in - 
Ephesians 2:1; 1 Peter 1:23; John 1:13; 1 John 3:9; 4:7; 5:1, 4, 18.

Living outside the decision to accept Christ as Lord and Savior of one's life means those individuals continue as deserving of wrath or one translation says "children of wrath" (Eph. 2:1-5). Those people also remain in spiritual prison or bondage, with the devil as the warden, until that decision for Christ is made (Hebrews 9:15). All other options a person may try to fill the spirituality of their life with - God calls those options so empty that they are dead.

"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 and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient." - Ephesians 2:1-2

"When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross." - Colossians 2:12-14

In other words..."We don’t need renovation or reformation or reorganization; we need rebirth."(

There are other influences in a believer's life that could contribute to any kind of stumbling block besides our own generated mistakes. Christians have the world and its systems and the spiritual enemy of the devil himself to contend with.

However, once salvation is accepted through Christ, everyone must recall the concept of birth, rebirth or regeneration - it is a process, not instant gratification of a desired outcome. Also, this development should not be used consistently as an escape goat for sins. That action, in and of itself is not mature. 
Just remember to continue working out your salvation or faith walk and know that the idea is Growth Not Instant Perfection.