Cyprian, a wealthy noble who lived during the third century, enjoyed galloping about Carthage in his gold and bejewelled chariot. He wore fancy clothes studded with diamonds and precious stones and lived a debauched life. In a letter to one of the Christian theologians of his time, Cyprian said he couldn’t possibly conceive how he could change his life—the life he had lived for so long. The inveterate habits, tastes, and desires that he had developed, the sins he clutched to his bosom, how could he possibly give these things up? How could he ever become like the Christians he saw? He said it seemed to him to be an utterly impossible thing.
Yet in the mysterious providence and grace of God, that which seemed utterly impossible came to pass and Cyprian was transformed. God reached down and took out of Cyprian’s breast that stony heart and placed within him a heart of flesh—a heart tuned to love his God and sing His praises. Cyprian, who later became one of the great Christian leaders of the early church, said things that before had seemed utterly impossible, mysterious, and difficult to understand had all become plain. All his problems had disappeared.
You say, ‘But I don’t understand the new birth.’ The good news is you don’t have to. You just have to trust in Christ and be born again. All kinds of people—the great and the mighty, the base and the low, the noble and ignoble, the savage and the sophisticate—have experienced the regenerating power of God and enjoyed a new life in Christ. And you can too.