Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (John 3:3)
Archibald Alexander served the Lord as a preacher, college president, and pastor. The passion and piety of this man can be seen in the verses that were pasted into the cover of his Bible.
To love him with all the heart and with all the soul and with all the strength is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.
I dwell with him that is of a contrite and humble spirit.
But to do good and to communicate forget not.
The Lord is nigh unto them which are of broken heart and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit
His conversion to the Lord was around the age of sixteen. It was during the beginning of the Second Great Awakening. It was a discussion over the new birth that pricked his soul. Let us meditate on the glory of God reflected in his testimony. May all who read this meditation be truly converted!
A revival in the area, one of the beginnings of the Second Great Awakening, was winning converts. One day a Baptist carpenter suddenly asked Alexander whether he believed in the second birth. Taken aback, Alexander answered that he did. Asked then if he had experienced it, Alexander answered frankly, “Not that I know of.” The conversation ended with the disturbing words, “Oh, if you had experienced this change you would know something about it!” Alexander began seriously to consider the subject: “It seemed to be in the Bible; but I thought there must be some method of explaining it away; for among the Presbyterians I had never heard of anyone who had experienced the new birth, nor could I recollect ever to have heard it mentioned.” Before this time, Alexander’s “only notion of religion was that it consisted in becoming better.” …
An event occurred one Sunday night which must be described in Alexander’s own words:
My services as a reader were frequently in requisition, not only to save the eyes of old Mrs. Tyler, but on Sundays for the benefit of the whole family. On one of these Sabbath evenings, I was requested to read out of Flavel. The part on which I had been regularly engaged was the “Method of Grace”; but now, by some means, I was led to select one of the sermons on Revelation 3:20, “Behold I stand at the door and knock,” etc. The discourse was upon the patience, forbearance and kindness of the Lord Jesus Christ to impenitent and obstinate sinners. As I proceeded to read aloud, the truth took effect on my feelings, and every word I read seemed applicable to my own case. Before I finished the discourse, these emotions became too strong for restraint, and my voice began to falter. I laid down the book, rose hastily, and went out with a full heart, and hastened to my place of retirement. No sooner had I reached the spot than I dropped upon my knees, and attempted to pour out my feelings in prayer; but I had not continued many minutes in this exercise before I was overwhelmed with a flood of joy.
“Now, at the age of seventy-seven, I am of opinion, that my regeneration took place while I resided at General Posey’s, in the year 1788.” (David Calhoun, Princeton Seminary, Vol. 1, 42, 45, 46, 47)
Have you experienced the new birth? Do you have the life of God in your soul? These are sober questions, however these are the questions of utmost importance. An eternity rests upon the proper scriptural wholehearted response to Christ and His finished work.