Each Saturday we draw on the insights of Christian leaders and thinkers from the past.

This month, we spend time with Menno Simons (ca. 1496-1561). A Catholic priest at age 28. By 40 years of age, his weariness with his selfish life, a renewed study of the Scriptures, and influence of Reformers like Martin Luther, led him to the conclusion that his faith was a sham. He committed himself to Christ, was re-baptized upon the confession of his faith, and gave the rest of his life to loving and organizing fledgling and suffering congregations in the Netherlands and Northern Germany.

Scripture Reading: Acts 2:29-41

The new birth consists not in water nor in words, but it is the heavenly quickening power of God in our hearts which comes from God and through the preaching of the divine word, if we accept the same by faith, touches, pierces, renews and changes our hearts, so that we are converted from unbelief to faith, from unrighteousness to righteousness, from evil to good, from carnality to spirituality, from the earthly to the heavenly, from the evil nature of Adam to the good nature of Jesus Christ.

All who by faith accept this grace in Christ which is preached through the Gospel, and adhere to it from their hearts, are born anew of God, through the power of the Holy Ghost. Their heart and mind is changed and renewed; yea, they are transformed from Adam into Christ.

They walk in newness of life, as willing and obedient children, in the grace that is extended to them. They are renewed, I say, have become poor in spirit, meek, merciful, compassionate, ready to suffer for the truth; they strive steadfastly by good works after eternal life; for they are believing, they are born of God, they are in Christ and Christ in them; they partake of His Spirit and nature and thus live by the power of Christ which is in them, according to the Word of the Lord.

This is what it means, according to the Scriptures to believe, to be Christians, to be in Christ and Christ in us.

— Menno Simons

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