Born from above
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
Without form and void
In the account of the creation the first thing we see is that it is God who initiates everything. It is – in the beginning God created. Unless God had spoken the word, in order to bring the universe into existence, then nothing would have happened. The universe did not come into being by any other means. It was no accident, it did not come into being by some random (so called) evolutionary processes. The whole of creation was initiated by, and spoken into being by the living Word of God. Jn.1:1-5.
This is no less true for salvation, it was God who took the initiative, in fact Jesus is called the Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world Rev.13:8. Just think, before creation God knew what would happen and had redemption all planned out, so that when Adam sinned God gave the promise of the Messiah and the plan of redemption in seed form Gen.3:15. In the matter of salvation we do not drift into it by some random accident, it has to be a definite act of God in a life. God has to speak
In the Biblical account we have the statement: the earth was without form and void. Much has been written on this: did God create it like this, or was there a cataclysmic event in between the first two verses? If so what was it? Such questions are speculative, scripture doesn’t inform us and so we will not pursue that point here.
That the earth was waste and without form describes our condition in our fallen state. The word suggests emptiness. We have the wisest man of the OT coming to this conclusion: Vanity of vanities, says the preacher all is vanity Eccl.1:2. Now in the Hebrew a word that is repeated is an idiom meaning the ultimate of that particular quality. (eg. Holy of Holies). Here Solomon declaring in Ecclesiastes that life without God is the ultimate vanity and emptiness.
Paul says something similar in I Cor.15:19 if in this life only we have hope in Christ we are of all men most miserable. In another place the apostle describes us as being dead in trespasses and sins Eph.2:1. As a result of first birth we are fallen in sin and are the enemies of God. We are in a lost state, void of life and full of a wasted existence. And we would have remained like that unless God had done something about it.
The Spirit moves
We see next that the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. We must note carefully the following points that are relevant to our subject: the waters covered the earth, and that the planet was immersed in water, or we could say the earth was baptised! It was from this state that the world was made. We are told that the Spirit moved upon the face of the waters. The Hebrew word for moved means to brood, flutter or shake. The metaphorical language used is associating the Holy Spirit as a bird, such as a dove. The Spirit moved where He willed and the earth came forth.
Likewise when a person is brought into true salvation, the Spirit moves as He wills. No one sees Him nor tells from whence He came, but the effects in a person’s life will be clearly visible, as the effects of the wind are seen when it blows. This new birth is accomplished solely by the will of God and not of men, or by any other agency.
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again [=from above]. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
I Pet. 1:23
When God moves in a life He speaks and His creative word brings forth life into a soul. Peter describes it as being born again of the word of God. This word is an incorruptible seed, it is a life that lives and abide (= remains) for ever.
Two stanzas from the famous Wesley hymn ‘ O for a thousand tongues’ speaks of this perfectly.
He speaks; and listening to His voice,
New life the dead receive,
The mournful, broken hearts rejoice,
The humble poor believe
Hear him, ye deaf; his praise, ye dumb,
Your loosened tongues employ;
Ye blind, behold your Saviour come,
And leap, ye lame, for joy.