The Mysterious Holy Spirit | Part 1: Born of the Spirit (John 3)

Welcome to Real Life. Many things are real, even if we can’t see them.
     _____

He came to Jesus privately, at night, and said,
“Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him,”[1]
Nicodemus was a Pharisee who sat on the Jewish ruling council. He may have come at night for secrecy, because for the most part, his contemporaries didn't like Jesus. They considered him a rogue preacher who didn't come up through their ranks or play by their rules.

Or, maybe Nicodemus was sent by his colleagues to get the down-low from the man himself. For, regardless of how they felt about Jesus’ ministry, they couldn't deny the God-size miracles.

Whatever the reason, Nicodemus went sincerely seeking answers. And because he did, Jesus came right to the point,

“Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”[2]

(You see God in my miracles, Nicodemus. But, you’re still on the outside looking in. You’ll never fully understand who I am or why I came unless you are born again.)

“How can a grown man enter his mother’s womb again?” a confused Nicodemus asks.

Jesus explains, “Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to the spirit.” It’s like the wind. You can’t see it, but it’s very real. You can hear it, feel it, and see its effects. So it is with the Spirit.

“How can this be?”
     _____

Like Nicodemus, I went sincerely seeking answers. Though raised in church, I was far from God. But, I didn’t want to be. And when a friend invited me to church, I accepted the invitation. That Sunday morning, the pastor spoke from God’s Word. I sensed a difference, the power of truth. At the close of service, I knelt at the altar, wept over my sin, and invited Jesus Christ into my life.

That’s when it happened. Everything changed—my focus, my desires, and my behavior. Like an infant, I was born into a new life, born of the Spirit. Friends began to ask, “What happened to Peggi?”

   

     _____

“How can this be?”

“You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? … I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, 
that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but to save the world through him.

Whoever believes in him is not condemned,
but whoever does not believe stands condemned already
because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” 

Lord, I believe!


Take it further:
  • “Jesus’ teaching about the new birth confronts us with our hopeless spiritual and moral and legal condition apart from God’s regenerating grace. Before the new birth happens to us, we are spiritually dead. We are morally selfish and rebellious. And we are legally guilty before God’s law and under his wrath. When Jesus tells us that we must be born again he is telling us that our present condition is hopelessly unresponsive, corrupt, and guilty. Apart from amazing grace in our lives, we don’t like to hear that about ourselves. So it is unsettling when Jesus tells us that we must be born again.”  –John Piper   Read more.

  • “Your real, new self (which is Christ's and also yours, and yours just because it is His) will not come as long as you are looking for it. It will come when you are looking for Him... Give up yourself, and you will find your real self. Lose your life and you will save it. Submit to death, death of your ambitions and favourite wishes every day and death of your whole body in the end submit with every fibre of your being, and you will find eternal life. Keep back nothing. Nothing that you have not given away will be really yours. Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead. Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in.” –C.S. Lewis
Next week: The Mysterious Holy Spirit | Part 2: Christ in Me (John 14-17)

[1] John 1:2b
[2] John 3:3

Comments

  1. So clearly explained and demonstrated. You do great work, Peggi!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sean! I appreciate you stopping by my blog. :)

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