Feb. 21, 2017

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Reading along with us in John? Here’s today’s reading:

John 3 (ESV)

Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” 3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again’… Continue Reading

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This Post Has 7 Comments
  1. John 3 is so packed with amazing truth and profound revelation it’s hard not to write about the entire chapter!

    One thing that jumped out at me this morning in a new way is the ending of the chapter where John says in John 3:36, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.”

    The word “believes” in reference to us having “eternal life” is put into context and understood more clearly by his explanation of what real belief is by contrasting it with what non-belief is: “whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.”

    We clearly see that the kind of belief that gives us eternal life and removes the wrath of God from us is a belief that produces obedience to Christ. This does not mean instant, sinless perfection at the moment we (truly) believe, but a commitment to following Jesus and walk in obedience to Him as our Lord.

    This doesn’t mean that our obedience saves us but the kind of belief that gives us eternal life will produce fruits of righteousness, fruit of the Spirt and a desire to obey the teachings of Christ (no matter how flawed we are or how many mistakes we make). While it’s a life-long process, belief without obedience or a change in direction (repentance) does not remove the wrath of God from us.

    James 2:18-20 says, But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! 20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless?

    May God give us eyes to see and ears to hear what true, saving belief in Christ is (and what it is not).

  2. I read John 3 today, then at work tonight, listened to a reading of Charles Spurgeon’s sermon on 2 Corinthians 13:5 “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!”

    Spurgeon’s exposition of what it means to “examine yourselves” and “test yourselves” was so convicting! I don’t think I’ve ever examined myself as I did tonight. When I got home, I read all of 2 Corinthians 13.

  3. 8The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” I kept going back to this over and over. Is it that we will hear Gods voice if we are born of the spirit or that we will be directed by the spirit without knowing where it will lead us? Would appreciate a response!
    Read 1-3 of John tonight.

    1. The Spirit speaks to all people but it is only those born of the Spirit who hear God’s voice in the context of relationship and fellowship. See John 16:8-11 for what the Spirit communicates to the unbeliever. But mostly Jesus here is talking about the difference between earthly things and heavenly things. Nicodemus cannot understand being born again because he is looking at it with fleshly eyes and not eyes of faith/spirit. So Jesus uses the wind as an analogy. You know it’s there, but you really can see it, nail it down, or control it. It comes from where it wants and goes to where it wants. And the Spirit is like that too: you can’t see Him, nail Him down or control Him, but what a great thing to yield to Him and be carried along where He is going. That is what life in the Spirit is like but it takes faith to appropriate Him and the Word to discern what He is saying. But for Nicodemus and the unbeliever it is a call to faith and accepting Jesus for who He is and being born again by that Spirit and not being born in the flesh.

  4. March 16, 2017 – (Started over in John because I was distracted from finishing!) When I read this chapter today, I saw something new in the response of Jesus to Nicodemus: “Are you the teacher of Israel and do not understand these things?”

    Last night at FoY Teens we talked about being “born again,” and the difference between “following Jesus” in our deeds only (either without conversion, or post-conversion but in the flesh), as opposed to “following Jesus” while walking in the Spirit.

    Heady and confusing stuff to unbelievers. We encouraged the teens at the end with the John 3:1-21 interaction between Jesus and Nicodemus, a man who was a highly respected, highly intelligent teacher! Even he did not understand – because he had not been born of the Spirit.

    “The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 2:14

  5. Wow, reading this with new eyes-
    John 3:30 He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.
    Doesn’t this sum up our Christian journey.
    The more I stay in the word, listen to the Holy Spirit and follow Gods leading the more I can live, show and share Gods amazing love by giving up my worldly ways for His. My ways become less and less allowing His ways to shine and work through me.

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