Text: John 3:1-36
Event(s): Jesus teaches Nicodemus about second birth; Co-ministry with John the Baptist
John 3:3 “unless one is born again he cannot see” There is an entire Kingdom our eyes are closed to unless we are born again. Rebirth opens our spiritual eyes and until that happens, we will remain confounded by what we see in the natural. The word “again” can also be rendered to read, “from above“.
John 3:5 “he cannot enter the Kingdom of God” Both seeing and entering are hindered without rebirth.
John 3:16 “whoever believes in Him” To believe in Jesus does not just mean to believe that He exists. The word “believe” comes from the Greek word “pisteuo” which means to trust in, have faith in, to be fully convinced of, acknowledge, rely on. It is more than credence in church doctrines or articles of faith. It expresses reliance upon and personal trust that produces obedience. It includes submission and a positive confession of the lordship of Jesus Christ.*
Today’s Takeaway: Take everything else away, our spiritual disciplines, our acts of service, our involvement in church. The most important of all questions we must know that we can answer with utmost certainty in our hearts is, Have we been born again? If you have, you will know it. If you have not, you most likely will not be able to answer this question with complete certainty.
While it is experienced- this regeneration, this newness – it’s not the experience we must seek after. It is the decision in our hearts to turn towards God, and to make Him Lord of our lives. To acknowledge, (as we have defined above what belief is), that we believe in our hearts and will be bold enough to confess with our mouths that He is who He says He is. And that in light of this truth, the only worthy response we can offer is to humbly, willingly, and lovingly submit our lives to His lordship.
Through this repentance, through this turning, through this change in our thinking and confessing it, it is then, that rebirth takes place. It is then, that we are born again, from above, of the Spirit. It is then that our spiritual eyes are opened and we enter into this kingdom life that Jesus speaks of. If there is any doubt in your mind, you must simply choose what you will do with this truth. To act upon it, believe in your heart and confess with your mouth (right there, wherever you are) that you believe who Jesus is, and that you submit your life to His Lordship.
Additional (optional) reading: What ever happened to Nicodemus? John 7:50-52 and John 19:39 are two other passages that mention him again. In Chapter 7, he is speaking up in defense of Jesus and in Chapter 19, he is alongside Joseph of Arimathea, assisting with Jesus’ burial, which was a bold statement of where he stood. Though we cannot be certain at what point it happened, evidently along the way, Nicodemus had become bold enough to publicly reveal what he believed in his heart of who Jesus was.
*Definition of the word believe is taken from the New Spirit Filled Life Bible, Dr. Jack Hayford, Executive Editor.