Friday, January 10, 2014

Gospel Of John 2:23-3:21

Ok. I have been reading a lot faster than I have been writing.  I have a lot of catching up to do.  I have been avoiding this passage, because it has so much in it.  It is a crucial part of the gospel.  I am just a little bit intimidated by it.

Jesus had been doing miracles.  He is approached by Nicodemus.  Nicodemus is a Pharisee.  He is a very important religious leader.  He starts their conversation by acknowledging that he knows Jesus has come from God, because of his miracles.  I think it is important to note that.  Later in the Gospel, Jesus will be accused of being aligned with Satan when he casts out demons.  This leader acknowledges that Jesus' miracles have come from God.  He then asks Jesus how a man can see the Kingdom of God.  Jesus tells him that he must be born again.  Nicodemus is so confused.  He asks how a many can reenter the womb.  Jesus says that man is born once of water.  This is our physical birth.  A man must then be born of Spirit.  This is our rebirth.  God is spirit and his main concern is always the spiritual.  This rebirth is through the Holy Spirit.

When Paul talks about the new birth, he talks about a death to the old life and rebirth in a new life.  This rebirth is what is symbolised in Baptism.  We die to sin, and are raised again in newness of life.  Our physical way of living dies in our rebirth.  We live in the Spirit.  We are raised to a new life that we live for Christ.  Nicodemus was a very educated man. He could not understand what Jesus was saying.  In all his education the idea was just too simple for him.  God has chosen the simple things of life to put to shame the wise.  Being reborn is simply placing all of your faith in Jesus.  At that time we are invaded by the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit will guide us in our life from that point forward.  There is deeper and more meaningful thing happening at conversion.  It is so much more than praying a prayer and trying to do good.  It is a complete change of mindset and outlook.  The world will look completely different to a person born of the Spirit.  The mundane things of life will be cast aside, and replaced with the eternal things of God.  We are freed from the bondage of sin.  We have the ability through the Holy Spirit to resist the devil.

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