Thursday, April 16, 2009

John, chapter 3 part 1

The first half of John 3 deserves its own separate entry. In it, we have Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus. This may be one of the most important passages of the Word because it explains the entire argument for Christ in just 20 verses. We have this argument from Jesus Himself too. This is not some speech from a prophet. It is straight from the source about why we have a need for Christ and how to gain salvation through the Spirit.

5Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.' – John 3:5-7

This is a very important setup here. Jesus tells us that we cannot be reconciled of ourselves. I have seen this in my own life. Even though I try to deepen my walk with Christ, I am frustrated with failure because of my flesh. Inherently, I have no hope of saving myself because I am born of flesh. The part of me that has been reborn of the Spirit has been reconciled, however. When we are born again we are different. Part of the struggle from that point forward comes from the fact that we are still human as long as we are a part of this world. We can still fall, and will fall. Perfection cannot be attained this side of heaven, but once we recognize Christ and are born again in His forgiveness we see that. We then act in faith that He can achieve much in our failure.

19This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. – John 3:19-20

Even though I have accepted Christ, I still fear what His light will expose in my life. We all do. As is explained here, it is our human nature to still keep things hidden in darkness. The beauty of Christ’s forgiveness is that once exposed to His light, that which we keep in darkness is forgiven. He knows we are frail, weak creatures. He knows we have failures. Still, He offers His forgiveness. He takes what is impure and purifies it. That is the essence of of being born again because we then can be reconciled of our sins.


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