Skip to comments.September 23 - Jesus Challenges Nicodemus: New Birth
Posted on 09/23/2019 4:56:15 PM PDT by metmom
Jesus answered and said to him, Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus said to Him, How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mothers womb and be born, can he? (John 3:34).
Jesus shocking statement was far more than Nicodemus had expected. Incredulous, Nicodemus said to Him, How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mothers womb and be born, can he? Nicodemus did not misinterpret Jesus words; he replied in the context of the Lords analogy. How could he start all over, go back to the beginning? Jesus was telling him that entrance to Gods salvation was not a matter of adding something to all his efforts but rather cancelling everything and starting all over again.
At the same time, Nicodemus clearly could not grasp the full meaning of what this meant. Jesus was making entrance into the kingdom contingent on something that could not be obtained through human effort. If spiritual rebirth, like physical rebirth, was impossible from human effort, then where did that leave this self-righteous Pharisee, since the system in which he had placed his hope was powerless to save?
Far from minimizing the demands of the gospel, Jesus challenged this most religious Jew to admit his spiritual bankruptcy and abandon everything he was trusting in for salvation.
Be sure as you proclaim the gospel that you challenge your listeners to give up what they think will get them to heaven.
On one hand, adherence to the law (as Nicodemus saw it) seems like a long-forgotten pursuit. But there are plenty of folks down the street or within the sound of your voice who are clinging to the hopes of their good works. How does this show itself? How can you counteract it as you witness to them?
Studying God’s Word ping
Thanx for the ping to one John’s best.
...Born again=Baptism “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God”
I keep hearing this claim of people “clinging to good works” as a hook to get them to Heaven yet I have never in my long life run into anyone who made that claim about themselves. I really think that people know the difference between works and Grace. Not even slightly enlightened Christians thinks his works will get him (or her) to Heaven. But people do believe, with no harm, that they can demonstrate their faith and love for the Grace they have been given by doing good. There is nothing wrong with doing good.
John 3:3-8 Jesus answered him,Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God. 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? Jesus answered, Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, You must be born again. The 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.
John 3:14-18 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
John 5:24 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.
John 6:40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.
John 11:25-26 Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?
And right here, Peter tells us that salvation is NOT by WATER baptism.
1 Peter 3:18-22 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God's patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water.
Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.
If baptism saves, then Christ died for nothing.
All people would have to do is get dunked and they'd be good to go.
Indeed ... are you acquainted with what the Bible defines the crowns received at the Bema seat? Do you know what each crown represents?
For me this is the key of today's devotional.
Adding more to the religion is what the Jews had been doing for centuries. God's New Covenant was a new start of allowing us to reconcile the separation between man and God.
I posted this a few days ago, so I apologize if you have already seen it:
August 12, 2019
The phrase Born Again has become slang for insults, derisions, and laughter for ages against Christians of all types. Even among Christians it can be suggestive of fundamentalism, sometimes in derogatory terms. But what does it really mean, and is this important?
Jesus declared, I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. Sounds important to me no one, he says.
We tend to have the same reaction as Nicodemus did when he first heard those words: How can this be?, to which Jesus replies: You are Israels teacher and do not understand these things?
But what did this Israel teacher not understand? What was he missing?
The two creations stories in Genesis hold the key. The first shows the power and awesome authority of God as he creates the physical universe with the words, let there be . . .. The second story emphasizes the intimacy of God as he makes man with his hands and Adams spiritual creation as God breathes life into him. (It is of note that God did not breathe life into the animals.) God establishes mans relationships with the world he is shown as having dominion over the animals, equality with other humans, and is to be subservient to God. Adam is then told not to eat of the forbidden fruit or he will surely die. When he disobeys, his spiritual creation dies just as God had said it would. Relations with the animals and humans is damaged and he is no longer in an intimate relationship with his Creator to walk with him in the garden in the cool of the evening. Instead, Adams reply when God looks for him is, I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid . . .
This is what Nicodemus needed to understand: Until man re-gains his spiritual creation he cannot enter Gods kingdom thus, he must be born again. Jesus went on to explained it this way: I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to the Spirit.
This explains why Jesus was baptized. Jesus as the second Adam had to repeat the steps Adam had gotten wrong. In Jesus baptism he was born of the Spirit as the dove descended on him, just as Adam had been when God breathed life into his nostrils. Jesus was then tempted in the desert for forty days, but this time the second Adam passed the tests of temptation the first Adam had failed, and we were back on track as spiritual beings.
For the next three years Jesus showed us what it means to be born into a spiritual life. In his death the power of death which the tempter had gained over man through Adams disobedience died with him.
Finally, on the Day of Pentecost, we were all invited for a do-over of our spiritual birth, long lost through the first Adams disobedience. I see the crowd which heard Peters amazing sermon as the ones who had followed him into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. They were stunned, and asked, Brothers, what shall we do?
Peter replied, Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. There it is be washed in the water of baptism (dying to sin) and receive the new Spiritual life through the Holy Spirit.
The circle is now completed. Man was created both flesh and Spirit, but his creation in the Spirit, with Gods breath in his nostrils, had died in sin. Jesus has provided a path out of sin, but it requires that we be born of water and the Spirit, re-born into our second creation. Born Again.
Not so derogatory at all.
Many times when sharing the Gospel with people, I would ask them if they were going to heaven.
Most would say yes they were.
When I asked why God would let them in, most would say because they were a good person.
Bear in mind, even though some thought they were Christians, most were not Born Again.
The majority of people I engaged were not Christians, but still thought they were going to heaven.
This gave me a great opportunity to share scriptures with them that would impart the Truth of God’s Word to them.
Jesus answered and said to him, Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born* from above. "Unless a man be born again": By these words our Saviour hath declared the necessity of baptism; and by the word water it is evident that the application of it is necessary with the words. Matt. 28. 19. Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
4Nicodemus said to him, How can a person once grown old be born again? Surely he cannot reenter his mothers womb and be born again, can he?
5Jesus answered, Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit.d
The Greek word anothen used in this sentence can mean either again or from above.
Nicodemus understands it as again, i.e. a physical rebirth to enter the kingdom.
Jesus instead calls for a spiritual rebirth from above.
The Greek expression always means from above elsewhere in John as in 3:31; 19:11.
<3:31 He that cometh from above, is above all. He that is of the earth, of the earth he is, and of the earth he speaketh. He that cometh from heaven, is above all19:11 Jesus answered: Thou shouldst not have any power against me, unless it were given thee from above. Therefore, he that hath delivered me to thee, hath the greater sin
You put limitations on God - Jesus who was/is Lord, God and Savior even in the womb of Mary, His mother, even on the cross. At no point was He not God, unlike what you may profess
well, to be fair, the “adding on” was done by the Pharisaical sect of 2nd Temple Judaism.
The Pharisees held to the verbal law as well as the Mosaic Law.
The Sadduccees held only to the written law, but they became the party of the elite, while the pharisees were more “to earth”.
With the destruction of the 2nd Temple (as prophesied by Jesus in Matthew 24 and as seen by John in the book of Revelations where he sees the harlot-city of Jerusalem-of-69AD being burnt and devoured by the beast (the Roman Empire)) there were only 2 sects of 2nd temple Judaism left:
1. the Pharisees - who under Rabbi Ben Zakkai theorised that there was no need for the 2nd temple sacrifices any more and that Rabbis and synagogues — this led to modern day Judaism
2. the Jesus followers - who became todays orthodoxy - assyrian, coptic, catholic, eastern orthodox etc.
Note that Samaritans are still there - probably hold outs from 1st temple judaism, and Karaites are guessed as descendents of Sadduccees
Discuss the issues all you want, but do not make it personal.
Mind reading is making it personal.
Thank you. This wasn’t mind-reading but the professed belief of the poster. however you are right
I do not argue or debate with members.
My assessment was correct.
Do not post in the Religion Forum for a week.
I suggest you use that time to study the RF guidelines and the post where you made the statement with mind reading which was personal.
You post a laundry list of things someone has to do to get saved and tell me I’m putting limits on God when I quote Scripture where He states that faith is all it takes?
So how is that??? Jesus said John the baptist baptized with water...And claimed He baptized with something that was not water...BTW, potato chips does not mean shoe polish any more than Baptize means water...
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