Skip to comments.September 25 - Nicodemus’ Doubt
Posted on 09/25/2019 4:57:24 AM PDT by metmom
Nicodemus said to Him, How can these things be? Jesus answered and said to him, Are you the teacher of Israel and do not understand these things? (John 3:910).
Although he was a renowned, recognized, and established teacher in Israel, Nicodemus was a poor learner. His question How can these things be? indicates he had made little progress. Despite Jesus further clarification, Nicodemus still could not accept what he was hearing. He could not let go of his legalistic religious system and realize that salvation was a sovereign, gracious work of Gods Spirit.
Because of his position as the teacher of Israel, Nicodemus could have been expected to understand the things Jesus had said. In fact, his lack of understanding was inexcusable considering his exposure to the Old Testament. Jesus found it indefensible that this prominent scholar was not familiar with the foundational new covenant teaching, housed in the Old Testament, regarding the only way of salvation (cf. 2 Tim. 3:15). Sadly, Nicodemus serves as a clear example of the numbing effect that external, legalistic religion has on a persons spiritual perceptioneven to the point of obscuring the revelation of God.
Although nothing in this passage suggests Nicodemus was converted that evening (and verse 11 strongly implies that he was not), he never forgot his discussion with Jesus. Later, he boldly defended Him before the Sanhedrin (7:5051), and helped Joseph of Arimathea prepare His body for burial (19:3839)actions that indicate the presence of genuine faith in his life. Somewhere after that memorable evening he spent with Jesus but before the crucifixion, Nicodemus came to understand sovereign grace and experience the reality of the new birth.
Perhaps theres someone (or several people) youve been talking to and praying for, deeply concerned about their spiritual condition, perhaps even a little perturbed at their stubborn resistance to the gospel. Dont give up. Dont quit asking. There is more than one Nicodemus who said no, no, no, before finally succumbing to grace.
Studying God’s Word ping
There IS one I am praying for; as sure as the water recedes from the seashore...
I find myself not utilizing prayer often enough as I foolishly think that I might be bothering God and Jesus and the helper even though I do CONSTANTLY ask for the helper to be with me daily in my thoughts , actions and my work (so I do it to the best of my ability.) But my faith is childlike I do not question or get upset as this beautiful life goes by , I know God has a reason for every happenstance no matter how small or minute we might think it is . God knows how many hairs are on our head his brilliance is beyond our comprehension . Praise and Glory to God for his never ending love for us .
From the OP: “ He could not let go of his legalistic religious system and realize that salvation was a sovereign, gracious work of Gods Spirit.”
The text in John 3 indicates Nicodemus had not experienced the new birth. Whose fault was it Nicodemus had not been born again? God’s? The Holy Spirit’s? Nicodemus’?
I believe Nicodemus will be in the clouds soon ...
Whose fault was it Nicodemus had not already been born again when the conversation took place in Jn 3?
If Nicodemus had no role in his own new birth, how could he be criticized for not being born again?
Here's a big hint: the kingdom Age would not have been hallmarked by The Holy Spirit in the spirits of Gentiles. The Church Age is the Age of Grace, the Age of The Righteousness of Christ imputed to ALL believers both Jew and Gentile. No works are required for the God to impute the righteousness to an individual spirit, but during the Kingdom Age there will be Temple functions and works to fulfill.
Start of ANOTHER pre-, post-, mid- and/or a-trib rapture thread!
The reason Nicodemus had not been born again was his own fault for man has a role to play in his own new birth.
At that time in Jn 3, John’s water baptism was in effect (Jn 3:23), John’s baptism would remit sins (Mk 1:4) yet Pharisees as Nicodemus rejected John’s baptism (Luke 7:30).
John’s baptism has been replace by Christ’s water baptism of the great commission (Mt 28:19,20 > Acts 2:38). Those that submit to Christ’s baptism (born of water) have all sins remitted then can walk in newness of life (Rom 6:4).
Those who submit to Christ’s baptism are baptized into Christ therefore are clothed in Christ (Gal 3:27). Having put on Christ in baptism, one is covered by Christ’s perfect righteousness and therefore seen by God as perfectly righteousness. Christ’s righteousness is not transferred to the sinner while the sinner sits idle. But the sinner obeys the will of God in submitting to baptism and then is born again having put on Christ.
I have never been a fan of Calvinistic dogma. Of course each of us must answer for the behaviors we have done / do in this life, and the Bible tells us that by not choosing The Grace of God in Christ we have condemned ourselves for not believing God. I do not believe any Baptism remits sin, but the submitting and following through is an act of the will and when the will of one repents of sin, that is when the remitting happens and the baptism is an outward sign of same. When Jesus submitted to John’s Baptism there was not sin to remit. Jesus did it to fulfill all righteousness.
Jesus had no sins to remit but for the rest of that do, baptism is where that remittance, the washing away of sins takes place by the blood of Christ, Acts 2:38.
Christ shed His blood that washes away sin (Rev 1:5) in His death, (Jn 19:34).
We then must have access into the death of Christ where He shed His blood so it can wash away our sins.......
Rom 6:3-5 “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were BAPTIZED INTO HIS DEATH?
Therefore we are buried with him by BAPTISM INTO DEATH: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:”
Baptism is the only access into the death of Christ where His shed blood washes away sins.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.