In Gospel of John 3:1-17—there was Nicodemus, a Pharisee and a member of the Jewish ruling council, who admired the miracles of Jesus Christ and believed that God was with Him. Yet because he was afraid of losing status, he waited until night-time to seek out Jesus for answers. “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again,” Jesus said to him. John 3:3 Nicodemus disagreed and asked, “How can someone be born when they are old?” John 3:4
Jesus and Nicodemus referred to two very different things.
In fact, Jesus and Nicodemus referred to two very different things. Nicodemus thought that Jesus was talking about the physical rebirth of people in this life, yet what Jesus wanted to emphasize was the spiritual rebirth of people. So Jesus reiterated, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.” John 3:5-6 Mothers give birth to flesh, yet there is also spirit apart from flesh. The Bible mentions that “the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” Genesis 2:7 However, because of the fall of man, corrupted humanity and opened the door to evildoing. Paul said, “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.” Hence, Jesus said, “You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’” John 3:7
All these are the work of the Holy Spirit itself, and it is by no means live by the standards of this world.
So how can the human spirit be reborn? It is through baptism with water and receive new spirit through Holy Spirit. From the beginning, God had enlightened the world through the prophet Ezekiel, “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” Ezekiel 36:25-27 All these are the work of the Holy Spirit itself, and it is by no means live by the standards of this world.
God asked Moses to lift up the brass snake in the wilderness to save the Israelites—God will also lift up the Son of man to save the world.
However, the Bible teacher Nicodemus was even more confused after hearing this. So he asked Jesus, “How can this be?” John 3:9 Jesus then condemned his disbelief and unwillingness to accept His witness. He pointed out that God asked Moses to lift up the brass snake in the wilderness to save the Israelites—God will also lift up the Son of man to save the world. All these stem from “God loved the world”, so that “He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 Jesus reiterated that he came not to “condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:17
Today, we have been baptized by God’s grace and our sins in the past have washed away. However, have we been regenerated by the Holy Spirit? Are we willing to let go of ourselves and let the Holy Spirit enter and run in our hearts for the Lord’s love for us? May God search us and have mercy on us! Amen!