The truth behind John 3:16

People were clamoring over the Messiah. People were hungry for the word and truth of God, and no one spoke like Jesus spoke. Nicodemus, who was a Pharisee, approached Jesus under darkness and asked him how he could have what Jesus was offering. He knew Jesus was from God because he had seen and/or heard the things Jesus had been doing.

Jesus was never abrasive in His teaching, but He did get to the point quickly. This is where Jesus talked about being “born again,” or being born of the Spirit. We know that all have sinned. (Adam and Eve are the representatives of what we would have done had we been in their situation.) So Nicodemus asked how a man could be born when he is old. He did not quite understand the concept of spiritual rebirth, only the physical birth at the beginning of life.

Salvation is extraordinarily simple, yet we humans convolute the process and make it more than it’s supposed to be. The spiritual birth is the only path for us from earth to heaven. That which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the spirit is spirit. It is not a prayer (or something other) that saves us but Jesus Christ who saves us. Jesus compared being born of the Spirit to the wind that you can feel but not see.

We will be saved when the Holy Spirit of God puts us under conviction. We cannot understand the love and grace of God without the Spirit of God showing us how and why. Sometimes we don’t listen to the gospel because we are so ingrained with religion. Christianity and religion are not compatible. Jesus made it clear that no one was going up without Him coming down.

Jesus never worked with lost people the same way. He dealt with people as individuals. With Nicodemus, he invoked Moses because Mosaic Law is what Nicodemus understood as a Pharisee. We get eternal life the moment we are saved, not just when we die. We inherit eternal life even as we still dwell on earth. God so loved the world that he gave. You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving. Salvation is available to “whosoever.” And we are all “whosoevers.” We cannot be saved by our own works. If we could, God knows we would brag about ourselves. So we have to get over ourselves and believe in Christ.

Indeed, God did not send Christ to condemn the world but to redeem the world. He does for us what we cannot do for ourselves. The purpose of the gospel is to lift the condemnation that is already upon us. He cannot condemn us because we are already condemned. Christ lifts the lid of condemnation from us. It is not enough to say that if we die without Christ we are condemned. If we choose to live without Christ we are already condemned.

God leaves nothing to chance. He defines Himself. He is the light that has come into the world, but men love darkness rather than light. We cannot expect lost people to behave like they’re saved but we do expect saved people to act like they’re saved. The reason people don’t turn to Christ is because they love their sin. Jesus will change us and some of us don’t want to be changed.


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