5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’
8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
There are two primary schools of thought regarding salvation. One says that salvation is synergistic, that is, man partners with God for his salvation; the other view is monergistic, that is, God alone is the one who saves. This passage supports the monergistic view of salvation. Nicodemus came to Jesus seeking answers about Jesus but Jesus turned the conversation to the spiritual needs of Nicodemus.
Jesus often turned people’s apparent questions around to get them to examine their own hearts. (Look at the rich young ruler and the woman at the well for examples.) So Jesus tells Nicodemus that unless he is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God. This set Nicodemus on edge. Jesus’ response was not what Nicodemus had to do for he could never be born again on his own. New birth is a spiritual action that has to come from the Holy Spirit of God.
Jesus takes an illustration from the wind. Where does the wind come from? Where does it go? So is the moving of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life. New birth is the result of the Holy Spirit moving in someone’s life bringing them to the point of conversion.
Take a look at these references:
John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
Romans 5:5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
1 Corinthians 12:3 Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.
Romans 9:14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not! 15 For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.” 16 So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.
The Holy Spirit of God moves in our hearts showing us the mercy and grace of God. We come to this understanding and cry out to God to save us from our sin. God provided the plan, Jesus paid the price, and the Holy Spirit, like an unknown wind, moves in our hearts to draw us to salvation. Salvation is of God. Nicodemus wanted something that he could add to his list of things he was doing. Jesus told him that he had to wait on the Holy Spirit to bring new life into Nicodemus’s heart.
I am so glad that God is the author and the finisher of our salvation. If we had some part in it then we might have some part in losing it. Because God has it all in His hand and promises never to let us go we have far greater confidence in the eternality of our salvation from Him.
It is good to be back home. I had a great week at John MacArthur’s Shepherds Conference in Panama City, California. It was awesome to sing the praises of God with over 3500 men. It was awesome to hear the glories of God proclaimed with great authority from the Word of God. It was a special joy to do so with my sons, Steven and Justin. Thanks to the church for paying the conference fee and for letting me gone for a week. It was a week well spent.
Thanks to Ben for his sermon on Sunday. His competent handling of the Scriptures and applying them to the church was a great wrap up to our January and February series. Thanks to all who kept the church going in my absence. I had no doubts.
This Friday night we are showing the movie Woodlawn. Come at 7:00, or earlier, and bring a friend. It is a free event showing the power of racism and the greater power of redemption. It is a football movie so invite your football loving friends. Pray for this movie night to be used to bring people to the Savior and to faith in Him.
Have a great day in the Lord,