Monday, September 23, 2013
Being Born Again
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 whenhe is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” - John 3:3–4
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 mother’s womb and be born, can he?” Nicodemus did not misinterpret Jesus’ words; he replied in the context of the Lord’s analogy. How could he start all over, go back to the beginning? Jesus was telling him that entrance to God’s 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.
~John MacArthur, Daily Readings from the Life of Christ, for September 23, 2013
Mar 10:25 "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." 26 They were even more astonished and said to Him, "Then who can be saved?" 27 Looking at them, Jesus *said, "With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God." 28 Peter began to say to Him, "Behold, we have left everything and followed You." 29 Jesus said, "Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel's sake, 30 but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life.