Part 6, Knowing Jesus Better
Not everyone is a child of God. If this was not so, then John did not have to write, “12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” John 1:12-13. To become a child of God, one must receive and believe in Jesus as the Son of God and the only Messiah.
Before receiving and believing in Jesus, the Bible sees us, as dead in spirit according to Ephesians 2:1. Sin brings death to a human spirit. Spiritual death simply means having no relationship with God. The spiritually dead does not have the ability to know the will of God and has no capacity to obey God. And the only way one can know, obey and experience the reality of God is to be born again. When a person experiences a spiritual birth, he or she becomes a child of God at that moment. There are three conditions for becoming a child of God that I would like to share with you today.
1. Know Jesus personally.
“Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.” 3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” John 3:1-3.
A Pharisee named Nicodemus sought a personal encounter with Jesus at night.
He was probably afraid of the implications of being associated with Jesus and lose his credibility in the Jewish ruling council.
“Rabbi from God.” He must have sensed Jesus' uniqueness, but he could not see beyond Jesus' humanity.
Jesus’ response revealed there was more to know about Him.
To know Jesus means to accept and believe all His claims.
2. Experience Jesus’ reality.
4 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!” 5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So, it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” John 3:4-8.
The reality of Jesus is experienced by believing and accepting His words.
The words born again, refers to the act of God, wherein God Himself gives spiritual birth to a believer.
It is never a human effort, a human work, not even a religious work, rather, it is only through the work of God. Spiritual birth is always connected with knowing Jesus.
To be born again is to have a unique divine-human relationship (God-child relationship) that leads to eternal life.
The Holy Spirit gives life to our spirit that we may know Jesus.
1 Corinthians 2:11 says, “11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.”
3. Appreciate and respond to His unconditional love.
“16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” John 3:16-18.
Jesus came to give eternal life because of God’s love.
This passage was sort of a cliff-hanger story telling. It ended abruptly and leaves you wondering how it should end.
Perhaps, John the apostle deliberately did not write the rest of the story and leaves us to wonder ourselves if we will appreciate and respond to God’s love.
Maybe, we should ask ourselves, “If I were Nicodemus, how would I respond to Jesus’ challenge to accept and believe in Him?” What would be your answer?
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay