Live by the Spirit – Jesus’ Discourse with Nicodemus
Jesus encountered a man of high rank and discussed how no one can understand the kingdom of God unless they are enabled by the Holy Spirit.
There was a man from the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to him at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God, for no one could perform these signs you do unless God were with him.” Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” “How can anyone be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked him. “Can he enter his mother’s womb a second time and be born?”
Jesus answered, “Truly I tell you, unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. Whatever is born of the flesh is flesh, and whatever is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I told you that you must be born again. The wind blows where it pleases, and you hear its sound, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
Pastor John’s Notes:
There are two births, one physical and one spiritual. It is only through the second birth that we are able to perceive the kingdom of God. The Holy Spirit opens our minds to the things of God, enabling us to discern God’s activity in the world. While physical birth is something common and predictable, spiritual birth happens only by the Holy Spirit’s initiative, and therefore cannot be forced or predicted. Nevertheless, we do know that the Holy Spirit shares in the mind and will of God, and God desires all humanity to be saved. The Spirit is therefore constantly active and will move quickly in the mind of any person who is seeking after God.
Holy Spirit, I welcome you. Without you, I am trapped in my own mind and subject to my own thoughts and the ideals of this world. More than this, I often fall victim to the many worldly thoughts that come my way. I confess that I often sit passively before entertainment and news media, and seldom actively listen to your voice. Come and fill my soul. Open my mind to the truths of God. Deliver me from worldliness and train me for the kingdom of heaven.