HOUSMAIL HM#022 - ENTERING THE KINGDOM - THE WIND & THE SPIRIT 24 March 1999
"The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know whence it comes or whither it goes; so it is with every one who is born of the Spirit" (John 3:8)
When Jesus told Nicodemus that he must be "born again" in order to be able to both SEE and ENTER the Kingdom OF God, He also gave the answer to the logical next question ..... How does THAT happen?
The words of Jesus in John 3:8 contain the answer. For Western ears it is concealed behind a "Jewish riddle".
"It is like the wind!"
We can't lay hold of the wind. We can't see it coming ..... and we can't see it going. We can't even see it while it is here. We can only HEAR it while it is passing.
So it is with the SPIRIT BREATHED Word of God.
We can only HEAR it if our ears are open to LISTEN when God speaks!
And we can only be certain that we have heard God speak when we read the Bible prayerfully, asking in faith for the wisdom to understand what we read. (James 1:5-8)
Rebirth is what happens when we HEAR the Gospel, and BELIEVE the Gospel, and respond to what we hear, by REPENTING of our sins. NEW LIFE is the new "Way Of Life" that follows rebirth. It is nothing less than living a life guided totally by the precepts taught by Jesus.
Peter says it this way:
- Spiritual rebirth is the commencement of a TRANSFORMATION of our minds to be conformed
to what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Rom 12:2)
- Spiritual rebirth is the first tiny step in a lifelong process in
which we learn to put off our old
nature, and put on a NEW NATURE which is motivated by the same TRUE righteousness
and holiness that is found in God. (Eph 4:24)
- Spiritual rebirth is the start of a NEW LIFE that begins by hearing
the Word of God, and then
grows to full maturity, by continuing to listen to that same Word. (2 Tim 3:15-17)
In many circles today there is a great deal of misunderstanding, and even misinformation, about what it means to be "born again".
The bottom line is this:
No one is truly born again until he is living a NEW LIFE. And that LIFE is measured by its conformity with the example and teaching of Jesus.
How wonderful is the GOOD NEWS which promises that our whole nature can be transformed to be like that of God, by HEARING, and believing, and obeying, the WORDS spoken by Jesus.