Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

John 3:7

This may sound like heresy in some quarters, but I have come to this conclusion—that there are far too many among us who have thought that they accepted Christ, but nothing has come of it within their own lives and desires and habits!

This kind of philosophy in soul winning—the idea that it is “the easiest thing in the world to accept Jesus”—permits the man or woman to accept Christ by an impulse of the mind or of the emotions.

It allows us to gulp twice and sense an emotional feeling that has come over us, and then say, “I have accepted Christ.”

These are spiritual matters about which we must be legitimately honest and in which we must seek the discernment of the Holy Spirit. These are things about which we cannot afford to be wrong; to be wrong is still to be lost and far from God.

Let us never forget that the Word of God stresses the importance of conviction and concern and repentance when it comes to conversion, spiritual regeneration, being born from above by the Spirit of God!

Lord, I pray that new believers will become firmly discipled in the Word of God and that their lives will reflect the transformation from death to life.[1]

Although Jesus’ words were based on Old Testament revelation, they ran completely contrary to everything Nicodemus had been taught. For his entire life he had believed that salvation came through his own external merit. Now he found it exceedingly difficult to think otherwise. Aware of his astonishment, Jesus continued, “Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ ” The verb translated must is a strong term; John used it elsewhere in his gospel to refer to the necessity of the crucifixion (3:14; 12:34), of John the Baptist’s inferiority to Christ (3:30), of the proper method of worshiping God (4:24), of Jesus carrying out His ministry (4:4; 9:4; 10:16), and of the necessity of the resurrection (20:9). It was absolutely necessary for Nicodemus to get over his astonishment at being so wrong about how one is accepted into God’s kingdom and seek to be born again if he was to enter. And he could never do so based on his own righteous works. [2]

3:7 Nicodemus was not to marvel at the teachings of the Lord Jesus. He must realize that one must be born again and understand the complete inability of human nature to remedy its own fallen condition. He must realize that in order to be a subject of God’s kingdom, a man must be holy, pure, and spiritual.[3]

[1] Tozer, A. W. (2015). Mornings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[2] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). John 1–11 (p. 106). Chicago: Moody Press.

[3] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 1478). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.


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