- Religion and Philosophy
Nicodemus comes to the light
People from all walks of life are curious of new and sensational stories. This is true for everyone from all walks of life. Religious leaders not withstanding. Nicodemus, the Bible says, was a ruler in the synagogue, and yet he also was intrigued with this new teaching that had come to Israel. As a Pharisee, he was uncomfortable meeting with Jesus in public, so he came to him, the Bible says, by night.( John 3) You see, no one could refute the miracles of Jesus or the lives that were changed by him. So Nicodemus acknowledged to Jesus that God sent him to them. Jesus,went straight to the point. In v.3 he told him,"Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God". He used a parable to illustrate this act. Not comprehending, Nicodemus says,"How can a grown man be reborn when he is old?" "We can't go back into our mothers womb and be born". Then Jesus, anticipating his response, expounded,v.5,"Except a "MAN" be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God".
As Nicodemus must have pondered this strange statement, So people today have the same questions concerning the very serious statement of fact of our human condition without this new birth process. What does it mean?, how do we implement it?. It all goes back to the Gospel. The Gospel simply means, the good story. Biblically, we know this as the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Sinless and wholly worthy to make atonement for us unto salvation. How then do we apply this "Gospel " to our lives? the first step, is death. Do we literally die Physically? No. Just as Jesus differentiated between Physical birth and Spiritual birth, the same holds true in Gospel application. Our "Death" is we die to our own will and ways and turn to Christ . Our burial, in like manner, is water baptism in "The Name of Jesus Christ" for the remission, or removal of our sins.
Lastly, As Jesus rose from the dead, so must we rise in newness of life. Jesus said, He that believes in me, as the scripture has said, out of his innermost being, shall flow rivers of living water. ( John 7:38) Jesus in parable form, said that there is a sound that is audible during this spiritual birth process.( John 3:8). When Jesus fills your innermost being, His living water will begin to flow and you will speak in a language that you have never learned as the Spirit gives the utterance.(Acts 2:4,10:46,19:6) The first Gospel message was given on the day of Pentecost, by the Apostle Peter. (Acts2:38) He responded to the crowds question of "What shall we do " Then Peter said, Repent, and be Baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost".