Footnotes

*3:3: The word translated “anew” here and in John 3:7 (ἄνωθεν) also means “again” and “from above”.

3:8: The same Greek word (πνεῦμα) means wind, breath, and spirit.

3:16: The phrase “only born” is from the Greek word “μονογενη”, which is sometimes translated “only begotten” or “one and only”.

Get to know Jesus

1. Only the Son of Man who came from heaven can ascend to heaven

So, do not be deceived that we can go to heaven by doing good works or any other means.

Even knowing the laws and strict adherence to the laws (like the Pharisees) do not enable a person to have eternal life and see the Kingdom of God. Jesus is the only way to God.

Only Jesus, who had come from heaven can bring us to heaven. 

Nicodemus was a Pharisee, and fearful that he might be cast out of his community, he came in the night to ask Jesus about eternal life. Jesus knew why Nicodemus came and even before Nicodemus asked, Jesus told him the way to eternal life. The Pharisees are the people who eventually cruxified Jesus. Yet, Jesus revealed to Nicodemus the way to eternal life is to believe in Him.

Jesus hates sin but He loves the sinners and died for the sinners. He loves us and came to die for us so that by believing in Him, we can be born again and have eternal life.

 

2. God loves the world and sent His Son to save the world

In John 3:16-17, Jesus revealed to us that God loves us so much that His will is not for us to perish but for us to have eternal life.

God is a God of justice. There must be punishments for all sins. Therefore the only way is that God sent His Son, Jesus, to die in our place, so that the price is paid and whoever believes in Jesus can be forgiven.

3. Whoever believes in Jesus will not be judged

In Revelation 20:11-15, it is stated in that all men will be judged based on their works. Anyone whose name is not in the book of life will be cast into the lake of fire.

When we believe and accept Jesus as our Saviour, we will not be judged (John 3:18). We pass from death into eternal life. (John 5:24). We are born anew by water and the Spirit. We have the Holy Spirit of God in us. And all these are possible because Jesus took our place and die for us.

Are you wondering….

Why did Jesus tell Nicodemus about being born anew?

At first glance when we read this scripture (John 3:1-22), it appeared that Jesus chose a subject that was so abstract, as if it was not meant for Nicodemus to understand. However, this is not true.

The truth is, Jesus knew the reason why Nicodemus came to look for Him even before Nichodemus ask. In John 5:39, Jesus stated that the Pharisees searched the Scriptures in search for eternal life. We are certain that this was the reason why Nicodemus came to look for Jesus as he continued in that subject and did not ask any other things.

Knowing the reason why Nicodemus came to look for Him, Jesus told Nicodemus directly that he had to be born anew (also known as born again) to see the Kingdom of God.

Nicodemus could have asked Jesus what he could do to be born of the Spirit. Instead he was using human logic to ask how can these things be (John 3:4,9)? That is why Jesus said Nicodemus was not believing (John 3:12).

Despite Nicodemus not being able to believe, Jesus was gracious to tell Nicodemus plainly and explain that He is the Son of God who came from heaven and only He can ascend to heaven. Jesus explained that God loves the world and sent His Son, not to judge, but to save the world and whoever believes in Jesus will not be judged.

If Nicodemus believed and accepted Jesus as his Saviour, Nicodemus would be born again, of the Spirit and had the eternal life that he was searching for and would see the Kingdom of God.

What is it like to be born again?

God sent Jesus to save the world. In Luke 4:18-21, Jesus said He came to preach good news to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted, to open the eyes of the blind and to set free the captives and those who are oppressed. In John 10:10, Jesus said He came that we may have life and have it to the full.

When a believer experiences all these promises of God–when they are healed despite the doctor’s report, when they are able to get out of depression, when they can break free from an addiction, when provision come, when suddenly a difficult situation turn around, a door of opportunity opens, when they hear a still small voice comforting them in difficult times– logic cannot explain how all these happen. In John 3:8,  Jesus said that the wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you don’t know where the wind comes from or where it’s going. That’s the way it is with everyone born of the Spirit. 

In John 3:12, we read that Jesus told Nicodemus that if he could not believe the earthly things that Jesus said, how would he believe the heavenly things that Jesus will reveal? This also gives us another glimpse into what life is like when we have the Spirit of God—the Spirit will reveal heavenly things to us. And we know that God reveals mysteries to people who walked with Him, as in the case of Abraham, Joseph, Daniel and many others in the bible.

In 1 Corinthians 2:9-12, the Scriptures stated that as believers, we have the Spirit of God and God revealed His secrets, the wonderful things of God to us.

Amazing, wonderful things, gracious blessings will happen to your life when you are born again. In John 1:16, it is written in the Scriptures that we will receive one gracious blessings after another. All because of the grace of God. Grace means we get what we do not deserve. You might think you are a simple, shy person. But when you walk with God, you may find yourself put to lead people. Just like the story of King David. Even when bad things happen to you, it is because God is leading you to blessings so great you can never imagine, just as in the case of the story of Joseph.

This is the inheritance that we, as children of God have. When we seek Jesus, He is going to bring us to higher success and blessings that we can never imagine (Ephesians 3:20) nor understand how it happens. And all these are possible because Jesus died for us and we are forever forgiven and born again to become children of God by the Spirit. The Holy Spirit lives in us and will never leave us (John14:16).

 

How it works? How did we get born again simply by believing in Jesus?

When Christ Jesus was nailed to the cross (crucified), our old self (our human nature without the Holy Spirit) was nailed to the cross with Him (Romans 6:6), in order that sin’s dominion over our body may be abolished and we are no longer slaves to sin (John 8:34). As Jesus was raised from the dead (resurrected) on the third day and lives, so were we born anew (Romans 6:5) and live in newness with Christ Jesus (Romans 6:4).

If, like Nicodemus, we use our earthly logic and ask how did all these dying with Christ and living with Christ happen simply by believing, we probably may not find the answer until we go to heaven and understand the science in heaven and the secret things of God. In Deuteronomy 29:29, it is stated that the secret things of God belongs to God. We may not understand everything — how some things happen, why God works in some ways. Yet, just as Jesus said in John 3:8, we can hear the wind but not know where it comes from. Likewise, we will experience the power of the Holy Spirit when we are born again, though we may not understand how the wonderful life and miracles happen.

Not being able to understand should not stop us from believing that God loves us so much that He sent His one and only beloved Son, Jesus to die for us. Not being able to understand should not stop us from believing and receiving the wonderful gift of a life of freedom, a satisfying life filled with power that Jesus came to give us.

 

How do I become a believer?

We are justified by faith in Jesus. (Romans 5:1). Therefore, we only need to believe and say a prayer as follows:

“Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for dying for my sins. I believe you are the Son of God and that You love me and desire to bless me with the abundant life and eternal life that You promise. I believe and receive You as my Lord and Saviour. In Jesus name I pray, amen.”

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