A NEW BEGINNING-I—John 3:1-21
New Years Day is about the beginning of something new.
It is a harbinger of a time filled with potential...
Of possibly doing things differently & better—particularly if last year was a difficult one.
It is also the start of an extension of last year’s joys & victories & a celebration of things done right & well, a time of surrender to the Lord.
For the Christian it is a time of growing closer to God, deeper in prayer, more faithful in service, more dedicated to His direction, more committed to a knowledge of God’s word.
Jesus’ encounter with Nicodemus yielded the essentials of being born again.
Being born again is essential to God’s plan.
What is essential to a new beginning?
6 concessions essential to a new beginning.
‘Concession’—Something surrendered or given up
1—A concession essential to a new beginning is...
Explanation: (:1-2) Successful
:1—“There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.”
John tells us that there existed a certain man—who was of a sect of Judaism known as the “Pharisees.” Nicodemus was his name. Nicodemus was of some influence as he was “a ruler of the Jews.” His influence was one of spiritual import as well as civic, seeing as the Sanhedrin(rulers) spiritual matters encouraged, formed & enforced civic policy. Judiciary, Legislative & Executive body.
Nicodemus was “a ruler of the Jews” who held to the Pharisaic tradition. He came to Jesus representing the sect of the Pharisees.
“Pharisees”—Farisaiov— ‘A sect that seems to have started after the Jewish exile. In addition to OT books the Pharisees recognized in oral tradition a standard of belief & life. They sought for distinction & praise by outward observance of external rites & by outward forms of piety, & such as ceremonial washings, fastings, prayers, & alms giving; &, comparatively negligent of genuine piety, they prided themselves on their fancied good works. They held strenuously to a belief in the existence of good & evil angels, & to the expectation of a Messiah; & they cherished the hope that the dead, after a preliminary experience either of reward or of penalty in Hades, would be recalled to life by him, & be requited each according to his individual deeds. In opposition to the usurped dominion of the Herods & the rule of the Romans, they stoutly upheld the theocracy & their country’s cause, & possessed great influence with the common people....They were bitter enemies of Jesus & his cause; & were in turn severely rebuked by Him for their avarice, ambition, hollow reliance on outward works, & affection of piety in order to gain popularity.’—Thayer
*READ—Concerning Pharisees—Mat. 23:2-3; 4-12; 13-17; 23-28; 33.
On “a ruler of the Jews”—Joseph of Arimathea was also:
Lk. 23:50-51—“Now behold, there was a man named Joseph, a council member, a good and just man. He had not consented to their decision and deed. He was from Arimathea, a city of the Jews, who himself was also waiting for the kingdom of God.”
Both Nicodemus & Joseph of Arimathea(“a disciple of Jesus”) would take responsibility for burying Jesus’ body(Jn. 38-42).
“Nicodemus”—Nikodhmov—Nicodemus = "conqueror"—A member of the Sanhedrin. Strong—Victorious among his people; Nicodemus, an Israelite:-- Nicodemus.
“Ruler”—arcwn—1) A ruler, commander, chief, leader.
:2—“This man came to Jesus by night & said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.””
There came a point in time when this same Nicodemus approached Jesus personally one-on-one. He approached Jesus in a manner quite unlike Jesus’ other encounters with Pharisees, which were generally maliciously condescending.
He came by night probably due to the need for secrecy &/or because his duties of the day were done.
Nicodemus looked upon Jesus as a “Rabbi,” even though He had no formal training. Nic. identified himself with the Pharisees using “we” to let Jesus know that they(at least of Nic’s ilk within the Pharisees) considered Him a “teacher.” The Pharisees(“we”) recognized that Jesus came from God, but only as a teacher. They knew this because the signs which He did at the Passover, glorified God.
They also considered Him as One who had “come from God.” Their conclusion having been reached primarily from observing Jesus’ “signs.” They concluded that Jesus‘ “signs” were indeed that... because the signs Jesus did were obviously unique indicators of God’s being “with” Him.
Nicodemus assumed he knew the “signs” of the presence of God. Didn’t understand God’s Plan completely but he did recognize God at work in Jesus’ life.
Jn. 14:11—““Believe Me that I am in the Father & the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.”
“Night”—nux—"Night" (literally or figuratively):-- (mid-)night.
“Rabbi”—rabbi—1) My great one, my honorable sir; 2) Rabbi, a title used by the Jews to address their teachers (& also honor them when not addressing them). Strong—1) My great one, my honorable sir; 2) Rabbi, a title used by the Jews to address their teachers (& also honor them when not addressing them).
“Teacher”(See :10)—didaskalov—1) A teacher; 2) In the NT one who teaches concerning the things of God, & the duties of man. Strong—An instructor (genitive case or specially):-- doctor, master, teacher.
“Signs”—shmeion—1) a sign, mark, token—1a) That by which a person or a thing is distinguished from others & is known, 1b) A sign, prodigy, portent, i.e. an unusual occurrence, transcending the common course of nature—1b1) Of signs portending remarkable events soon to happen, 1b2) Of miracles & wonders by which God authenticates the men sent by him, or by which men prove that the cause they are pleading is God’s Strong—An indication, especially ceremonially or supernaturally:-- miracle, sign, token, wonder.
Num. 22:1-7—Balaam the prophet—“Then the children of Israel moved, & camped in the plains of Moab on the side of the Jordan across from Jericho. Now Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites. And Moab was exceedingly afraid of the people because they were many, & Moab was sick with dread because of the children of Israel. So Moab said to the elders of Midian, “Now this company will lick up everything around us, as an ox licks up the grass of the field.” And Balak the son of Zippor was king of the Moabites at that time. Then he sent messengers to Balaam the son of Beor at Pethor, which is near the River in the land of the sons of his people, to call him, saying: “Look, a people has come from Egypt. See, they cover the face of the earth, & are settling next to me! “Therefore please come at once, curse this people for me, for they are too mighty for me. Perhaps I shall be able to defeat them & drive them out of the land, for I know that he whom you bless is blessed, & he whom you curse is cursed.” So the elders of Moab & the elders of Midian departed with the diviner’s fee in their hand, & they came to Balaam & spoke to him the words of Balak.”
Acts 8:27-38—Ethiopian eunuch—“So he arose & went. And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, & had come to Jerusalem to worship, was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet. Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go near & overtake this chariot.” So Philip ran to him, & heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, & said, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he asked Philip to come up & sit with him. The place in the Scripture which he read was this: “He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; And as a lamb before its shearer is silent, So He opened not His mouth. In His humiliation His justice was taken away, And who will declare His generation? For His life is taken from the earth.” So the eunuch answered Philip & said, “I ask you, of whom does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man?” Then Philip opened his mouth, & beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered & said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip & the eunuch went down into the water, & he baptized him.”
Success & Authority may be the dream of many but these do not ensure perfection & thus eternal fulfillment/POSITION
Oprah Winfrey’s 2010 interview with J.K. Rowling—Author of the Harry Potter series/Very eye opening/Her position as the highest grossing writer of all time/Went from single mother on govt. welfare, living hand to mouth & “as close to living on the street as you can get without doing it’ to becoming The highest grossing author of all time/Her current net worth is at least $1 Billion/
Founded Lumos(Britain & 5 other european countries) “to end the systematic institutionalization of disadvantaged children across Europe & instead see children living in safe, caring environments”/
She aids UK anti-poverty groups.
Rowling has contributed money & support for research & treatment of multiple sclerosis.
In May 2007, Rowling gave $495,000 to a reward fund of over $4.5 million for the safe return of a young British girl, Madeleine McCann who disappeared in Portugal.
BUT Despite her high POSITION, She has an ignorance of salvation by grace thru faith in Christ/She “struggles with a belief in God” & “thinks” she believes in an afterlife, though she maintains there are some ‘Christian themes’(mainly that love triumphs over evil) which run thru the Harry Potter series/UN-fulfilled POSITION
?You Conceded to a Fulfilled POSITION?
?What Concessions have you made in the search for a New Beginning?
2—A concession essential to a new beginning is...
:3—“Jesus answered & said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.””
Jesus answers Nic’s statement regarding their perception of His having “come from God.”
He tells Nic with absolute authority, that without being “born” from above, a person has no power to perceive “the kingdom of God.” Thus the perceptions of the Pharisees(siding with Nic) have all been made by human reasonings. They can thereby not rightly understand the very things of God of which they claim to have a grasp.
There must be a point in one’s life where he/she comes to grips with their sinful nature, surrenders it to God, & thus gains insight to previously unperceived things of spiritual import.
As Charles Stanley would say, it is the difference between ‘Presence vs. Principle.’
“Most assuredly/Verily verily/Truly truly/I tell you the truth”(See :5, 11)—amhn amhn—1) Firm—1a) metaph. Faithful; 2) Verily, amen—2a) At the beginning of a discourse - Surely, truly, of a truth, 2b) At the end - so it is, so be it, may it be fulfilled. It was a custom, which passed over from the synagogues to the Christian assemblies, that when he who had read or discoursed, had offered up solemn prayer to God, the others responded Amen, & thus made the substance of what was uttered their own. It was transliterated directly from the Hebrew into the Greek of the New Testament....The word is directly related -- in fact, almost identical -- to the Hebrew word for "believe" (amam), or faithful. Thus, it came to mean "sure" or "truly", an expression of absolute trust & confidence. (HMM).
“Unless”—ean(if) mh(not)—1) If not, unless, whoever ... not. Strong—If not, i.e. Unless:-- X Before, but, except, if, no, (if, + whosoever) not.
“Born”(See :4, 7)—gennaw—Strong—To procreate (properly, of the father, but by extension of the mother); figuratively, to regenerate:-- Bear, beget, be born, bring forth, conceive, be delivered of, gender, make, spring.
“Again”(See :4, 7)—anwyen—1) From above, from a higher place—1a) Of things which come from heaven or God; 2) From the first, from the beginning, from the very first; 3) Anew, over again.
“Cannot”—dunamai—1) To be able, have power whether by virtue of one’s own ability & resources, or of a state of mind, or through favorable circumstances, or by permission of law or custom; 2) To be able to do something; 3) To be capable, strong & powerful. Strong—To be able or possible:-- Be able, can (do, + -not), could, may, might, be possible, be of power.
“See”(See :8—“Tell”)—eidw—Strong—a primary verb; used only in certain past tenses. properly, To see (literally or figuratively); by implication (in the perf. only) To know:-- Be aware, behold, X can (+ not tell), consider, (have) know(-ledge), look (on), perceive, see, be sure, tell, understand, wish, wot.
“Kingdom”—basileia—properly, Royalty, i.e. (abstractly) Rule, or (concretely) a realm (literally or figuratively):-- kingdom, + reign. Strong—From above; by analogy, From the first; by implication, Anew:-- From above, again, from the beginning (very first), the top.
:4—“Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb & be born?””
Nic’s response to Jesus’ impossibility was based on just what Jesus had stated...that his vision was naturally(experience) based rather than supernaturally(spiritually) based.
Nic wanted Jesus to further explain what He had just stated. Nic made it plain that he considered Jesus’ statement asinine/absurd. He rightly reasons that no one can be born once he has reached old age but his reasoning arises from set physical processes. Nic poses a “how” question in order to show Jesus the ridiculous nature of His statement.
Nic, rather than allowing the explanation, narrows his inquiry to a ‘yes, no’ answer. He punctuates the absurdity with a description of re-entering the womb to be born, asking Jesus if this could happen. Surely Nic either thinks he is dealing with a madman, or he is sincerely trying to grasp Jesus’ meaning. Nic’s response of verse :9 & Jesus’ response of verse :10 seems to imply that Nic is steeped in His traditional belief, that he cannot allow himself to think outside the box.
“Born”2X(See :3)—gennaw—Strong—To procreate (properly, of the father, but by extension of the mother); figuratively, to regenerate:-- Bear, beget, be born, bring forth, conceive, be delivered of, gender, make, spring.
“Enter”(See :5)—eisercomai— Strong—To enter (literally or figuratively):-- X Arise, come (in, into), enter in(-to), go in (through).
“Womb”—koilia—1) The whole belly, the entire cavity—1a) The upper [i.e. stomach] & the lower belly are distinguished; 2) The lower belly, the lower region, the receptacle of the excrement; 3) The gullet—3a) To be given up to the pleasures of the palate, to gluttony; 4) The womb, the place where the fetus is conceived & nourished until birth—4a) Of the uterus of animals; 5) The innermost part of a man, the soul, heart as the seat of thought, feeling, choice. Strong—from koilov ("hollow"); A cavity, i.e. (especially) The abdomen; by implication, the matrix; figuratively, the heart:-- Belly, womb.
:5—“Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water & the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”
Jesus assures Nic that re-birth is indeed His meaning but the re-birth must be of the Spirit(of God). A person must be born of both “water & the Spirit.” Without such dual birth no one will “enter” the kingdom of God. Likewise, it is implied, such a dual birth ensures that the kingdom of God will be entered.
“Water” birth is stated first & can refer to either or both of two things:
1)Natural physical birth(woman’s water breaking)
2)Ritual cleansing/Ritual Baptism
Either of these requires something more in order to be fulfilling. Either must be followed by a supernatural, personal new birth from above brought about by the Spirit of God & thus is not naturally occurring.
Jesus reiterates & expands on His first statement to say that unless one is born of both physical(water) & the Spirit(spiritual) he cannot be part of God’s Kingdom. This is because when someone has physical birth one remains a physical being as part of his nature & after one is born spiritually, he remains a spiritual being as part of his nature. The two natures are completely separate at physical birth. Not until the spiritual birth takes place can the two be merged. The nature of man’s spiritual nature is such that it must be melded with the physical.
Jesus uses Nic’s own word “enter”(:4) highlighting that the focus of His meaning is upon entering heaven rather than the physical womb.
On “water” & “Spirit”:
Ezek. 36:24-28—““For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, & bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, & you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness & from all your idols. I will give you a new heart & put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh & give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you & cause you to walk in My statutes, & you will keep My judgments & do them. Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, & I will be your God.”
Mat. 3:11—““I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit & fire.”
It is implied here that if it is impossible to “see” the kingdom then, as a consequence, it would likewise be impossible to “enter”(:5) the kingdom as well.
Mat. 5:20—“For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes & Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.”
“Water”—udatov—Strong—Water (as if rainy) literally or figuratively:-- Water.
“Spirit”(See :8— “Wind”)—pneuma—Strong—A current of air, i.e. Breath (blast) or a breeze; by analogy or figuratively, A spirit, i.e. (human) The rational soul, (by implication) Vital principle, mental disposition, etc., or (superhuman) An angel, demon, or (divine) God, Christ’s spirit, the Holy Spirit:-- Ghost, life, spirit(-ual, -ually), mind.
:6—“That which is born of the flesh is flesh, & that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”
Jesus further explains His statement by framing it in terms of flesh versus spirit. Citizens of heaven, all of them, must be born of the Spirit of God as well as being born of the flesh. This is because the fleshly birth is just that—flesh with no spiritual underpinning. All flesh must obviously undergo physical birth but in order to be part of God’s heavenly community requires that they be born again of the Spirit, for the simple reason that flesh is flesh & spirit is spirit & the two are mutually exclusive & not interchangeable. However both can be effected by the other.
“Flesh”—sarx—Strong—Flesh (as stripped of the skin), i.e. (strictly) The meat of an animal (as food), or (by extension) The body (as opposed to the soul [or spirit], or as the symbol of what is external, or as the means of kindred), or (by implication) Human nature (with its frailties [physically or morally] & passions), or (specifically) A human being (as such):-- carnal(-ly, + -ly minded), flesh([-ly]).
:7—“Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’”
This concept of re-birth is so plain that Nic should have no cause to “marvel” or wonder at this truth. This evidently is a statement as to Nic’s mindset regarding the truth Jesus has set forth. He is indeed unable to accept it & is pondering its meaning & reality. He must allow God to knock down the walls of tradition & education to fully grasp God’s truth. He has been taught a way all his life—& he is quite possibly “old”(see :4), which has never fronted the concept of re-birth. Rather Nic’s life has been trained to suppose that following God’s rules is the means of pleasing God. It is the age-old Jewish & works religion problem of sacrifice without the heart engaged.
1Sam. 15:22—“Then Samuel said: “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings & sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.”
Mic 6:6-8—“With what shall I come before the LORD, And bow myself before the High God? Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, With calves a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, Ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?”
“Marvel”—yaumazw—1) To wonder, wonder at, marvel; 2) To be wondered at, to be had in admiration. Strong—by implication, To admire:-- Admire, have in admiration, marvel, wonder.
“Born”(See :3, 4)—gennaw—Strong—To procreate (properly, of the father, but by extension of the mother); figuratively, to regenerate:-- Bear, beget, be born, bring forth, conceive, be delivered of, gender, make, spring.
“Again”(See :3, 4)—anwyen—1) From above, from a higher place—1a) Of things which come from heaven or God; 2) From the first, from the beginning, from the very first; 3) Anew, over again.
Rom. 3:19-26—“Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, & all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law & the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all & on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned & fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just & the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”
Rom. 7:14—8:1—“For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, & bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God--through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin. There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”
Rom. 8:2-13—“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin & death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life & peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors--not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.”
2Cor. 5:17—“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
Eph 2:1-9—“And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses & sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh & of the mind, & were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), & raised us up together, & made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, & that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”
Titus 3:4-7 “But when the kindness & the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration & renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
1Pet. 1:3-5—“Blessed be the God & Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible & undefiled & that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
1Jn. 5:1-2—“Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, & everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God & keep His commandments.”
Tim McGraw’s country song—‘Live Like You Were Dyin’/An unfulfilled life attempting to find fulfillment in the very highest power of the flesh/Still an UN-Fulfilled BIRTH
?You Conceded to a Fulfilled BIRTH?
?What Concessions have you made in the search for a New Beginning?
3—A concession essential to a new beginning is...
:8—“The wind blows where it wishes, & you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from & where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.””
In the same manner that the wind blows/moves so is everyone who is re-born of the Spirit. The wind blows without its multitudinous currents & directions being foreseen. Its sound(a tell-tale sign of its presence) is detected yet it can neither be seen by the eye & thus none of its paths anticipated.
The actions(as is the sound of the wind) of those born of the Spirit are detectable yet their direction is unknown & ever changing(“cannot tell where it comes from & where it goes”)as the Spirit Himself drives them inwardly according to His perfect will & not according to the fleshly will of the individual.
The Spirit goes about, apart from the control of man. One can observe how the Spirit goes about & hear His voice, but cannot determine His starting point or end.
In the same manner, are people who are born again. i.e.,(One cannot see, with the eye(He is invisible), the Spirit’s starting point in another’s life(one’s being born again) or where He will ultimately lead one in his life(in the Spirit), but one can always see the Spirit’s work/movement/influence on their lives.
Nicodemus didn’t understand that the Spirit works in the manner Jesus described, complementary to the flesh & not separate from it.
‘Certainly the conclusion "of the Spirit" is a direct reference to the Holy Spirit who works his own way beyond our comprehension even as men even yet do not know the law of the wind.’—RWP
“Wind”(See :5—“Spirit”)—pneuma—Strong—A current of air, i.e. Breath (blast) or a breeze; by analogy or figuratively, A spirit, i.e. (human) The rational soul, (by implication) Vital principle, mental disposition, etc., or (superhuman) An angel, demon, or (divine) God, Christ’s spirit, the Holy Spirit:-- Ghost, life, spirit(-ual, -ually), mind.
—‘“The Spirit” is the use of pneuma as metaphor’—RWP
“Blows”—pnew—V.—1) To breathe, to blow—1a) Of the wind. Strong—To breathe hard, i.e. Breeze:-- Blow.
“Wishes”—yelw—1) To will, have in mind, intend. yelw is the stronger word of two. It denotes the active resolution, the will urging on to action, while boulomai is rather to have in thought, to intend, to be determined.
“Hear”—akouw—To hear (in various senses):-- give (in the) audience (of), come (to the ears), ([shall]) hear(-er, -ken), be noised, be reported, understand.
“Sound”—fwnh—Strong—A tone (articulate, bestial or artificial); by implication, an address(for any purpose), saying or language:-- noise, sound, voice.
“Tell”(See :11)—oida(variant of eidw—See :3)—1) To see—1a) To perceive with the eyes, 1b) To perceive by any of the senses, 1c) To perceive, notice, discern, discover, 1d) To see—1d1) i.e. To turn the eyes, the mind, the attention to anything, 1d2) To pay attention, observe, 1d3) To see about something—1d31) i.e. to ascertain what must be done about it, 1d4) To inspect, examine, 1d5) To look at, behold, 1e) To experience any state or condition, 1f) To see i.e. have an interview with, to visit; 2) To know—2a) To know of anything, 2b) To know, i.e. get knowledge of, understand, perceive—2b1) Of any fact, 2b2) the force & meaning of something which has definite meaning, 2b3) To know how, to be skilled in, 2c) To have regard for one, cherish, pay attention to (1Th 5:12). To see with the mind’s eye, signifies a clear & purely mental perception.
Jer. 10:23—O LORD, I know the way of man is not in himself; It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.
Ps.119:133—Direct my steps by Your word, And let no iniquity have dominion over me.
—We all must know the written word of God, so our lives will be ordered rightly. However, we must also give ourselves up to not only that ‘distanced’ knowledge but also must surrender ourselves to the ‘personal momentary’ knowledge of the Holy Spirit of God who indwells us. There is vastly more that the Israelites needed besides law.
—Moses, who heard & penned God’s word, also met with God & needed to hear God’s voice personally momentarily at the Mercy Seat in the Tabernacle...& in prayer!
Lk. 10:1 -2—“After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, & sent them two by two before His face into every city & place where He Himself was about to go. Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”
—And what happens?....the Holy Spirit Himself, convicts us of our part in God’s plan—the who, what, when, where, why & how of it all—& we thereby submit ourselves to His DIRECTION.
1Cor. 2:9-11—“But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.”
Acts 8:26-40—[Of Philip’s obedience to/in the Spirit]“Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, “Arise & go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is desert. So he arose & went. And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, & had come to Jerusalem to worship, was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet. Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go near & overtake this chariot.” So Philip ran to him, & heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, & said, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he asked Philip to come up & sit with him. The place in the Scripture which he read was this: “He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; And as a lamb before its shearer is silent, So He opened not His mouth. In His humiliation His justice was taken away, And who will declare His generation? For His life is taken from the earth.” So the eunuch answered Philip & said, “I ask you, of whom does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man?” Then Philip opened his mouth, & beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered & said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip & the eunuch went down into the water, & he baptized him. Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; & he went on his way rejoicing. But Philip was found at Azotus. And passing through, he preached in all the cities till he came to Caesarea.”
?You Conceded to a Fulfilled DIRECTION?
?What Concessions have you made in the search for a New Beginning?
A New Year/Beginning
Concessions essential to a new beginning are a Fulfilled...
Obviously, this sermon ’ll preach!!
Very well received.
Presented 01/02/2011am(no evening services) to:
Needmore Baptist Church
1620 Mt. Vernon Rd.
Woodleaf, NC 27054