“Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again,” our Lord tells Nicodemus, a Pharisee and ruler of the Jews, in John 3:6 of the Holy Bible.
Nicodemus had come to Jesus privately at night to avoid the hassle which would have undoubtedly occurred had other Pharisees seen him giving Jesus positive attention. But Nicodemus’ eyes were already opening, responding to the light which shown from Jesus Christ.
“Rabbi,” he addressed Jesus, “we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.”
His response isn’t one which would illicit salvation. Jesus is much more than “a teacher from God,” and His splendor goes far beyond the miracles which He did.
Jesus would go on later to explain that He is the “only begotten Son” of God, sent into the world to save that which was lost. But to begin with, Jesus gives Nicodemus a seemingly hard saying: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
What? That sounded impossible, even to a man who believed in the miracles Jesus wrought: “How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?” he asked the Lord.
I can only imagine the swirl of thoughts Nicodemus had at that moment, the images he must have conjured up. And what of those poor souls whose mother has already passed on?
Not one to leave an honest inquirer in confusion, Jesus explains, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”
Until a man is born “of water and of the Spirit,” he cannot be saved. We’ve been born of the flesh through our mother and father. We’ve entered into the kingdom of this world.
But to enter the Kingdom of God–a spiritual kingdom unique to those who believe in the true Christ–one must be born of the Spirit as well. Our soul must be reborn by the Holy Spirit, remade in perfection, justified and cleansed of sin by the washing and regeneration of the water of the word of God which satisfies the deepest thirsts of man.
It only makes sense, after all, that if there are two kingdoms and the first required a birth to enter, as would the second. So Jesus said, “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.”
Marvel not! Do you want to be saved? Do you want to be Heaven-bound? Marvel not that you cannot work your way there anymore than you could work your way toward being born onto Earth! Marvel not that you must be spiritually reborn to enter into a spiritual kingdom! Marvel not that God made a way!
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
If you do not believe in Jesus, you are already condemned, because you have “loved darkness rather than light.” Perhaps you are afraid that if you come to Jesus, your “deeds should be reproved,” and because of that you “hateth the light.”
Don’t let your lifestyle keep you in condemnation. Repent of your sins, and come to the light. Simply believe in Jesus Christ, and you will be saved. God will grant you eternal life on the merits of Jesus Christ in this very moment! You will not have to live your life in fear, wondering if you’ll have done enough to make it into Heaven. You can live a life of hope, of joy, and of peace with Jehovah, and all you must do is believe. Be reborn and enter into the Kingdom of God.
Don’t trust in church attendance or membership. Don’t trust in baptism or sacraments. Don’t trust in obedience to ordinances or laws. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will pass from condemnation and death into an eternal life, blessed with justification and freedom from sin and darkness.
“Marvel not that I said unto thee, ye must be born again.”
Don’t pass into the next world without having been born twice in this one.
(All Bible quotes from John 3:1–21.)