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BLOGINTHENOW is 6 months old today! Thanks for helping to make this cyber-community so vibrant and cutting-edge for half a year!
And thanks for the comments here and on e-mail about the service yesterday...here's the passage we discussed from John In The Now:
1. Now there was a man named Nicodemus who was a Pharisee, a member of the Jewish ruling council.
2. He secretly approached Jesus under the cover of night and said to Him, “Rabbi, it is obvious to all of us that you are a God-sent, God-ordained teacher, for no one could perform the amazing signs you are doing if God were not with him.”
3. Jesus replied, “This is what is important – even more important than the signs – this truth is absolute: No one can perceive the concept of the kingdom of God without experiencing a rebirth of sorts…without having actually revisited the human birth process.”
4. “What are you talking about?” Nicodemus asked. “How could any adult be born again? They obviously couldn’t return to the womb, so how could rebirth possibly happen?
5. Jesus answered, “I’m telling you, unreservedly, that no one can access the kingdom of God unless they are first physically born of water (the natural birth that begins when a pregnant woman’s water breaks) and then have their thought processes reborn by having them washed with the water of the Word, which is the result of the birth of the Spirit.
6. “Every living thing in the physical realm gives birth to, or recreates, a physical manifestation, and everything spiritual gives birth to a spiritual reality. Whatever is birthed from the Spirit is the essence of spirit.
7. “Look, you shouldn’t be so surprised to hear Me say ‘You must be born again.’
8. “Think of it this way…the wind blows wherever it wants to blow. It has a mind of its own. You can hear it, but you can’t locate its place of origin and you can’t predict its destination. This is how it is with everyone who is birthed out of the Spirit-wind.”
I didn't emphasize the word "blast" in JITN as I did in my sermon yesterday, so here's the same passage in the Concordant Literal New Testament (the translation I used)...
1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees, Nicodemus his name, a chief of the Jews.
2 This one came to Him by night and said to Him, "Rabbi, we are aware that Thou art a Teacher come from God, for no one can be doing these signs which Thou art doing, if God should not be with Him."
3 Jesus answered and said to him, "Verily, verily, I am saying to you, If anyone should not be begotten anew, he can not perceive the kingdom of God."
4 Nicodemus is saying to him, "How can a man, being a veteran, be begotten? He can not be entering into the womb of his mother a second time and be begotten!"
5 Jesus answered, "Verily, verily, I am saying to you, If anyone should not be begotten of water and of spirit, he can not be entering into the kingdom of God.
6 That which is begotten by the flesh is flesh, and that which is begotten by the spirit is spirit.
7 You should not be marveling that I said to you, 'You must be begotten anew.'
8 THE BLAST IS BLOWING WHERE IT WILLS, and the sound of it you are hearing, but you are not aware whence it is coming and where it is going. Thus is everyone who is begotten by the water and the spirit."
The Blast is blowing where it wills...
Please spend some time today praying for peace in Russia and Georgia...