For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.
What does everlasting life mean? Many will take the assumption that Jesus was talking about Heaven. But what was Jesus really talking about? John 3:17 says that God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. Jesus was talking about salvation, clearly. But before we jump to the conclusion that salvation is about Heaven, we need to go back and find the context of what Jesus was talking about.
John 3:3 is a quote from Jesus saying, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” And John 3:7 says, “You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born gain.’” We can see from this that Jesus was talking about being born again when He brought up everlasting life. Since Nicodemus didn’t understand the phrase “born again” Jesus changed it to everlasting life and salvation. But this whole conversation was about being born again.
We must be born again. And the amazing thing to me is that Jesus taught us what it means to be born again. In 3:6 Jesus taught Nicodemus (the great teacher) that the Spirit gives birth to spirit, and in verse 8 He said, “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” In the Greek, it is using the same word for wind and Spirit.
So what does this mean? Jesus was teaching something spiritual, obviously, and sometimes spiritual things are hard to comprehend, right? But Jesus didn’t just talk about it to Nicodemus. He talked about it often. In John 17, Jesus prayed to His Father in Heaven about this, when He prayed, “…just as You and I are one…” Being born again is being connected with God, able to flow with Holy Spirit. We are supposed to be so close to God that people can’t tell where He begins and I end. We are supposed to be radically connected with God through a powerful relationship that includes partnership with Him.
How do we apply this? How do we get born again? By believing we have the ability to partner with God. And through the partnership with Holy Spirit, we will be given everlasting life through salvation. “Salvation”, in the Greek, means to be healed, delivered, protected, preserved, and saved from darkness. Not of that is “Heavenly stuff”. Each of these is things that are about this life. In heaven, I won’t need healing, deliverance, protection, preservation, or salvation. Those will already be part of that Heaven, but that isn’t “born again” so then our teachings need to be adjusted.
In summary, I want to encourage you to partner with Holy Spirit this week. Pay attention to His “wind” and see what He is doing. Jesus said He only did what He saw His Father doing. We should do the same. Let’s quit pretending that salvation is only about getting into Heaven, and realize that right now you have breath in your lungs because God wants you to join Him in His work of salvation. Let’s bless people with God’s love today… not with eloquent speech, but with demonstrations of power and of the Spirit.
Have you allowed yourself to be filled with Him? Have you allowed Jesus to be “birthed” from inside you? "You must be born again."
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