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Born Again – The Wind and the Spirit

WindThis is my final post in a series about how the Bible defines being born again. Being born of the spirit requires a spiritual work. Jesus tried to describe it in parable form to a Pharisee He was meeting with.

“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.”
John 3:8

It’s important to understand the Greek language at this point. The word wind and the word spirit are the same in ancient Greek. The only way that the translators differentiate them is by the context in which they appear. As always, context is everything.

Think about it. The natural wind has no mind. It can’t want anything. It can’t try to do anything or go anywhere. The emphasis of this passage is not the wind that we feel in nature. Christ is talking about the Spirit.

Jesus tells us that the Holy Spirit moves wherever He determines to go. He decides on the direction and the outcomes that He’s working towards.

The Lord literally says that you cannot know by seeing where the Spirit is originating, or where it’s going to. You can only hear the sound of the Spirit as He moves in your life at the present time. He concludes by saying that this is how it works for everyone born of the Spirit.

Nicodemus is floored by this concept.

“How can this possibly happen.”

But for us, looking back, this should sound very familiar. There is a gifting through which we can hear the sound of the Spirit, even though we don’t understand what He’s trying to accomplish in us.

For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful.
1 Corinthians 14:14

Your mind has no clue what the Holy Spirit is accomplishing in you as you pray in the spirit. The wind is blowing, but you don’t know where it’s coming from or where it’s going to. Regardless of this fact, your life is changed. The Holy Spirit is bringing you through the birthing process. You are being born again by the spirit into your inheritance.

When you pray in the spirit, you don’t need to understand the syllables you’re speaking. It’s the exchange that’s taking place in your spirit that makes the difference. You hear the sound, and you know that the Holy Spirit is at work in you.

This is the key to experiencing the glory of the Kingdom of God. It’s not about through following a set of rules, but by becoming a new person. We must be born of God into the inheritance of the kingdom.

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men.
Romans 14:17-18

Remember that only those who are born of God can do righteousness. Peace is living rightly with others in the kingdom. Joy is experiencing the power of our inheritance in the kingdom. All of these together speak of the blessing of being born of God by the spirit.

This verse clearly states that living at this level is pleasing to God. That should be our goal. All of us are accepted by God in Christ. We should want to go the distance to the point where we are pleasing to Him. This requires that we be born of the spirit.

Question: How would living at this level change the face of the church?

© Nick Zaccardi 2016

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Two Births – Water and Spirit

BirthI’ve been posting about the Biblical definition of being born again. It’s more than just praying a single prayer. It’s the whole process of putting off the old man and putting on the new nature in Christ. In my last article we saw that it’s in this way that we experience the manifestation of the Kingdom of God in our lives.

This is one of the failures of the church of our generation. We’re learning the lesson Paul warned the Corinthian church about.

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.
1 Corinthians 4:20

When Jesus performed a miracle or healed the sick, the kingdom was present in that place. Now we’ve watered it down. We tell everyone who accepts Christ that they’re born again and in the Kingdom of God. The result is a church with no power. There are few manifestations of the Kingdom in our present culture.

We desperately need a reawakening of the new birth. We need to see it the way the Lord described it. That’s what will change the spiritual landscape of our nation. It will bring revival to our famished souls.

Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.”
John 3:5

In this verse, Jesus literally says that unless you are born out of water and spirit you have no power to enter the Kingdom of God. Being born again is a spiritual work that requires spiritual power. The next statement of Christ emphasizes this truth.

“Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.”
John 3:6

These verses are foundational to our faith. That which is born of the flesh is fleshly in nature. That which is born of the spirit is spiritual in nature.

The question in all of this is; how is this spiritual work accomplished? Remember, we have the luxury of being able to look back on what Christ has done. This was all new to Nicodemus.

In order to explain the concept to this teacher, Jesus uses a parable.

“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.”
John 3:8

Because of our position in history, we should be better equipped to understand what Christ is trying to get across. Notice that the Lord is speaking about being born of – or literally out of – the spirit.

Jesus was trying to get across a spiritual truth to this Pharisee. In my next post I’ll conclude this series by showing exactly what Jesus is referring to, and what this means to us. We must be born of the spirit if we are to experience the manifestation of God’s power in our lives and ministries.

Question: Why is our spiritual man so important in accessing the power of God?

© Nick Zaccardi 2016

 
 

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