John 3:1-2 “There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, 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.”
Nicodemus didn’t ask a question. He only made a statement, but Jesus answered his question anyway.
John 3:3-4 “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?”
The carnal man can’t understand the spiritual. You’ve got to be born again. Little by little Jesus is giving Nicodemus ways to grow his faith.
John 3:5-8 “Jesus answered, 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. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.”
The wind blows wherever it wants to. You can’t even see it. It’s the same way when someone is born of the Spirit. You can’t see the Spirit. You can’t see the wind, but you can see the effects of it, hair blowing, trees moving, etc. It’s the same with the Spirit.
The sound of wind is somehow correlated to being born of the Spirit. This is the only time where the word ‘phone’ is translated from Greek to English as ‘sound’. Every other time it is translated as ‘word or language’.
Acts 2:1-4 “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
Wonder if Nicodemus was there? There was that wind that Jesus was talking about! Wind and fire showed up. Wind and fire were connected with the Holy Ghost somehow. They were filled with the Spirit and began to speak in another language as the Spirit gave them utterance. This is what being born of the Spirit is all about. This gave them the power and they continued on with the power they were given. They were witnesses.
Mark 16:10-13 “And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept. And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not. After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country. And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them.”
These people couldn’t believe! They walked with Jesus. He raised the dead! Why did they choose not to believe? They doubted.
Mar 16:14 “Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.”
Jesus pointed his bony finger at them for their unbelief and harness of heart. If you don’t have faith, you will not, cannot please God. If you don’t believe, you can’t please God. If you doubt, you’re calling God a liar. Oh Jesus! You will make God mad if you don’t have real faith. Jesus rebuked them.
2 Biggest Sins in the Bible:
- Hardness of Heart
Real Faith is way more than just showing up. We’ve got to learn how to have real faith.
His disciples got rebuked, ‘spanked’ for not believing. They were probably apologizing right there. Before Jesus said, ‘Go ye,’ He rebuked them. There is a way to remedy their unbelief and hardness of heart. You walk out the gospel. You demonstrate your faith by your works and your lifestyle.
Now that you’ve been rebuked and you’ve repented, go live it.
Mar 16:15-16 “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”
If you are in the Chicagoland area, come to The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm.
Excerpted from a sermon preached by: Pastor Anthony LoCascio.