John 3:3-5 proved to be a difficult task to explain for the intern pastor. He spent most of the sermon discussing how confusing this passage was.
Bible Gateway has this:
New International Version (NIV)
3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
4 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”
5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.”
To me, explaining the power of the Spirit is easy.
You see someone’s smile, you hear their kind voice. You feel the warmth of their skin as you share a touch. Your brain has no understanding of this except through the energy transferred by nerve impulses into various areas of the brain. Your body can generate energy that is read by machines.
Okay. lets get practical. Jesus also uses the metaphor of the wind a little later in this passage. “You do not know where it comes from or where it is going…,” Jesus said a few verses later.
If I throw you a beach ball, can you catch it? Can you throw it back to me? Can you see it and feel it? How do you know?
Good. If I throw you a ping-pong ball, can you catch it, throw it back to me, see it and feel it? How do you know?
Good. Let’s get smaller… how about a peppercorn? How do you know?
Smaller still… how about a mustard seed? How do you know?
There are smaller things that we can’t see until they’re under microscopes. Wait… Don’t you know?
Yes, you do…you feel the wind as it touches you and passes by… What you feel, and what you see in the effect of the wind as it moves objects in its path, is the movement of many small atomic particles. If they weren’t there, you would feel nothing.
You can’t catch the wind and throw it back – well, maybe you can, you just wouldn’t know whether or where you threw it.
So, where am I when it comes to tying all this together? The Spirit of God is the energy God has created to power us, to power change, to make a difference in this world. That question I asked above, “How do you know?” makes all the difference in being Born of the Spirit. You don’t know because someone tells you – you know because you’ve experienced it. You know the power of God, and that He exists.
Jesus said, “Where two or more of you are gathered, there I am in the midst.” Mt. 18:20
He also said, “Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it is yours.” Mark 11:24
Prayer, for the believer, is a special gift. Like other skills that we learn, our knowledge of God and how He works gives us a special confidence in Him. It takes experience with Him to know that your prayer is powerful and that concentrated prayer is even more so. Scientifically, when energy is focused, it holds more strength and power. Prayer also is sometimes answered in years instead of days or hours, or instantaneously. Is it any wonder that Jesus would speak of these things?
As you explore the supernatural, you may just find yourself returning to the One who told it all… our Creator and our Lord.
Finally, If you aren’t “there” yet, don’t worry. Touch God, and you will touch eternity.