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Friday, August 2, 2019

Nicodemus -- Part 2

Flesh and Spirit
            Jesus goes on to say to Nicodemus, “Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.” V6 Human life comes from our human parents, but spiritual life comes from God, Jesus (Word) and the Holy Spirit.
Let’s compare a “natural” birth to the “supernatural” birth.

Natural Birth
In the “natural,” the father’s seed unites with the mother’s egg. The egg must be fertilized by the father’s seed (sperm cell) first. The two unite and are sealed off in the protective place of the mother’s womb so no other sperm can fertilize it. In the protected womb of the mother, it grows and matures until birth when it breaks forth as a new creation – new life -- into a new world.

Spiritual Birth
Spiritual birth is similar to natural birth. Spiritual life begins at the joining of the Seed of God/Jesus with a human. Jesus, the Word-- seed of God -- took on flesh in the womb of a virgin Jewish woman. Christ is the only One begotten by the Father in heaven and united directly to a human womb. No other in heaven or on earth has been born of a virgin with God as Father.  
After the uniting of Jesus, the Seed of God with us, we are “set apart” in the protective place of the Father in the womb of His Bride – His Church. There we are fed, nurtured and hopefully protected from false doctrine. Just as “natural” birth is a process over time, "spiritual" birth is a process over time. We are born again as spiritual infants. We are in the process of becoming sons and daughters of God who reflect His character and love. We grow and mature spiritually into “new” spiritual creations as we are fed and led.
The Seed of God – the Word/Jesus – still takes on our flesh and its ways so we will walk in His ways to the glory of God.
·     We are “raised up” by the power of the Holy Spirit and Word into new, resurrection life glory by glory.
·       We develop into a “higher” spiritual being in Christ.
·    At death, we break forth into a new heavenly world in our resurrected bodies and are a complete, holy, spiritual being under a Divine spiritual government – the Kingdom of God.
·      Flesh and blood cannot enter the Kingdom of God. (see 1 Corinthians 15:50) Our flesh will be changed in the blink of an eye into spirit.
 Our new life in Christ comes from a change in our heart, not through keeping rules and regulations. This change of heart is not an improvement on our fleshly life; it comes from a continual and complete change of heart by the power of the Holy Spirit and Word. Our changed lives will reflect the beauty, glory and holiness of God.
At creation in the beginning of Genesis, God said that all were to reproduce according to its kind. The same is true between the flesh and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh.
·    When we operate through our carnal nature, we are giving birth to the flesh and its desires and giving victory to the devil.
·   When we operate according to the Holy Spirit of God and His Word, we are giving birth to our spirit man and giving victory to the Godhead over the devil.
The carnal nature cannot defeat a spiritual devil, nor can it give us new spiritual life. The devil is a spiritual being, therefore, only a spiritual being can defeat Him. Jesus gave us the victory on the cross, but the devil is still warring against us until all evil is removed in the new earth and the new heaven. Until then, we war against the devil who works through our flesh and its ways that are contrary to God’s ways. Both Jesus and the devil who are both spiritual need a body to work through. Those who love and follow Jesus and walk in His ways will defeat the devil and his ways. Those who don’t will continue to be used by the evil one to accomplish his purposes of death and destruction. Jesus wants to raise us up into the highest place in the spiritual realm with Him. The devil wants to take us down into the lowest part of the earth which is his end.
God wants those who love Him to reflect His character, beauty, glory and heart as Jesus did.

The First Adam and Woman
When Adam and the Woman disobeyed God, they died spiritually not physically until hundreds of years later. Adam, when he was created by the Godhead, was Divine. He was without sin and clothed in God’s glory until sin entered. Then Adam and the woman out of shame hid from God among the trees in the Garden and were ultimately removed from God's holy presence..
All humans are also dead in sin because we are descendants of the first man and woman. The only One who was not born in sin was Jesus because He is the holy Seed of God not man. No man had anything to do with Jesus’ conception and birth. God had to fix the sin and death problem, so the Holy Spirit planted the Word of God (Jesus) into a Jewish virgin. Why a Jewish woman? Because God began the establishment of His earthly kingdom through the nation of Israel and gave them the Law that made a provision to atone for their sins yearly until the pure, perfect One came to atone for sin once for all and eternally.
         God shaped and formed a perfect, holy man in Adam. Therefore, only a perfect, holy Man could atone for the first Adam’s original sin. And only a Perfect Man born through the Jews could fulfill the Law perfectly for all and its penalty of death for disobedience.  Even though the Second Adam Jesus took on flesh through the Jewish virgin, He never lost His holiness and glory because He was without sin and was in a womb that no flesh or seed of man had touched. Her womb was pure. It is also interesting to note that Jesus also was laid in a tomb at His death that no dead flesh had touched. This had to be because Jesus is holy even in His flesh body.

Jesus Compares the Holy Spirit with the Wind
            Jesus sees that Nicodemus is still confused so He gives him another example: “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from and where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” Vv8-9 Only the water and blood of Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, can bring our spirit to life. Like the Holy Spirit, you can see the effects of the wind but you cannot see it. We know that the Holy Spirit works on a human’s heart, but we don’t know the exact time or place a change occurs because the Spirit is continually working on the hearts of those who love and follow Jesus. When a person surrenders to the Godhead, a “new” person is being created in His image – a new creation!  What we begin here on earth is just the beginning of salvation and being newly creation. The final result will be in the spiritual kingdom for all eternity.

Jesus Corrects Nicodemus
            Nicodemus is still stymied by Jesus’ words. Jesus says to him, “You are Israel’s teacher and do not understand these things? I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? No one has ever gone into heaven except the One who came from heaven – the Son of Man. John 3:10 – 15  In other words, Nicodemus is a renowned teacher and scholar of the Word, but He isn’t understanding the spiritual truths Jesus is speaking. It is my belief that Jesus using the word “we” was referring to the Father, Him and the Holy Spirit because although they are three parts of the same Godhead, they work in perfect harmony and agreement as One. They will never contradict one another because they are holy and truth.

The Law and the Spirit
Paul says in Galatians 5:16-18, “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of your sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under Law.” Paul also says in Romans 8:2 that Christ Jesus through the law of the Spirit of life set us free from the law of sin and death. The law of the Spirit fully operates in us when we commit to obey the Holy Spirit and the Word. What the Law was powerless to do, God did through His Son Jesus “that the Law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.”
The Law of the Older Testament was fully met in Jesus. He obeyed it perfectly and completely once-for-all. He met it for us. Then He gave us the power of the Holy Spirit within us to deliver us from sin’s power and lead us onward glory by glory to final glorification in Christ. “Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God.” Romans 8:5-6  The sinful nature cannot please God. (Romans 8:8) It brings sin and spiritual death.
In Genesis at creation, the Holy Spirit hovered over the waters almost in a birthing position to bring about a “new” creation with the Father and the Word (Jesus). The Holy Spirit is not only within us when we accept the Incorruptible Seed of God Jesus, He is also hovering over us to birth new spiritual life into us making us “new creations.” God’s ways don’t change!
The Word of God and the Holy Spirit of God still take on our flesh as they dwell within us. God wants us to be born a spiritual being through His Son and His righteousness with the power of the Holy Spirit. “But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.” Romans 8:10 1 Peter 1:23 shows us that we are born again by the Incorruptible Seed of the Word of God (Jesus). Evidence of our “new” birth will be seen in our changed lives. Jesus and the Holy Spirit came to give us resurrected life now. The Holy Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead wants to also raise us from the deadness of our fleshly nature so we will live by being led by the Holy Spirit. “Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God.” Romans 8:5-6 I Why does God want us to be changed by Jesus and the Holy Spirit? “Because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” Romans 8:14 In other words, we are God’s children. We are like Him. We are born into a spiritual family.

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