[Jesus] was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah. 1 Peter 3:18-20 (NIV) What does this have to do with...
“You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things?” John 3:10 (NIV)
Nicodemus had the Old Testament Scriptures, not the New. The words “born again” do not occur in the Old Testament. But Jesus makes it clear that a person with the Old Testament should be able to understand this teaching.
“I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts” (Jer. 31:33).
“I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean… I will give you a new heart… I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees” (Ez. 36:25, 26, 27).
You are the teacher of Israel and you don’t understand that people come to live under the blessing of God’s rule when he gives them an infusion of new life in which they’re cleansed and renewed?
Here is a man who knows the Bible well and yet has missed its central message. It is possible to go to church, listen to the sermon, sing the songs, and still miss the point. It is possible to give yourself to a sustained attempt at living a God-honoring life, and to completely miss the joy, the love, and the peace of the Christian life.
Do you sometimes feel that you are doing everything you’re supposed to, but you still feel that you are lacking joy or love or peace? Is it possible that you’ve missed the central message of the Bible?