Wednesday, 5 September 2012

John 3: Getting to Heaven

If you feel you don't quite know what's going on, don't worry, you're not the only one. In John 3, we meet a character called Nicodemus who seems pretty confused.

  • How do you think you get to heaven?
  • What did we learn about Jesus from John 1?
We're told that Nicodemus is a part of the ruling council of Jerusalem. This means that he's a clever chap. Yet he seems to be a bit confused by what Jesus has been saying. Nico recognises that God is with Jesus, and then Jesus says something very strange about being born again. Poor Nicodemus is rather confused. Surely, when a woman gives birth, she's given birth. That child is staying out. Jesus, however, says this is a different type of birth. This is a spiritual birth, given to us by the Holy Spirit. This rebirth by the Holy Spirit is essential if we are to see the Kingdom of God. 

Then we get one of the most famous passages of the Bible, John 3:16-17:
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 
This is reiterated at the very end of the chapter:
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him.
 These verses tell us what is needed to gain eternal life: a belief in the Son of God. Doing good things or having a wishy-washy notion of the "being something bigger" doesn't seem to cut it. If you believe in the Son, you get eternal life. It's through believing in Jesus that we are able to get this spiritual rebirth.

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