Man, through Adam, fell and died spiritually. Since the Eden fall mankind had continued to sink in the opprobrium of the contravention of God’s law till it reached the notoriety of Genesis 6:5, “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Regretfully, the Mosaic account of God’s position in verse 6 reads, “And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.”
There is not a doubt that God had, through His prophet, Adam, told the pristine family of humanity, what to do to appease Him. Jehovah reminded Cain in Genesis 4:7, “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.” The word ‘sin’ is the Hebrew for chaṭṭâ’âh or chaṭṭâ’th (khat-taw-aw’) means: ‘an offence (sometimes habitual sinfulness), and its penalty, occasion, sacrifice, or expiation.’ ‘Lieth’ is râbats (raw-bats’) ‘to crouch (on all four legs folded, like a recumbent animal); by implication to recline, repose, brood, lurk, imbed.’ A sacrificial lamb: a prefigurement of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ was the sermon Whom Cain repudiated.
At the resurrection of Jesus Christ He is the sole legal tender Lamb of the salvation of mankind. The Bible says in Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” signifying that man is in need of salvation. It also reminds one of Ezekiel 18:4, “Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.” Man has been plunged into an untold spiritual quagmire. Even Nicodemus had no answer to this deeply rooted predicament. This is the profile of Nicodemus. His Greek name Nikodēmos (nik-od’-ay-mos) “conqueror” or ‘victorious among his people,’ was accepted even by the Jewish authorities. He was a member of the Sanhedrin. He was successful. This man could boast of a PhD in theology. And he was a law teacher of the scripture.
He could not understand John 3:3 “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.” The word ‘born’ gennaō (ghen-nah’-o) means: ‘to procreate (properly of the father, but by extension of the mother); figuratively to regenerate.’ ‘Again’ is anōthen (an’-o-then): ‘from above; by analogy from the first; by implication anew.’ ‘Except’ and ‘cannot’ are words of negation, pointing to the impossibility of this new birth without following due process i.e. scriptural protocol. The permutational involvement in the rationalistic empiricism of the cultural phenomenon of the physical man beclouded the mind of Nicodemus.
This successful individual could not apprehend the spiritual context from the defining ‘regenerate’ neither could anōthen remind him of a new birth, midwifed by the Holy Ghost, coming from the decree of the One who sits on the throne of the heavenly assizes. Intellectuals, religionists, people of immense illustriousness and the wealthy class will twitch their noses in response to ‘get born again’! It is for this reason Jesus had to give Nicodemus the curative kerygma of John 3:6 “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” He did that to save him from spiritual neurasthenia, a contagium that has bedeviled Christendom. Failure to follow through to the end the teachings of Biblical truism is the result of Lucifer’s incursion into human affairs. Very few churches make the altar call to lead people in the sinners’ prayer of salvation. While John 3:3 is the kerygma call to salvation, the practicality of the format prayer that gets one born again is found in Romans 10:9-10.
Romans 10:9-10, 9) “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10) For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” ‘Confess’ is: homologeō (hom-ol-og-eh’-o) ‘to say the same thing as another, i.e. to agree with, assent.’ Homologeō is not in connection with an individual’s past sins. It is an acceptability design to get one acquainted with the Lamb to an eventuation of God’s expected acceptance of the Lordship of Jesus by the individual. It must be noted that the King James Version of the Bible that I always use in my exegesis of the scriptures was written in the flowery of the Elizabethan English. Verse nine gives an overview of the context; and what the first words say in our modern day English is, “…that if you should confessedly agree and declare verbally that Jesus is (your) Lord.” The 10th verse takes one through the steps to be taken in this salvaging ritual.
You have to believe the allusion to the kerygma (biblical message) of verse eight. Your heart must believe the finished work of the cross. Your mouth must confess that:
*Jesus is the Son of God. Mark 1:1; Luke 1:35, 22:70; John 3:8.
*Jesus died for your sin. John 1:29; Acts 2:36 & 1John 2:2.
*God raised Him from death. Romans 6:4, 10:9, 1Corinthians 6:14 & Colossians 2:12.
*Jesus is Lord. Psalms 110:1; Jeremiah 23:6; Luke 3:11; John 13:13; Acts 10:36; 1 Corinthians 12:3, 15:47 & Philippians 2:11
(…to be continued…)
Read the 2nd part here.