Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, (from above), he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Most assuredly I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again, (from above).’
I find it interesting that our Lord first says ‘see’ in verse 3; then in verse 5 He says ‘enter’. It got me thinking that if we cannot see something, we surely will not enter. For instance, if I cannot see the door, I surely cannot enter into the house. It is of great necessity to ask the Lord, ‘Whatever do you mean by this?’ In my quest to understand, the Lord has taken me to the book of Romans for some clarity. In my journey with Him, the book of Romans has been a beautiful testimony from brother Paul, who according to the law was quite the righteous dude, so he thought; but in it he shares his maturity in the spirit, and in turn encouraged me that nothing but the law of the spirit of life in Christ is what pleases our Father, which He has poured out into our hearts in abundance. By this Spirit is how we ‘see’ the kingdom of God, and it in turn enters us.
What do I mean by the Real Romans road? I see many saints today suffering over things we do in the flesh, and myself at times as well. Stepping into the spirit with brother Paul, God has lead him to pen something every believer can surely identify with if they are really seeking to know our loving Father better. With so much controversy over the law and grace, it should not be surprising that God would give us a letter through such a saint as Paul who was a Pharisee of Pharisee’s. In all outward appearance Paul was a model for obedience to that law, however, once he was born from above, God clearly showed him the real purpose of that thing; to show him grace. I want to share Romans 7 in a way that my brother Bob George pointed it out, because it has really been an encouragement to me in looking at things in a realistic light. It is part of the real Romans road that I encourage every believer who struggles with the sin of the flesh to study, and I guarantee, God will shed a whole new light on His incredible grace and prayerfully lighten some of the load the saints have been carrying around. It takes honesty, an open heart, and a big breath of fresh air to get through it. Please set all preconceived notions and bias aside and let the Spirit of truth guide you and lead you. May you find rest for you souls!
Romans 7:5-25:(Emphasis mine)
For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death. But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter. What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, ‘You shall not covet.’ But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead.
I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived, (sprang to life), and I died. And the commandment, which was to bring life, (he thought), I found to bring death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me. Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.
Has then what is good become death to me? Certainly not! But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful. For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin dwells in me.
For I know that in me, (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O’ wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?
I thank God – through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.
It may do a saint, or non-saint for that matter some good to read this over a time or two; or even three. Look at all the me, myself, and I’s Paul is expressing throughout, and you will get the picture God is trying to paint through him. Some may argue, ‘Oh so I am not responsible for being a jerk, and God doesn’t care if we are because it is not our fault.’ Quite the contrary brothers and sisters! The real answer comes in the verses that follow. Paul is just showing us something akin to the law of gravity. Throw something up and it will always come back down to the earth. It is an unchangeable law that we have come to accept and deal with. Defy it yes, but deny it we cannot. So it went when sin entered the world through one man, yet through One Man, the Man Christ Jesus has destroyed sin in His flesh, and ours as well. This teaching can be quite difficult to understand, yet once it is spiritually discerned, it will produce a freedom that many bound up saints badly need in there growth. Because then it is much easier to grasp the beautiful verses that follow.
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally (fleshly) minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
It is not my intention to leave on what may seem focus on indwelling sin; no not at all. It is a reality that I struggled with because some of the things I hate I do, and the things I love in my mind, I don’t do. Not with a pure conscience anyway!
Thankfully Father has rescued me from this body of death, and gave me life with eyes to see the kingdom enter me! Understanding fully that there is now no condemnation, which means that there was, and still is for some who still do not understand Paul’s concept in the above passage, I am free to be broken from time to time, and having my Father pick me back up in His loving arms, brush me off, and give me a great big hug, telling me, ‘I haven’t gone anywhere child. I am right here and I love you!”
So the next time someone tries to tell you that you can lose your salvation because you sin, tell them they are lying! Because then they would be saying that you can lose life, and Jesus said, ‘My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.’ And that includes you beloved! Have you been born again in the Spirit? If not let’s talk…:-)
Many blessings of life and peace in Jesus Christ our Lord!