In my last blog I said I would define some of the terms Christians use in trying to tell people how to get to heaven.
John chapter 3 starts out with the account of a Jewish religious leader coming to Jesus at night (to avoid being seen by his superiors) to ask some questions. Jesus knew what was in Nicodemus's heart and went straight to the real issue. In verse 3 Jesus answered him, "...except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Nicodemus was an old man and a teacher of the Jewish law. He answered Jesus, "How can a man be born again when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb?"
Jesus's answer was unlike anything anyone had ever heard before. He said, "...except a man be born of water and of the spirit he cannot see the kingdom of God. For that which is born of the flesh (the natural birth from the sac of water) and of the Spirit (the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost) is spirit. A few verses later Jesus said, "No man has ascended up to heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness (story in the book of Exodus), even so must the Son of man be lifted up: (Jesus is also called the Son of man) That whoever believes in him (Jesus) should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved."
This is talking about saving us from our sins. Many people think they are too bad for God to love them; too bad to be accepted by God. There is no such person. God wants to forgive everyone--even the vilest rapist, the pedophile, the drug dealer. Why? Because we are all sinners and God doesn't see one sin as worse than another. We all, every single one of us deserves hell. No matter how hard we try to be good, something happens and we end up doing things we later regret or saying things we regret. We can't help it. That's why we can never earn salvation. We will never be as good as Jesus and He is the measuring stick God uses. We needed someone to take our punishment for our sins. Jesus came to save us from being a slave to our own sin nature. Not that we will be perfect but our attitude towards our sin will change.