Get off the condemnation train

Thoughts on John 3:16-21

It seems like we’re on a train, bound for condemnation because we don’t want to walk through the decontamination room, and rid ourselves of the death that clings. You are the way to get off the train. You are the process that eliminates death. You don’t wish me to die, you came to bring me life. If only I believe. It’s like the Jews in Hitler’s Germany, if they had believed the evil was building they might have fled the country and not suffered under his demented plans. Lord, increase my belief. Thank you that you do not condemn me; you’re cheering for me, coming toward me with light. As I face the light my condemnation falls behind me like a dark shadow. Thank you and amen.

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A Receptive vs Acquiring Gospel

Thoughts on John 3:1-8

We all know about NIcodemas coming to you under cover of night, out of fear, they say. Or maybe he thought he’d have a better chance at a private conversation at night, out of the public eye. At any rate, he was testing you. Not testing as the Pharisees were later to do, trying to trip you up, but legitimately checking you out. He called you Rabbi and acknowledged your wondrous deeds proved God sent you.

You throw him a curve ball with the born again talk. According to his way of thinking, entering the Kingdom of God was done through keeping the law and offering the correct sacrifices. But you are describing a receptive means of righteousness, not an acquiring one. Nicodemas’ attempts at righteousness was playing catch up; trying to return to the state of innocence experienced by Adam and Eve in the Garden. You describe union with the Kingdom as accomplished by starting over, becoming like an infant who is born not of it’s own plan or control, but because of the joining of its parents. Spiritual birth happens not by trying hard, but by letting love create and carry me. The grace is found in being dependent upon my loving parent, there is no grace in relying upon my best efforts to earn your love.

Come Holy Spirit, blow into and through my life. Leave evidence of my spiritual birth as I work, talk, and write this day.