Previously I explained how the Spirit and wind are sovereign in saving/blowing, both directed by the holy will of God, not the depraved will of man. Unless a second birth - by God the Spirit - occurs, it is impossible to be saved, try as man will. Let us then continue to prove Calvinism by exegesis of John 3.

If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?

Jesus has used the example of the first, fleshly birth of an infant to prove the doctrine of the second birth by the Spirit. Flesh and Spirit are opposites. The flesh hates the things of God, while the Spirit loves the things of God. The flesh is weak in obeying God, while the Spirit is willing. This is because of the Total Depravity called original sin, inherited from Adam. Man's entire innate nature is affected negatively.

Nicodemus understood the necessity of John's water baptism of repentance……all are unclean sinners, as King David and Job proved. What he did not understand, however, was another baptism necessary unto salvation spoken of by the Baptist, the baptism of the Holy Ghost, by fire, given by Jesus. This is the one baptism spoken of by Paul in Ephesians, one faith, one Lord, one baptism.

Jesus was explaining this doctrine to a man who believed that salvation was attainable by one's efforts. The Jewish religious believed themselves capable of obeying the Law and all its attendant fine points. Were they deceived! By comparing the way of salvation to the outworking of the wind, Jesus was taking the work of salvation out of man's domain and placing it solely in the sovereign control of the Almighty. Just as the mysterious outworking of nature is beyond man's understanding and domain, so, too, is salvation. This concept was so radical to Nicodemus that he confessed it too high a doctrine to grasp. He attempted to interpret Jesus' words literally, which many Christians do today when interpreting spiritual concepts and doctrines.

Jesus enunciates the thrust of His first mission on earth -- He came to save, not to condemn, (verse 17). We know that the next Advent of Christ will be in judgment, (II Thess. 1:7-10). But judgment is not the subject of his dialogue with Nicodemus. No. Instead, He focuses on salvation.

John 3:16 is shocking to the Pharisee because in it Jesus asserts God's love and saving grace will extend worldwide to the peoples the Jews had considered reprobate -- the lowly, pagan Gentiles! No longer will physical Israel be the apple of His eye. His eye will be on the Gentile as well, (Acts 1:8). Calvinism understands by John 3:16 that Jesus will atone for the sins of all men without distinction, not all men without exception. This fact can be proven by numerous other supporting Scriptures. Thus, by world we must be wise in our definition, unlike the Arminians. By comparing Scripture with Scripture we soon discover that world is often used in a limited sense. John 1:29 declares that Jesus is the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Obviously, common sense dictates that if Jesus effectually removed the sin of every human being then all would be saved. But this is not so. All are not saved. In fact, few are actually saved, many are called, few chosen. Therefore, Jesus did not remove the sins of all by His substitutionary atonement. He did, however, remove the sins of some men worldwide. Those men are called the Elect. The Spirit is still about the business of applying His saving blood to Elect sinners across the globe, thank the good Lord.


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