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.
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.
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
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
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.