“Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth,
no one can enter the kingdom of God
unless he is born of water and the Spirit”
God warned Adam and Eve that if they disobeyed Him and ate of the forbidden fruit they would die. Satan tempted them by casting doubt upon God’s integrity and told them “you will not surely die.” Eve considered the matter and ate of the fruit, giving some also to Adam who was with her. Physically they did not immediately die – but spiritually they did. Their spiritual union with God was broken and the consequences vividly demonstrated in their expulsion from the Garden of His presence. Jesus was to illustrate this truth in another way when He taught about His being the Vine and believers the branches. If a branch became separated from the Vine, and so from its life force, it would die.
This action of Adam and Eve’s was not just one of naughtiness but a deliberate rebellion. They listened to the voice of the opposition and then acted on what they had heard – even although they clearly knew what God had told them. In effect they changed sides – and went into the camp of God’s enemy. A consequence of this act of rebellion was that every person born to them and their descendants was born like them – in the wrong camp and with a body and soul but no Godly spirit.
- “For as in Adam all die” (1 Corinthians 15:22)
- “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins” (Ephesians 2:1)
It is for this reason that Jesus taught Nicodemus that a new spiritual birth was essential for anyone to be able to enter the kingdom of God. It is also the reason for all four Gospels emphasising the point that an indispensable part of Jesus ministry was to ‘baptize with the Holy Spirit’ (John 1:33).
Jesus made it clear that we cannot serve two masters, we have to choose. And so to become a follower of Jesus, and a child of God, we must be prepared to change camps and then to live accordingly.
“The work of God is this: to believe in the one He has sent.”(John 6:29)
We only realise our spiritual poverty through the ministry of the Holy Spirit – which becomes a real blessing! (hence the first Beatitude). As we do so the Lord leads us away from the world’s camp (and from the ‘prince of this world’) – having overcome the power of death and the enemy – and into His own presence and Life. In doing so He gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit of God who revitalises our spirits and re-establishes us in a living relationship with God Himself.
Have I got both feet in the right camp?
Lord God, once again I decide for You. Help me please to draw closer and closer to You and give me the discernment and strength to avoid the temptations of Your enemy. Amen.