May 25, 2023
Have you seen the kingdom of God? More importantly, have you entered the Kingdom? Many profess to be Christians, but they have never seen or really entered.
… was a highly religious man. He was a primary teacher among the Jews in Jesus’ day. I’m sure he felt that he was at the height of true religion, and that others viewed him that way. If a relationship with God could be obtained by serious study and hard work, Nicodemus would surely be there.
But he had never seen and never entered God’s kingdom.
He came to Jesus, curious and seeking. Jesus reveals to the searching, religious man that the only way a man can see and enter God’s kingdom is through the work of the Holy Spirit. Entrance cannot be gained by human work or ability.
Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3:3-6)
The kingdom of God is not of the physical but the spiritual. As such, it is only spiritually seen. To see means to perceive, to understand, to realize. Jesus was telling Nicodemus that he would never be able to see the kingdom unless there was a work done by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit enables us to see the kingdom.
Paul speaks of this spiritual seeing in 1 Corinthians 2. It is impossible for a “natural man,” i.e., a man in his natural state without Christ, to see.
But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. (1 Corinthians 2:14)
It takes the gracious, Divine intervention of the Spirit of God to open our eyes to see God and His kingdom.
Have you seen God’s kingdom?
But there’s more. No one can enter into God’s kingdom apart from the Spirit’s activity and work. Only God can take a man from hell to heaven, death to life. Only God can resurrect a man or woman, boy or girl, who is dead in their trespasses and sin. It is a miraculous work for which no one can take credit.
Notice as Christ speaks of our salvation, He describes it as an entrance. It’s not that we figure something out … that we merely, by our study, come to salvation because of our intellect. No.
By the gracious work of God’s Spirit, we come to SEE the kingdom, and then, because of Christ, we are able to ENTER the kingdom of God. We now live, not merely in the kingdom of this world but in the kingdom of our God. We have entered and can now enjoy all the riches of a new citizenship in a new domain. It is a literal change of locations. We once lived in only one world, but now we live in two and have access to both.
Paul speaks of this glorious entrance in Romans 5:1-2. Jesus takes us into the kingdom and gives us an introduction. Because of Him and His work on the cross for us, we can now have peace facing God, not enmity. We stand in grace and begin to experience God’s glory.
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with (literally, “facing”) God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.
A man who boasts of what he did to become a Christian has probably never seen and entered. For the very nature of true salvation is the humble realization that we can do nothing and that Christ must do everything to save us. Our one response is to believe. And once we have seen and entered, we realize it is all of Him!
September 26, 2023
September 25, 2023
September 20, 2023