God’s Decision

[1] Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. [2] This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” [3] Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” [4] Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” [5] Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. [6] That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. [7] Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ [8] The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:1-7)

I’m certain most readers at some point in life have had someone witness to you saying: “You must be born again. So, you must make a decision to accept Christ.” 

I imagine you found this baffling. Nicodemus says to Jesus being born again is humanly impossible. We can’t enter again into our mother’s womb. To summarize Jesus’ response: “You’re right. It is humanly impossible. That’s the point!” 

If the person witnessing to me is especially persistent, I will finally grant that decisions were made that led to my being born again. 

  • God the Father decided to send God the Son to save the world.
  • God the Son decided to live the life we couldn’t, ultimately giving his life to pay the price for our sins. His resurrection is proof of the salvation of the world. 
  • My parents decided to bring me forward to the baptismal font, where I was born again by God through the water and Word in baptism. 

But at no point did a decision that I contribute toward my being born again. Like every single one of us, I was born again by God’s grace through God’s gift of faith. 

(A Second Look devotions are written for the congregations of the Ohio District LCMS.)

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