"Impossible with man"
In John 3, amazed by Jesus’ words, Nicodemus starts two questions the same way,
Joh 3:4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old?
Joh 3:9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?
This is all outside Nicodemus’ understanding.
His religious world is shattered by the truth of Jesus’ words conveying the air of impossibility which is at the heart of the salvation of mankind.
If we’d read the Gospels properly – we’d be asking ourselves “how can anyone possibly be saved?”
It’s not until we start to come to terms with the impossibility of salvation that we begin to have hope of seeing it happen.
When we realize, “this requires divine intervention!”
Mat 19:25 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?
Mat 19:26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
There is hope, real hope, living hope, powerful hope.
We rejoice because it depends not one bit - not one little bit - on inadequate, unfaithful, hypocritical, selfish, prideful, awkward, lazy, cowardly me!
We rejoice because it all depends on Almighty God!
Of course it does:
Rom 9:15 For He saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
Rom 9:16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
Really, the whole theological issue between Calvinists and Arminians comes down to this issue.
Really, at its heart, the issue, just like the heart of the
issue that Jesus confronts Nicodemus with, comes down to one question:
“can you change?”
An Arminian says you can change, you can seek God.
A Calvinist says you cannot change, you cannot seek God.
Which of those 2 seem most like what Jesus is saying to Nicodemus, you must be born again ?
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