Good Morning, I pray you are well.
Here’s one more thought on Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus before we move on to another scripture next week.
Jesus’ call for Nic to be born again is one of the things that sets Christianity apart from other religions.
In fact, I don’t believe Christianity is a religion at all.
Nicodemus was religious — extremely religious. And yet Jesus said he was missing what mattered most.
Religion — Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, etc. — tries to reform man from the outside in through human effort — meditation, prayer, good works, etc. In grammar, religion is a middle voice verb: It’s a subject acting upon itself. And while such efforts can indeed elevate a man to a higher, perhaps nobler way of living, they can never get man to God. That was Jesus’ point to Nic.
Christianity transforms humans from the inside out through God’s effort. In grammar, it’s the passive voice — a subject being acted on by an outside, third party source.
We are saved, forgiven, called, blessed, redeemed, healed, sent, etc. All are passive verbs. God does them to us through Jesus. We don’t do them to or for ourselves.
Religion is man trying to do for himself what only God can do for him. Christianity is God doing for man what man could never do for himself.
When you said Yes to faith in Jesus you gave God permission to do in you what you could never do for yourself. And it started when God deposited his Holy Spirit, the Great Transformer, in you. It started when you were born again. Yea God.