John 3:8, “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
In this part, we come to address the evidence of the new birth. True salvation (the only salvation) must make an effect on someone and there will be evidence, big or small. No one hit by truck for example can remain the same, something will definitely change due to the nature of contact/impact. When we get saved we know something has happened, there is a change but we may not understand how, we see the evidence. In vs. 8 Jesus uses another example to make His point, He says,“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”, John 3:8.
First of all, Christ and Paul declares that the gospel is the power of God (Dunamis). Dunamis (power) is the Greek term from which our word dynamite is derived. The gospel carries with it the omnipotence of God, whose power alone is sufficient to save men from sin and give them eternal life. There is the cause and effect, God causes it, we hear the sound (Faith comes by hearing…), we see or sense the effects.
Second, the teaching of the new birth is unsettling because it refers to something that is done to us, not something we do. Justification is what God does for us. John 1:13 emphasizes this, it refers to the children of God as those “who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”
Therefore when Jesus says to Nicodemus “…So is everyone who is born of the Spirit “, in summary He is saying, salvation is about God, by God, for God. Titus 2:11, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men”; Jude 1:1, “…To those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ”. God causes the new birth; we don’t. Peter stresses the same message, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again”, 1Peter 1:3.
I stress this point, we do not cause the new birth, God causes the new birth. Any spiritual good thing that we do is a result of the new birth, not a cause. Ephesians 2:4–5, “4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)”; 1John 5:11–12, “This is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” “Therefore, when Jesus says, It is the Spirit who gives life” John 6:63, and, You must be born of the Spirit” (John 3:5, 8), and, “Believing you may have life”, John 20:31, He means: In the new birth, the Holy Spirit supernaturally gives us new spiritual life by connecting us with Jesus Christ through faith. For Jesus is life”, John Pipper.
It is morally impossible for the dead, dark, hard, resistant heart to celebrate the Lordship of Jesus over his life without being born again. That is why we in the new birth need creation of life in union with Christ. The work of the Spirit in regeneration is to impart new life to us by uniting us to Christ. The way John Calvin says it: “The Holy Spirit is the bond by which Christ effectually unites us to himself”
Those who believe that people can be saved and not be changed get it wrong because Jesus tells otherwise. There will be change and that change will be evidence that the Spirit is at work. He called Lazarus from the grave, how He did it we cannot explain but we read the effects because he came back to life. Lazarus could not hear any other voice and respond, but when Christ called him, that voice cut through the icy cold grave right to the lifeless decomposing body and caused Lazarus to hear His voice. The evidence, Lazarus responded and came back to life.
“The Spirit of God is a free agent in regeneration; he works how, and where, and when he pleases; he acts freely in the first operation of his grace on the heart, and in all after influences of it; as well as in the donation of his gifts to men, for different purposes”, John Gill commentary.
Unless the Spirit of God moves there will be no life, lost people will be stillborn. To continue. Blessings Ev