ImmerseMessiah NLT - Page 415

Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot
see the Kingdom of God.”
“What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go
back into his mother’s womb and be born again?”
Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human
life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. So don’t be surprised
when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it wants.
Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where
it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.”
“How are these things possible?” Nicodemus asked.
Jesus replied, “You are a respected Jewish teacher, and yet you don’t
understand these things? I assure you, we tell you what we know and have
seen, and yet you won’t believe our testimony. But if you don’t believe me
when I tell you about earthly things, how can you possibly believe if I tell
you about heavenly things? No one has ever gone to heaven and returned.
But the Son of Man has come down from heaven. And as Moses lifted up
the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be
lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life.
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the
world through him.
“There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone
who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in
God’s one and only Son. And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s
light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the
light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to
go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right
come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.”
Then Jesus and his disciples left Jerusalem and went into the Judean
countryside. Jesus spent some time with them there, baptizing people.
At this time John the Baptist was baptizing at Aenon, near Salim, because there was plenty of water there; and people kept coming to him for
baptism. (This was before John was thrown into prison.) A debate broke
out between John’s disciples and a certain Jew over ceremonial cleansing.
So John’s disciples came to him and said, “Rabbi, the man you met on the
other side of the Jordan River, the one you identified as the Messiah, is also
baptizing people. And everybody is going to him instead of coming to us.”
John replied, “No one can receive anything unless God gives it from
heaven. You yourselves know how plainly I told you, ‘I am not the Messiah.

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