John 3:16 Re-Examined
By Rand Winburn
I wish to re-examine
John chapter 3, the purpose of which is to prove - not with one
verse, but with an entire chapter - that salvation is the gracious
work of God given to the Elect alone because He willed
to do so…..not because we willed Him to do so. In this chapter
the 5 Points of Calvinism are taught, which I will reveal to you.
The 5 POINTS are known as TULIP:
Depravity of man who does not will to follow Christ
Election of certain men by God the Father
Limited Atonement by the Son only
on behalf of the Elect
saving Grace given by the Holy Spirit to the Elect
Perseverance of the Elect in following
Christ to the end
Let us begin
with John 2:23-25. I do so because the book of John was not originally
divided into chapters or verses. They were added hundreds of years
later. Please note that Jesus did not trust (commit to)
man because He knew what was in man. This is an extremely negative
statement teaching man's Total
Depravity; i.e., original sin nature inclined to evil.
by cover of night to learn from Christ. He did so for fear of
being ostracized by his peers. Pride was also a factor. He was
supposed to 'know it all' as the master of Israel. To admit that he did not 'know it
all' was an admission he did not wish to make publicly. Common
sense told Nicodemus that Jesus was no kook. God was with Him
(not against Him) as evidenced by His miracles.
a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
This verse also
teaches the Total Depravity of
man. He is born in original sin, blind to the things of God. He
must be regenerated. Just as the Roman Catholic Church denies
Calvinism, Nicodemus denies the possibility of another birth.
Jesus sets him straight.
a man be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the
kingdom of God.
water, as in baptism or washing of hands, is not sufficient. Nor
is the fleshly birth of an infant who exits the womb through water
sufficient. A spiritual birth is necessary to enter the kingdom of God. That spiritual birth is the sovereign
gracious work of God alone.
wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof,
but canst not tell whence it cometh, and wither it goeth: so is
everyone that is born of the Spirit.
Did you know
that the Greek word translated here as wind is the exact
same word also translated as spirit? [Greek: pneuma]
Thus, we may also translate this passage as:
Spirit goes where and to whom He wills…..
Jesus is teaching
the sovereign grace of God in salvation of the Elect. In this
we have the Unconditional Election of certain men chosen for salvation
before the foundation of earth according to the will of God --
not the will of man. Just as the wind does not blow where man
tells it to, the Spirit does not follow the commands of men. He
blows/regenerates only those chosen/elected before time. The Spirit
regenerates only those for whom Christ died, (Limited
Atonement). Those who remain unregenerate do so because they were
not chosen, nor did Christ shed His blood for them. Those who
reject Christ do so because they will to do so. Those who join
Christ do so because God willed them to do so.
Just as the
wind cannot be resisted by man, neither can the Spirit be resisted,
(Irresistible Grace). Man in original
sin does his best to oppose and resist the true God. Yet out of
love for His Elect, God's merciful will for their salvation supercedes
their evil will. The Elect cannot resist God's will anymore
than an infant can resist God's will in their first fleshly birth.
An infant has no will to fight childbirth. An infant did not ask
to be born. Neither does an Elect sinner have a will to fight
the saving grace of God. Neither does an Elect sinner first ask
God to choose and save him. There is no contest in the contest
of the wills. God wins every time :o)