“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” Matthew 28:19.
Again we look at John 3:5, “5Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit”.
In the previous study we dealt with the water in verse 5, and can we now look at the FLESH in verse 6?
Just what was Jesus telling Nicodemus? Now what flesh is this that the Lord is referring to? Is it our human flesh? Is He talking about our biological birth when He said; “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit”?
Certainly not! The flesh here is not just dealing with our human flesh as to being born of human parents. But He was trying to shift the thinking of Nicodemus from the rituals of the law that he was used to and a master of, into the new order and dispensation of things. By implication, He was trying to tell Nicodemus that you really have to embrace my teaching and openly accept me with all that I came with for you to see and enter into the new realm of God’s economy.
Truly, Jesus was speaking to Nicodemus of the law and Grace, how do we know this?
Paul again gave us this answer when he rebuked the Galatians Church, hear him;
“O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” Galatians 3:1-3.
So what flesh was he talking about here? Of course the law! What he was saying was, you could not have come to the Lord, baptized in the spirit and be enjoying the Liberty that is in Christ and all of a sudden some Judaizers come into your midst and beginning to each you that for you to be saved you must obey and keep the law of Moses. That is going back and trying to be perfected by the flesh. Can you get what I am saying?
So the flesh is the law, therefore Jesus was only telling Nicodemus to get out of his rituals and embrace the light of the new gospel of grace which He came with. That is what it means for Nicodemus to be born again, in this sense being covenanted into a new order of faith and belief that is in Christ.
That the flesh is the law is further made plain to us by Apostle Paul when boasting of his religious zeal in the Jewish religion.
But may we also make it plain that, it does not mean that anywhere you see flesh in the Bible, it means the law, it must be read in context that is the best way to theologize accurately.
But in this case we know it is talking about the law. Look at it again;
“Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe. Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ” Philippians 3:1-7.
So here again, Paul was comparing his new faith in Christ with his old zeal in the Jewish order as a Pharisee and he called that being confidence and trusting in the flesh which he now counted but lost for the Excellency of gaining Christ.
This is the same thing that Jesus meant when He said, the flesh profiteth nothing (John 6:63).
The law was only of a circle of sin and death, no life and no power.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:1-2.
In other words, there is no gain or life in the Jewish order of things, as they were all temporary measures until the fullness of time as set by God.
“Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons” Galatians 4:1-5.
The law which was the flesh that Jesus referred to in John 3, when talking to Nicodemus was nothing more than a measure to bring us into the fullness of the Christ, as they pointed to Him.
To be continued…