John 3 is a fascinating and deep chapter. It contains many familiar verses, that are so familiar I think we assume we know what it’s all about.
In fact, it’s not hard to tell what John 3 is about–you must be born again. Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God, only spiritual creations can. Furthermore, only spiritual creations can discern spiritual teaching and do spiritual things.
The trap of legalism says “you can do everything God says through human will and strength.” Legalism, when not bucking you up with self-righteousness, is tearing you down with guilt. And self-righteousness is never free from guilt, nor vice-versa. Amazing how we operate, no?
The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ was a huge event. It is the Gospel and it is what saves. But often left ignored is the truth, expounded on by Paul, that believers were crucified there and we were raised up there.
While Christianity downplays the commands of the NT, it also downplays the Holy Spirit, because if there’s nothing for us to do, what’s the point of having Spiritual power? “I can do everything through me because there aint nothin to do!” Seems to be the default position of “believers.”
You must be born again. You must see the utter dependency we have on the Holy Spirit for Christian living. Without Him we are just breathing piles of dirt; with Him we are partakers of the divine nature.