The Wind And The Spirit

Q. Concerning the meaning of Jesus words to Nicodemus in John 3:8 about the work of the Holy Spirit. ‘ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.’ The NIV study notes (revised 2008) says this about this verse: The Holy Spirit is sovereign. He works as He pleases in His renewal of human hearts. I don’t know what to believe about this verse, what Jesus said or the explanation I read. Can you help?

A. I disagree with the study notes you’ve cited. Remember the context of the passage is entry into the Kingdom. The Jews believed their place in the Kingdom could be earned by righteous living which was an observable characteristic of their behavior, obvious to all. But in John 3:3 Jesus said entry into the Kingdom only comes through being born again, or born of the Spirit. John 3:8 means that just as the wind cannot be seen, neither can the Holy Spirit’s presence in a person’s life be seen. Just because a person appears to be living a righteous life doesn’t mean he has a place in the kingdom. This was confirmed in John 3:16. We’re saved because of what we believe, not because of how we behave.

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