What Was Jesus Saying In John 3:8?

Q. I don’t quite understand what Jesus meant in John 3:8. The part where he says so it is with everyone born of the Spirit. This part I am not getting. Can you help?

A. John 3:8 says,

“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.”

I think Jesus was using the wind to draw a distinction between the physical birth and the spiritual one. We can hear the wind and we can feel it. We can also see the effect it causes around us. But in and of itself the wind is not visible.

So it is with people born of the Spirit. We can often hear it in their voice and sometimes even feel it when we’re in their presence. We can also see the effect it has on their lives. But being born in the Spirit usually doesn’t cause any detectable change in a person’s physical appearance.

However, this is not the case with God. He can see the presence of the Spirit in us, and it changes us so dramatically that to Him we’re a new creation. The old has gone and the new has come (2 Cor. 5:17). We are so different to Him that when we sin it’s no longer us doing it, but the sin living in us (Romans 7:20).

I believe the knowledge of this is what enabled John to say, “No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God” (1 John 3:9). I say this because the sad fact is that there has never been even one Christian who has completely stopped sinning in thought, word, or deed. John also said, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us (1 John 1:8).

“Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed are they whose sins the Lord does not count against them, and in whose spirit is no deceit” (Psalm 32:1-2)

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