Who’s in Control?

Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

John 3:7

Jesus uses the perfect metaphor for Nicodemus, and us, to learn how helpless we are in our depraved state without grace. The concept of birth is of common understanding but think of it specifically in the following ways.

How much do you remember about your natural birth? Nothing? If you can’t remember it, how did you control it? Of course you would respond, “I did not control it my parents did!”

Well of course you didn’t control that birth. And that is the point that Jesus is making to Nicodemus. You had no control of your natural birth and neither do you control your spiritual one!

That is why Jesus told Nicodemus to “marvel not” at what He said. If there was something that Nicodemus needed to do in order for him to be born again, then he would have reason to marvel because he didn’t understand! But Jesus is telling him that he doesn’t need to worry about it because the new birth comes as a sovereign act of the Holy Spirit without the use of aids or means from men.

We don’t DO anything. The new birth HAPPENS TO US!

Perhaps that is why Nicodemus, as well as many professed Christians today, don’t truly understand what Jesus is saying here. They want control over their eternal destiny. The problem is if we were given that kind of control, what kind of progress can a person spiritually dead make when it comes to spiritual decisions and actions?


If we were true to the understanding of our own depraved nature separate from the grace of God, we would only rejoice in this sovereign act of God! He did what we CANNOT do!

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