What’s the Difference?

Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand, And went away again beyond Jordan into the place where John at first baptized; and there he abode. And many resorted unto him, and said, John did no miracle: but all things that John spake of this man were true. And many believed on him there.

John 10:39-42

Jesus performed many public miracles during His earthly ministry. Reactions to those miracles varied greatly. What I find interesting is that the exact same miracles that led so many to believe in Him also moved others to want to kill Him.

What’s the difference?

The exact same actions were witnessed by everyone so there was nothing different on the outside. All that is left is the internal nature of those who witnessed what Jesus did. Remember back very early in our gospel studies to the night that Nicodemus came to Jesus by night. Jesus made a very profound statement:

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

John 3:3

Those who are not born again not only do not care for the things of God, they are enemies to the kingdom.

“For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.”  –

Romans 8:6-7 (Emphasis mine)

On the other hand, those who are born again are able to see that it is God at work in His kingdom! What wondrous grace!

This should lead us to a very important understanding about the purpose of preaching the gospel. If the miracles and teachings of Jesus only revealed the inward nature of men, then the preaching of the gospel can only do the same.

The gospel tells us Who Jesus is and what He has done. 

Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;

Romans 1:1-3 (Emphasis mine)

Notice that it is not a mixture of what Jesus did and what man needs to do to finish the work. The gospel is a declaration of facts not a proposition or call to make a decision. 

Those who are born again have been made able to see that the record of Jesus and His work are true, and they can rejoice in it. A person’s belief doesn’t make these facts about Jesus true but it does save the believer to understanding and hope. 

Those who are still dead in their sins cannot understand and rejoice in these truths. 

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

1st Corinthians 2:14

Therefore, when the gospel is preached and people rejoice, we can say with the Apostle Paul that we are looking at the chosen of God!

Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God. For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.

1st Thessalonians 1:4-5

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