“How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.
“You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? John 3:9-12
With Nicodemus as his captive audience, Jesus continues the Gospel message. He’s explaining a complex theology that a Pharisee or a Gentile or a grandmother or a man or woman could understand. The words “spiritual birth” is easy enough to understand, but we have a hard time explaining what happens on the other side of the equation. Let me explain.
It’s the difference between what happens on the front end of your computer versus what happens on the back end. For example, to perform a simple search, you enter data and click Search. That’s the front end. Easy peasy. What happens on the back end is complicated and complex, and involves a series of computer racks, algorithms, and software dedicated to getting accurate search results to you in two or three seconds. It’s the reason why a company such as Google has dominated that industry. If it were easy to understand, thousands of companies would get into the game. You see, the front end of most searches is similar: enter a term, click Search. The back end is what makes the difference. Fortunately we don’t have to know a thing about the back end of a search to get results.
For truth seekers, the front end is embarrassingly easy: “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.” That simple act of faith “launches” a series of events on the back end that are far from easy to understand. Bear with me. There is regeneration/salvation, past, present, and future sanctification; redemption; justification; the role of the Holy Spirit, the church, and end times in the life of the Believer; not to mention prayer, Bible study, fellowship, angels, and spiritual warfare. The back end list of events/theology continues but it is all dependent on the front end act of faith.
Fortunately we do not have to know all about the back end works of God to be saved. Our job is the front end. Certainly we can study what Scriptures have to say about those back end events, but we merely have to believe and be saved. Easy, right? You’d think so, but there are still billions of people who don’t know or refuse to believe that simple message.