One never approaches a railroad crossing without seeing the warnings to “stop, look and listen.” In fact, those signs are so familiar to us that they are ignored. The consequences of failing to pause and consider possible activity approaching the crossing can have disastrous effects. Every individual is faced with considering the spiritual implications concerning the knowledge of God.
Paul wrote to the churches in Rome of God’s revelation of His Person to the conscience and mentality of all humanity … “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse” (Rom 1:18-20 NASB).
Possessing that knowledge affords every individual the opportunity to have a relationship with God through faith in Christ. Though the Heavenly Father does not coerce a person to respond favorably to the knowledge that Christ died for their sins, was buried and rose again, He does call mankind to behold, to pause and consider His gift of the Son, so that all who believe in the Work of Christ on the Cross may have eternal life (John 3:36a). “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God” (1 John 3:1a NKJV)! It is a call that no one can escape. To be called the children of God not because of physical birth, but through a new birth, a second birth that establishes a personal bond with the Creator God of the Universe is truly amazing grace.
In his gospel, John wrote of those who would respond favorably to the knowledge of God and those who would not. Concerning the Savior, Jesus Christ, John wrote … “He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God — children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God” (John 1:10-13 NIV).
John would record the account of Nicodemus’ pondering how one could be born again with a birth that was not physical but spiritual. "How can this be?" Nicodemus asked [Jesus] (John 3:9 NIV). He was a teacher of the Mosaic Law, yet he did not possess a personal relationship with the One of Whom the Law spoke, the Christ. Bringing to the thinking of Nicodemus the Old Testament Scriptures for which he was so familiar, Jesus replied … “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son” (John 3:14-18 NIV).
John does not reveal the response of Nicodemus. God permitted this teacher of Israel to pause and consider the Truth presented in the privacy of his soul. However, later he records… “He [Joseph of Arimethea] was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy –five pounds” to embalm the Savior’s body (John 19:39 NIV). He had responded in faith to God’s call -- “behold what manner of love”.