Each kind of life can understand only the things that are in its realm. Monkeys cannot understand the things of men, because monkeys do not have the human life. A child can learn what is taught in kindergarten and then learn what is taught in elementary school. After elementary school he can continue to take classes in junior high school, high school, and college. However, a young monkey is not able to learn what is taught in kindergarten. A monkey cannot take lessons even in elementary school, not to mention college. A monkey cannot understand the things that a man can understand, and a monkey cannot be taught to understand the things in the human realm. In order for a monkey to understand the things of man, it must first have the human life.
- realm /relm/ 领域，范围
- kindergarten /ˈkɪndərɡɑːrtn/ 幼儿园
- elementary school /ˌelɪˈmentri/ 小学
- junior high school 初中
- high school 高中
- college 大学
- not to mention 更不必说
Likewise, human beings cannot understand the things related to God’s kingdom. A person who does not have God’s life cannot be taught to understand the things of God’s kingdom. No matter how educated or knowledgeable someone may be, without God’s life he cannot understand the things of God’s kingdom. Only God’s life can understand the things of His kingdom. A person must have God’s life through regeneration in order to understand the things of God’s kingdom. Therefore, the Lord Jesus said, “Unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (v. 3).
- likewise /ˈlaɪkwaɪz/ 【副】同样地
- related to 与…有关
The Lord Jesus did not come to the world in order to teach man but to give man His life. The Lord Jesus came to the world not to be man’s teacher but to be man’s life. Teaching is useful only after man has the divine life. Therefore, teaching is not man’s primary need; life is man’s primary need. Man must first have the divine life. Man must be regenerated.
Many moral and educated men think that moral and educated people do not need to be regenerated. Such people do not know that moral people need to be regenerated just as immoral people need to be regenerated. Educated people need to be regenerated just as uneducated people need to be regenerated. The immoral do not have the divine life and cannot live out God’s image, and the moral also do not have the divine life and cannot live out God’s image. Uneducated people do not have God’s life and cannot understand the things of God, and educated people also do not have God’s life and cannot understand the things of God. Therefore, both the educated and the uneducated need God’s life, and both the moral and the immoral need to be regenerated.
THE MEANING OF REGENERATION
Nicodemus might have understood the literal definition of the words born and anew, but he did not understand the meaning of being born anew. He thought that to be born anew is to be born again, that is, to enter a second time into his mother’s womb in order to be born. He did not know that to be born anew means to be born again with another life. This is not to enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born. A person who enters a second time into his mother’s womb and is born a second time would still be born of the human life.
- might 也许
- literal definition /ˈlɪtərəl ˌdefɪˈnɪʃn/ 字面定义
Perhaps Nicodemus thought that an old and corrupt person could be rejuvenated and be like a newborn by entering a second time into his mother’s womb and being born. He did not know that even if he could enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, he would still be flesh. The corrupted human life would still be in him, and he would be no different than before.
- perhaps /pərˈhæps/ 或许
- corrupt /kəˈrʌpt/ 堕落的
- rejuvenate /rɪˈdʒuːvəneɪt/ 使返老还童
Regeneration is not a matter of entering a second time into one’s mother’s womb to be born of the human life but to be “born of the Spirit”: “That which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (v. 6). Therefore, to be regenerated is to receive the life of God, to have the divine life in addition to one’s own life. Regeneration is the Spirit entering into man and giving man the life of God. This life is spiritual; it is invisible and intangible, yet it is still perceptible to man. Therefore, the Lord Jesus said that the life that is born of the Spirit is like the wind (v. 8).
- in addition to 在…之外
- intangible /ɪnˈtændʒəbl/ 【形】难以捉摸的
- perceptible /pərˈseptəbl/ 【形】可察觉到的
HOW TO BE REGENERATED
After Nicodemus found out that to be born anew is to be born of the Spirit, he asked the Lord Jesus, “How can these things be?” (v. 9). In other words, “How can one be born anew? How can one have God’s life?”
- in other words 换句话说
The Lord Jesus answered and said to him, “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that everyone who believes into Him may have eternal life” (vv. 14-15). The Lord Jesus’ reply shows that in order for man to be regenerated, there must be two things.
- reply /rɪˈplaɪ/ 【名】答复
- in order for sb. to do… 为使某人做某事
First, the Lord Jesus had to be lifted up, to be crucified. The bronze serpent was lifted up in the wilderness and judged by God on behalf of the children of Israel so that the dying children of Israel might live (Num. 21:4-9). In the same way the Lord Jesus was lifted up on the cross and judged by God on behalf of sinners so that fallen man might be regenerated and have God’s life.
- crucify /ˈkruːsɪfaɪ/ 把（某人）钉死十字架
- bronze /brɑːnz/ 青铜
- on behalf of 代表
- dying /ˈdaɪɪŋ/ 【形】垂死的
Second, man must believe in the Lord Jesus, who was lifted up, who bore man’s sins, and who was judged on the cross on behalf of man. We must confess that we are sinful, that we have offended God, and that we stand condemned before God. We must then believe that the Lord Jesus was crucified in order to bear our sins and that He received God’s righteous judgment on our behalf. Then we can receive the forgiveness of sins and be regenerated.
- confess /kənˈfes/ 承认
- offend /əˈfend/ 得罪
- stand 处于（某种状态或情形）
- condemned /kənˈdemd/ 被定罪的
If you confess that you are unable to change and if you are subdued before God to confess your sins and to receive the Lord Jesus as your Savior, the Spirit will enter into your human spirit and give you God’s life. As soon as you open your heart to receive the Lord Jesus as your Savior, the Spirit will immediately enter into you so that you may have the life of God.
- subdue /səbˈduː/ 征服
- as soon as 一…就…
- immediately /ɪˈmiːdiətli/ 立即
Let me demonstrate. A lamp may not be shining. However, as soon as I turn on the switch, electricity enters into the lamp, and it shines. Similarly, as soon as we open the door of our heart, the Holy Spirit enters into us so that we can have the life of God.
- demonstrate /ˈdemənstreɪt/ 证明
- lamp /læmp/ 灯
- switch /swɪtʃ/ 开关
- electricity /ɪˌlekˈtrɪsəti/ 电
- similarly /ˈsɪmələrli/ 类似地
Some may say that it is vague to say that the life of God will enter into us. Others may say that we are superstitious. However, this is real and true. Two hundred years ago people would say that it is nonsense and superstition to think that people in China could hear someone speaking in America, but today we know that this is real. As long as we have a radio receiver and turn on the radio, the radio waves in the air will enter into the radio, and we will hear what is being transmitted.
- vague /veɪɡ/ 【形】茫然的；糊涂的
- superstitious /ˌsuːpərˈstɪʃəs/ 【形】迷信的
- superstition /ˌsuːpərˈstɪʃn/ 【名】迷信观念
- nonsense ˈnɑːnsens/ 胡言乱语
- radio receiver 无线电接收器
- radio waves 无线电波
- transmit /trænzˈmɪt/ 传输
When someone repents in his heart, calls on the Lord Jesus from his heart, opens the door of his heart, and receives the Lord Jesus as his Savior, the Holy Spirit will enter into him, and he will receive the life of the Lord Jesus, which is the life of God. This is the same as a radio receiving radio waves.
In order to contact anything, we must use the right organ and method. If we use the wrong organ or the wrong method, we will have no way to contact that thing. Let us use sound as an example. We must use our ears as the organ and contact sound by hearing. Concerning smell, we must use our nose as the organ and contact fragrances by smelling. Concerning the air, we must use our windpipe as the organ and contact the air by breathing. If we do not use the right organ, it will seem as if sound, fragrances, and the air do not exist.
- organ /ˈɔːrɡən/ 器官
- method /ˈmeθəd/ 方法
- fragrance /ˈfreɪɡrəns/ 香味
- windpipe /ˈwɪndpaɪp/ 气管
Similarly, in order for you to contact God and have His life, you must use the right organ and the right method. God is Spirit. If you use your brain as the organ and thinking as the method, you will never contact God or have His life. Perhaps the more you think, the more you will decide that there is no God. The more you think, the more you will decide that the life of God is vague. God is Spirit, and His life is spiritual; hence, in order for you to contact Him and to have His life, you must use the organ of your spirit and the method of believing and calling. God and His life are invisible and intangible, but the human spirit can contact and perceive God and His life. If you confess your sins to God and call on the Lord Jesus, you will receive the Lord Jesus as your Savior, you will contact God in your spirit, and you will have the life of God. When God’s life enters into you, you will be regenerated.
- brain /breɪn/ 大脑
- vague /veɪɡ/ 【形】茫然的；糊涂的
- intangible /ɪnˈtændʒəbl/ 【形】难以捉摸的
- perceive /pərˈsiːv/ 【动】察觉到
THE RESULTS OF REGENERATION
There are at least four results of a person being regenerated with God’s life. The first result is that there will be a change in life. The human life is corrupt, but God’s life is incorruptible. When God’s life enters into man, it brings about transformation, a change within man. When God’s sweet life is grafted into our sour life, there is a sweet change within us, and we bear sweet fruit.
- corrupt /kəˈrʌpt/ 腐败的
- incorruptible /ˌɪnkəˈrʌptəbl/ 不可摧毁的
- graft /ɡræft/ 接枝
Second, a regenerated person is able to understand spiritual things. This understanding is not based on knowledge but on life, it is not in the mind but in the spirit, and it is not a knowing in the mind but a sensing in the spirit. A regenerated person often may not understand a certain matter concerning God in his mind, but he will have a sense concerning the matter in his spirit.
- be based on 基于
- sensing 【名】感觉
- certain /ˈsɜːrtn/【形】某一
Third, a regenerated person has a share in God’s kingdom. Only those who are regenerated can know the things of God’s kingdom. Therefore, only those who are regenerated can enter into the kingdom of God. Those who are regenerated are in God’s kingdom today because their spirit is God’s kingdom, and eventually their whole being will express God’s kingdom.
- share 一份
- eventually /ɪˈventʃuəli/ 【副】最后
Fourth, a regenerated person will never perish, because he has the life of God. God’s life is eternal. Hence, a person who has God’s eternal life will never perish.
- perish /ˈperɪʃ/ 毁灭
A moral person needs to be regenerated, which is to have God’s life. If you have not yet been regenerated, that is, if you have not yet received God’s life, you should believe in your heart and pray from your heart in order to receive the Lord Jesus as your Savior.
- not yet 还没有