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Showers on the Grass: Chapter 5 - John 3

By J.G. Bellet

      "That which is born of the Spirit is spirit." This is our new and glorious life-blood--a life that stands both in the Head and members in victory over all the power of death. And it is blessed to see this new life, and the seed of it, the same from the very beginning. Adam had brought in death. God revealed the woman's seed in the character of a Redeemer. That must be remembered. The woman's seed was not spoken of as a teacher, or as a lawgiver, or as a king, but as a redeemer. And in that character the faith of Adam received Him, for he called his wife "the mother of all living," thus owning that all around was death; that he himself, though the first man, appointed to be the father of the human family, had forfeited that place and honour, and that life was now to spring and flow from other sources and through other channels altogether, that the promised seed of the woman, the promised Redeemer, alone held and carried it for man; and that if any lived unto God, they must live to Him as poor sinners saved by the virtue of the bruised woman's seed. Here was the new head of life revealed in the promise of God, and apprehended by the faith of Adam. And such is the family likeness, the blood relationship, between Adam and the last and weakest of the redeemed sinners. I need not trace the same life in Abraham. It is well understood amongst us. He owned himself as dead, but trusted God as a quickener of the dead. He lived, as a helpless, strengthless sinner, in the promise and power of God meeting his need as such. His is the pattern-faith of all the redeemed family. (See Rom. 4) Against hope all of them believe in hope, and thus give all the glory of their life to God, while they walk in the joy and certainty of it themselves.

      And the word is, "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." There is no entrance into that kingdom for any but a poor sinner thus taking Jesus as a Saviour. For such an one only is born again, as we have seen, and only those born again get entrance there. There are no righteous ones, no wise ones, no rich ones, in that kingdom. None who so stand in any confidence in the flesh, but those who are born again, born of water and of the Spirit; born, being dead sinners themselves, by the quickening virtue of Jesus the Saviour.

      This truth is thus largely established. Blessedly too for our joy and stability of heart. And the opening of the Lord's sermon on the mount tells us of the need of this new birth, as His discourse to Nicodemus does. "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." It belongs to none else. The kingdom of heaven is the possession of the poor in spirit, but of such only. None but those "born again," none but those who are "poor in spirit," have title to it or place in it. The Lord by that word which opened His mouth as prophet of God to Israel (Matt. 5: 3), must have crossed the fond thoughts of that people. The flesh of Abraham, they judged, gave them title. Circumcision, as they boasted, was the pledge of their inheritance. But, no; the kingdom was only for dead sinners, who trusted in the value of Jesus the Saviour; for the poor in spirit, who, disowning all title in themselves, received the kingdom from the hand of a Saviour. And while this is very decisive, how happy is it to know that the poor in spirit shall possess it. The word that says, except we be born again we cannot enter it, clearly thereby tells us that if we are born again we shall enter it. If we will take (drawn, doubtless, by the secret drawing of the Father) the place of poor convicted sinners, and receive the word of salvation from the Son of God; if we but look by faith at the brazen serpent as bitten Israelites, then the kingdom is already entered; life is now had, and glory shall be had through the virtues of the uplifted Jesus.

      Farewell, my dear sister. Our love to your dear mother and sisters. I hope they are well, and dear little . . . . still looking for beauty in the smitten One, of which I have spoken. The Lord be with your spirit, and refresh your hours with His divine presence.

      Believe me, ever your affectionate brother,
      J. G. B.

      Let me soon get a letter from some one, please.

      LETTER 6.

      August 1, 1842.


      I got your welcome little word, in company with dear Miss B . . . .'s, some weeks since, and have quite purposed to answer it, but was not quite up to do so till now, when I feel disposed to sit with you for an hour. The Lord has laid you much aside, and are we not debtors in Him to pay you a visit now and again; and has it not often been my own comfort to do so? Indeed it has, dear sister; and may the blessed One Himself ever keep us in one spirit till we be together, with all saints, in one house of many mansions for ever.

      We are this day taking leave of a much-loved brother, who has for years walked among us in sweet and blameless grace, so that his absence will indeed leave a gap in the midst of us that may not be easily supplied. He purposes to go to Demerara. His health has been bad, but appears now to be much restored. These separations are not as "nature would desire," like much beside. But a gracious, skilful hand holds all things.

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See Also:
   Chapter 1 - The Law and the Gospel
   Chapter 2 - Romans 8:19-22
   Chapter 3 - 1 Samuel 1 - 7
   Chapter 4 - Genesis 49, and Deut. 33
   Chapter 5 - John 3
   Chapter 6 - Jacob at Peniel
   Chapter 7 - The Case Of Job
   Chapter 8 - Deuteronomy 8:7-9; Deuteronomy 11:10-12
   Chapter 9 - 1 Corinthians 11:3-16
   Chapter 10 - The Woman in the Crowd, Mark 5
   Chapter 11 - Patronage
   Chapter 12 - Divine Intimacy
   Chapter 13 - Election
   Chapter 14 - Redemption
   Chapter 15 - Genesis 1 - 47


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