Different Take on John 3:8

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by InTheLight, Jun 15, 2015.

  1. InTheLight

    InTheLight
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    John 3:8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.


    I reread John 3:8 with no preconceived notions. No Calvinist interpretation that it was about the Holy Spirit picking believers by some mysterious way and not the Arminian view that the Holy Spirit will cause a sudden change in person once they believe, a change that the person didn't see coming.

    I wondered--Is it about how the Holy Spirit sends and causes born again believers to go and do wherever/whatever He wants? The phrase "so is everyone that is born of the Spirit" is the key phrase.

    It seems to be saying that everyone that is born of the Spirit, (i.e. believers) will be blown about by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit goes where it is needed and so do believers under the Spirit's guidance. Unbelievers will not understand why believers do some of the things they do nor will they know where they are going next or what they will do next.

    Feedback is appreciated.
     
  2. Revmitchell

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    The context in that verse is not about being blown around, it is about not being able to see where the wind comes from. Jesus make a comparison between the physical birth and the spiritual birth. In verse 8 he is saying even though you can see the physical birth and you cannot in the same way see the spiritual birth be sure you know it is there by seeing the results of it in the same way you know the wind is there by seeing the results of it as well.
     
    #2 Revmitchell, Jun 15, 2015
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  3. robustheologian

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    Well the verse says:
    The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

    Since we know "pneuma" to also mean spirit, this verse can be translated:
    The Spirit blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.

    Wind blowing is it's means of moving—so you can then say:
    The Spirit goes where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.

    Since sound is evidence of something occurring:
    The Spirit goes where it wishes and there is evidence of where it goes, but we do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.

    Now to me the key phrases are "do not know where it comes from" and "where it is going". We obviously know that the Spirit comes from God so what else could be meant by "do not know where it comes from"? I take it to mean we do not know the reason it goes to where it goes. Kind of like if some says something crazy and we respond "where did that come from?". Obviously, it generated in the person's mind then from the mouth but we mean "what is the reason you said something like that?".

    So then this verse can be read:
    The Spirit goes where it wishes and there is evidence of where it goes, but we do not know it's reason for and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.

    I most definitely take this as being a commentary of God choosing who he would save.

    So in reference to those born of God:
    The Spirit chooses who it wants (Rom. 9:15, 18) and there is evidence of this choosing (John 15:16), but we do not know it's reason for it's choosing (Rom. 9:11-13) and who it chooses.
     
  4. InTheLight

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    Nope. "not knowing where it comes from" can't mean "don't know the reason".


    If you do, that means you know the reason why the Spirit blows where it does ("where it comes from".) The reason, you say, is to save people. You've just contradicted yourself.
     
  5. InTheLight

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    This makes some sense to me. One thing is clear to me--the movement of the believer is compared to the movement of the Spirit. (Paraphrasing) "the spirit does this and you can't see it" and "so does every believer".
     
  6. robustheologian

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    So tell me what does it mean since we clearly know the Spirit comes from.

    I never said that. Please quote where I did. I did say...
    We don't know the reason for why it goes where it goes in that we don't know why God chooses to save those he saves or even why he chooses to save anyone.
     
  7. Revmitchell

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    Well almost it is not about what the believer does it is about what happens to the believer with regards to salvation. Just as the wind moves around us and happens to us so does salvation happen to us even though we do not see salvation physically like we do a physical birth.
     
  8. Van

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    Great thread, In the Light! Having and expressing a well thought out view, and asking for alternate views. This is the kind of thread that we should have more of on this bulletin board. Thanks.

    As you know, there are several ways this is understood. For example, the Holy Spirit is sovereign, we do not control its actions, such as demanding that ourselves or our loved ones be baptized spiritually into Christ. And then once a person is born anew, the Holy Spirit exerts His influence in greater or lesser degrees. Our job is to not quench and to follow and stay in the Word, which fuels the Spirit.
     
  9. Van

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    Then there is the story about a Missionary who prayed, Lord please do not send me to some backwater place Africa. Guess where he was led. :)
     
  10. Van

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    The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can't tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can't explain how people are born of the Spirit." (NLT)

    Pretty much all the translations were ambiguous as to the meaning except this interpretive translation.
     
  11. JonC

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    I believe, as I stated on another thread, that this is an explanation to Nicodemus about the rebirth (it would be, I think, "calvinistic" in your estimation...but it is not of preconceived Calvinism on my part). I know many disagree with me and this is not the place to argue the point, but I still believe Jesus to be referencing Ezekiel (and other associated OT passages).

    That said, I think that you may have a good point that perhaps this is speaking of the result of this new birth as we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. It could be taken that verse 8 speaks of living by faith and not by sight, and is associated with Christ in us. If so (I'm not willing to say it is so, but if so), then Philip would be a good example of this in action.
     
  12. JamesL

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    Here is Bob Utley's entry for John 3:8


    3:8 There is a play on the Hebrew (and Aramaic) word (ruach) and the Greek word (pneuma) which means both "wind," "breath," and "spirit." The point is that the wind has freedom, as does the Spirit. One cannot see the wind, but rather its effects; so too, the Spirit. Mankind's salvation is not in his control, but is in the Spirit's control (cf. Ezekiel 37). It is possible that John 3:5-7 also reflects this same truth. Salvation is a combination of the initiation of the Spirit (cf. John 6:44,65) and the faith/repentance response of the individual person (cf. John 1:12; 3:16,18).
    John's Gospel uniquely focuses on the person and work of the Spirit (cf. John 14:17,25-26; 16:7-15). He sees the new age of righteousness as the age of the Spirit of God.
    John 3:8 stresses the enigma of why some people believe when they hear/see the gospel and others do not. John asserts that no one can believe unless touched by the Spirit (cf. John 1:13; 6:44,65). This verse reinforces that theology. However, the question of covenant response (i.e., human acceptance of a divine offer) still assumes the Spirit touches everyone. Why some refuse to believe is the great mystery of iniquity (i.e., the self-centeredness of the Fall). The older I get, the more I study my Bible, the more I minister to God's people, the more I write "mystery" across life. We all live in the dark fog (i.e., 1 Cor. 13:12) of human rebellion! Being able to explain or to put it another way, developing a systematic theology, is not as important as trusting God in Christ. Job was never told "why"!



    Then he adds:


    SPECIAL TOPIC: BREATH, WIND, SPIRIT (OT)

    The Hebrew term ruach (BDB 924) and the Greek term pneuma can mean "spirit," "breath" or "wind" (see Special Topic: Spirit in the Bible) The Spirit is often associated with creation (cf. Gen. 1:2; Job 26:13; Ps. 104:30). The OT does not clearly define the relationship between God and His Spirit (see Special Topic: The Trinity). In Job 28:26-28; Ps. 104:24 and Pro. 3:19; 8:22-23 God used "wisdom" (BDB 315, a feminine noun, cf. Pro. 8:12) to create all things. In the NT Jesus is said to be God's agent in creation (cf. John 1:1-3; 1 Cor. 8:6; Col. 1:15-17; Heb. 1:2-3). As in redemption, so too, in creation, all three persons of the Godhead are involved. Genesis 1 itself does not emphasize any secondary cause (cf. Isa. 45:5-7).



    Find it at freebiblecommentary.com



    .
     
    #12 JamesL, Jun 15, 2015
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  13. JamesL

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    Here's Thomas Constable's entry for John 3:8


    Jesus used "the wind" to illustrate how the Spirit regenerates. He used wordplay to present an even closer comparison. The Greek word pneuma can mean either "spirit" or "wind," though it usually means "spirit." Jesus said the pneuma (Spirit) operates as the pneuma (wind).
    There are three similarities. First, both the Spirit and the wind operate sovereignly. Man does not and cannot control either one. Second, we perceive the presence of both by their effects. Third, we cannot explain their actions, since they arise from unseen and partially unknowable factors.
    The person "born of the Spirit" is similar to both the Spirit and the wind, in that it is impossible for unregenerate people to understand or control him or her. They do not understand his or her origin or final destiny. Nicodemus should have understood this too, since the Old Testament revealed the Spirit's sovereign and incomprehensible working (e.g., Ezek. 37).



    Find it at soniclight.org




    .
     
  14. kyredneck

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    8 the Spirit where he willeth doth blow,,,,thus is every one who hath been born of the Spirit.` Jn 3

    ...jibes with:

    13 who -- not of blood nor of a will of flesh, nor of a will of man but -- of God were begotten. Jn 1

    ...and jibes with the whole notion of one's BIRTH in which one is totally passive.
     
  15. revmwc

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    From the interlinear Greek to English:
    The Spirit the where it is willing is blowing and the sound of it you are hearing but not you have perceived which place it is coming and where it is under leading thus is every the one having been generated out of the Spirit.

    Here is what I see from t his,
    The spirit goes to the willing and the sound of it we hear but we don't percieve where it is coming nor where it leads the one who is saved.

    The Spirit goes to those willing to receive Christ and then leads them where He wants them to go.
     
  16. Iconoclast

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    This is not taught at all here.All of these new ideas proposed in this thread are nonsense. :laugh::laugh:
     
  17. JamesL

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    That argument really packs a punch -----> ka-poweee

    kinda like putting your fingers in your ears and yelling "shut up, shut up!"


    You could've at least found a web link. Sheesh
     
  18. revmwc

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    The interlinear is here explain from it!

     
  19. HankD

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    The Spirit is free, so are His children.

    John 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

    HankD
     
  20. Iconoclast

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    InTheLight

    What does this mean??? Are you crossing the street to buy a cup of coffee and then in the next instance you are compelled to do cart wheels and drift off to another location awaiting chills up and down your spine , or some impression to come upon you like the Quakers used to do?



    This is very mystic......I think Paul described this thinking here;

    11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

    12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

    13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

    14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

    15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

    16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
     

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