A SUPERFICIAL UNDERSTANDING OF FOUR MATTERS
Many Christians have a superficial realization of at least four matters in John 3: regeneration (vv. 3, 5), the Spirit (vv. 5, 34), eternal life (vv. 15-16, 36), and God so loving the world (v. 16). Among today’s Christians regeneration is a common term. Christians often declare that they have been regenerated of the Spirit, or born again. However, because the majority of believers do not live in their regenerated being, regeneration is not a reality to them in their daily living. How much do you live in your regenerated being? Is it not true that you still live quite much in your natural being? This means that you have regeneration positionally, but that you do not have regeneration experientially in your daily living. Day by day how much do you live in your regenerated being and how much in your natural being, your old being? Actually, it is difficult to answer this question, for we are not able to say how much we live in our regenerated being. But we may be certain that we live in our old being too much of the time.
Many Christians also have a superficial and inadequate understanding of the Spirit. When speaking about the Holy Spirit, few Christians have a deep realization concerning the Spirit. For some, the term “the Spirit” has been spoiled by the talk about the baptism in the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues.
John 3:15-16 and 36 speak of eternal life. In the Lord’s recovery we often use the term “eternal life.” For Christians to follow the King James Version to speak of everlasting life instead of eternal life may be an indication that their realization of eternal life is superficial and low.
God So Loving the World
John 3:16 says that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son and that everyone who believes in Him will have eternal life. This verse is very well known by Christians. When I was young, I was told that this is a golden verse. However, the understanding that many Christians have concerning God’s love for the world is quite superficial.
MATTERS CONCERNING WHICH CHRISTIANS HAVE VERY LITTLE REALIZATION
The Serpentine Flesh
There are a number of matters in John 3 concerning which the majority of Christians have very little realization. The first of these matters is the serpentine flesh, which signifies the being of fallen man. Have you ever heard that we, fallen human beings, have a serpentine nature? Christians are short of the realization that sinners have a serpentine nature.
(The Fulfillment of the Tabernacle and the Offerings in the Writings of John, Chapter 11, by Witness Lee)