Ellen G. White Writings

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Christ Triumphant, Page 233

Christ Will Create a New Heart in His Followers, August 14

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 3:3.

The change that must come to the natural, inherited, and cultivated tendencies of the human heart is that change of which Jesus spoke when He said to Nicodemus, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” ... He virtually said to Nicodemus, It is not controversy that will help your case. Arguments will not bring light to your soul. You must have a new heart, or you cannot discern the kingdom of heaven. It is not greater evidence that will bring you into a right position, but new purposes, new springs of action. You must be born again. Until this change takes place, until all things are made new, the strongest evidence that could be presented would be useless....

To Nicodemus this was a very humiliating statement, and with a feeling of irritation he took up the words of Christ, saying, “How can a man be born when he is old?” ... But the Saviour did not meet argument with argument. Raising His hand in solemn, quiet dignity, He pressed home the truth with greater assurance, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” ...

Christ's words conveyed the lesson that instead of feeling irritated over the plain words of truth and indulging in irony, Nicodemus should have a far more humble opinion of himself because of his spiritual ignorance. Yet the words of Christ were spoken with such solemn dignity, and both look and tone expressed such earnest love that Nicodemus was not offended as he realized his humiliating position....

This lesson to Nicodemus I present as highly applicable to those who today are in responsible positions as rulers in Israel, and whose voices are often heard in council, giving evidence of the spirit that Nicodemus possessed. The words of Christ are spoken just as verily to presidents of conferences, elders of churches, and those occupying responsible positions in our churches....

Nicodemus was converted as the result of this interview. In that night conference with Jesus, the convicted man stood before the Saviour under the softening, subduing influence of the truth that was shining into the chambers of his mind and impressing his heart.... Jesus told Nicodemus not only that he must have a new heart in order to see the kingdom of heaven, but how to obtain this new heart.—Letter 54, 1895.

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