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The Wind Blows

The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it is coming from and where it is going; so is everyone who has been born of the Spirit.” John 3:8

Cute morkie dog laying in green grass with wind blowing his hair and ears

The Wind Blows

The phrase "born of God" is mainly found in the book of First John. 1 John 5:1 says, Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of Him. Other mentions of this phrase can be found in 1 John 2:29, 3:9, 4:7, 5:4, and 5:18.

In John 3:3, Jesus says a similar phrase. He tells Nicodemus that in order to see the Kingdom of Heaven, one must be born again. The phrase born of God is closely connected with being born again, born from above, and born of the Spirit. Nicodemus responded the way many of us would. He asked, “How can someone be born when they are old?” (v 4) Jesus responded with an interesting analogy. He said, The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it is coming from and where it is going; so is everyone who has been born of the Spirit” (v 8).


Why did Jesus use the analogy of the wind to explain the concept of being born again? The Greek term for "wind" is pneuma, which is also used to refer to "spirit." Just like the wind, the Holy Spirit is unseen but His effects are visible. The wind's path itself cannot be seen. The wind cannot be predicted, captured, or controlled, yet it has the power to bring about change wherever it goes. The effects of the wind can be seen through the bending of trees, the rustling of leaves, and the sensation on our faces. Similarly, the Holy Spirit is unpredictable to us, but He brings about a spiritual rebirth that is evident in the life and behavior of a person.

Just like we couldn’t cause our physical birth, we couldn’t cause our spiritual birth either. Being born again is not achieved through human efforts, good works, persuasive speech, or intellectual understanding, but only through the work of the Holy Spirit in a repentant and contrite heart (Mark 1:15; Acts 2:38). It's all of God's grace.

A New Creature

To understand what it means to be born again or born of God, one must follow the analogy of an earthly birth to explain a spiritual concept. Just as a newborn baby emerges as a completely new creature, those who are born of God emerge as a completely new creature as well. When a baby is born, a new life comes into existence that never existed before. The baby is a completely new creature who gradually starts to resemble his or her parents. Likewise, a kitten matures into a cat, a puppy into a dog, a lamb into a sheep, and so also, an infant into an adult human. This analogy also applies to those who are born of God. Those who are born of God take on His qualities and then slowly but surely grow mature in Him, reflecting His likeness more and more.

To be born of God is to experience an inner transformation through faith in Jesus and begin to resemble our Heavenly Father in an outward way. As stated in 2 Corinthians 5:17, being in Christ makes someone a "new creature" where the "old has passed away and the new has come." In John 3, Jesus elaborates on how one can be born of God: Whoever believes in the Son shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). By God’s grace through faith in Jesus, we are born again into His family, and a major internal transformation takes place. By being born of God and becoming a child of God (John 1:12), we will naturally grow to look and act more like our Father.

Pleasing our Father

1 John 3:9 describes a person who has been born of God: “No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot keep on sinning because they have been born of God.”  Continue to sin in this context means living a life of sin; continuing in unbroken patterns of sin and fleshly, selfish living. To one degree or another, it’s the life we all lived before we were born again (Eph 2:2-3).

Our Heavenly Father is holy, and He commands His children to be holy like Him (1 Peter 1:15–16). Scripture also says that "without holiness no man shall see the Lord" (Heb 12:14). When we are born of God (repent of our sins and put our trust in Jesus alone for salvation), we receive a new heart that desires to please Him (Ezekiel 36:26; 2 Cor 5:9; Col 1:10), and He puts His Spirit in us the very moment we come to saving faith in Jesus, sealing us forever as His own (Eph 1:13-14). Pleasing our Father is not achieved through mere good intentions or white-knuckling it, rather it's by yielding to His Holy Spirit whom He's given us. By the Holy Spirit who lives in us and helps us live out our Christian life, we simply desire to please our Father. It's a big part of our new nature to want to please Him.

It's God’s grace that causes us to be born again, and it's God's grace that allows us to be like Him, through the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the One who teaches us, guides us, picks us up when we fall, and helps us live out the Christian life victoriously. The Holy Spirit is the One who transforms our hearts, natures, desires, affections, and will to align with God’s will (Rom 8:29; Phil 2:13) and want to please our Father in heaven as His child. What grace! 


Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it is coming from and where it is going; so is everyone who has been born of the Spirit.” John 3:3-8


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