Sunday, August 19, 2007

Part 2 - Jesus and Nicodemus

SCRIPTURE READING

John 3:1 – 21

1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, "Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him."

3 In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."

4 "How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!"

5 Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.' 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."

9 "How can this be?" Nicodemus asked.

10 "You are Israel's teacher," said Jesus, "and do you not understand these things? 11 I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.

16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."

INTRODUCTION

I. Who was Nicodemus?

a. A Pharisee & Ruler of the Jews

b. One of the three richest men in Jerusalem

c. A member of the Sanhedrin

II. He came to Jesus by night.

a. We don’t know why.

b. “We know you are a teacher who has come from God.”

c. Because, no man could do what Jesus did, except God be with him, and He was in the form of the Holy Spirit.

III. Jesus answers Nicodemus.

a. You must be born again, or you cannot see the Kingdom of God.

b. Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand…

c. The Kingdom of God is here and now! Only the saved are part of the Kingdom, and only the saved can see and understand the Kingdom because it is spiritual.

d. People today don’t see it…they miss out on the benefits and blessings as well as the protection, peace and more that come within the Kingdom of God. To SEE it, you have to be part of it.

e. You MUST be born again, Jesus says…

IV. How can a man be born again?

a. This statement shows two things, first Nicodemus did not understand the Kingdom because he was not saved, and second he was not saved!

b. He was a leader of Jews, a Pharisee, one of the three richest men in the land, and he had no hope! Salvation is hope, being born again is where our hope is, and Jesus Christ is our hope!

c. He did not understand the teachings of the prophets, and what it meant to have a right spirit.

5 Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.

V. Born of water (natural birth) and born of Spirit (comes by God alone)

a. Neither is reference to water baptism.

b. Why must you be born of water to enter the Kingdom of God?

c. BECAUSE being born again---Salvation---is ONLY for mankind!

d. Angels cannot be redeemed. There is no salvation for the fallen.

e. Jesus is saying you must be mankind AND born of the Spirit which only comes by God.

f. Jesus likens the “born-again” experience to wind, which comes and goes, but is impossible to tell exactly how. Try…It’s hard to!

g. It is a spiritual birth, so can not be explained intellectually.

Jesus explains to Nicodemus that He had already told him earthly things, and Nicodemus did not believe, how could He explain heavenly things to him?

Moses lifted up a snake, as a symbolic representation of what Christ was going to do to remove the sin from those who looked upon Him, just as that snake had removed the poison from those in the desert.

Jesus then explains exactly why God sent Him.

“God so loved the world that He sent His only Son;

Whoever believes in Him will have everlasting life.”

God did not send Him to condemn the world…it’s already condemned.

This is why we are not supposed to judge those outside of the Body of Christ.

We are supposed to be saving them from everlasting hell, not pushing them away from the church because they are living like they are lost…they are lost!

The scripture says they are already condemned!

Like a house before it’s tore down…

God sent Jesus so the world would have an escape from that destruction.

Then before Jesus ascended, He sent us through the great commission to continue this work of rescuing the lost.

He who believes will not be condemned along with the world; he who does not believe is already condemned.

ALTAR CALL

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