Wednesday, October 12, 2016

John 3


J0hn 3:1-21 – Jesus Teaches Nicodemus

While Jesus was in Jerusalem for the Passover celebration, a man named Nicodemus who was a Pharisee and a member of the Jewish council came to Jesus in the 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.”  Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”  Nicodemus asked, “How can a man be born when he is old?”  Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit, Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.”  (John 3:1-6)

The Pharisees was a religious group and very stringent about keeping laws and traditions. Since Nicodemus was a part of that group, he probably came to Jesus during the night to conceal his conversation with Jesus for fear the other Pharisees would see.  He didn’t fear coming to Jesus.  Remember, we can come to Jesus anytime, day or night without fear.  He is always there waiting for us to talk with Him.

Nicodemus came to Jesus because of His signs and wonders.  He thought the kingdom of God was coming through these signs.  Nicodemus showed respect for Jesus by calling Him Rabbi.  Nicodemus asked Jesus several questions, but didn’t seem to understand Jesus’ answers.  He should have understood since he knew the Old Testament prophecies, but He needed to be convinced or he wouldn’t have asked so many questions. 

Jesus explained it to him.  Jesus told him that he must be born again to see the kingdom of God.  If not, you are spiritually dead and will be condemned for your sin.  You will be separated from God and cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.  Many people today don’t understand this either.  I think it’s because they are blinded by sin, too proud or even too stubborn.

Flesh here refers to the physical body - to our will, emotions, and all that we are.  It is subject to weakness and death.  Only God can make us spiritually alive.  We become a new creation in Christ.  He creates in us new emotions and new attitudes.  The Bible calls this “the new self”.

Are you looking for Jesus when it’s safe?
Do you want a relationship with Him only on your terms?

What does it mean to be “born again”?  It is a 2nd birth, a supernatural mystery.  Your 1st birth was from water by your mother’s womb and you become a child of your parents.  To be born again is to be born by the Spirit of God.  The Holy Spirit enters and permanently indwells in each believer.  This is a requirement to enter the kingdom of God.  You are born again when you believe.  Believing is being sorry for your sins and realizing you can never be good enough for God.  You have a change of heart.  You know you deserve punishment, but Jesus suffered that punishment on the cross on our behalf.  When you believe in Jesus and have true faith in Him, you became a new person.  You become a child of God and are a part of His family.  This gives you inheritance in heaven.  When we are born of the Spirit, we no longer live to please ourselves.  We live to please God. 

Are you like Nicodemus, religious but not born again?
Do you have true faith in Jesus Christ?

“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.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.  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.” – John 3:16-18.  (This is the first Scripture I learned as a child.  I love these verses.) 

This is the most quoted verse in the Bible.  Probably because it is filled with hope knowing God loves us and chose to save us by sending Jesus to us despite our sin.  He came to save the lost.  If you truly believe, you will put God first in your life.  You love Him more than anything else.

Jesus didn’t come to judge you.  He came to save you from judgment.  You have brought judgment on yourself by your evil deeds and you have fallen short of perfection.  Jesus isn’t going to condemn you for that - He’s trying to save you from it.

God is holy and cannot accept us, because we sin.  God send Jesus to the world, because He is a fair God.  If we do wrong, we deserve punishment for that sin.  Jesus suffered our punishment.    God’s loves us.  That is His nature.  Everything He does is because He loves us.  He gave us His most precious thing He had - His Son.  If there were any other way, He would have not sacrificed His Son in such a horrible way.

Do you love enough to send your son to die for others?  God did.  That shows just how much love God has for all of us.

If we accept the gift of His Son, Jesus we will have eternal life.  This gift is free.  We can’t earn eternal life.  The only way to have this free gift is to believe and know that Jesus is God.  Believing is more than just knowing Jesus is God.  Even Satan knows who Jesus is.  We must trust Him, believe His Words in the Bible are true, and obey him.

There will come a time when Jesus will come to judge the world.  Our eternal destination will be determined – heaven or hell.  Salvation is so simple.  Believe and trust in Jesus.  It includes commitment and obedience.  To believe in Him brings peace, joy, and hope.  It assures us of eternal life with Him.  It doesn’t mean we have to be perfect, because we are not perfect and in this life we will never be.  BUT at the judgment believers will NOT be held accountable for our sins.  Jesus took our sins away on the cross.  THANK YOU, JESUS!

Have you made Jesus your Savior?
If not, will you get on your knees and ask Him to come into your heart?

Jesus called Himself Light in verse 19.  He goes on to say that men love darkness because their deeds are evil.  They don’t come to the light because their deeds will be exposed.  Those who live by the truth, come into the light.  Then it can be seen that what He has done was done through God. (John 3:19-21)  I really hate paraphrasing God’s Word.  Please read the actual verses for yourself.

John 3:22-36 – John the Baptist’ Testimony

Jesus’ disciples were baptizing people as well as John the Baptist.  People seem to be going to Jesus’ disciples for baptism instead of John so John’s disciples were concerned.  John was not envious.  He knew God had given him special job by preparing the way for Jesus to come.  He had done his job and he was not jealous, but happy people where receiving Jesus. (John 3:22-30)  John’s position was, “He must become greater; I must become less.”John 3:30.  What a great example of perfect humility.

Are you envious of someone else’s position?
Are you satisfied that you are doing just what God intended you to do?
Do you take the glory for yourself or give it to God?

(John 3:31-36) – This passage emphasizes clearly that God’s Son is superior to everyone.  He is above all.  Jesus knows what heaven is like and came to tell us the truth about God.  John tells us that God loves His Son and has put everything in His hands.  “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.”John 3:31.

God gave us freedom of choice.  We can believe in Jesus and receive eternal life in heaven or we can reject Him and have eternal life in Hell.

What is your choice?

Lesson Principles:
To enter the kingdom of God, you must be born again.
People will die eternally without faith in Jesus Christ.
Being born-again is God’s solution to our need for love and life.
God gives believers in Jesus new life that involves new thinking, new destiny, and new focus.
As our love for Jesus increases, self-focused living decreases.

Next week we will study John 4.  Have a blessed day and thanks for visiting my site.  Hope to see you here next time.

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