Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Finding out that John 3:16 is really for reaching the religious.


• John records the first of several encounters Jesus would have with different individuals This first is with a religious leader by the name of Nicodemus Passage feels like we are ease dropping on a private conversation

• HOW WOULD JESUS WITNESS? The conversation turns to the subject of a man’s need to be born again The need to experience a Spiritual birth. John’s gospel gives us the most comprehensive look at the Holy Spirit’s work and role in the heart of men

Jesus gives us an illustration to explain the work of the Spirit.

8 "The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit."

That wind blew on the Damascus Road when Paul walked there. That wind blew thru a dorm room in Stillwater, Oklahoma on January the 29th of 1979. That wind blew thru a Dallas Holm concert in February 1983. That wind is blowing here today and could redirect somebody’s life in a whole different direction for 2011 and beyond. From what we see in this passage it seems to be blowing on this dark night.

1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; 2 this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, "Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him." 3 Jesus answered and said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God."

• Nicodemus was not just a simple man: Pharisee, ruler of Jews. He was wealthy, powerful and religious. He was a greatly educated man who knew almost everything but what was most important. He had genuinely been convicted and was seeking to understand who Jesus truly was.

Pharisees were a select group -- never more than 6,000 of them.

Men who had each one taken a solemn vow before three witnesses that he would devote every moment of his entire life to obeying the Ten Commandments, as a way of pleasing God.

They spent their lives studying the Ten Commandments and applying them to situations of life. They focused on the Minutest detail of the commandments that God laid out. -

It is amazing that he would come to Jesus at all, because of their dedication to the law the Pharisees regarded themselves as superior to other

• WHY BY NIGHT? (cooler/less crowds, peers) Many today fear PEER PRESSURES that surround them when it comes to their seeking of God. Part of the evidence that you truly found Him is that you no longer care about what other’s think about you and God.

A. Nicodemus reminds us of two obvious things about the ministry of Jesus.

1. He was a great TEACHER.

2. He did miraculous SIGNS.

There was no way for a truly honest person to no admit the obvious about the things Jesus said and did.

Amazing that in Jesus’ day no one doubted the validity of the miracles He did but only what the true source of them was. Even Jesus worst enemies would not deny them. BUT TODAY, 2,000 years removed and several thousand miles away, we have multitudes of critics who are constantly denying the validity of the miracles Jesus did.

3 Jesus answered and said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." Really really mean this..

• What is the first thing the world needs to know? There is no getting to God without a total change in everything that defines us. We don’t need to make this life more religious or better or more cleaned up but we need a NEW LIFE. KEEP THE MAIN THING THE PLAIN THING

Titus 3:5, Titus uses the term “regeneration”. It means the same exact thing! It means that when you are regenerated, you get a new life! You get a new start!

So many people have this thing confused! They are seeking reformation. That is, they are trying to “turn over a new leaf” or “get a new lease on life”. What the world needs is not reformation, but regeneration!

2 men sought to prove to their king whether a man had to be ‘born a gentleman’ or could become one by ‘discipline and training’. The one told the other that he would prove his point regarding ‘training’ by showing the king his cat which he had trained to stand on its back feet and dance around in a funny hat with its nose in the air. This gave the other an idea but he did not tell the other about it. When they came before the king the one set his cat to dancing to ‘prove’ to the king that being a gentleman we just about training and discipline. The other pulled out a box he had brought with him, opened it and let loose about a dozen mice. The cat quickly reverted to its primary nature and took off after the running rodents.

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