Summary: None of us are born into God’s kingdom but all of us are reborn into His family. Thankfully, God adopts us into His family because of what Jesus has done for us.

-I like people who get to the point quickly.

-I don’t like beating around the bush.

-I’m not a big fan of people who beat around the bush – people who aren’t very direct.

-I don’t always like what people who are blunt have to say but I like that they get to it quickly.

-At least that way, if they don’t make any sense at least I can move on quickly and get back to work

-And if what they are saying is helpful, I can adjust and get myself squared away quickly

-I think that I would have like the Apostle Paul

-He is a pretty direct kind of guy

-Look in our text for today how quickly he gets to the point or at least a point

-He basically tells the Ephesians who’s writing the letter in verse 1 and then says “Hi” in the second verse and then gets after it.

-I like the way the Apostle Paul doesn’t mince any words {PAUSE}

-Are any of you adopted?

-I am

-Actually, both my sister and I are adopted

-For awhile in my youth I didn’t like the fact that I was adopted

-For some reason it really bothered me

-I guess it bothered me that I wasn’t originally part of my family

-I had to be added in {PAUSE}

-So how about you?

-How many of you have been Christians since birth? Raise your hands.

-Put your hands down.

-None of us were born Christians

-Remember the story about Nicodemus who comes to Jesus at night

-Nicodemus gets confronted with the fact that nobody is born a Christian

-That was very different for his culture

-You see, even to this day, a Jewish person is considered Jewish from birth

-If you are born of a Jewish person you are a Jew

-That’s why he has such a problem when Jesus says to him, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom God unless he is born again.”

-Obviously Nicodemus is confused when he answers, “How can a man be born when he is old? Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!”

-Jesus gets that so he clarifies a little. He says, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.”

-I heard someone say in a bible study one time that the water in this passage refers to amniotic fluid. That the passage means that a person must be born and then born again by the spirit apart from baptism

-My brother Chaplain Routh drove that point home very well last Sunday so I’ll piggy back on that

-Remember what he said, “God comes to us in the ordinary, the familiar, the mundane to bless us”

-It is in the ordinary water of baptism that God brings us into His family

-Some of our Christian brothers and sisters look down on the good gift of water and think it beneath God to use ordinary water to bring about our salvation

-They think that God has to use other means

-There has to be lightning and thunder and signs and wonders

-And we think that too or we try to delude ourselves into thinking that somehow our deeds amount up to something or that somehow now that God has saved us we need to act like super-Christians

-Let me break the bad news to you, on this side of heaven, we are always going to be sinners that need Jesus

-That same thinking that our Christian brothers and sisters and that we indulge in once in awhile, that is the same thinking that Jesus and His disciples condemned

-The Apostle Paul writes, “Jesus demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles.” {PAUSE}

-I guess my problem in not liking that I was adopted was that I didn’t get that everybody gets added into a family

-As I got older it still bothered me a little that someone hadn’t wanted me

-It didn’t dawn on me until later how fortunate that I was

-First, I was fortunate to have biological parents who realized that they were incapable or unable to raise me

-By my biological parents letting me go, they gave to me a better life than probably they could have offered me

-It takes a really big person to be able to admit that they don’t have their act together

-I plan to hunt them down one of these days and thank them for their willingness to admit their limitations

-Second and more importantly, I had adoptive parents who wanted me desperately

-It has been said that no one wants ultimately to be needed. It is true in our human relationships. Being needed makes a relationship very one sided. However, to not be needed but to be sought after even though one is not needed is the greater good. That is what love is all about. And that is how it is with our relationship with God.

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