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Summary: This sermon uses John 3:1-15 To unopack the gospel and its influence to bring about new life in the heart and life of the unregenerate.

ARTICLE 20 . THE GOSPEL AND ITS INFLUENCE

1. THE COVENANT OF WORKS BEING BROKEN BY SIN, AND MADE UNPROFITABLE FOR LIFE,(USELESS FOR GIVING LIFE) GOD WAS PLEASED TO PROMISE CHRIST, THE SEED OF THE WOMAN(1), AS THE MEANS OF CALLING THE ELECT AND BRINGING TO LIFE WITHIN THEM FAITH AND REPENTANCE (2). IN THIS PROMISE THE SUBSTANCE (ALL THE HEART AND ESSENTIAL MATTER) OF THE GOSPEL WAS REVEALED AND SHOWN TO BE EFFECTUAL (THE VALID AND EFFECTIVE WAY) FOR THE CONVERSION AND SALVATION OF SINNERS.

(1).GEN 3:15 (2). REV.13:8

2. THIS PROMISE OF CHRIST AND THE SALVATION WHICH COMES BY HIM IS REVEALED ONLY BY THE WORD OF GOD (3). THE WORKS OF CREATION AND PROVIDENCE WITH THE LIGHT OF NATURE DO NOT REVEAL CHRIST OR HIS GRACE EVEN IN A GENERAL OR OBSCURE (SHADOWY WAY) WAY (4). HOW MUCH LESS, THEREFORE, CAN THOSE WHO ARE DEVOID OF THE REVELATION OF CHRIST BY THE PROMISE (OR THE GOSPEL) BE ENABLED BY THE LIGHT OF NATURE TO ARRIVE AT SAVING FAITH OR REPENTANCE (5).

(3).ROM 1.17 (4).ROM10.14-17 (5).PROV 29.18, ISA 25:7; 60. 2-3.

3. PARAPHRASE: THE REVELATION OF THE GOSPEL TO SINNERS, GIVEN AT DIFFERENT TIMES AND IN MANY SEPARATE PARTS, COMPLETE WITH PROMISES AND INSTRUCTIONS ABOUT THE RESPONSE WHICH IS REQUIRED, HAS BEEN GRANTED TO NATIONS AND INDIVIDUALS SOLELY ACCORDING TO SOVEREIGN WILL AND GOOD PLEASURE OF GOD (6). IT WAS NEVER GRANTED TO THEM BY VIRTUE OF THEIR PROMISING (OR SHOWING ANY GOOD INTENTIONS) TO DEDICATE THEIR LIVES TO THE RIGHT THINGS, AND CHANGE THEIR WAYS , GUIDED BY COMMON SENSE ALONE; FOR NO ONE HAS EVER MADE SUCH A PROMISE IN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES NOR CAN DO SO (7).

THEREFORE IN ALL AGES THE PREACHING OF THE GOSPEL HAS BEEN GRANTED TO INDIVIDUALS AND NATIONS, WHETHER TO A GREAT EXTENT OR A LIMITED EXTENT (WITH CONSIDERABLE VARIATION) ACCORDING TO THE COUNSEL OF THE WILL OF GOD.

(6).PSA.147.20; ACTS 16.7 (7). 2COR 4:4-6

4. ALTHOUGH THE GOSPEL IS THE ONLY OUTWARD MEANS OF REVEALING CHRIST AND SAVING GRACE, AND AS SUCH IS TOTALLY SUFFICIENT TO ACCOMPLISH THIS, YET MORE IS NECESSARY IF MEN WHO ARE DEAD IN TRESPASSES ARE TO BE BORN AGAIN, BROUGHT TO LIFE OR REGENERATED. IT IS NECESSARY FOR THERE TO BE AN EFFECTUAL, INSUPERABLE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT UPON THE WHOLE SOUL (EVERY PART OF IT) TO PRODUCE IN THEM A NEW SPIRITUAL LIFE (8). WITHOUT THIS NO OTHER MEANS WILL BRING ABOUT THEIR CONVERSION TO GOD (9).

(8). PSA 110:3; 1COR 2:14; EPH 1.19-20. (9) JOHN 6:44; 2COR4:4-6.

JOHN 3:1- 15. THE GOSPEL AND ITS INFLUENCE EXPLAINED.

WHAT/WHO HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST INFLUENCE UPON YOUR LIFE TO DATE? YOUR MOTHER – YOUR FATHER A TEACHER- A BOOK YOU’VE READ – A MOVEMENT YOU’VE FOLLOWED – THE CHURCH YOU’VE ATTENDED- A FRIEND YOU’VE ADMIRED – THE WORK YOUR COMMITTED TO - THE MONEY YOU’VE INVESTED - ALL OF THESE THINGS CAN HAVE A BIG INFLUENCE UPON OUR LIVES UPON THE FUTURE DIRECTION OF OUR LIVES FOR GOOD OR BAD . .. BUT THE BIGGEST OF ALL INFLUENCES FOR GOOD UPON A LIFE – HAS TO BE THE GOSPEL AND ITS INFLUENCE.

THE GOSPEL – GOOD NEWS OF JESUS CHRIST, IS THE SAVING MESSAGE OF CHRIST CRUCIFIED AND RESURRECTED (1COR15:1-4) CHRIST JESUS WHO CAME INTO THIS WORLD TO SAVE SINNERS (1TIM 1:15) THIS GOSPEL WHICH IS ACCOMPANIED BY THE SAVING POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT WHO BRINGS, CONVICTION OF SIN, WHO BRINGS NEW BIRTH, INDWELLING THE BELIEVER IMPARTING SALVATION AND AN ONGOING WORK OF SANCTIFICATION BRINGING INCREASING HOLINESS, IMPARTING FORGIVENESS OF SINS, PEACE WITH GOD, FAITH HOPE AND LOVE THE ASSURANCE OF HEAVEN AND ETERNAL LIFE. (JOHN.3: 5-7, 16:8 12-14, 1THES 1:5 ROM 8:1-4).

1. NICODEMUS WAS ORIGINALLY INFLUENCED BY RELIGION A COVENANT OF WORKS 1-2.

NICODEMUS THE MAN AND HIS INFLUENCE

NICODEMUS WAS NO ORDINARY CITIZEN , HE WAS A JEW AND DEEPLY INFLUENCED BY THE PHARISAIC WAY OF LIFE - HE WAS A DEEPLY RELIGIOUS PHARISEE – A LEADER OF THE JEWS – A MEMBER OF THE SANHEDRIN – A RELIGIOUS GOVERNING BODY - NICODEMUS WAS COMMITTED HIS WHOLE LIFE TO STUDYING AND APPLYING THE LAW IN EVERY AREA OF HIS DAILY LIFE . HIS PHARISAIC UPBRINGING HELD A BIG INFLUENCE ON THE WHOLE OF HIS LIFE - FACT THEY ADDED A HEDGE OF TRADITIONS AROUND 613 LAWS IN THE TORAH WHICH THEY METICULOUSLY OBEYED (MATT15:1-3). DESPITE THIS PASSION FOR RELIGION WE CAN GATHER FROM THIS ENCOUNTER WITH JESUS THIS INFLUENCE DIDN’T SEEM TO BE ENOUGH FOR HIM HE HAD ALL THE TEACHING & RELIGION BUT SOMETHING WAS MISSING.

YOU SEE NICODEMUS HAD BEEN INFLUENCED HERE (POINT TO THE HEAD) BUT AS YET HE HAD NOT BEEN INFLUENCED HERE (POINT TO THE HEART) WITH THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST. HE HAD RELIGION AND HE HAD IT GOOD, BUT HE HAD NO RELATIONSHIP AND THAT WAS BAD.

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