Summary: Jesus says we must be born of water and the spirit.

Born Again

John 3: 1 - 8

Intro: 3 men died and were standing at the pearly gates. St. Peter asked, “What have you done to deserve heaven?” The 1st man, a police officer said, “I enforced the law and fought crime.” St. Peter said, “OK, go on in.” The 2nd was a wealthy man who said, “I used my wealth to help people.” St. Peter said, “Go on in.” The 3rd man was a manager of a Health Management Organization who said, “I helped save millions of dollars for healthcare and insurance companies by cutting down on waste, fraud and abuse.” St. Peter said, “OK come on in, but you can only say for 3 days.”

I Many of us ask ourselves what it would take for us to make it into heaven. Does it take more for one person than another?

A For Nicodemus, it was not a laughing matter. VS. 21 says, “He came to Jesus at night . . .” The word “night” (GK. ??? nux) as used in JN. It represents separation from God.

B Nicodemus is not only a Pharisee (SEPARATED ONE); but he is a member of the Sanhedrin the 70 men who were responsible for all religious matters in Israel.

C Perhaps Nicodemus was just wearing a façade or acting religiously. Rules were not enough. Perhaps like some people, Nicodemus had religion but lacked faith.

II In this passage, Nicodemus makes 3 positive acknowledgments about Jesus:

A In VS. 2 – he calls Jesus “Rabbi” and in so doing, he recognizes Jesus as a teacher of the law and the prophets. “you are a teacher who has come from God.”

B Also in VS. 2, Nic. Includes Jesus as a leader of his community by saying, “we know”

C Continuing is VS. 2 Nic. Says, ““For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.” Acknowledging that Jesus isn’t just any teacher he is “From God.”

III In VS. 3 Jesus plainly tells Nicodemus and us what it will take to “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” What exactly does “being born again” mean?

A Here is where things get interesting. B/C the GK. word translated here by “AGAIN” is (a??Fe? – anothen) cannot be translated literally.

B ANOTHEN means both “from above” and “again” or “anew.” It is a combination word in Greek which is not possible in English.

C The best English translation for “to be born again” is “To be born again from above.”

Concl: What Jesus is telling us AND Nicodemus is this “entrance into the kingdom of God will require a double birth: 1) physical birth (water) and 2) spiritual rebirth (spirit). To live life as a Christian is no longer defined by blood or by the will of the flesh, but by God. So, to “see the kingdom of God” we must give over our entire life to God living as God would have us live; doing as Christ would do.

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