Summary: A beginners guide to understanding what it means to be "born-again".
Born Again - Part 1
Lakewood / Speaker: Pastor jonathan / 12-28-2014
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• John 3:16 is one of the best known verses in the entire Bible. It is frequently called the “golden text” of Scripture.
• Today I want us to dissect it and see if we can glean some life changing knowledge from this popular Scripture.
I. For… - In the Greek New Testament, John 3:16 begins with the conjunction gar, which is used to explain a foregoing statement. In this case, the writer has just alluded to an historical situation that occurred in the days of Moses.
“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up” (John 3:14 — ASV).
A. After the Israelites were led from Egyptian bondage into the wilderness of Sinai, many of them began to murmur against Jehovah. Accordingly, the Lord sent fiery serpents among them as a mode of punishment.
1. When the people acknowledged their sin and sought deliverance, God instructed Moses to make a serpent out of brass, and hang it upon a Cross. Any person who “looked” upon the
serpent would live (Numbers 21:4-9).
2. Jesus used this as an illustration to teach Nicodemus that He (Christ) must be lifted up on a Cross, so that sinners looking to Him by faith might have everlasting life (John 3:1-16).
B. It’s important to note that it took more than believing.
1. The Children of Israel had to “look” upon the slain serpent also.
2. James 2:20 – But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
C. This is the background of John 3:16
1. Murmuring will destroy you
2. The venom of it will kill
3. The sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross is the only antidote to sin
II. …God so loved… - In this verse, obviously “God” is used of the Father, who gave his Son.
1 John 4:16 – And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
A. The term “loved” translates the Greek verb agapao.
1. The noun form agape is not a love which is merely emotional. It is the love of genuine interest, that of determined dedication. It is the love which acts out of concern for others.
2. W. E. Vine observed that agapao, as used of God:
“expresses the deep and constant love and interest of a perfect Being towards entirely unworthy objects, producing and fostering a reverential love in them towards the Giver, and a
practical love towards those who are partakers of the same, and a desire to help others to seek the Giver” (Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, Vol. III, p. 21).
B. Love is the greatest gift of all and it is also the greatest motivator of all.
1. 1 John 4:19 – “We love him, because he first loved us”.
C. So… loved…
1. “so” (houtos), a term marking the degree of intensity.
2. God thus loved; not passively, but actively; to the extent of giving His only begotten Son to be the Lamb of God.
III. …the world… - The Greek word for world is kosmos. In a literal sense, the term denotes the orderly universe created by the intelligent God (Acts 17:24), or, in a more limited sense, the earth and all that it contains (Mark 16:15).