Summary: PENTECOST 1(B) - Every believer is born again, not naturally but spiritually.
EVERY BELIEVER IS BORN AGAIN (Outline)
JOHN 3:1-17 - May 22, 2005 - PENTECOST 1
INTRO: Everyone is happy at the birth of a baby. They are just so cute and cuddly. But the reality is that everyone is born into this world of sin as a sinner. Our first birth pales in comparison to being born again. We are born naturally but reborn spiritually, or supernaturally. That term to be born again has been often misused. Many like to point to a time when they decided to believe and thus are proud of a very specific day and time of being born again. Being born again does not depend on man’s efforts. Be-ing born again is totally dependent on God’s free grace. "For you have been born again, not of perish-able seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God"(1 PETER 1:23). Once again, we gather around this living and enduring word of God to discover and learn that:
EVERY BELIEVER IS BORN AGAIN –
I. not naturally,
II. but spiritually.
I. EVERY BELIEVER IS BORN AGAIN – NOT NATURALLY
A. In verse 1 Nicodemus, a Jewish leader and teacher comes to Jesus. He wants to learn more of Jesus.
1. Verse 2 describes the teaching that only a person who did not sin could perform miracles.
2. Jesus performed miracles, which made him a man without sin like the Jewish ruling council.
B. But there was more to Jesus than this mistaken notion of Nicodemus. Verse 3.
1. Nicodemus needed to be born again. Verse 4 expresses Nicodemus’ doubts.
2. One cannot enter the womb once born. True as Jesus says in verse 6.
C. Yet to be born again was not by natural means. In verse 7 Jesus scolds Nicodemus.
1. To be born again is a divine mystery of salvation. Jesus compares it to the wind, verse 8.
2. Just as the wind does what it wants and goes where it wants – so it with God’s Holy Spirit.
3. Still, Nicodemus is not quite certain in verse 9. Soon his eyes of faith will see.
D. In our day and age when everyone wants answers in black and white, the spiritual nature of faith can often remain a complete mystery. All to often man tries to make God to be something he isn’t. They want God to bless them and no one else. They want God to get even with their enemies. People are happy when they feel God has come through for them. As soon as they think God has failed them many go blame him and turn away. "They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts"(EPHESIANS 4:18).
E. Our society is also very self-sufficient. With hard work and determination anyone can make himself or herself into something great. No one really has to depend on anyone else for anything. No one wants to feel obligated to anyone else. This attitude can carry over into the matters of eternal salvation. Who really needs God after all? Who hasn’t heard the false statement: If I just try hard enough and live a good enough life that should be good enough to get into heaven. Or we might by guilty ourselves of feel-ing we haven’t been so bad in life that God would keep us out of heaven. At least we aren’t as bad as others. Again, these are very dangerous thoughts and sentiments. "No man can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for him--the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough"(PSALM 49:7,8). No one can save oneself. Not by works, not by good intentions, not by money.
F. Our loving Lord has made salvation simple. It does not depend on man’s efforts. Eternal salvation is far too important for God to entrust it to mankind. After all, Adam and Eve ruined a perfect world. We dare not think that we could do any better. Scripture clearly declares that Jesus died on the cross for the sins of the world. This is the simple message of salvation that is just too simple for those wise in the ways of the world. "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God"(1 CORINTHIANS 1:19). The cross, that instrument of torture and death has become for us who believe the power of God.
TRANS: EVERY BELIEVER IS BORN AGAIN -- not naturally, not by human wisdom or standards.
II. EVERY BELIEVER IS BORN AGAIN – SPIRITUALLY.
A. Jesus had a daunting task to convince Nicodemus to see him with eyes and a heart of faith.