Summary: The new birth is an invisible reality with visible outworkings.
Title: Get A Life!
Text: John 3:1-17
Thesis: The new birth is an invisible reality with visible out workings.
Let me begin by defining a couple of terms I am about to use.
1. “First Life” refers to your real life or the life you are living.
2. “Second Life” refers to an imaginary life you wish you were living.
3. “Outworld” refers to the real world in which you live your First Life.
4. “Inworld” refers to an online world where you live your imaginary Second Life.
I had never heard of Second Life until I read about it in Homiletics Magazine. “Second Life is the internet equivalent of ‘playing make believe.’” When you join Second Life you create the person you wish to be in this new “inworld.” You are really living in the “outworld” we call reality but you create a make believe person and a make believe life in the “inworld.”
In this Second Life you live in a $3.5 million dollar, 9,000 square feet, rural Mediterranean style home in Niwot (featured in The 2009 Parade of Homes: Denver Luxury Home Tour), work your dream job or be a rock star, play golf at Pebble Beach, shop in the trendiest boutiques, be debt free, do business, vacation in exotic places, get plastic surgery, have interesting friends, drive an expensive GM automobile with a warranty complements of the American taxpayers, attend a great church, etc. In this online “inworld” life, you create the life you wish you could live. And all the while you are creating this imaginary Second Life; you are living your real first life in the “outworld.”
The need to create a second life suggests there is something lacking in one’s real life. The need for a second life suggests that a person would really like to be living a different life.
Change begins with a vision of a new and different life.
A. Nicodemus was discontented with his old life.
After dark one evening, a Jewish religious leader named Nicodemus, a Pharisee, came to speak with Jesus. “Teacher,” he said, “we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are proof enough that God is with you.” John 3:1-2
Nicodemus had a life… an old life, so to speak. He was Jewish by race and religion. He was a religious leader and a Pharisee. In verse 10 Jesus acknowledges that Nicodemus was a respected Jewish teacher. That was his identity. That was his reality. Nicodemus was living the life of a Jewish religious leader. This was his public life. This was his outworld life, so to speak.
But Nicodemus was also beginning to live a second life under the cover of darkness.
Living two lives is a popular theme in fiction.
Wealthy nobleman and master swordsman, Don Diego de la Vega spirits out of his hacienda under the cloak of darkness dressed in black and wearing a mask, rides his black horse and wields his rapier as Zorro, defender of the downtrodden.
Mind-mannered reporter Clark Kent slips into a phone booth to transform himself into Superman… faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive and capable of leaping tall buildings.
The X-Men have evolved from Marvel comic book characters to big screen X-Men with X-tra Powers who live in X-Mansion and morph from normality into mutant characters to fight the powers of evil.