Summary: Understanding the John 3:16 story

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What’s the best gift you’ve ever given someone? Hear about God’s greatest gift.

Boy chasing skunk on the Grand Canyon

Good news so incredible that we can’t believe it - eternal life so beyond us that we are like that boy.

Nicodemus was at the top of the pyramid of the Israelite society. He had been sifted and tested, voted on and scrutinized, he had a resume longer than your arm. He was powerful, knowledgeable and an extraordinary man in a culture devoted to God. And so if he asked if he was going to heaven, everyone would say, "Sure." So he comes to Jesus to do what he thinks is a favor to Jesus, to kind of give Jesus some credentials and Jesus then engages him in a discussion in what he thinks it means to be born into heaven.

Eavesdrop with me as Jesus explains eternal life to a completely religious person John 3:1-17

gennao Anothen (from above - anew) Being born again sounded ridiculous then too

I don’t like the phrase born again More Ready than You Know , Dan

"Mr. McLaren, coming to church has really helped me. All I really want now is to learn the ways of Christ." I remember thinking, "Ways of Christ"?that’s a great way of saying it. Then he continued. "But one thing. I hope I never become born again." I asked him why that was, and he answered, "A friend of ours at school became a born again. She used to be a really nice person, but now she’s always judging everybody and she’s pushed away all of her friends. It’s like either they have to convert, or she doesn’t want them as a friend. So I want to keep learning the ways of Christ, but I don’t want to be born again."

What God wants to do is reset - reboot - start over - from above - the Wind

Eustice Dragon - read quote from pg. 71 Preaching to Skeptics and Seekers

What incredible good news - not to condemn but to save - to rescue!

Too many Christians have messed it up

Good news too good - so we tone it down, dilute it

Trade in your treasures for a greater treasure we say -

because it scares us to say "Trade in your trash for the greatest treasure of all time."

Nicodemus showed the best of us have too little treasure to trade in - we must be born from above

How sad churches take the good news and make it sound like sin damnation and hell

Its about escape - rescue - the world already knows about lostness

Charlie and Sarah sometimes hang out together. But Charlie doesn’t really like Sarah all that much. One day it hits him - the way to help Sarah is to date her. If we go out my strengths will rub off on her and she would be a far better person for it. It would require sacrifice on my part. But it is the least that I can do. So Charlie marches up to Sarah’s door with a book titled 100 things Sarah needs to know in order to change and become a real person. He rings the doorbell. When she answers he shoves the book in her face and states, I decided it would be best for you if we date. When you have finished reading this I will be waiting in my truck. This is the metaphor for the current state of most evangelism in the US.

No wonder people don’t respond well to our version of Christianity -

Clean up your act - don’t do this - Jesus talked about a speck and a log - about a gnat and a camel.

No ones hands are clean - microscopes teach us that

Jesus didn’t come to condemn the world but to save it - why should we reverse it?

Good news has soured in the belly, milk too long in the refrigerator - drink it all - give it all there’s plenty where it came from

Only ones offended at this good news are the religious People need never see you stand as judge but as rescuer -

Will I be accepted is a big question - some act unacceptable to see how genuine your love is

Saved from death is no small thing! Saved to life is even greater

Huddled around object of sin (playboy mag. Cigarette) while life is held out for us

Sugar coat garbage, chocolate covered bugs - feces

Action -

Accept the gift - free - unconditional love - deeper and more satisfying than you ever dreamed - STOP chasing skunks

Hoist your sail, catch the wind - Broadcast the incredibly great news

Soaring (Isaiah) on the wings of eagles - catch the spirit

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