Summary: Niccodemus, though a teacher of the law had found frustration in trying to please God, yet knowing he could never become what he wanted to be. In an encounter with Jesus revealed he could be born again into the kingdom of heaven.
THE GOOD NEWS THAT YOU CAN BE BORN AGAIN!
1.) Today I want us to see some very good news from Scripture, that we can be born again.
2.) To be born again is a concept that is very strange sounding, and certainly one which brings questions into our minds, just as it did with Nicodemus so many years ago.
3.) In the person of Nicodemus, we see that man has need for a new birth; We will also see that Jesus Christ has made it possible for us to be born again – born from above, instead of merely of this world.
A.) Nicodemus was both a Pharisee, and also a member of the council of the 70 or the Sanhedrin.
aa.)As such, he would have been considered as the one of the ultra conservatives, and a man who would have known and studied the Old Testament Scriptures.
ab.) Many of the Pharisees would have been less than honourable, and certainly less than Godly.
ac.) I believe from what we see in our text and later on in the Gospel of John that Nicodemus would have stood out among them as a man with a different heart.
ac.) Nicodemus came to Jesus by night, I believe, because he was honestly seeking God and more in his life than what he had to that point he had been able to experience in his walk with God.
4.) Jesus saw the sincerity of his heart, and so cuts to the chase and tells him the message he needed to hear.
A.) That message was that he had to be born again to have that relationship with God that he so earnestly was seeking.
I. NOTICE THE GREAT TRUTH ABOUT THE NEW BIRTH.
1.) The Truth Expressed
A.) Verse 3
B.) The powerful truth is that nobody can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.
C.) Jesus was very direct with what he prescribed for Nicodemus.
ca.) Nicodemus came to Jesus seeing Him as a teacher from God, with far greater truth and spiritual insight than he or the other Pharisees possessed.
cb.) Jesus also knew what was in his heart, that he was honestly seeking a relationship with God.
cc.) Knowing these things, Jesus is very direct and to the point in expressing the truth that Nicodemus needed to hear and receive.
2.) The truth Examined
A.) Verse 4
B.) Nicodemus is completely taken back by the words of Jesus.
ba.) It is not that he is rejecting the teaching, but rather that he could not comprehend the words that Jesus had told to him.
baa.) The fact that Nicodemus could not understand the teaching of Christ is further proof of his need to be born again.
bab.) At this point in his life Nicodemus had only been born from the earth, so he could not comprehend the truths of the heavenly.
bac.) Scripture reveals clearly that the natural man can only understand a small bit of spiritual matters.
bac-1.) 2 Cor. 3:13-15
bac-2.) That is the same place Nicodemus is at this time.
bac-2i.) John 3:7-8
3.) The Truth Explained
A.) Verses 5-6
B.) Jesus now more clearly explains to Nicodemus that to enter the kingdom of God you he must be born of water and the Spirit.
ba.) It is very obvious in this passage of Scripture that Jesus is addressing
the subject of baptism.
baa.) Now at this time the Great Commission had not yet been given.
baa-1.) The only baptism was the baptism of repentance that John taught.
bab.) When Jesus addressed Nicodemus, the teaching of baptism into Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins and the indwelling gift of the Holy Spirit of God had never been proclaimed because Jesus had not yet completed His sacrificial mission that would bring that about.
C.) Yet here this man was seeking the truth; He was seeking in his heart that which only God could give.
ca.) So with a sincere heart that receptive to the truth, Nicodemus received from Jesus that message of forgiveness and the Holy Spirit through his faith in Jesus, expressed in the waters of baptism.
D.) I have had well-meaning individuals come up to me who have been falsely taught that baptism is only an outward sign of an inward grace that has happened in the heart.
da.) These same individuals have tried to tell me that the water refers to sack of fluid protecting us in our mother’s womb prior to our physical births.
db.) They will then differentiate this in time from the coming of the Holy Spirit, thus trying to minimize the role and importance of Baptism as integral for admission into the kingdom of God.
dc.) But in answer to that statement I want to look not at theological arguments on this subject, but simply one of the basic rules of English we were taught in the elementary grades of school on sentence structure.