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Summary: How do we witness? By presenting the things of God honestly! We need to know what we know, and be willing to show that to others! If we won’t, then who will … and if we don’t, what can it cost them?

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Jesus and Nicodemus

John 3:1-15

Introduction

- The gospel of John screams of the faith that we should have in Christ

-- It is the clearest example of living life FOR the one who redeemed you and I

- If we can learn to love others like Jesus’ … we can bring them TO Him

-- Re: We won’t bring a friend to something we do not like

-- John demonstrates and challenges us to love people like Christ did

- Today, we will begin probably one of the most famous chapters in John

-- We are going to take a look at a critical conversation that happens here

-- Sadly, many misquote, mistake, or misuse this chapter often in their lives

-- What we also see here is how to witness when presented the opportunity

- Read John 3:1-15 / Pray

∆ Point 1 – Nicodemus comes to Jesus

- Nicodemus has come to talk to Jesus one evening while they had stopped

-- There is really no clear reason to explain why this happened at night (v2)

-- But, there is something very obvious about this encounter

-- APP: Nicodemus has sought out Jesus because of what was happening

- His reference to Jesus as “rabbi” or teacher, placed him in a subordinate role

-- Even as a Pharisee, he is now asking to be taught in a learner position

-- IMP: If a Pharisee can subject himself to Jesus, so can you and me!

- Nicodemus would’ve had money, and power, and influence

-- Yet, this conversation shows us that there is something missing from his life

-- He seeks Jesus ought to see if He might have what is missing

- Nicodemus admits no one could perform signs if they were not from God

-- His knowledge of God here is purely head knowledge, but he wants more

-- His demonstration of what is going on really is just surface intelligence

- Says, “You are a teacher …” indicates (again) his submission to Jesus

-- IMP: Again, what a wonderful position for you and I to assume today

-- APP: But even a Pharisee a ruler, can be wrong in his intellectual position

- The reason I can say this is that Jesus instantly turns the conversation (v3)

1) He does not feed into the compliment that was just paid

2) He cuts straight to the heart of what Nicodemus is really thinking

- Have you ever tried to get to a spiritual discussion in a round-about way?

-- What Jesus just did is cut through the him-hawing around and state the truth

- This leads Nicodemus into a question and answer session with Christ

-- This was not for Jesus’s benefit, but for Nicodemus (and ours)

-- APP: If you ever wanted to know how to witness to others, here it is

∆ Point 2 – Jesus Challenges Nicodemus

- Nicodemus’s first statement is met by the bottom-line truth

-- Unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God

-- Notice: The transparency of Jesus here is just amazing

-- There is no beating around the subject … its pure truth revealed

- This leads to honest question: If I’m old, how do I get born again (v4)?

-- While this could be a sarcastic response (should I enter mother’s womb)

-- His question is actually quite legit, and really reveals his thinking

-- APP: Nicodemus is 100% engaged in the physical, not spiritual

-- His understanding of how biology works is great, but not salvation

- So, Jesus lays out for him the process of being born again (v5)

-- In v3 we saw the source of new birth; now we have the process discussed

- Some may argue that the “water” gives reference to the mother’s womb

-- Others may say it is the immersion/sprinkling in water for repentance

-- My understanding is this tying it to Titus 3:5, “… he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit …”

- The Holy Spirit does the work; and we submit to that leading in baptism

-- The following verses in John give us what I feel ties it together (v6-7)

- Flesh gives birth to flesh (mother to child); leaves us incomplete

-- But the Spirit births the things of the Spirit (God to man); completes us

- RE: OT makes no reference to a Spiritual re-birth; focus on acts/sacrifice

-- But remember, JTB has already given us that we are in a new time

-- John 1:26-27, “I baptize with water,” John replied, “but among you stands one you do not know. He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.”

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