Summary: In His conversation with Nicodemus, Jesus teaches that we must be born again to enter the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom is about a new nature, a new king, and a new lifestyle that includes extravagant loving, generous giving, and unconditional forgiving.
COME AND SEE #4: JESUS TALKS ABOUT THE KINGDOM
THE BIG IDEA: In His conversation with Nicodemus, Jesus teaches that we must be born again to enter the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom is about a new nature, a new king, and a new lifestyle that includes extravagant loving, generous giving, and unconditional forgiving.
• John takes the time in his Gospel to record several conversations Jesus had with people.
• Jesus is never too busy to sit down and have conversations with people.
• This is one of the reasons we study books of the Bible – to hear Jesus speaking today.
I. WHO WAS NICODEMUS? (John 2:23-25;3:1-2).
“24 Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name when they saw the signs which He did. 24 But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, 25 and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man. 1 There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”
• As a ruler of the Jews, Nick was part of the Sanhedrin, 70 ruling elders in Israel.
• Nick has this amazing opportunity one night to have a conversation with Jesus.
II. JESUS SAID: “YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN.” (John 3:3-7).
“3 Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." 4 Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?" 5 Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.'
• The new birth is not about getting new religion but getting new life.
• Nick was a very religious man, but he wasn’t born again – a new creation in Christ.
• There are many religious people in churches who have never been born again.
III. UNDERSTANDING THE KINGDOM OF GOD:
1. THE KINGDOM IS ABOUT A NEW NATURE:
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Cor. 5:17).
• Being born again isn’t just about ‘joining a club’ – it’s about getting a new nature.
• Example – like a caterpillar that becomes a butterfly, we have a new nature.
• “3 All of us used to live that way, following the passions and desires of our evil nature. We were born with an evil nature, and we were under God's anger just like everyone else. 4 But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so very much, 5 that even while we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God's special favor that you have been saved!).” (Eph. 2:3-5, NLT).
• Our new identity – we are children of God, loved by Him, accepted in the beloved!
2. THE KINGDOM IS ABOUT A NEW KING:
“that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9).
• To become a Christians means to accept Jesus as your Lord – as your King.
• Because He is the King, He has the right to tell us how to live. You can’t call yourself a Christian if you haven’t surrendered your life to the Lordship of Jesus.
• Some people think, “Well, I’ve prayed ‘the sinners prayer’ so I’m going to Heaven.”
• QUOTE: “The Gospel Jesus proclaimed was a call to discipleship, a call to follow him in submissive obedience, not just a plea to make a decision or pray a prayer. Jesus’ message liberated people from the bondage of their sin while it confronted and condemned hypocrisy. It was an offer of eternal life and forgiveness for repentant sinners, but at the same time it was a rebuke to outwardly religious people whose lives were devoid of true righteousness.” (John MacArthur, The Gospel According to Jesus).
• This doesn’t mean we’re saved by our good works. We’re saved by God’s grace alone, but if we are truly saved, that will be evidenced by good works in our life.