Summary: Exegetcal, expository verse by verse sermon from one of the favorite chapters of the Bible, evangelical in nature.
This passage is probably one of the best loved in all of the Bible. A man comes seeking God, and he comes to the Savior for understanding. Nicodemus came at night, the end of a busy day? to be hidden by the darkness? to have time alone with the Master; in any case he came respectfully because of the signs Jesus was performing.
1) Jesus Answered. "Truly, truly,” 25 times in John, but only in John. These statements are a key to understand John. 3x "Truly, truly,” in this passage.
· Unless one is born again. “Born again” is a perfectly good phrase describing salvation. Jimmy Carter made it public domain in 1978.
· ... he cannot see the Kingdom of God. “Born again” is God’s only plan of salvation. Contrary to popular thought, there aren’t many ways to Heaven, not many ways to God, born again is the only way to be saved.
2) Jesus Answered. “How can a man be born when he is old? Surely not physical birth by his mother.”
· Born of water & Spirit. These words are a cause of debate. Jesus explains in the next sentence: Flesh: flesh; Spirit: Spirit. Water is equated here with the body, not w/ baptism. See Jn 7:37-39.
· There is one plan of salvation, not many. Or else OT saints not saved: they were never baptized. The thief on cross was never baptized; if he had to be baptized to be saved, he was never saved & Jesus is a liar. If baptism is required then Jesus’ death was not necessary; Jesus only needed to be baptized and then He should have ascended to Heaven. OOPS!
· “Do not marvel that I said to you ‘You must be born again.’” Do you understand Jesus’ analogy of wind, pneuma: wind & spirit?
3) Jesus Answered Nicodemus’ “How can these things be?”
· Note his question: “How,” not “Why.” He knew his need, but did not understand God’s method. Nicodemus felt he had to be good to earn salvation; he had to work for it.
· As Moses lifted up the serpent, so with the Son of Man. Numbers 21:1-9 & 2 Kings 18:4. The serpent was just a symbol, not idol. Crosses on necklaces & on buildings are just symbols. Don’t mistake jewlry for true faith.
· That whoever believes in Him may have eternal life. Those who believed Moses’ order to look at the snake lived. Jesus’ command is to believe in Him. Jn6:28-29.
· V.16 starts with “for.” Why must the Son of Man be lifted up? Because God so loved the world, that; there is also a "but" in the verse.
· Inv: The need for being born again was not given to publicans, tax collectors, & harlots, but to the best kind of man Judaism could produce. You need it too, just as Nicodemus. God gave Jesus that you may have eternal life by believing in Him. Have you done that?