Summary: Christianity is not turning over a new leaf, or simply being a better person. Christian’s are created not made in a supernatural new birth.
Characteristics of Christianity pt 1:
And there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 He came to Jesus by night and said to Him, Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God; for no man can do these miracles which you do unless God is with him. 3 Jesus answered and said to him, Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless a man 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 the second time into his mother’s womb and be born? 5 Jesus answered, Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless a man is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into 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. 8 The Spirit breathes where He desires, and you hear His voice, but you do not know from where He comes, and where He goes; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit. 9 Nicodemus answered and said to Him, How can these things be? (Jn. 3:1-9) (MKJV)
1- Illus. Every time a baby is born there is renewed hope.
2- Ever wish you could just START OVER again? (Illus. Things people have tried without luck!)
3- Jesus gave Nicodemus the answer to this problem. “You must be BORN AGAIN”.
4- What is the “New Birth” Jesus is talking about?
1. It is an END and a new beginning. (Definite time)
2. It is a creation, a reversal of NATURE.(Supernatural)
3. It is a TRANSFER. (Inputation) (2 Cor. 5:17-21)
4. It is another CHANCE, a break, a change.
But even as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up, 15 so that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him. 18 He who believes on Him is not condemned, but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God. (Jn. 3:14-18) (MKJV)
What does God want me to do? Steps
1- ADMIT That God Has Not Been First Place In My Life And Ask Him To Forgive My Sins. (Believers too???!!!)
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from every wrong.” 1 Jn. 1:9 (LB)
2- BELIEVE That Jesus Died To Pay For My Sins And That He Rose Again, And Is Alive Today.
“If you confess that Jesus is your Lord, and you believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Rom. 10:9
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name (JESUS) by which you must be saved.” Acts 4:12
3- ACCEPT God’s Free Gift Of Salvation. Don’t Try To EARN It.
“For it is by grace you are saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast.” Eph. 2:8-9
Our relationship with God is not restored by anything we DO, but on the basis of what Jesus has already DONE for us!
4- INVITE Jesus Christ To Come Into My Life And Be The Director (“Lord”) Of My Life.
“To all who receive Him, He gives the right to become children of God. All we need to do is to trust Him to save us. All those who believe this are reborn! - not a physical rebirth… but from the will of God!” Jn. 1:12-13 (LB)
“Jesus says, ‘Listen! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in…’” Rev. 3:20
Understand your need – Have a private talk with Jesus – Respond to His invitation – Follow commands.
Illus. A butterfly’s metamorphosis (2 Cor. 5:17-21)