Summary: This sermon deals with the born again experience which seems to have lost its place among much of the sermons of our day. Because there seems to be such a need for the "help" type of preaching for the troubled lives of church attenders.
Scripture: John 3:1 –
Title: “NEW LIFE FOR A DEAD MAN”
Introduction: The title of the message may sound a little shocking, but it couldn’t be truer.
In 2:23 we are told that the people’s faith had been awakened by the miracles they saw Jesus perform.
In the last few verses of chapter 2 we are told that Jesus knew what was in man.
Because Jesus made man and He knew man’s nature.
(All of a sudden, in Jn. 3:1 we are introduced to a man named, “Nicodemus” that is referred to as a ‘ruler of the Jews.’)
A SECRET DISCIPLE OF CHRIST
· Nicodemus came to see Jesus at ‘night.’ – (Was he trying to be careful not to identify himself with Jesus?)
· The Scripture continues to describe Nicodemus throughout the earthly ministry of Jesus in this way. (As a ‘secret disciple’)
· Nicodemus had been drawn to Jesus because of the miracles he saw Jesus perform. v. 2
· But he comes to see Jesus under the cover of darkness!
· “We know YOU are a ‘teacher’ (Not the Messiah!) come from God because of the miracles You are doing.”
· Nicodemus was very well versed in the Old Testament Law and the Prophets, but had lost his way.
· Nicodemus should have known that Jesus fit the prophecies concerning the Messiah.
JESUS ADDRESSES THE HEART OF THE PROBLEM
· Jesus replied, “I assure you, unless you are born again, you can never see the Kingdom of God.”
· There MUST be a new kind of life if a person is to see God’s presence, plan, and purpose for mankind.
· Born again – ‘from above’ ‘again’ and ‘anew.’
· If a person is to have eternal life it can only come from above!
NICODEMUS’ REPLY, “A SECOND TIME?”
· “How can this be?” exclaimed Nicodemus.
· “Especially when he is old?”
· Nicodemus was looking at things from a purely human point of view. “Can a person go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?”
· His answer reflects his lostness and his dependence on religious practices.
JESUS CLEARS THINGS UP FOR NICODEMUS
· “The truth is, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit.” v. 5
· This next verse clears things up, “Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives new life from heaven.” v. 6
· The human part (water) does its part, but the new birth can only come about by the power of the Holy Spirit!
· The Old Test. teachings could only bring death. Rom. 8:3 “The law of Moses could not save us, because of our sinful nature. But God put into effect a different plan to save us. He sent his own Son in a human body like ours, except that ours are sinful. God destroyed sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins.”
· The O.T. Law was for the lawless, and could not give birth to the good life.
· If a person is to have life, the source must be the Spirit.
CONCLUSION: Jesus must be lifted above lost mankind to make Him to be desired!
“Because of the miracles” – Why have so many religious leaders attempted to strip Christianity of its miracles?
It takes a lot of hard work to see the miracles of God in the church.
When the miraculous is not present there is no need for the Holy Spirit.