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.
You had better be saved! – There must be a new kind of life if one is to ever see God’s presence!
It takes more than forgiveness alone to receive salvation!
Forgiveness isn’t salvation!
Much of the church has stopped short of salvation – Forgiveness alone!