Summary: 2nd of 6 in series leading to Easter. God gave us a “Do Over”! It’s called being “born again” and it is a wonderful gift! What is this Born Again thing?
Reborn and Renewed
John 3:1-17 (NCV)
Nicodemus Comes to Jesus
3 There was a man named Nicodemus who was one of the Pharisees and an important Jewish leader. 2 One night Nicodemus came to Jesus and said, “Teacher, we know you are a teacher sent from God, because no one can do the miracles you do unless God is with him.”
3 Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, unless one is born again, he cannot be in God’s kingdom.”
4 Nicodemus said, “But if a person is already old, how can he be born again? He cannot enter his mother’s body again. So how can a person be born a second time?”
5 But Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, unless one is born from water and the Spirit, he cannot enter God’s kingdom. 6 Human life comes from human parents, but spiritual life comes from the Spirit. 7 Don’t be surprised when I tell you, ‘You must all be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wants to and you hear the sound of it, but you don’t know where the wind comes from or where it is going. It is the same with every person who is born from the Spirit.”
9 Nicodemus asked, “How can this happen?”
10 Jesus said, “You are an important teacher in Israel, and you don’t understand these things? 11 I tell you the truth, we talk about what we know, and we tell about what we have seen, but you don’t accept what we tell you. 12 I have told you about things here on earth, and you do not believe me. So you will not believe me if I tell you about things of heaven. 13 The only one who has ever gone up to heaven is the One who came down from heaven—the Son of Man.
14 “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, a the Son of Man must also be lifted up. 15 So that everyone who believes can have eternal life in him.
16 “God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son so that whoever believes in him may not be lost, but have eternal life. 17 God did not send his Son into the world to judge the world guilty, but to save the world through him.
Do you remember “Do Over’s”?
They were part of the "Good Ole" Days. I know, Let’s play a little game… Everyone stand up. Now sit down when you can’t remember what I mention next…
How many of you remember…
90’s – Beanie Babies; Teenie Beanies; Grunge; and the phrase CHA-CHING!!!
80’s – PacMan; the Rubic’s cube; Leg Warmers; the Fraggles TV show
70’s – 8 track Tapes; platform shoes; and leisure suits
60’s – LP’s; Troll dolls; and the first lava lamps!
50’s – Wax coke-shaped bottles with colored sugar water inside Hula-hoops and putting peanuts in your ten-cent 7 oz glass coke bottle before you drank it.
40’s – Party lines on your telephones; and Big Band Music
All of us can remember the good ole days… When you could happily catch fireflies for an entire evening.
When money issues were handled by whoever was the banker in "Monopoly." And it wasn’t odd to have two or three "best" friends. When being old referred to anyone over 20 years of age and the net on a tennis court was the perfect height to play volleyball – with no real rules. Remember when the worst thing you could catch from the opposite sex was "cooties" and it was magic when dad would "remove" his thumb. Remember when you were finally be tall enough to ride the "big people" rides at the amusement park and when a foot of snow was a dream-come true. And the best part for me was how you could correct any mistake by yelling, "do over!"
Well the good ole days are not done! God gave us a “Do Over”! It’s called being “born again” and it is a wonderful gift! What is this Born Again thing?
It’s a Personal Thing
Nicodemus was a Sincere Religious Person. He was really trying to find and follow God. This isn’t exactly impossible but it is fairly rare! Religious and Sincere! He was following all of the rules; he checked all the boxes; went to all the services; gave to all the needs; responded to all the opportunities for service – yet he was unsettled and unsatisfied. He drank and ate from 8 to 5 and in the evening he was thirsty and hungry.
I met a man like that recently. He attends church regularly and has for most of his life – he follows all the rules and works to check all the boxes yet at the end of the day he is completely unsatisfied. He feels lost and passionless. His life is black and white in a world he knows has color.