Summary: This is an overview of John chapter 3 the chapter, highlighting the requirement, the method and the results of salvation.
Salvation - John 3:1-17
William Dixon lived in England. He was a widower who had lost both his wife and his only son. One day he saw that the house of one of his neighbors was on fire. Although the elderly owner had been rescued, her orphaned grandson was still trapped in the fire. William Dixon immediately climbed an iron pipe on the side of the house and lowered the boy to safety. His hands and arms were badly burned in the rescue, but he was glad to get the boy out of the fire. Shortly after the fire, the grandmother died. The townspeople wondered who would care for the boy. Two volunteers appeared before the town council to offer their homes to the boy. When it was William Dixon’s turn to speak, instead of saying anything, he merely held up his scarred hands and arms. When the vote was taken, the boy was given to him. The chairman of the city council said, “Sir, the scars on your arms are proof of your love for the boy, as well as your promise to take good care of him.” Well the Bible says to us this morning, that the scars on Jesus’ hands and feet are the proof of God’s love for you, as well as His promise to take good care of you. The title of the sermon this morning is “the love of God in our salvation.”
We are studying the Bible sequentially, having started in the gospel of John approximately 4 months ago and now we have come in our study to chapter 3, and I don’t need to tell you that this is unarguably the most well-known chapter in all of the Bible, containing the most well-known verse in all of the Bible, John 3:16 which says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Let’s pray as we begin to study this important chapter. “Father in heaven, we stand amazed at You, that You loved us so much that you would give your only Son to die for us, and Lord Jesus that you would go farther than William Dixon and actually give your life to rescue us, not only from the fire of hell, but also from the lies of the devil, from the allurement of this world, and even from our own wrong desires. Oh God! As we look at the scars on the hands and head and feet and side of Your Son, our Savior, we have the greatest proof of the greatest Love that has ever been shown to this world. So Holy Spirit help us in our study, help us to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is your love, and help us to know this love that surpasses knowledge. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Well my plan is to do a 30,000 foot fly-by of John chapter 3 today, seeing an overview of the chapter, and then in the following weeks to look at this chapter more closely. So today we will see 3 points:
• The requirement for salvation
• The method of salvation
• The results of salvation
The requirement, the method and the results of salvation. We see these 3 points coming right out of the passage. The requirement is stated in verse 3, “no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”, we see the method of salvation in verse 14-15, “14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life” and we see the results of salvation in verse 16 “shall not perish” and in verse 17, “Is not condemned” and both of those statements are summed up in the words “eternal life.”
So let’s notice these 3 points together today. First of all, the requirement: the setting of this passage is that a very religious man approaches Jesus at night to have an audience with Him. Now this man is not just any religious person, we get several indications of who he is by reading verse 1 which tells us that he is a Pharisee, a Jewish leader, and verse 10 which tells us he is Israel’s teacher. This man is somebody. He most likely has the entire Old Testament memorized, as all Pharisees were required to do, and his role is to teach the Scriptures to the people. He is very knowledgeable, he is very religious and he is very well respected.
But verse 2 tells us he comes to Jesus by night. Now the Bible doesn’t tell us why he comes by night, but it’s clear that he has wants something from Jesus, but as of yet he is probably not ready to be called a follower of Jesus, so he comes by cover of night.