Summary: Salvation is more than words or concepts. Understanding salvation is a matter of experiencing it.
I. Today I have a new sermon, but I have an old message-- the message of salvation.
Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus - where, he says to Nicodemus— "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again."
II. What do these words mean—how do you explain them?
A..Jesus says to Nicodemus (as it reads in the Message),
This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; … anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. (Jn. 3:16,17).
B. How to understand this teaching: "Human Words fail me."
C. New Testament writers have inspired words of enlightenment on the subject.
In the beginning, was the Word: the Word was with God and the Word was God (Jn. 1:1).
Apostle Paul tells us that this Word of God -- (The Christ Spirit of God) -- is the One through whom God has created all things. Ephesians 3:9
The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. (Jn. 1:14).
Paul goes on to say that: It was in him that the full nature of God chose to live, and through him God planned to reconcile in his own person, as it were, everything on earth and everything in Heaven by virtue of the sacrifice of the cross.
(Col. 1:19,20 Phillips).
John and Paul are saying that the essential Being of God, at a certain time and place in history, was fully embodied in Jesus of Nazareth.
The Christ Spirit -- is now available to you, at the very center of your being.
The Christ Spirit is in you and this, Paul says, is your hope of glory, your hope of wholeness, your hope of ultimate, complete fulfillment as a human person -- your salvation.
For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. (Tit. 2:11).
III. We tend to treat salvation as a concept; we intellectualize it.
It takes more than that to put real Christian meaning behind the word "salvation." Understanding salvation is a matter of experiencing it.
Jesus said the kingdom heaven is at hand.
Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation. (2 Cor. 6:2).
"For God sent His only Son into the world not to condemn the world, but so through Him the world might be saved." The Spirit of Christ deep within our souls has a word for us now:
"I have sent you into the world not to condemn the world but to be My instruments of salvation: life-savers ... peacemakers ... healers ... reconcilers.
It’s a process ---being born again. It is a life long journey: a journey of faith that leads us to places we have not been before.
CONCLUSION: The journey of faith - the kind of journey that Nicodemus made to talk with the Master also is a journey that we can be glad we are on.
May it be said of us, as it was said of the Early Christians, "See how they love one another."
Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth, and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all day long. (Psalm 25:4-5)
I lift up my eyes to the hills—
from where will my help come?
My help comes from the LORD,
who made heaven and earth. (Psalm 121)
Lord, help me to remember everyday that I am a child of God, and I open my heart, mind, and life to the call of the Christ Spirit within me. AMEN.