Summary: Merely knowing about the truth does not save, you must"know" the truth to be set free.
John 1:1-10, "There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemas, a ruler of the Jews: 2)The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto Him, Rabbi, we know thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. 3)Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4)Nicodemas saith unto Him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? 5)Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6)That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7)Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
Nicodemas was brought up as a Pharisee. He was taught the scriptures and the law. He became a ruler the Jewish ruling council, the Sanhedrin. So we see that not every one who sought Jesus was unlearned.
Around 430BC the prophetic word of God to Israel ceased. It ended with Malachi. There would be 400 years of silence and during this time the Pharisees were born. The Pharisees were conscientious about keeping the law, both written and oral. They pushed it to the limits though. It became more important to keep the law than God’s covenant. Keeping rules became more important than loving God or people. It was surprising that Nicodemas came to Jesus.
Nicodemas came by night probably because he was afraid of what the others in the Sanhedrin would say or do about it if they knew. Both Jesus and John the Baptist had condemned the Pharisees, Matthew 23, "Woe unto you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrits!", Jesus had said. John called them a "generation of vipers".
Why did Nicodemas come to Jesus? Not to discuss the nation of Israel or Roman occupation. Nicodemas came to talk to Jesus about his own spiritual state.
This intelligent man, a wiseman, educated and ordained came to talk to one who’s wisdom far surpassed any man’s wisdom. Christ’s wisdom is from divine inspiration from God above. Christ is ordained with divine authority.
John 4:34, "Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me, and to finish His work." John 6:38, "For I came down from heaven not to do mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me."
Nicodemas had all the questions. Jesus had all the answers.
It is simply not enough to know there is a God in heaven. Even that Jesus is the Son of God. Nor is it enough to pray, pay tithes, confess your sins, or go to church every Sunday. Jesus said, "Ye must be born again."
Doing good works, being baptized, saying good things, acting good in front of others, being faithful to attend church does not get you special favor with God. "Ye must be born again."
Nicodemas found out the awful truth. That what he had been taught to do, to say, and how he had been taught to live was wrong and not going to get him into heaven. It is impressive to hear people quote blocks of scripture. But the devil can do that! Read Genesis 3.
It is not enough to try and patch up your life. To stop doing bad habits and doing good ones. A new foundation has to be poured. "Ye must be born again." New affections, new dreams, new goals.
You must be born again with a spirit that looks above to heaven and talks to God. Stop thinking with a natural and carnal mind. Nicodemas thought this way and he was mentally outmatched by Jesus. Because Jesus thought with a spiritual mind.
Nicodemas thought only of a physical birth from human intercourse. Jesus spoke of the Spiritual birth brought about by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit causing a change in our lives. Renewing our hearts. Not by our works or our mental powers. By the power of God Almighty in the Holy Spirit.
Friends, stop looking at things from the worlds point of view. It’s depressing! Look in the word of God, and see things as they really are from His point of view. The Bible tells us the story from beginning to end. There is nothing to chance.
If you have not accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, don’t tarry too long. Get a Bible, begin reading in the Book of John, read the other three Gospels, then the rest of the New Testament. You owe it to yourself to know the truth. Then do what you feel in your heart you need to do. Be honest with yourself.
If you are a Christian but have strayed away from God, you know the truth, come home.