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Summary: God is doing a New Thing...and His plan for our lives begins with the New Birth!

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GOD IS DOING A NEW THING

THE NEW BIRTH

John 3:1-17

(1) There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus

A. Who was this man?

1. Pharisee

A) Extremely religious and very intelligent

B) Devoted to keeping the Law

C) Intensely Jealous of Jesus

1) He undermined their authority

2) He challenged their views and ways of thinking

2. Ruler of the Jews

A) Member of the Sanhedrin - ruling council

B) Teacher of the Teachers

B. What was He doing? (2)

1. He came to Jesus at night

A) Came to avoid the crowds

B) Came to avoid suspicion

C) Came because he worked throughout the day and this was his only time to come

2. He came on this night because he was searching

A) Whether he was willing to admit it or not

B) Something told him Jesus had the answers

1) In this encounter Nicodemus go more than he expected

2) Tonight he would receive the challenge of a new life

3. He left this encounter a changed man

4. He came away with a whole new understanding about God and Himself

This is our challenge today

A. To have an encounter with Jesus

B. To gain an understanding of God’s Word

C. To leave changed

D. To leave with a whole new understanding about God and ourselves

(2-3)

A. Nicodemus

1. Rabbi, we know that you come from God as a teacher, for no man can do these things unless God is with him

A) Nicodemus has already made up his mind about Jesus

B) He knew who he was

C) He knew God’s hand was upon His life

1) Jn 9:33 - If this man were not from God, He could do nothing

2) Acts 2:22 - God performed these signs and miracles in their midst so the people might believe

B. Jesus (3)

1. Truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God

2. What did Nicodemus know about the kingdom

A) Ruled by God

B) Restored on earth

C) Inhabited by God’s people

C. Nicodemus (4)

1. How can man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into His mothers womb.

D. Jesus with a revolutionary Idea

1. (16) Evolves around the truth that God’s kingdom was going to be for the whole world

2. (5) Unless he was personally born again…he would not be apart of this kingdom

A) The kingdom is personal (not national or ethnic)

B) The entrance requirements are repentance and spiritual rebirth

E. Look through a clearer lens:

1. People do not enter the kingdom by living a better life

2. People enter the kingdom by being spiritually reborn

(6-8) This New Birth is a gift from the Holy Spirit

A. He works in ways we cannot predict or understand

B. The New Birth is His gift to us

1. Rom 8:16 - The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God

2. I Thess 1:5-6 - For the gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction

(9-13)

A. Nicodemus - “How can these things be?”

B. Jesus

1. You’re a teacher of Israel and do not understand these things?

2. The Jewish teachers knew the OT thoroughly

3. Here we see Nicodemus did not understand what it said about the Messiah

C. Very clear and important message

1. Knowledge is not salvation

2. Yes, you should study to know what the Bible says

3. More important is a knowledge of:

A) The God the Bible reveals

B) The salvation that God offers

(14-15)

A. When the Israelites wandered through the wilderness

1. God sent a plague of snakes to punish their rebellion

2. If bitten they would die

B. God offered them hope

1. If they looked upon the elevated bronze snake

2. If they believed God would heal them

3. They would be saved

C. Jesus compares Israel’s deliverance to the deliverance He offers

1. If we look up to Jesus who was lifted upon the cross

2. We will be healed of sin’s deadly bite

3. We shall be saved

(16-17)

A. The entire gospel comes into focus here

1. God’s love is not self-centered

2. It reaches out and draws others in

B. God paid the highest price He could pay…His Son

1. Jesus accepted our punishment

2. Jesus paid the price

3. Jesus provided for us the new birth

A) This new birth results in eternal life

B) This new birth is available to all those who will believe

1) More than knowing about God

2) Placing our trust and confidence in Him that He alone can save us

It is believed that this encounter with Jesus changed Nicodemus’ life forever

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