Summary: A message that explores the meaning of the new birth in Christ

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JOHN 3:1-21

Welcome. I haven’t seen a lot of you since last year. How are you doing? I pray that you prosper this year – physically, materially, and most of all, spiritually.

Last year we had a theme – “Days of Discovery.” Most of our sermon series dealt with discovering something: Discover the Lessons of the Tabernacle, Discover Grace, Discover Vision, Discover Forgiveness, Discover Purpose, etc. This year we also have a theme: “The Year to Be…” Most of the messages this year will center around the theme of being. We start off today with the series: “Be New”.

It’s Day 4 of the new year – 2009. How are your resolutions progressing? I had one fellow tell me that he kept every resolution that he made last year. They’re in an envelope sitting on top of his file cabinet.

Did you ever wonder what it would be like if our pets made resolutions for the new year? Perhaps it would sound something like this:

• I will work on comprehending that the cat is from Venus and I am from Mars

• I will no longer be excited by the can opener

• Grow opposable thumbs, break into the pantry, and decide for myself just how much food is enough

• Get out of the castle more. Maybe swim counter-clockwise for awhile this year

• January 1st: Kill the sock! MUST KILL THE SOCK!

• January 2nd-December 31st – Relive victory over the sock!

• I will not chase the stick UNTIL it leaves his hand

New Year’s resolutions are all about change. I want to do something new this year. I want to be something different than I’ve been in years past. One of the themes of the Bible is that God wants to make us new. God is not stale or boring. He is the author of life and wants us to experience life the way He designed us to experience life. Our Call to Worship this morning came from Is. 43:18-19 where God says, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”

We’re going to look at a man this morning who wanted something different for his life – something new. He came to Jesus seeking newness. He was a little stunned by what he heard but the words of Jesus led him to know that he could become new through a “New Birth”.

Jn. 3:1-21 – Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.” In reply Jesus declared, “I

tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” “How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!” Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked. “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? I tell you the truth, we

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