3-Week Series: Double Blessing


Summary: This is the 6th sermon in the Light And Life series from the Gospel of John.

Series: Light And Life [#6]


John 3:1-15


What is it that you need most? Do you need a better job, a better family, a better house, etc…? I was talking to Kaitlyn yesterday and I was reminded of how good I have it now. Kaitlyn just moved into a new apartment and she had to get some furniture. As a 22 year old woman, she doesn’t have much money to spend so she went to the Habitat For Humanity store. She needed a couch, kitchen table, and 2 chairs. She was very proud to tell me that she was able to get everything she needed for $60. The kitchen table caught my attention- It is ½ of a ping pong table. Now while that doesn’t sound too fancy, it will serve her need.

It is amazing to me about how many things we think we need. My 2 nieces from India had no idea that they needed a bed to sleep in until they were adopted and moved to the USA. The truth is- They don’t need a bed. They didn’t need an indoor bathroom. They didn’t need shoes. They didn’t need a lot of clothes. What they needed was food and water. There are many things that we don’t need; but there is something we need even more than food and water- We need Jesus.

What do we need to do to find spiritual success that will result in a real relationship with Jesus?

John 3:1 (NIV)

1 Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council.

To find spiritual success…

1. Check your definition of success.

Nicodemus was a Pharisee. As soon as I read his title, you probably started thinking about how evil this religious man was. To be fair, Nicodemus was a member of this special group who never had more than 6,000 members. Each had taken a vow that they would devote their entire life, every moment, to obeying the Ten Commandments. Nicodemus was also a member of the Sanhedrin. This was a group of 70 men who ran the religious affairs of the nation and who had religious authority over every Jew in the world. As verse 10 tells us, Nicodemus was a teacher of Israel. Nicodemus was at the top- Religiously, morally, politically, and socially. By all of the world’s standards he was a success.

John 3:2 (NIV)

2 He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”

To find spiritual success…

2. Check your source of success.

It is interesting that Nicodemus showed up at night. Why did Nicodemus come at night? There are 2 possibilities- So that he wouldn’t be noticed or so that he could find time alone with Jesus. I have always assumed that Nicodemus simply did not want his reputation to be ruined by being seen with Jesus; but I do believe he wanted to talk to Jesus alone.

Nicodemus was not the only person who believed that Jesus was sent from God. Notice that he said, “We know”. Some of the Pharisees were noticing and discussing the fact that there was no way that Jesus could perform those miracles apart from God.

John 3:3-7 (NIV)

3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” 4 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!” 5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’

To find spiritual success…

3. Check your method of success.

Jesus tells Nicodemus that he must be born again; and it completely throws him off. This doesn’t sound like anything he had heard before. How could a person who had been born once go back into the womb to be born again? To be born of water speaks of a physical birth; and to be born of the Spirit is a spiritual birth.

Why was this such a challenge to Nicodemus? He was a Jew. This was not the method of pleasing God that he had been taught. You cannot be spiritually successful without a new birth. You can’t add spirituality onto your life. You must start again. To live a spiritually successful life you must understand the difference between religion and regeneration.

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