Summary: Do you ever get tired of people who say "their way" is "The way"?
WHO RAISED THE BAR?
1 There was a man named Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was a Pharisee.2 After dark one evening, he came to speak with Jesus. "Rabbi," he said, "we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you."
3 Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, unless you are born again,* you cannot see the Kingdom of God."
4 "What do you mean?" exclaimed Nicodemus. "How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?"
5 Jesus replied, "I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit.*6 Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life.*7 So don’t be surprised when I say, `You* must be born again.’8 The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit."
9 "How are these things possible?" Nicodemus asked.
10 Jesus replied, "You are a respected Jewish teacher, and yet you don’t understand these things?11 I assure you, we tell you what we know and have seen, and yet you won’t believe our testimony.12 But if you don’t believe me when I tell you about earthly things, how can you possibly believe if I tell you about heavenly things?13 No one has ever gone to heaven and returned. But the Son of Man* has come down from heaven.14 And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,15 so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life.*
16 "For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. NLT
Some where along the journey in life you made the decision to embrace Christ and ask Him to be the Lord of your life.
As you started your journey, what were the steps? What were your teachers, bible study groups, pastors, friends telling and teaching you along the way about “the way” to live for God?
Because of a spirit that operates in the Church at large many, many people get disgusted with the Church and become known as “the backslider”.
Well, for the next few minutes I want to challenge that ridiculous claim made by many – yes even in the assemblies of God.
The question that I want to ask is this… Who RAISED THE BAR? Who sat the standard of living for your life?
That is the story that we have before us today – it comes in the form of a question to Jesus from a Jewish man named Nick.
Nick came to him at night (so none of his Pharisee friends would know) and asked him a question that was burning a whole in his Mind!
It is a question that even many BELIEVERS are asking today – “How can I know that when I pass from this world that I am a person that will go to heaven – Jesus responds with a smile and simple answer – you must be born again.
This morning I will give you three theories that come from various “Christian” thought lines and then at the conclusion the Holy Spirit will reveal to you who one is the Biblical theory or better yet FACT.
1. THE BAR OF RELATIONSHIP
2. THE BAR OF REASON
3. THE BAR OF RELIGION
I am kind of going backwards on this, because the first one is the easy one. Not only is it the easy one – it is the right one.
1. THE BAR OF RELATIONSHIP
- This is the bar, the standard that God has set for every person that comes to him.
- This is the bar that is right there at your grasp. It is very reachable – God takes it and says here. We take it and surrender to Him.
- At this point we begin to start with the basics and just travel that road and let HIM grow us up in him
- We read the Bible, find friends that will walk the journey with us, attend a Church that believes in the Bible and offers community and fellowship to me and a Church that that would let me work in ministry at some level.
- I allow GOD to work in my life, I allow God to set the standard and just aim for what ever in life that he has for me.
- I talk to God – I pray to God – I worship God – I listen to God –