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Summary: [Jesus] addressed [Nicodemus] to [teach] him that [he must be born again to enter the kingdom of heaven].

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Introduction:

One of the greatest tragedies in religion today is that many church members, including religious leaders, do not know how to get to heaven, even though the Bible plainly tells us.

Need:

Man is dead in sin and is in the need of a spiritual birth.

Textual Idea statement:

[Jesus] addressed [Nicodemus] to [teach] him that [he must be born again to enter the

kingdom of heaven].

Sermon Idea statement:

Jesus tells us that we must be born again to enter the kingdom of heaven.

Interrogative:

What does it mean to be “born again”?

Transition:

Jesus tells us that we must be born again to enter the kingdom of heaven.

What must you do to enter the kingdom of heaven? Jesus said, “Unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of heaven”

In John chapter three, Jesus talks with a Religious leader named Nicodemus. In their conversation, Jesus clearly explains how a person can get to heaven. Three things stand out:

I. The Call - You must be born again (v. 1-3, 7)

II. The Meaning - What it means to be born again (v. 4-8)

III. The Direction - How to be born again (9-13)

Jesus says in order to go to Heaven, you must be born again.

Point 1: The Call -You must be born again (v. 1-3, 7)

Explanation:

-Jesus told Nicodemus – in order to get to Heaven, he must be born again.

Who was Nicodemus?

a. He was religious man.

 He was one of the most religious people of his day. In fact, verse 10, tells us Nicodemus was a great teacher of the Law. Despite all his religious credentials, Jesus still tells him that in order to get to Heaven, he must be born again.

b. He was a man of prestige. (A man with reputation)

 Nicodemus was a Pharisee; his name was Greek in origin and means “victor over people”. He was a prominent Pharisee and a member of the Sanhedrin. The Sanhedrin (Matt. 26:59) was the main ruling of the Jews. It was the Jewish Supreme Court or ruling council that probably arose during the Persian period.

 The Pharisees were a strong religious sect--not like the Sadducees who were less rigid and more politically minded.

 Clearly, Nicodemus was a member of the upper class and was conservative in his beliefs, but interested in Jesus’ teaching.

c. In the eyes of society, Nicodemus had made it to the top. He was a religious man with both position and popularity. Yet, he was also an Empty Man.

d. He was an empty man

One of the problems with religion is that it tells us to perform, get baptized, work for our salvation, do our good deeds, and follow the 10 commandments – this is the way of salvation.

The problem with this approach is that it will leave us void, lonely and bare--never satisfied with ourselves. Sadly, there many church members in the USA and all over the world who are religious, but empty! With this approach, every time we fail or sin, we have to go back and start all over. It is an endless, vicious circle. The devil wishes to see this cycle continue, because he knows it is the pathway to hell.

I believe Nicodemus was tired of living this way. I say that because Nicodemus came searching for Jesus. He knew there was something missing in his life. His piety, his prestige, his popularity, and his power could not fill the void in his heart. He is seeking the real meaning and purpose of life.


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