Summary: Churches are filled today with religious people who have have never experienced new birth.
Series: Demands of Christ
YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN
INTRODUCTION TO SERIES
(Matt 28:18-20 (quickview) ) And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
When in Seminary I took a Church History mid-term which consisted of five essay questions. I had studied all night, and knew that I nailed it; but when returned I had received an 80%. I completely missed one question and didn’t understand until I read the red note at the end of the answer which read, “The answer sounded great but it wasn’t what I asked.” I focused on the wrong thing.
Nicodemus was a man who also was focusing on the wrong thing.
Observations on Nicodemus
He was a Religious Man “Pharisee”
He was a Righteous Man
He was a Respected Man “Ruler: Sanhedrin”
He was a Respectful Man “Rabbi”
He was a Needful Man
THE NECESSITY OF THE NEW BIRTH (3:3,7)
Not a Suggestion
Not a Good Idea
Repeated Twice for Emphasis (3:3,7)
Great Problem: Focus on the Non-Essentials
Great Need: New Birth
“anothen”: has both meanings; e.g., "from above" in 19:11 & "again" in Gal 4:9)
(Bible Knowledge Commentary/Old Testament © 1983, 2000 Cook Communications Ministries)
Several years ago I attended an Evangelism training conference in Chicago, IL. On the last day we were sent into the suburbs for door to door witnessing. I remember distinctly walking up to a very nice home with very well-mannered teenagers outside and then welcomed by a very polite woman. We asked her if see attended church and she explained they were actively involved in a church of another faith and then she asked me if we were part of that group that a person has to be “born again”, almost as if this was a cultish idea.
--She had all the appearances of being a part of the Kingdom of God, but had never been born again.
I. THE REASONS FOR THE NEW BIRTH (3:5-6; Eze.36:25-27)
(John 3:5-6 (quickview) ) Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
(Ezek 36:25-29) Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. 26A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
27And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. 28 And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.