Summary: Jesus Christ, the Great Shepherd of the sheep was struck down on the cross, and on that day a Roman soldier pierced his side, and in so doing opened a fountain of cleansing. We now can go to the cross, we can go and see Him dying in our place and be forgi
You Must Be Born Again - John 3:1-10
Let’s open our Bibles to John 3
I want to begin this morning by telling you about a man who lived some time ago. He was a very religious person, very concerned about the Law of God. He was a Hebrew, a very educated man, a man well respected by others, a Pharisee, a man zealous for God. In fact he was so zealous that he felt it his duty to squelch any other religious uprising, and he would use lethal force to do so. In fact, he would come into a meeting like we’re having here, and he would pick out certain people, maybe children, maybe mothers or fathers, and drag them out of the meeting and execute them right on the spot. He would go into people’s homes, drag out families at a time, both young and old and kill them or put them in prison. And one time, when a leader of Christianity was being stoned, he counted it a privilege and an honor to be right there, holding the coats of the men who were killing him. This man, like Osama bin Laden was a religious terrorist in every sense of the word.
But something happened to him during his lifetime that completely changed him. He was converted to Christianity and his whole world was turned upside down. Instead of killing Christians he began ministering to them. He began preaching and teaching and inviting people to come to Jesus, pouring out his life for others and eventually dying as a martyr for the cause he had once hated. What happened to this man? How did this terrorist become an evangelist? Why did he go from Jihad to Jesus? Well the Bible describes this experience as being born again. The title of the message this morning is “You Must Be Born Again.”
You may remember from a few weeks ago that we looked at an overview of John chapter 3. We saw that John 3 describes salvation by showing the requirement, the method and the results. The requirement is in verses 3-7: “you must be born again.” The method of salvation is in verses 14-16, “the Son of man must be lifted up, speaking of the cross, that whoever believes in Him” and the results of salvation are in verses 16-17 “will not perish, is not condemned, has eternal life.” Well that was the overview, today we want to zoom in a little bit, and look at the subject of the new birth, the requirement for salvation. Jesus says to Nicodemus in verse 7, “you must be born again.”
Let’s read John 3:1-10:
1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 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." 3 In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. " 4 "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!" 5 Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is 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.’ 8 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." 9 "How can this be?" Nicodemus asked. 10 "You are Israel’s teacher," said Jesus, "and do you not understand these things? John 3:1-10 (NIV)
Let’s pray together: Father in heaven, please give us your Spirit that we might understand Your Word and that we might love Your Son. In Jesus’ Name.
Today I want us to notice just two things:
• Man’s condition
• God’s provision
Man’s condition is in verse 3, “no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” So man’s condition by birth is that he is unacceptable to God, he is not fit for God’s presence, he is not going to heaven, he will not see the kingdom of God.
God’s provision is in verses 5-6, “no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.” The Spirit of God is God’s provision for man’s condition. The Spirit of God washes us, and gives us new life, thereby making us acceptable to God, fit for the kingdom of God. So let’s look at these two truths in more detail: