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New Life

ALL THINGS NEW  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction

Nicodemus was an insider if there ever was one. He was a member of the Sanhedrin, a Pharisee (zealous for the law and pure religion), and a highly regarded teacher in Israel. His coming to Jesus at night was in all likelihood due to the crowds that surrounded Jesus during the day, as well as Nicodemus own reputation. Jesus was not the kind of company that someone of Nicodemus’ stature was expected to keep.
Jesus cuts to the chase exposing Nicodemus’ spiritual need.
“I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”
The Greek word translated again can also be rendered from above. If it means “again” the emphasis is is on the nature of the experience of entry into the kingdom. If rendered born again the emphasis is on the origin of the experience. Is Jesus talking about a supernatural experience or the nature of that experience.
One difficulty for the Pharisee was in their understanding of the kingdom of God. Nicodemus, like any Pharisee, was staunchly pro kingdom. Yet the kingdom for Nicodemus would come at the end of the age. The kingdom in Jesus teaching came to fruition at the end of the age. But there was another aspect to Jesus’ teaching on the kingdom. That being that the kingdom was inaugurated in the coming to earth of Jesus. So Jesus added another dimension to the Jewish understanding of the kingdom: The kingdom is here precisely because Jesus is here. Yet, the spiritual- inaugurated kingdom will not appear in its consummate form until the end. We, as Nicodemus, live in that period between the inaugurated kingdom and the consummated kingdom.

The Inquiry

Nicodemus approaches Jesus based on the signs Jesus did and makes an astute observation.
Rabbi, we know that you have come from God as a teacher for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with Him.
Jesus immediately speaks to the heart of the matter. It’s not about Nicodemus. It’s not about His religion, his belief in the kingdom, or his theological persuasion.
Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
What qualifies one, Nicodemus or anyone else, to experience the kingdom of God?
Jesus says one must be born again. One must be born from above. One must be born of the Spirit. Is there clarification on what it means to be born again?
Is there clarification on what it means to be born again?
Yes.
As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.
For one to be born again, qualified to experience the spiritual kingdom now and the consummated kingdom then, one must believe in the King. To be born again is to trust Jesus Christ the King.

Interest, John 7:50-52

Involvement, :39-40

One difficulty for the Pharisee was in their understanding of the kingdom of God. Nicodemus, like any Pharisee, was staunchly pro kingdom. Yet the kingdom for Nicodemus would come at the end of the age. The kingdom in Jesus teaching came to fruition at the end of the age. But there was another aspect to Jesus’ teaching on the kingdom. That being that the kingdom was inaugurated in the coming to earth of Jesus. So Jesus added another dimension to the Jewish understanding of the kingdom: The kingdom is here precisely because Jesus is here. Yet, the spiritual- inaugurated kingdom will not appear in its consummate form until the end. We, as Nicodemus live in that period between the inaugurated kingdom and the consummated kingdom.
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