Faithlife Sermons

The Gospel in a NutShell

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We live in bad times. The world looks for the bad in all situations. Turn on the TV, Bad News is the lead story. Bring up someones name in a conversation, and we begin to think about things they have done wrong. The world is a dark place, that fails to look for the lighter side of things.
We as Christians get swept up in sharing the bad news of everyday life. We begin conversations and activities, by immediately thinking of what is wrong or what can go wrong with this picture.
Why would someone with the best news,
Why would someone with the brightest news on a dark day,
Why would someone with the old news that makes broken things new,
Why would someone with the good news for a bad day, not share the good news instead of the bad news?
This is not a new problem, nor a recent attitude. The Apostle John knew, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, that the early church needed a clear understanding of the gospel. He summed up how God has demonstrated His love, in the deepest degree, by giving us the greatest gift, that offers biggest benefit ever known to humanity.
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John 3:16 NASB95
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
The protestant reformer Martin Luther call John 3:16 the gospel in miniature, John 3:16 has been called the “Gospel in a Nutshell—a small package with a big surprise.”
Why don’t we share the good news of God’s love? Once my daddy said to me “Do you have a dollar.” I had just gotten my allowance, so I said yes sir. With my daddy, every moment was a learning moment. He said i will sell you something that has never been seen with the human eye, or touched by a human hand. I said what is it? Daddy said I can’t tell you, but I will sell it to you. I gave him a dollar and he handed me a peanut. I said, I have seen a peanut before and I am touching it. Daddy said not you are touching and looking at the shell. Open it up and you will be the first human to see or touch the peanut. The John 3:16 is like a peanut, a lot of people have seen the shell, yet never tasted the fruit.
John 3:16 is the most memorized, well known verse in the Bible, yet we shy away from opening it up and sharing the surprise of God love.
William Faye says, fear is the biggest reason we don’t share the gospel. I don’t think it is fear of talking, nor fear of being hear. I think we don’t share the gospel, because we fear of not being able to answer questions others have about the news we are sharing.
The problem with church folks is that after we have been in church a long time, we have questions but we are afraid to ask them. We don’t want anyone to know that we don’t know. We don’t want to ask questions. the Bible calls this pride and pride is a sin.
Does the fear of asking questions that that causes us not share the gospel?
You don’t have to worry about being wrong. If this has been one of those weeks were everything has been gone wrong. You know the kind of week I am talking about. If this has been a week were you can’t seem to do anything right, then I have good news for you.
If you are here, It is because God wanted you here.
You have gotten one thing right this week.
If you came with questions, then you have gotten two things right this week.
God likes questions. God uses our questions as opportunities to teach us something new about His love for us and our need to trust His love for us. Sometimes the news might not be new, but a new view may remind us that God Love hasn’t changed, even though our trust in Him and our love for Him has faded.
Questions about God’s love and how we trust that love in everyday life are not new. John 2:25–3:21 tells us That God already knows our questions, before we ask them. At the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, He was teaching and performing miracles that should have convinced those around Him that God loves them and everything He says is actually for their good. But the Bible says, we may say we know God loves us, but still not believe it is true. Jesus knows if we just say we believe or if we really trust His love and believe, in Him, enough to do what he tells us .
John 2:23–25 NASB95
Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name, observing His signs which He was doing. But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men, and because He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man.
Jesus was doing what God send Him to do and saying What God sent Him to say. Jesus was obeying His Father, expecting to prove God true.
Jesus didn’t need for someone to prove Him right. HE knew God to be true and He knew that just because we know something does mean we trust in it. Jesus knows the questions we don’t ask out load.
John 3:1–2 NASB95
Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “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.”
The Bible says Nicodemus, was a man, who came to Jesus with 3 questions. First question, Are you here to set up your your kingdom, Nicodemus did even ask out load.
Here’s the question this morning.
Jesus are you here to help us?
Are you reestablishing your rule in our town? Are you here to fix my broken family, my meaningless job, Lord I am just sick and tried of being sick and tried, are you here to fix my messed up life, in this broken world?
Now most of us would never say such things out load. But Jesus already knows what we are thinking. Nicodemus didn’t actually ask this out load, but Jesus heard what he was thinking and answered:
John 3:3 NASB95
Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
We cannot see what God is doing in our physical lives, until we are spiritually reborn and our spiritual lives have been reconciled to God. Which led to Nicks second question: How can a man be reborn when he is old. You can teach an old dogs new tricks. He is to busy laying on the porch, playing in the yard, or chasing the cat. We haven’t ever done it this way before, and we can’t start now. Jesus says, we need to recognize He knows the difference between what we say and what we are thinking.
Nicodemus realized Jesus knew his questions and so he aske his second question out load:
John 3:4–8 NASB95
Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. “Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ “The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
How can God cause us to give up our old ways? Jesus makes us a new person; gives us a new life; a life controlled and led by HIs Spirit. How can this happen?
The theological term for this unbelievable act is miracle.
I know what you are thinking! Preacher, if it is a miracle how do I know it is true? You will experience a changed heart and see a transformed life.
Jesus said it is like the wind. You don’t know from where is come and where it goes, but you can see what it is doing and the after effect it left in its wake. Jesus says we must not be amazed, but trust that what he says is true. Which brings Nicodemus to his third question: How can these things be?This seemed to good to be true.
Nicodemus still didn’t completely understand what Jesus was saying.
When John was writing his gospel, he knew his first readers and even us here at HSBC would have trouble understanding how a new life must began with a changed heart.
That is the reason the Holy Spirit led John to write the most revered, most known, most life changing verse in the Bible. A verse that says:
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God’s Love for Us Should Change Our Life

John 3:16 NASB95
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

God’s love for US Should Change Our Life

John 3:16 says, God’s Love for Us Should Change Our Life. One commentator says, How We Response to God’s love Determines Our Destiny (Kenneth Gangel Holman NTC; Main Idea).
Pray. As be gin at the trailhead our your new gospel drive, let us remember your Love for us, how you demonstrated it toward us, and that there is nothing in our life that your love cannot change for for glory and our good. Today for whatever reason you came. Whatever questions you may have about life, God , and your destiny in his world remember that:
Your Love should change our Life
How We Response to God’s love Determines Our Destiny. John 3:16-21 is John exposition of Jesus’ encounter with Nicodemus. John Knows readers would have questions and that we would have questions. John also knows he does have time to tell his readers everything about everything Jesus said to the religious leader. I don’t have time to tell you everything about God’s love this afternoon. So let’s follow along with John as the bible tells us:

The reason God gave His son was for hope.

3:16: Without Christ and the cross there is no hope. We are dying in our sin. Sin is rebelling against God’s design and trusting that what He says is for our good and HIs glory. John uses the word world (kosmos) 78 times in his gospel and 24 times in his letters. Each time he used kosmos to describe people associated with a world system organized against God and estranged from HIm.
Holman New Testament Commentary: John C. The Snake in the Desert (3:14)Looking at the snake manifested active faith. It was not sufficient for the Israelites to know that there was a snake on the pole; they had to turn in faith, expecting God’s cure. So it is with the cross. It is not enough to know that Jesus was crucified on the cross; one must look to him in faith, accepting God’s free gift of salvation.

The reason we should share the good news is it demonstrates our belief that God’s love can change a life.

Little girl and a horse that had already killed 3 people. I didn’t need a better trained horse. I needed a new horse. Same with our life we do not need behavior modification, we need a new life.

The purpose for which God gave us His Son

John 3:17: The purpose for which God gave his Son to die on the cross.
We have already been tried. the verdict has been read. We are waiting for the sentence to be carried out.

The result for which God gave us His Son

We don’t get involved in church because we do not want other to know how bad our lives are messed up. God gives us the church for rebuke, instruction, and correction.
2 Timothy 3:16–4:3 NASB95
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,
Alias Smith and Jones: Pardon was a secret
We must invite people to church, because church is how God keeps us in the light.

Our Response to God’s Love Shines Light in the darkness of a Hopeless World.

John 3:21 NASB95
“But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”
God expects His love to result in our response of belief. As a result of God’s love, we should respond by believe in Jesus. Believing means we are practicing what God says expecting to prove Him right. Prove God right by living in the light.
Holman New Testament Commentary: John B. Contrast between Believers and Unbelievers (3:16–21)Early in his ministry when Ironside lived in the San Francisco Bay area, he conducted a meeting for the Salvation Army. At the end of the sermon, a well-known socialist handed Dr. Ironside a card on which he had written, “Sir, I challenge you to debate me with the question, ‘Agnosticism vs. Christianity’ in the Academy of Science Hall next Sunday afternoon at 4:00 P.M. I will pay all expenses.” Ironside read the card aloud, then agreed to the debate on certain terms. First, that the socialist bring to the debate a man whose life had been wrecked by sin but now redeemed for righteousness and goodness because of agnosticism. Second, that he would bring a woman wrecked by sin, an outcast prostitute, who had been rehabilitated and now lived a virtuous, happy life because of agnosticism. Ironside agreed to bring one hundred such people saved by the power of Jesus Christ whose lives would be “present-day proof of the truth of the Bible.” As the story ends, the man left the hall unwilling to take up such a challenge. This chapter describes that kind of transformation.
We must engage tour culture with the gospel of Jesus Christ and plant other churches, expecting to see sinners saved, saints being sanctified, and Jesus gloried, by changed lives.
Sharing the gospel is simple conversation about how God’s Love for us changes lives.
We are offering evangelism training that is based on simply practicing gospel conversations. Please sign up. we will start Wednesday May, 9, 2018
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