Faithlife Sermons

Born Again

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Introduction

In 1976, Jimmy Carter referred to himself as a “Born Again” Christian. The news media did not know what that term meant. Jesus created the term when he spoke to Nicodemus, and He did not know what it meant. Today I not sure if we are any better understand the term “Born Again”. My Prayer is this message will help us understand what Jesus meant when he said, “You must be Born Again”.
John 7:45–52 NIV84
Finally the temple guards went back to the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked them, “Why didn’t you bring him in?” “No one ever spoke the way this man does,” the guards declared. “You mean he has deceived you also?” the Pharisees retorted. “Has any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed in him? No! But this mob that knows nothing of the law—there is a curse on them.” Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus earlier and who was one of their own number, asked, “Does our law condemn anyone without first hearing him to find out what he is doing?” They replied, “Are you from Galilee, too? Look into it, and you will find that a prophet does not come out of Galilee.”
The term can be translated “Born from Above”
John 19:38–42 NIV84
Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jews. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.
Three parts to being “Born Again”.

1. You must be Born of the Spirit ()

John 3:1–3 NIV84
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.”
Nicodemus was a respected Jewish leader of Israel. He was religious, he was righteous according to the law but he paid more attention to the details of the Law rather then the spiritual significance of the Law. Even though he was religious his religion fed his flesh because he had not been born again.
John 3:4 NIV84
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!”
New Life is not being not starting over but starting! Sometimes our thoughts wonder what our life would be like if we could have a do over. I can tell you would it would be like… The same! Maybe you would not make the same mistakes but you would make new ones. Why because being reborn in the flesh would be no different the second time. OUR sin, our problems, our confusion and disappointments come from our flesh.
John 3:1-3
John 3:5–9 NIV84
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.
Pharisees
The Experience of being born of the Spirit.
Member of the Jewish ruling council
It is complete separate from the flesh and the two have nothing in common. When someone changes and the fruit of the Spirit is evident in his life that does not mean the flesh is better, but the Spirit has been born. That is why Christian who feed the flesh look just like the world. That is why your goal today is not to “be good” BUT be filled with the Spirit. Nicodemus was good person in the flesh but he was lost because he dead Spiritually.
It is experienced, not seen. You hear the gospel, and you do not know where, or why, or what his happening in your spirit. It moves you like the wind moves the leaves on a tree. it moves you to response, it change, to believe!
You do not know where it is going. When Jesus calls you follow him He does not tell you where you are going. Being born of the Spirit is blind obedience by faith, and faith alone. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.
night
from God (Spiritual Birth, Born from Above)
You must be born from above…
… I cannot go back and start over...
.... Yes you can.
Flesh is not a reference to your sinful nature that Paul often refers too. Jesus is speaking of your natural birth in the flesh that does not produce or develop a spiritual nature.
When a baby is born everything starts working. That baby starts crying, its hungry It’s arms and legs are moving. and all the other stuff starts working too… You better get a diper on that new born baby soon. Everything starts working. But that little baby is born in the flesh not the spirit.
You must be born again, in the Spirit for the Spirit to start working in you life!
WE do not grow into spirituality we are born into spirituality. Christianity is not a level of Spiritual growth it is a Birth. That is why Jesus said you must be Born Again.
Like the wind this birth comes and goes without pictures. You do not see it, you only experience it.
Like the wind we do not see the Spirit but only the work of the Spirit.

2. You must Believe in the Son ()

You must believe it to experience it.
You must believe Jesus is who he said he is. (past)
John 3:11–13 NIV84
11 I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.
He speaks for the Father.
He came from Heaven.
He is the Son of Man, the Messiah! This term was understood by Nicodemus because it was used 100 in the OT.
Daniel 7:9–14 NIV84
9 “As I looked, “thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze. 10 A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him. Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was seated, and the books were opened. 11 “Then I continued to watch because of the boastful words the horn was speaking. I kept looking until the beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire. 12 (The other beasts had been stripped of their authority, but were allowed to live for a period of time.) 13 “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.
Daniel 7:9-
Nicodemus knew the story of Moses and how the snakes were lifted up was a symbol of life to the dying. Now Nicodemus must understand that he is dying and needs Jesus to be lifted up so he will live.
You must believe Jesus did what he said he would do. )(present)
Jesus was born of a virgin
Lived a perfect life as the God/Man.
Suffered and died on the Cross for our sins.
Resurrected on the Third day giving victory over death and sin.
John 3:14–16 NIV84
14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. 16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Jesus was born of a virgin
Lived a perfect life as the God/Man.
Suffered and died on the Cross for our sins.
Resurrected on the Third day giving victory over death and sin.
You must believe Jesus will do what he said he would do. (Future)
John 3:17–18 NIV84
17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
He will not condemn you
He will save you, if you believe.
John 14:1–6 NIV84
1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.” 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” 6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

3. You must Live in the light ()

John 3:19–21 NIV84
19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”
Live by the Truth… Sinner in need of a savior, and Jesus is the Savior of the world.
Live in the Light …
The word expose in the Greek means to state that someone has done wrong.
Live according to what is the truth about you. The Phrase “I tell you the Truth” was used by Jesus over 70 times in the four Gospels.
Ephesians 5:1–11 NIV84
1 Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. 3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7 Therefore do not be partners with them. 8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.
Eph 5:
Everybody looks good in the dark… but the light tells a different story.
“Turn your Eyes Upon Jesus”
John 14:6 NIV84
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Will you live by the truth today to who you really are? Will you come into the light and allow God to expose your sin. David pray to God:
Psalm 139:23 NIV84
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Have you been “Born Again”? Are you ready to experience new life?
Step into the Light.
Believe Jesus.
Be Born Again.
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